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Journal of Human Growth and Development

versão impressa ISSN 0104-1282versão On-line ISSN 2175-3598


MATTOS, Elsa de  e  CHAVES, Antonio Marcos. Adolescent apprentices' social representations of work: a pilot study. Rev. bras. crescimento desenvolv. hum. [online]. 2006, vol.16, n.3, pp. 66-75. ISSN 0104-1282.

The present study investigated adolescent apprentices' social representations of work and its relationship to study. Seventy adolescents, with ages raging from 15 to 18 years old, participating in an apprenticeship program developed by a NGO in Salvador (Bahia), answered an open-ended questionnaire that contained the following questions: What does work mean to you? What does it mean to be a working adolescent? How do you feel about studying and working at the same time? The answers were submitted to a content analysis for the main themes. Findings point to 3 types of social representation of work among apprentice adolescents: work outcomes, work attitudes, and personal development. Aspects such as financial earnings (i.e. wage) and task performance emerged as work outcomes. Among the work attitudes, the most significant were responsibility and competence development. In the domain of personal development, aspects such as learning and acquisition of experience were relevant. The relationship between working and studying appears to be a complex one, demanding conciliation efforts on the part of adolescents, but it does not necessarily have a negative connotation.

Palavras-chave : Adolescent; Adolescent Development; Work; Child Labor.

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