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College of Liberal and Fine Arts


Is Working Bad for Student’s Health?

June 30, 2017

A large percentage of college students juggle classes and employment during the school year. Recently, a team of researchers at UTSA (led by David Oviatt, a graduate of our PhD program and his advisor, Professor Michael Baumann) looked at various health-related behaviors associated with being employed during the school year. Specifically, they looked at how reported conflict between the demands of work and school related to drinking (i.e., alcohol use), marijuana use, and cigarette smoking, and how each of these related to depressive symptomology and physical health. The more work school conflict people reported, the more they reported drinking and marijuana use, the more likely they were to be a smoker, and the worse their (self-reported) physical health. Each of these relationships was mediated by depressive symptomology. That is, work-school conflict led to depressive symptomology, which in turn led to these behaviors or health.

However, most of these variables were not associated with working. That is, the results suggest the problem isn’t having a job while in school, but instead having one that conflicts with school.

The full article can be found here.

Oviatt, D.P, Baumann, M.R., Bennett, J.M., & Garza, R.T (2017) Undesirable Effects of Working While in College: Work-School Conflict, Substance Use, and Health. The Journal of Psychology, 151(5), 433-452.

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