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How does engagement in society in adolescence affect educational attainment and employment in early adulthood: A prospective cohort study

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Introduction Educational attainment and employment are essential for young people to develop the skills needed to participate in society and maintain a stable connection to the labour market in adult life. The objective of this study was to examine associations between engagement in society, measured by leisure time activities and part-time work in mid and late adolescence and educational attainment and employment in early adulthood. Method A cohort of Danish young people born in 1989 was followed in a prospective study with questionnaires in 2004 (n = 3,054) and 2007 (n = 2,400) where information on leisure time activities and part-time work was collected. Information on connection to education and work was collected from a register of social benefits when participants were 25–29 years old and divided into high and low connection. The associations were examined using logistic regression and stratified by gender and childhood socioeconomic groups. Results Part-time work was, both in mid (OR: 1.7 [95% CI 1.3; 2.2]) and late (1.9 [1.4;2.6]) adolescence, positively associated with connection to education and work. Leisure time activities in mid adolescence were associated with connection to education and work (OR:1.6 [1.2;2.1]). Among men engagement in society showed strongest associations with later connection to education or work in mid adolescence (ORs up to 2.2), whereas the associations for women seemed strongest in late adolescence (ORs up to 2.8). Conclusion The study showed that adolescent engagement in society had positive associations with later educational attainment and employment, with stronger impact of part-time work compared to leisure time activities. The study identified differences between genders and the timing of engagement. Associations were consistent across socioeconomic groups.

TidsskriftPLOS ONE
Antal sider18
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2021

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Publisher Copyright:
Copyright: © 2021 Just-Noerregaard et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

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