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What is the PIAAC National Supplement?

The U.S. PIAAC National Supplement household study, conducted from August 2013 through April 2014, was administered to a sample of 3,600 U.S. adults using the same procedures and instruments as the PIAAC Main Study. The supplemental household study increases the sample size of key U.S. subgroups: unemployed adults (ages 1665), young adults (ages 1634), and older adults (ages 6674). The study will enhance and expand on the information available for these subgroups that are of high interest to policymakers, businesses, and educators.

The U.S. PIAAC Prison Study, a part of the National Supplement, was administered from February through June 2014 to a sample of 1,200 adult inmates (ages 1674) detained in federal and state prisons in the United States. The direct assessments of literacy, numeracy, and problem solving in technology-rich environments administered to adult inmates were the same as those administered to the Main Study and National Supplement household participants. However, the household background questionnaire was modified and tailored specifically to address the experiences and needs of this subgroup. For example, the prison background questionnaire included items related to activities in prison, such as participation in academic programs and ESL classes, experiences with prison jobs, and involvement in nonacademic programs, such as employment readiness classes.

The publications that are scheduled to be released in conjunction with the National Supplement are as follows:

  1. An updated U.S. PIAAC First Look report, which will include updated U.S and international average estimates, taking into account the enhanced sample of 16- to 34-year-olds. The updated report will also include figures and tables for the new U.S. samples of older adults (ages 6674) and adult inmates. The updated First Look report is expected to be available by January 2016.
  2. A supplemental report on the U.S. prison population, which will provide data on prisoners' skill levels in the three PIAAC performance domains (literacy, numeracy, and problem solving) as well as provide information on educational and work-related experiences in prisons. This supplemental report is expected to be available by April 2016.
  3. A supplemental report focusing on key issues facing younger U.S. adults as they transition into various stages of adult life. This supplemental report is expected to be available by June 2016.
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