Adolescent Work and Alcohol Use Revisited: Variations by Family Structure


  • This research uses data from Add Health, a program project designed by J. Richard Udry, Peter S. Bearman, and Kathleen Mullan Harris, and funded by a grant P01-HD31921 from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, with cooperative funding from 23 other federal agencies and foundations. Special acknowledgment is due to Ronald R. Rindfuss and Barbara Entwisle for assistance in the original design. Persons interested in obtaining data files from Add Health should contact Add Health, Carolina Population Center, 123 W. Franklin Street, Chapel Hill, NC 27,516-2,524 ( No direct support was received from grant P01-HD31921 for this analysis.

Requests for reprints should be sent to Gregory C. Rocheleau, Department of Criminal Justice and Criminology, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN 37614. E-mail:


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.