The contribution of adult learning to health and social capital

Publication type

Journal Article


Publication date

June 1, 2004


This research uses the National Child Development Study to investigate the effects of adult learning upon 12 outcomes that act as proxies for health and social capital. To minimise selection bias we consider changes in outcomes rather than levels. We find that adult learning plays an important role in contributing to the small shifts in attitudes and behaviours that take place during mid‐adulthood. The results hold as controls are added for demographic, educational and other background factors, as well as for changes in life circumstances during mid‐adulthood. It is therefore very likely that there are substantive and genuine effects of adult learning. However, we do not suggest a purely one‐way causal relationship. Evidence from additional analyses suggests rather that participation in adult learning is a very important element in positive cycles of development and progression.

Published in

Oxford Review of Education

Volume and page numbers

Volume: 30 , p.199 -221





Not held in Res Lib - bibliographic reference only



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