Adolescent Work and Alcohol Use Revisited: Variations by Family Structure

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Previous research finds adolescent work hours to be associated with increased alcohol use. Most studies, however, fail to account for possible selection effects that lead youth to both work and substance use. Using data from the first two waves of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (N = 12,620), a fixed effects regression method is employed to control for stable between-person differences neglected by previous studies. Results show little relationship between work hours and alcohol use when controlling for individual heterogeneity. Results reveal variations, however, by family structure, with work hours being negatively associated with alcohol use among those from single-parent households. Although exhibiting significant main effects, family and peer processes fail to account for differences by family structure.