By the time North American teenagers graduate from high school, 80 percent of them have been employed on a part-time basis. Yet this important socializing force has been little studied by psychologists. Young Workers: Varieties of Experience fills this gap by revealing the complexities of young people's transition from school into the world of work. Examining both part-time and full-time workers, this book paints a detailed portrait of how young workers experience their first jobs, how they form their attitudes and beliefs about work, and how current economic and social conditions shape their experience.

Chapters investigate the costs and benefits of part-time work, how income is used, young people's salary expectations, the experience of unemployment, child labor and underground economies, occupational health and safety issues, and young people's experience of and attitudes toward labor unions.

The contributors' research highlights the diversity of both the young workers themselves and the complexities of their experience in the labor market. This book will be of interest to a broad audience of developmental, social, and industrial/organizational psychologists as well as sociologists. Readers interested in the development, growth, and organizational implications of youth employment will find this a rich source of information.

Table of Contents

List of Contributors


  1. Introduction
    —Julian Barling and E. Kevin Kelloway
  2. The Nature of Youth Employment
    —Catherine Loughlin and Julian Barling
  3. Learning to Work: The Development of Work Beliefs
    —E. Kevin Kelloway and Steve Harvey
  4. Gender Differences in Employment and Income Experiences Among Young People
    —Serge Desmarais and James Curtis
  5. Developmental Consequences of Youth Employment
    —Michael R. Frone
  6. Child Labor and Exploitation
    —Chaya S. Piotrkowski and Joanne Carrubba
  7. Occupational Safety and Health in Young People
    —Dawn N. Castillo
  8. Reconceptualizing Youth Unemployment
    —Graham S. Lowe and Harvey Krahn
  9. Youth and Labor Representation
    —Daniel G. Gallagher

Afterword: Implications for Policy and Research

Author Index

Subject Index

About the Editors