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Shanahan, Michael J. & Flaherty, Brian P. (2001). Dynamic Patterns of Time Use in Adolescence. Child Development, 72(2), 385-401.


Patterns of time use are tangible representations of individual identity and the meaning of age groups in the life course. How do young people allocate their time to multiple domains of involvement, including the school, workplace, family, and peer group? Drawing on longitudinal data from the Youth Development Study (N= 1,010), a person-centered analytic strategy was used to describe configurations of time use through the high school years. Over half of the students were engaged in many domains, although a substantial percentage of students focused their time on one or two domains outside the school. Students who were highly engaged in multiple domains tended to remain so across grade levels, whereas students focused on one or two domains frequently changed their commitments. Plans for school, grade point average, future orientations that emphasize marriage and good citizenship, and gender significantly predicted time-use patterns. These findings elucidate connections among school, work, and other contexts through the high school years.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Child Development


Shanahan, Michael J.
Flaherty, Brian P.