Work and Well-being in the Knowledge Economy: Evaluating the Effects of a Summer Employment Program for Youth from Low Income Neighborhoods
AbstractThis study assessed the influence of an employment program and participant demographic characteristics on several indicators of psychosocial well-being for 125 youth residing in low-income neighborhoods that were recruited by an urban-based social services agency in Southwestern Ontario to participate in the program. A one-group pretest-posttest design was used to collect quantitative data on four independent and five dependent variables. The study’s results suggest the employment program had no effect on the selected indicators but certain demographic characteristics yielded significant associations with the dependent variables. Youth living with both of their parents at the same time perceived themselves as more intelligent, while youth born outside of Canada exhibited less attachment to their neighborhoods and lower self-esteem. The study’s implications for designing and implementing gender-specific and culturally competent programs for youth seeking inclusion within the knowledge economy are discussed.