A new study published in the journal Child Development finds that adolescents that eschew school for employment are more likely to be associated with antisocial behaviors than peers that either work less hours or focus solely on schooling. Researchers, over a five year window, examined the relationship between work hours and school attendance in a sample of almost 1,300 juvenile offenders. The study, conducted by researchers from Temple University, the University of Pittsburgh and the University of California, Irvine states that teens that work long hours while simultaneously attending high school classes were more likely to engage in antisocial behavior than classmates that had less work hours or did not work at all. In particular, researchers noted an apparent connection between high-intensity employment – categorized as more than 20 hours per week—and greater likelihoods of teens fostering antisocial behavior, such as bullying and vandalism. Teens that attended school regularly, without working, were found to demonstrate the least amount of antisocial behavior, while teens that worked long hours and did not attend classes regularly were found to be the likeliest adolescents to engage in antisocial activities.
Last week, an attorney representing an incoming freshman with intentions of attending Temple University asked Pennsylvania’s Superior Court to reconsider the state’s “Juvenile Act,” following an appeals court ruling that allowed the university to be informed of his client’s previous delinquency history. In a 2-1 decision, judges upheld a previous Lehigh County juvenile court ruling which said that the state’s “Juvenile Act” could be extended to universities and colleges. Following the ruling, attorney Gavin Holihan filed a motion asking the court to reargue the case, this time in front of a larger panel of judges. Pennsylvania’s “Juvenile Act” requires schools to be notified if an enrolled student is found delinquent of a crime, with additional information required if the crime constitutes a felony. At 17, Holihan’s client had been found delinquent of disseminating child pornography on a file-sharing network.
Confirming what you probably already know, a new study finds teens are more likely to engage in risky behavior when their friends are around. The study by Temple University says the portion of the brain associated with reward showed “greater activation” in teens doing risky things with their friends. “These results suggest that the presence of peers does not impact the evaluation of the risk but rather heightens sensitivity in the brain to the potential upside of a risky decision,” said psychologist Jason Chein, lead author of the study. The full study is only available with a subscription but you can read more at Science Daily.