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Report 8

The contribution of adult learning to health and social capital


Publication date

May 2003


The research described in this report assesses the effects of adult learning on twelve health and social capital outcomes. Data from a national British cohort are used to track changes in people's lives between 33 and 42, and the links between these changes and adult learning are estimated. The findings suggest that adult learning has effects on a wide range of outcomes and plays an important role in contributing to the small shifts in attitudes and behaviours that take place during mid adulthood. More detailed findings relating to specific outcomes, types of courses taken, and groups of learners provide further interesting evidence about why and when adult learning matters.


Education and Social Capital



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