Online Program

Work and Quality of Life among Adolescents in Washington State, 2010

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Janessa Graves, PhD, MPH, College of Nursing, Washington State University, Spokane, WA
Mary E Miller, MN, RN, Nursing Care Quality Assurance Commissin, Washington State Department of Health, Olympia, WA
Angel Li, College of Nursing, Washington State University, Spokane, WA
Jessica Mackelprang, PhD, Department of Psychology, Seattle University, Seattle, WA
Objectives: Among adolescents, engaging in work or working longer hours have been associated with risk-taking behavior, poorer academic performance, and inadequate sleep. We examined the association between work, work intensity, and quality of life (QOL) among adolescents in Washington State.

Methods: We analyzed 2010 Washington State Healthy Youth Survey data for 8th, 10th, and 12th grade public school students. Adolescents reported currently working for pay (not counting chores at home, yard work, or babysitting) and hours per week if working. QOL was assessed using the Youth Quality of Life Surveillance 6-item Measure. Survey-weighted multivariable regression was used to test the associations between QOL and the work outcomes (working and work intensity). We tested for effect modification by grade level.

Results: Of 8,882 adolescents who completed questionnaires in 2010, 28.6% reported currently working. Effects of working on QOL were modified by grade: among 8th and 10th grade students, working was associated with significantly lower QOL scores; no association was detected for 12th grades students.  Among working students, increased work intensity was associated with significantly lower QOL scores. Compared to adolescents who worked 10 or fewer hours per week, QOL scores for those who worked over 40 hours per week were 22.9% lower (95% CI: 16.7-29.0%).

Conclusion:  Working during the school year was associated with lower QOL for younger adolescents, and we observed a reciprocal relationship between work intensity and QOL. For adolescents attending school, increased attention should be paid to the impacts of work on QOL.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the impact of work and work intensity on the quality of life reported by teens. Identify the factors associated with decreased quality of life among working teens during the school year. Describe the differences by grade of increased work intensity on quality of life.

Keyword(s): Youth, Quality of Life

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to be an abstract Author on the content I am responsible for because I am trained in occupational health services research. Among my research interests is understanding the impacts of employment among working youth. I conducted the study described in the submitted abstract.
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.

Back to: 5021.0: OHS Topics - 3