The Youth Work Force: Unique Occupational Health Considerations and Challenges

Christine West, Arnold B. De Castro, Sheila T. Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


During the past decade, the characteristics and number of adolescent workers has changed little. Several studies were conducted during this time documenting the patterns, scope, and effect of work among young individuals in the United States. Part-time employment may benefit youth by imparting positive work values, reinforcing the importance of academic skills for future career success, providing a better understanding of the workplace, increasing contact with adults, and building character. Negative aspects of youth employment include threats to completion of developmental tasks and education, injury, toxic exposure, and illness. The enactment of regulations and resulting change in the nature of youth employment has contributed to a substantial decrease in youth-related occupational fatality and injury. However, youth workers continue to suffer fatal and nonfatal occupational injuries with most injuries occurring in the retail industry. Efforts should be made to develop innovative interventions tailored to young workers that focus on surveillance, advocacy, education, and research to decrease workplace injury and illness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-305
Number of pages9
JournalWorkplace Health and Safety
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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