Professor at UMass Amherst to Speak on How Teens Make, Spend Money

March 23, 2000

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AMHERST, Mass. - M.J. Alhabeeb, of the department of consumer studies at the University of Massachusetts, will report on his study of teen employment, its impact on schools and society, and how teen-agers spend their money, at a special seminar Wed., March 29. The talk, which will be held in Room 217 of Skinner Hall, is free and open to the public.

Alhabeeb says people set lifelong spending patterns during adolescence, a time when major family conflicts often erupt over how teen-agers make and spend money. It is estimated that American teens will spend over $100 billion this year, according to Alhabeeb''s report, and at least one-half of all youths ages 16 to 18 are employed. In his own sample of western Massachusetts teens, he found that nearly three out of four teens had part-time jobs.

In his lecture, Alhabeeb will address two major areas of concern. First, he will identify the characteristics of employed and unemployed youth, and examine the extent to which teen-agers participate in the U.S. labor force. How does employment affect a teen''s school life, personal life, and family life? How much do families depend on their children''s income? Second, he will quantify how much money teen-agers make, and how they spend that money. Alhabeeb is particularly interested in how adolescent earning and spending is influenced by the characteristics of their families.

"When we know how and where young people get their money, and how they spend it, we can help families, school systems, and society as a whole make better decisions regarding teen-age employment," says Alhabeeb.

This lecture is the first in a series sponsored by the UMass Center for the Family. Subsequent programs will look at teen-age depression (April 12, with psychologist Sally Powers), and children''s spiritual lives (May 9, with nationally-known educator Jonathan Kozol).

For more information, contact the consumer studies department, 413/545-2391.