207741 Adolescent workers and risky behaviors: Implications for health promotion

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:30 PM

Jessica L. Muilenburg, PhD , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
David M. DeJoy, PhD , Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Little research has been done on the impact of social influences on working adolescents. This study investigates the risky behaviors of working adolescents in a sample of 836 high school students. The average age of the respondents was 16.09, 50.3 percent were female and 41.2% were African American. For analysis purposes, students were divided into current workers (30.63%), ever workers (28.6%), and never workers (40.8%). Never workers were less likely than ever or current workers to smoke cigarettes (p<0.001), drink alcohol (p<0.001), have ever smoked marijuana (p<0.006), ever used methamphetamines (p<0.031), ever used ecstasy (p<0.007), driven 10 miles over the speed limit (p<0.001), ride in a car with a drinking driver (p=0.041), drive a car after drinking (p<0.001), have friends who drink and drive (p<0.010). Never workers were more likely to always wear a seatbelt (p<0.001), believe that driving after 1-2 drinks (p=0.020) or after five drinks (p=0.050) is very dangerous (p=0.020), and believe is would be very difficult to drive after drinking (p=0.007). After completing a multinomial logistic regression controlling for age, race and gender, respondents who reported they had ever worked were at increased risk for involvement in risky behaviors compared to those who ere current or never workers. This information indicates that there may be differences in those students who choose to work, rather than those who work out of necessity. More information needs to be gathered to investigate if there are differences in individuals who work out of necessity compared to other types of workers.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss differences in working patterns that may impact risk taking behaviors in adolescent workers.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: PhD and research
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.