Quality of Employment and Delinquency During the Adolescent to Young Adult Transition

Kara Lustig, Joan H. Liem

Abstract


Most researchers examining employment’s effect on delinquency have not focused on job quality or on employment during early adulthood. This study examined the link between specific qualities of employment and changes in delinquency among a diverse sample of young adults who had moved into the work force after high school using data from a three-wave panel study (N = 389). Contrary to hypotheses, longitudinal regression analyses revealed that changes in young adults’ delinquency from waves 1 to 3 were not related to work quality at wave 2 (e.g., hours worked per week, benefits, stability,future orientation, and enjoyment), with one exception; wages were marginally positively associated with increases in delinquency. The positive association between wages and delinquency is discussed in terms of the current nature of young adulthood and the types of the jobs that young adults without college degrees hold.

Full Text:

PDF

References


Allan, E., & Steffensmeier, D. (1989). Youth, underemployment, and property crime: Differential effects of job availability and job quality on juvenile and young adult arrest rates. American Sociological Review, 54, 107-123.

Andrews, D. A. & Bonta, J. (1998). The psychology of criminal conduct (2nd ed.). Cincinnati, OH: Anderson.

Apel, R., Paternoster, R., Bushway, S. D., & Brame, R. (2006). A job isn’t just a job: The differential impact of formal versus informal work on adolescent problem behavior. Crime & Delinquency, 52, 333-369.

Apel, R., Bushway, S., Brame, R., Haviland, A. M., Nagin, D. S., & Paternoster, R. (2007). Unpacking the relationship between adolescent employment and antisocial behavior: A matched samples comparison. Criminology, 45(1), 67-67.

Arnett, J. (2000). Emerging adulthood: A theory of development from the late teens through the twenties. American Psychologist, 55(5), 469-480.

Bachman, J. G., O’Malley, P. M., & Johnston, L. D. (1978). Youth in transition: Adolescence to adulthood--change and stability in the lives of young men (VI ed.). Ann Arbor, MI: Institute for Social Research.

Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. (1993). How part-time work intensity relates to drug use, problem behavior, time use, and satisfaction among high school seniors: Are these consequences, or merely correlates? Developmental Psychology, 29, 220-235.

Bachman, J. G., Safron, D. J., Sy, S. R., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2003) Wishing to work: new perspectives on how adolescents’ part-time work intensity is linked to educational disengagement, substance use, and other problem behaviors. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 27, 301–315.

Berk, R., Lenihan, K. J., & Rossi, P. H. (1980). Crime and poverty: Some experimental evidence from ex-offenders. American Sociological Review, 45, 766-786.

Bloom, H. S., Orr, L. L., Bell, S. H., Cave, G., Doolittle, F., Lin, W., & Bos, J. M. (1994). The benefits and costs of JTPA Title II-A programs: Key findings from the National Job Training Partnership Act study. Journal of Human Resources, 32 (3), 549-576.

Bound, J. & Johnson, G. (1992). Change in the structure of wages during the 1980s: An evaluation of alternative explanations. American Economic Review, 82, 371-392. Retrieved from http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/index.php

Bushway, S., & Reuter, P. (2002). Labor markets and crime risk factors. In L. Sherman, D. Farrington, B. Welsh, & D. MacKenzie (Eds.), Evidence-based crime prevention. New York, NY: Rutledge Press.

Committee on the Health and Safety Implications of Child Labor (1998). Protecting youth at work: Health, safety, and development of working children and adolescents in the united states. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.

Crutchfield, R. D., & Pitchford, S. R. (1997). Work andcrime: The effects of labor stratification. Social Forces, 76(1), 93-118.

Dillon, C. O., Liem, J. H., & Gore, S. (2003) Navigating disrupted transitions: Getting back on track after dropping out of high school. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 73 (4), 429–440.

Elliott, D. S., Huizinga, D., & Ageton, S. S. (1985). Explaining delinquency and drug use. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage Publications.

