Photo: Hispanic Student Working
African-American and Hispanic students may be less likely than non-Hispanic white students to hold a job during the school year, but when they do, they tend to work somewhat longer hours and seem less likely to see their grades suffer than non-Hispanic white students with jobs, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.
A study involving nearly 600,000 students from around the country also found that among high school students who work long hours at a part-time job, black and Hispanic students from lower income households may be less inclined to smoke and drink than affluent non-Hispanic white or Asian-American students who work long hours. The study was published online in the APA journal Developmental Psychology.
Overall, white students were more likely than minority students to report working during the school year, according to the study. Among 10th graders, 43 percent of non-Hispanic white students worked compared with 29 percent of African-Americans, 31 percent of Hispanics and 26 percent of Asian-Americans. Among 12th graders, 72 percent of white students worked compared with 57 percent of African-Americans, 59 percent of Hispanics and 53 percent Asian-Americans. However, although white students were more likely than other students to work, African-American and Hispanic students who held jobs were more likely to report working more than 25 hours per week. Specifically, among those 12th graders who were employed, 18 percent of Asian-Americans, 22 percent of whites, 31 percent of African-Americans and 32 percent of Hispanics reported working more than 25 hours a week.
Grade point averages among white and Asian-American students dropped dramatically the more hours they worked, while the GPAs of Hispanics and African-Americans showed less connection with hours worked, the researchers found.