Work and growth: A review of research on the impact of work experience on adolescent development

Stephen F. Hamilton, Ann C. Crouter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Work has not been extensively studied as a context for adolescent development, even though increased work experience has been widely recommended as a means of improving the transition of adolescents to adulthood. Studies of the impact of work experience on adolescent socialization, defined broadly, suggest that work has beneficial results that persist over time. Developmental theorists and critics of conventional patterns of workplace organization remind us, however, that current knowledge is inadequate to specify optimal types and amounts of work experience for adolescents. Studies of narrower outcomes of work experience - career knowledge and plans, job-related attitudes, behavior, and skills - are less persuasive. An ecological strategy is recommended for future research. Such research should consider the varying effects of different kinds of work experience on different adolescents and should seek those effects in settings other than the workplace and over long periods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)323-338
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of youth and adolescence
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 1980

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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