Managing two roles: a theoretical study of students' employment whilst at university



Broadbridge A & Swanson V (2006) Managing two roles: a theoretical study of students' employment whilst at university. Community Work and Family, 9 (2), pp. 159-179.

The main reasons for students combining term-time employment with university life are seen as financial, although additional benefits and costs are associated with 'earning and learning'. Most studies focus on the negative impact of combining these roles, suggesting that students' term-time employment leads to poorer adjustment to university life in terms of academic performance, social inclusion and reduced psychological well-being. Methodological problems with previous research have made it difficult to draw firm and generalizable conclusions regarding the interrelationship between university life and term-time employment roles. The current study adopts a pluralistic approach to study the links between psychological well-being, satisfaction with academic performance and social integration and students' term-time and vacation employment. The first phase, reported here, consisted of qualitative research. Nine focus groups were conducted with undergraduate students at Stirling University, Scotland. These data were examined using a content analysis approach. Both positive and negative aspects of combining work and studying were discussed within the focus groups. This provides a balanced picture of combining the two roles. Results are discussed in relation to the models of complementarity, spillover and separation

students; term-time working; qualitative research; role combination

Community Work and Family: Volume 9, Issue 2

Publication date31/05/2006
PublisherTaylor and Francis

People (1)


Professor Vivien Swanson

Professor Vivien Swanson

Professor, Psychology