This thesis explores the effects of part-time employment on urban public high school students' self-esteem using a cross-sectional design. The current literature on high school students' employment is explored through summary statements and discussion that presents the division of opinion on the actual effects, both positive and negative, of employment on self-esteem. An analysis of symbolic interactionist theory uses the identity theory as a basis for the importance of work in a student's life. The sample consists of 180 junior and senior-year students from a public high school in the northeast region of the United States. The questionnaires, which were distributed by hand, measured a) self-reported information on school activities; b) questions about different aspects of employment experience if applicable; c) two self-esteem scales; and d) demographic information. The Thomas-Zander Ego Strength Scale and the Janis-Field Feelings of Inadequacy Scale were used to operationalize self-esteem. The grade point average is indicative of self-esteem scores in addition to race and range of responsibility on the job. Other findings of the thesis proved that controlled student employment does have a positive effect on self-esteem.


Hurst, Charles


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

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