Freeman, R. B. (1991). Crime and the employment of disadvantaged youths (No. 3875). Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.

Furstenberg, F. F., Rumbaut, R. G., & Settersten, R. A. (2005). On the frontier of adulthood: Emerging themes and new directions. In R. A. Settersten, F. F. Furstenberg, & R. G. Rumbaut (Eds.), On the frontier of adulthood: Theory, research, and public policy. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Fussell, E. (2002). The transition to adulthood in aging societies. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 580 (3), 16-39.

Giordano, P. C., Cernkovich, S. A., & Rudolph, J. L. (2002). Gender, crime, and desistance: Toward a theory of cognitive transformation. American Journal of Sociology, 107(4), 990-1064.

Gould, E. D., Weinberg, B. A., & Mustard, D. B. (2002). Crime rates and local labor market opportunities in the United States: 1979-1997. The Review of Economics and Statistics, 84(1), 45-61.

Greenberger, E., & Steinberg, L. (1986). When teenagers work: The psychological and social costs of adolescent employment. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Grogger, J. (1998). Market wages and youth crime. Journal of Labor Economics, 16(4), 756-791.

Harrison, P., & Beck, A. (2005). Prisoners in 2004. Bureau of Justice Statistics Bulletin NCJ 210677. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Justice.

Heinz, W. R. (2003). From work trajectories to negotiated careers: The contingent work life course. In J. T. Mortimer & M. J. Shanahan (Eds.), Handbook of the life course. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic.

Hirschi, T. (1969). Causes of Delinquency. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Horney, J. D., Osgood, W., & Marshall, I. H. (1995). Criminal careers in the short-term: Intra-individual variability in crime and its relation to local life circumstances. American Sociological Review, 60, 655-673.

Huiras, J., Uggen, C., & McMorris, B. (2000). Career jobs, survival jobs, and employee deviance: A social investment model of workplace misconduct. The Sociological Quarterly, 41, 245–263.

Junger, M., & Marshall, I. H. (1997). The interethnic generalizability of social control theory: An empirical test. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 34(1), 79-112.

Kerckhoff, A. C. (2002). The transition from school to work. In J. T. Mortimer & R. Larson (Eds.), The changing adolescent experience: Societal trends and the transition to adulthood. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Kruttschnitt, C., Uggen, C., & Shelton, K. (2000).

Predictors of desistance among sex offenders: The interaction of formal and informal social controls. Justice Quarterly, 17, 61-87.

Lattimore, P. K., Witte, A. D., & Baker, J. R. (1990). Experimental assessment of the effect of vocational training on youthful property offenders. Evaluation Review, 14(2), 115-133.

Le Blanc, M. (1993). Late adolescence deceleration of criminal activity and development of self- and social control. Studies on Crime and Crime Prevention, 2, 51-68.

Moffitt, T. E. (1993). Life-course persistent and adolescence limited antisocial behavior: A developmental taxonomy. Psychological Review, 100, 674.

Mortimer, J. (2003). Working and growing up in America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Mortimer, J. T. (1988). Introduction. In J. T. Mortimer & K. M. Borman (Eds.), Work experiences and psychological development through the life span. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Mortimer, J. T., Finch, M., Shanahan, M., & Ryu, S. (1992). Work experience, mental health, and behavioral adjustment in adolescence. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 2(1), 25-57.

Mortimer, J. T., Finch, M., Ryu, S., Shanahan, M. & Call, K. T. (1996). The effects of work intensity on adolescent mental health, achievement, and behavioral adjustment: New evidence from a prospective study [Monograph]. Retrieved from http://www.eric.ed.gov

Mortimer, J. T. & Krüger, H. (2000). Pathways from school to work in Germany and the United States. In M. Hallinan (Ed.), Handbook of Sociology of Education. New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum.

Needels, K. (1996). Go directly to jail and do not collect? A long-term study of recidivism, employment and earning patterns among prison releasees. Journal of Research on Crime and Delinquency, 33, 471-496.

