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Mortimer, Jeylan T.; Finch, Michael D.; Owens, Timothy J.; & Shanahan, Michael J. (1990). Gender and Work in Adolescence. Youth and Society, 22(2), 201-224.


Data obtained via questionnaires administered to a random sample of ninth graders (N = 1,105) in the St. Paul, Minn, Public School District are used to investigate the predisposing factors that make boys & girls enter the work force, the features of their early work careers, & gender differences in employment attributes. Prior research is reinforced through findings that early work force entry is favored by higher socioeconomic origins, & that there is a great disparity between girls' & boys' wage rates. New findings include the following: girls begin their first jobs earlier than do boys; there is a clear progression for both genders from less complex to more complex jobs; later jobs for both boys & girls often command lower wages; girls tend to move from more informal jobs to more formal ones, while boys tend to move in the opposite direction; & boys, more than girls, tend to increase the intensity of their employment as they move from job to job. It is also apparent that, overall, girls' work experiences are not less promotive of vocational development or of psychological well-being than are those of boys. The psychological implications & the effects of adolescent work on adult gender roles are discussed, & topics for future analyses are presented.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Youth and Society


Mortimer, Jeylan T.
Finch, Michael D.
Owens, Timothy J.
Shanahan, Michael J.