New study says Boston teens who have summer jobs are less prone to violence

South Boston, MA 6/27/2013 Mayor Thomas Menino (cq) helping kickoff of the John Hancock's MLK Summer Scholars Jobs Program on Thursday June 27, 2013. (Matthew J. Lee/Globe staff) Topic: Reporter: Jeremy Fox
Mayor Thomas Menino helped kick off the John Hancock's MLK Summer Scholars Jobs Program last month in South Boston.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

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A new study that shows that low-income teenagers in Boston who hold summer jobs are less likely to engage in violence was hailed by the mayor and other community leaders as proof that youth employment programs can change young people’s lives.

For the study, researchers at Northeastern University’s Center for Labor Market Studies polled 421 teenagers and young adults who found employment last summer through a program overseen by the State Street Foundation, the charitable arm of the Boston financial services company.

In confidential questionnaires, 3 percent of youths reported threatening or attacking someone with a gun during the month before starting their jobs, said Andrew Sum, a Northeastern professor and director of the market studies center.

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