Purpose: To examine the relationship between adolescents' after-school and weekend employment and substance abuse behaviors in a cross-sectional sample of public high school students in South Carolina.
Methods: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) was used to secure usable data from 4800 subjects. Logistic regression adjusting for age and using SUDAAN were performed. Odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals were calculated from the regression analyses.
Results: Thirty percent of white males, 29% of white females, and 20% of black males and females worked at a job for pay during the academic year. For white males employment, ranging from 11 to 15 h and 26 to > or =31 h was associated with cigarette smoking, working from 11 to > or =31 h was associated with alcohol use, working > or =31 h was associated with binge drinking, working from 26 to > or =31 h was associated with marijuana use, and working from 26 to 30 h was associated with cocaine use. For white females, working from 16 to 20 h was associated with alcohol use, working from 21 to 30 h was associated with binge drinking, and working from 26 to 30 h was associated with marijuana and cocaine use.
Conclusion: Youth who work above 15 h/week at a job for pay during high school appear to have an increased risk for substance abuse and its consequences.