Osgood, D. W., Foster, E. M., Flanagan, C., & Ruth, G. R. (2005). Introduction: Why focus on the transition to adulthood for vulnerable populations? In D. W. Osgood, Foster, E. M., C. Flanagan, & G. R. Ruth (Eds.), On your own without a net: The transition to adulthood for vulnerable populations (pp. 1-26). Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press.

Ostrowsky, M. K. & Messner, S. F. (2005). Explaining crime for a young adult population: An application of general strain theory. Journal of Criminal Justice, 33(5), 463-476.

Paternoster, R., Bushway, S., Brame, R., & Apel, R. (2003). The effect of teenage employment on delinquency and problem behaviors. Social Forces, 82(1), 297-335.

Paternoster, R. & Mazerolle, P. (1994). General strain theory and delinquency: A replication and extension. Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency, 31, 235-263.

Piliavin, I., & Gartner, R. (1981). The impact of supported work on ex-offenders. Madison, WI: Institute for Research on Poverty and Mathematical Policy Research.

Piliavin, I., & Masters, S. (1981). The impact of employment programs on offenders, addicts, and problem youth: Implications from supported work. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin, Institute for Research and Poverty Discussion. (ED213804).

Ploeger, M. (1997). Youth employment and delinquency: Reconsidering a problematic relationship. Criminology, 35(4), 659-676.

Quinn, R. P., & Staines, G. L. (1979). The 1977 quality of employment survey. Ann Arbor, MI: Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. Retrieved from

Sampson, R. J., & Laub, J. H. (1990). Crime and deviance over the life course: The salience of adult social bonds. American Sociological Review, 55(5), 609-627.

Sampson, R. J., & Laub, J. H. (1993). Crime in the making: Pathways and turning points through life. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Saylor, W. G., & Gaes, G. G. (1997). PREP: Training inmates through industrial work participation, and vocational and apprenticeship instruction. Corrections Management Quarterly, 1(2), 1-27.

Schochet, P. Z., Burghardt, J., & Glazerman, S. (2001). National job corps study: The impacts of job corps on participants’ employment and related outcomes. Washington, D. C.: Mathematica Policy Research. (ED457358)

Shanahan, M. J., Mortimer, J. T. & Kruger, H. (2002). Adolescence and adult work in the twenty-first century. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 12, 99-120.

Tabachnick, B. G., and Fidell, L. S. (2007). Using multivariate statistics, (5th ed.) Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Thornberry, T. P., & Christenson, R. L. (1984). Unemployment and criminal involvement: An investigation of reciprocal causal structures. American Sociological Review, 49, 398-411.

Thornberry, T. P., Krohn, M. D., Lizotte, A. J., Smith, C. A., & Tobin, K. (2003). Gangs and delinquency in development perspective. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Uggen, C. (1999). Ex-offenders and the conformist alternative: A job quality model of work and crime. Social Problems, 46(1), 127-151.

Uggen, C. (2000). Work as a turning point in the life course of criminals: A duration model of age, employment, and recidivism. American Sociological Review, 67, 529-546.

Uggen, C., & Staff, J. (2001). Work as a turning point for criminal offenders. Corrections Management Quarterly, 5(4), 1-16.

Van Stelle, K., Lidbury, J. R., & Moberg, D. P. (1995). Final evaluation report specialized training and employment project (STEP). Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Medical School, Center for Health Policy and Program Evaluation.

Wadsworth, T. (2006). The meaning of work: Conceptualizing the deterrent effect of employment on crime among young adults. Sociological Perspectives, 49(3), 343-368.

Wright, J. P., & Cullen, F. T. (2004). Employment, peers, and life-course transitions. Justice Quarterly, 21(1), 183-205.

Wright, J. P., Cullen, F. T., & Williams, N. (1997). Working while in school and delinquent involvement: Implications for social policy. Crime & Delinquency, 43 (2), 203-221.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2017 The New School Psychology Bulletin

© The New School Psychology Bulletin | editors@nspb.net