Research Questions

The primary research questions addressed by the project are:

  • To what extent do adults' literacy abilities continue to develop after they are out of school?
  • What life experiences are associated with adult literacy development? How do formally organized basic skills programs contribute to these learning trajectories? Workplace training? Other contexts and activities?
  • What are adult learners' patterns of participation over time in literacy training and education? In other learning contexts?
  • What are the impacts of adult literacy development on social and economic outcomes?

Study population

The findings of the longitudinal study are representative of adults who in 1998 when the study started were age 18-44, residents of the Portland (Oregon) metropolitan area, proficient but not necessarily native speakers of English, who did not have a high school diploma or GED and were not in high school. This is a target population for local Adult Basic and Adult Secondary Education programs.