McMorris, Barbara and Christopher Uggen. 2000. “Alcohol and Employment in the Transition to Adulthood.” Journal of Health and Social Behavior 41:276-94.




This paper examines the relationship between work hours and alcohol use during the transition from adolescence to adulthood. Both hours of employment and drinking may be products of weak bonds to school and family.  Alternatively, work may exert an independent effect on alcohol use by exposing adolescents to opportunities and associates that facilitate drinking. Using longitudinal data from the Youth Development Study (YDS), we present static score regression models showing that high intensity work increases levels of drinking during high school. These effects are mediated in large part by work-derived independence from parents, suggesting that the precocious transition to adult roles may be the mechanism connecting work hours and alcohol use. Work effects on drinking are short-lived, however, as adolescent hours of employment does not significantly affect levels of alcohol use after high school.