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Shanahan, Michael J.; Finch, Michael D.; Mortimer, Jeylan T.; & Ryu, Seongryeol (1991). Adolescent Work Experience and Depressive Affect. Social Psychology Quarterly, 54(4), 299-317.


Although a large literature links depressed mood with various adult working conditions, the implications of work experience for adolescent negative mood have not been given much attention. Yet adolescence is both a time of initial entry to work and a period in which depressed mood increases markedly. Using longitudinal data from a panel of youth followed from the ninth to the tenth grade, we examine how facets of adolescent work influence depressive affect. Determinants of depressed mood are also investigated for non-working ninth and tenth graders. The results support the hypothesis that work experiences contribute to depressed mood among adolescents. Among ninth grade working girls, poor connections between work and school heighten depressed mood. In the tenth grade, work stress, the acquisition of useful job skills and self-direction are significant predictors for boys, while responsibility for things outside one's control is related to an increase in depressed mood among girls. The findings also indicate that workers are more emotionally independent of their parents than non-working adolescents.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Social Psychology Quarterly


Shanahan, Michael J.
Finch, Michael D.
Mortimer, Jeylan T.
Ryu, Seongryeol