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This book is now over twenty years old, so I don't know how valid the findings of the authors would be now. Those findings are, principally,
1) in the Eighties, American teenagers were much more likely to take paid employment than teenagers in Western Europe and Japan,
2) whereas youth employment in an earlier but recent epoch was characteristic of working-class Americans (and, of course, undeveloped cultures), in the years preceding this book the job growth has occurred in suburban areas, with the young job-takers not being compelled by family finance to take these jobs,
3) these were isolated employments, not introducing the youngsters to adult society and mores.
The authors attach these developments to the American tendency to value material things over education, but believe that the lessons learned in teenage employment have little to do with meaningful adult employment, and in fact retard the moral and intellectual development of youth.
I think many current readers will find the worldview of the authors somewhat unusual, and even quaint. I find their views plausible, myself, and do think that parents need to be involved in their children's decisions to be employed and how they are employed.