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dc.contributor.advisorHancox, Bob
dc.contributor.advisorMcGee, Rob
dc.contributor.advisorGray, Andrew
dc.contributor.authorIosua, Ella Elizabeth
dc.identifier.citationIosua, E. E. (2013). Employment among Schoolchildren and its Associations with Adult Substance Use and Psychological Wellbeing (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy). University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.description.abstractInvolvement in paid employment by schoolchildren is common in both developed and developing countries. Consequently, there has been considerable interest in assessing the potential long-term effects associated with such participation. The literature is conflicting. Many researchers assert that adolescent employment increases the risk of deviant behaviours. Other studies fail to demonstrate any evidence for such associations or find that paid employment is in fact protective against these behaviours. This debate is a political issue. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations (UN) and such membership entails pressure to ratify the UN’s recommendations. Both the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 138 and Article 32 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) require participant states to implement a minimum age for admission into paid employment which should not be less than the minimum school leaving age. New Zealand currently does not impose such a minimum working age, although the government is reviewing its position. These issues demonstrate the need for further investigation into the effects of school-aged employment, specifically in a New Zealand context. This thesis examines the association between paid part-time employment in schoolchildren, and adult substance use and psychological wellbeing. All analyses used data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study (DMHDS). The research assessed the potential impact of employment at 11, 13, and 15 years of age separately on subsequent tobacco smoking between 18 and 32, binge drinking between 21 and 32, and both any and regular cannabis use between 18 and 32. Both the Generalised Estimating Equations (GEE) and Generalised Linear Mixed Model (GLMM) approaches were adopted to model the correlation inherent in the longitudinal data. After adjusting for potential confounders, the results showed no convincing evidence that child employment was associated with any of the detrimental substance use measures. The associations between child employment (again at ages 11, 13, and 15) and Sense of Coherence (SOC), Social Participation, Positive Coping Style, and Prosociality at 32 years of age were also assessed. The general linear regression models provided no evidence that child employment was statistically significantly associated with any of the four wellbeing constructs. Although the literature provides contradictory evidence about the associations between employment and detrimental behaviours, this research found no evidence that exposing schoolchildren to employment compromised subsequent health and wellbeing. This promotes the New Zealand government’s view that children are already sufficiently protected by New Zealand legislation. Potential changes to the current NZ laws to ban part-time employment of schoolchildren under 16 in accordance with the UN recommendations are not supported by this research.en_NZ
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
dc.rightsAll items in OUR Archive are provided for private study and research purposes and are protected by copyright with all rights reserved unless otherwise indicated.
dc.subjectChild Employmenten_NZ
dc.subjectSubstance Useen_NZ
dc.titleEmployment among Schoolchildren and its Associations with Adult Substance Use and Psychological Wellbeingen_NZ
dc.language.rfc3066en and Social Medicineen_NZ of Philosophyen_NZ of Otago
otago.openaccessAbstract Onlyen_NZ
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