As the summer winds down and school is about to start for learners of all ages, I find myself wondering where the summer went. Many of us have the same feelings, I know. I think of my two teenagers, in particular, and the various ways they have filled their summer hours: sleeping-in, reading, swimming, paid employment, etc. I poked around UScholar Works for an article related to this general topic and came across a working paper by Professor Cathleen Zick titled Over-Scheduled or at Loose Ends? The Shifting Balance of Adolescent Time Use.
In this paper Professor Zick notes that, over the past decades, there has been a decline in the number of hours adolescents spend working a job. She uses two time diary studies (one from 1977-78; the other, 2003-2005) to obtain data to answer the following questions: How are adolescents spending their time, given that they’re working less? Are they filling their time with more developmentally enriching activities? Is the employment decline related to family income levels and/or declining wage rates? Visit the full paper here if you would like some answers to those questions.