In this article, Anane Olatunji examines the effects of work experience on early high school attrition among Mexican-origin adolescents. He proposes a theoretical model that takes assimilation into account as a potential predictor of the consequences of work for this group. In order to estimate the effects of eighth-grade work experience on dropping out of school in 1990, he analyzed data from the National Education Longitudinal Survey of 1988. He begins this article with a brief review of literature on high school dropouts and youth employment. He argues that this topic is particularly salient for Mexican-origin youths because they not only comprise the majority of Hispanics, the nation largest ethnic minority group, but also exhibit an alarmingly low high school completion rate. Overall, the results support conventional models that researchers have used to predict outcomes of teenage employment. Among Mexican origin adolescents, however, girls were three and a half times more likely than boys to leave school, after controlling for work and other factors. He concludes the article with implications for future research, especially the role that gender plays in predicting early high school attrition among Mexican-origin youths.
Americas and the Caribbean