Summer Jobs Can Reduce Teen Violence


Mayor Thomas Menino of Boston announced yesterday the results of a study on the effects of youth employment on violence.

Teenagers who acquire summer jobs are less likely to engage in violence, according to a new study unveiled by Boston's Mayor Thomas Menino.

Researchers at Northeastern University's Center for Labor Market Studies polled 421 Boston teenagers and young adults who found employment last summer through a youth violence prevention collaborative.

The study assessed in the youths 22 social behaviors deemed negative, deviant or risky.

About 3 percent of youths reported threatening or attacking someone with a gun during the month before starting their jobs, according to the Boston Globe. That figure had dropped to less than 1 percent when the program ended.

15 percent said they had fought with someone during the month before starting their jobs, fewer than 8 percent reported fighting after.

Nearly two-thirds of participants indicated that they met new people that would help them move forward in life and more than half said they learned how to help solve problems.

Researchers recorded net improvements in behavior over the course of the summer in 19 of the 22 areas examined.

“The biggest differences in behavior change between the participants and comparison group involved using alcohol, selling or using illegal drugs, picking on others by chasing them, spreading false rumors or lies about others, and not listening to one's parents,” wrote researchers in a summary of their findings.

Read the summary HERE.

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