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Family Influences on Transition to the Adult Job Market -- A Focus on Non-College Bound Youth

NCJ Number
R I Lerman; T Ooms
Date Published
66 pages
This paper explores family influences on the behavior of non-college bound 18- to 24-year olds as they try to adapt to the adult job market.
When they turn 18, American youth are officially recognized as adults, but most 18- to 24-year olds are only semi-independent, and a growing number incur adult responsibilities while still unable to handle them. Many non-college bound youth encounter insurmountable difficulty in finding adequate employment, and become dependent on State support. Public policies for improving the youths' transition into the adult job market should consider influences from both their families of origin and families they create. Through a selected review of social science literature, and telephone interviews, this study examines the dilemma of income support versus the inevitable incentives or disincentives for gaining independence, and concludes that policies should be more long-term, and that parental involvement can be instrumental to improving youth employability. Results indicate that black and Hispanic youth are more likely to live with relatives than are white youth; that over 92 percent of all black, Hispanic, and white young men with a wife and child are working; and that absent fathers are no more likely to be working than are childless young men. Research reveals a link between parents' welfare and the children's difficulties in the adult job market. Notes, references, 6 tables.