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Multiculturalism and Social Work | San Francisco State University

Effects of economic stress on high school students views of work and the future

Author: Jones,-Loring; Agbayani-Siewert,-Pauline; Friaz,-Guadalupe
Author Background:
Date 1/1/98
Type Journal
Journal Title: Social Work in Education
Volume/Pages v 20 p. 11-24
Subject Matter Human Behavior
Abstract A study examined how students attitudes and values regarding future employment were influenced by various measures of socioeconomic status, including parental employment status. Participants were 500 students from a high school in an agricultural region of the Northwestern U.S. The study s findings indicated that the employment status of the father affected students overall feelings about the likelihood of getting work but did not affect how they valued work. Students who reported low levels of confidence in finding work exhibited more feelings of hopelessness about the future than adolescents who were sure about their own employment prospects. Latino adolescents reported more mental health problems and were less confident about finding a job after graduation than white teenagers. Finally, the variable that most influenced how students valued work was grade point average. This variable emerged as a powerful correlate that had an inverse relationship with most of the work, mental health, and socioeconomic variables. Implications of this study are discussed.