Online Program

Money talks: Worksites as potential transformative environments for adolescent health

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Miranda Iverson Hill, MPH, Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Jessica Legge Muilenburg, PhD, Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
Natasha Herbert, MPH, CHES, Department of Health Promotion and Behavior, University of Georgia, Athens, GA
According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, the youth labor force is growing by millions each year. Worksites are traditionally recognized as strategic venues for health interventions; however, the majority of such activities are targeted towards adults. The purpose of this study is to examine the importance of worksites to adolescents as potential sites for behavior change. We surveyed 836 high school students at a rural southern high school using an anonymous questionnaire on employment history and attitudes. The majority of respondents (56%) previously worked outside of the home; 32% were currently employed. Most of the student worker population identified as White (60%) and about half as either male (53%) or female (47%). Approximately, half reported working for five or more days per week for a period of 16 or more hours. Overall, adolescent workers expressed positive feelings towards their site of employment: they felt respected (80%), that they were treated fairly (86%), they felt safe in the workplace (85%), and they considered their job to play an important role in their lives (56%).

Adolescence is a phase of identity development that is uniquely associated with the accruement of risk or protective health behaviors. Our results suggest that worksites are increasingly prominent in adolescents’ lives. As youth and young adults carry a disproportionate burden of morbidity and mortality due to range of health risks and outcomes, policies and interventions can harness the potential of worksites to reduce the financial and social costs associated with health risks of adolescents as they emerge into adulthood.

Learning Areas:

Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning
Public health or related education
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Identify work sites as potential environments for adolescent health interventions Identify alternative venue for adolescent health promotion

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Workplace

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am working on PhD in Health Promotion and Behavior focusing on risky behaviors. My work includes substance use and abuse, sexual risky behaviors, and adolescent health. I am working as a research assistant on an R01 on substance use. My major professor is an expert in these areas as well.
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.