Pathways into the Work Force: Antecedents of School and Work Force Status
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OBJECTIVE: The study aim was to identify risk factors for specific pathways into the work force using data from the Ontario Child Health Study Follow-up. METHOD: Potential predictor variables were derived from data collected in 1983 on adolescents aged 13 to 16 years. The subjects were followed up 4 years later and the school/work force outcome was determined. Bivariate and multivariate statistical analyses were used to identify variables with a strong independent association with this outcome. RESULTS: Subjects in the work force were four times more likely than those attending school to have come from a low-income family and at least two times more likely to have a family background of low maternal education, to have failed a grade, or to have used substances heavily during early adolescence. Subjects with two or more of these risk factors were likely to be in part-time work or unemployed. CONCLUSIONS: Preventive interventions should be targeted at children from poor families, or who fail at school, or show early onset of substance abuse and other deviant behaviors. Studies are needed to further elucidate the relationship between these risk factors and pathways into the work force and beyond.
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