ERIC Number: ED402513
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1996-Nov
Literacy of Older Adults in America. Results from the National Adult Literacy Survey.
Brown, Helen; And Others
The 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS) examined three types of literacy--prose, document, and quantitative--among the entire older adult population and various subgroups thereof. Of the nationally representative sample of 26,091 adults interviewed during the NALS, 2,267 were aged 60-69, 1,005 were aged 70-79, and 442 were at least 80 years old. Among the main findings were the following: (1) 71% of adults over age 60 demonstrated limited prose skills, and 68% had difficulty finding/processing quantitative information; (2) even when education, language background, and visual impairments were held constant, adults over 60 demonstrated weaker literacy proficiency than their under-60 counterparts; (3) literacy skills were higher among those older adults who were employed or retired and volunteering and those with annual incomes above $10,000; and (4) compared with younger adults, older adults were more likely to report not learning certain literacy skills at all or in school and were less likely to read, write, and use arithmetic in their daily lives. (Sixty-three tables/figures are included. Appended are the following: information on interpreting the literacy scales; 12 additional tables; overview of survey procedures; definitions of subpopulations and variables; and participants in the survey development process and information about the authors.) (MN)
Descriptors: Adult Basic Education, Adult Literacy, Citizen Participation, Economic Status, Educational Attainment, Educational Needs, Employment Patterns, Literacy Education, National Surveys, Older Adults, Reading Ability, Reading Habits
U.S. Government Printing Office, Superintendent of Documents, Mail Stop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328.
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Center for Education Statistics (ED), Washington, DC.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Adult Literacy Survey (NCES)