Research Allies for Lifelong Learning has had multiple papers on adult learning published that employ Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) dataset from 2012-2014-2017. Highlighted papers published from 2013 to 2023 are below.

Numeracy skills and how those skills are used at home or work often relate to each other. This 2023 PIAAC paper explains the relationship for adults with learning disabilities (LD).

Does participating in correctional education to learn foundational skills relate to adult recidivism? Employing PIAAC and National Reporting System data, Basic Correctional Education and Recidivism considers this question, along with incarcerated learner outcomes.

A sizeable proportion of adults deals with the challenges of learning disabilities (LD); along with having LD, a major concern is the incidence of other disabilities and health conditions. Adults with LD face educational and employment challenges as well. Little is known about their skills in numeracy and digital literacy and how they use those skills, whether in the workplace or at home. The study’s objective is to investigate numeracy/digital literacy skills and skill use for U.S. adults with LD. Click on the link below to access this 2022 report.

Assessed Skills and Skill Use of Adults with LD

Click on the link below to access this 2020 report.

PIAAC Numeracy Skills and Home Use
Among Adult English Learners

What do the literacy and numeracy skills of incarcerated adults with less than a high school (LHS) education look like? Our 2018 PIAAC report, Incarcerated Adults with Low Skills: Findings from the 2014 PIAAC Prison Study, addresses this question. Findings for LHS incarcerated adults are compared by gender and with the general LHS adult population. Click on the link below to access this report.

Incarcerated Adults with Low Skills

This image has an empty alt attribute

According to Programme for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) assessment data, skill levels of U.S. adults are well below international averages and vary substantially by education background. These low skills are a danger sign – particularly for adults who face economic challenges.

Even so, adults do not necessarily stop learning (OECD, 2013). The first aim of the 2014 paper is to examine PIAAC data by asking:  do adults continue to learn purposefully – that is, either formally or non-formally – after leaving secondary settings? Addressing this question will identify the circumstances in which adults do or do not learn – and insights into learning gaps with major economic implications. The paper also investigates barriers to learning that adults face and their motivators for learning. Implications for adult educators are discussed.​

Read the 2016 paper for adult education practitioners:

Adult Transitions to Learning