A recent meta-analysis and narrative synthesis on the longitudinal association between psychosocial factors during adolescence and future participation in education and employment as a young adult was conducted by Tayfur and colleagues. The meta-analysis investigated the association between adolescent (age of 11 to 19) behavioral problems, peer problems, and prosocial skills with participation in education and employment between the ages of 18 to 25 at outcome. Analysis included 14 studies and used odds ratiosa as effect size to explore the associations.
- Five studies investigated self-reported behavioral problems—defined as rule-breaking, aggressiveness, and other disruptive or delinquent behavior—and its association with being defined as “not in education, employment or training” (NEET). The results demonstrated that behavioral problems in adolescence increased the risk of being NEET in young adulthood (OR = 1.48).
- Four studies investigated the association between peer problems—including bullying, violence, and other forms of peer aggression—and NEET. A significant small association was found (OR = 1.27).
- No significant association was found between prosocial skills and NEET.
Beyond this meta-analysis, the authors also complete a narrative synthesis of other adolescent behaviors or beliefs and their associations with NEET in young adulthood. The investigation indicated mixed results for cannabis use and results for alcohol and tobacco use were based on weak evidence. Investigations of self-esteem, self-efficacy, and locus of control suggest low self-esteem, low self-efficacy, and external locus of control all had positive associations with NEET. Finally, higher educational aspirations were negatively associated with NEET.
These findings provide evidence of the importance of early intervention programs for adolescents demonstrating the psychosocial factors investigated in this analysis, as these early interventions may help at-risk adolescents avoid dropping out of educational institutions or the workforce.
Source (Open Access): Tayfur, S. N., Prior, S., Roy, A. S., Fitzpatrick, L. I., & Forsyth, K. (2021). Adolescent psychosocial factors and participation in education and employment in young adulthood: A systematic review and meta-analyses. Educational Research Review, 34, 100404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.edurev.2021.100404