That old adage also seems to be true

about after-school work. Teens can combine part-time jobs with school success . . . as long as they don’t work too many hours.

One study even suggests that students who work moderate hours—fewer than 20 hours a week—get better grades than students who don’t work at all or students who work more hours.

But teens who work more than 20 hours a week put themselves at risk, according to Laurence Steinberg, a psychology professor at Temple University in Philadelphia. He studied more than 20,000 students and their parents at schools in California and in Wisconsin.

Here are some of the problems that students who work more than 20 hours a week may experience:

• Less time for homework. They often earn lower grades, or keep grades up by taking less challenging courses.

• Less regular attendance. They are also less likely to take part in after-school activities that make them feel like part of their school.

• Lower educational goals. However, researchers don’t know if those students had lower goals to begin with.

• Drug and alcohol use.

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