Session 9: Skills, Health, and Unemployment of Older Adults – PIAAC Conference 2018

Session 9: Skills, Health, and Unemployment of Older Adults – PIAAC Conference 2018



we are in the unenviable position this panel of coming right after lunch so please no snoring so before we get started before I even read the name of the the panel the title of the panel today I thought I would start thinking about the the sessions from this morning I thought I would start by reading a letter that we got from our part from a participant of my study an AI our study on November 20th of this year and he's in his mid 70s he says I'm currently in Oklahoma are on Oklahoma's death row for a 1985 conviction that experience has not diminished my desire to leave the secular world in a better condition than I entered I'm blessed to have retained most of my cognitive gifts I was not one of your random selections for the study but I'm willing to share my experiences to assist in the survey and to better understand the likelihood of developing a number of health outcomes so I just thought that was a nice illustration of the desire of some of our incarcerated individuals to continue to learn and to participate in studies for a long time so with that I'm Susan Lapham I'm vice president in the research and evaluation division at AI R I'm also the director of project talent and some of you may know that I was the director of se for a number of years and if you knew me in that position and didn't recognize me today I have thrown away the box of Clairol and this is my natural state I encourage you all to do it it's wonderful so I wanted to say before we introduce our panel I did want to say a little bit about project Talent I think it's relevant to a lot of the work that you are doing both from the sessions yesterday and today and it's a very hopefully gaining more credibility and more exposure in the world but it's relatively little known right now but it is a 58 year longitudinal study of 400,000 individuals 400,000 it's pretty amazing and the original intent was to look at education and career outcomes that began as a study of high school students in 1960 and continues today we have a number of grants from the National Institutes for health and our current focus is looking on health outcomes particularly memory and and dementia we have linked our data to Medicare which may be of interest especially to the folks on our panel today and we have a longitudinal data set that is available for secondary analysis we've also linked to the National Death Index so we have mortality information and we've had a number of papers published this year showing that lower cognitive ability in high school is predictive poorer health outcomes as people age one specific example is that people who scored low in the lowest turf turf style in abstract reasoning in high school have a 17 percent greater chance of developing dementia as they age so important work okay let me turn now to our panel so this is session 9 skills health and unemployment of older adults our panel members include we have two papers that be presented our panel members include takashi taka Yamashita and his co-authors Anthony Bardot Roberto Millar and Darren I think Darren is in the audience not up here and then a second paper that Phyllis Cummings will present and her co-authors are taka and Annabel Arbogast and then we have our discussant Ricardo Hernandez and he's an independent researcher and just a reminder that the bios of all of our participants are in your packet I'm also supposed to remind you that to write down your questions as the presenters are giving their papers and we'll have time for questions at the end and with that good afternoon I'm honored to share my research with this outstanding audience and I'm kind of feeling guilty to talk about preventive health after eating so much lunch but I will have to do that so bear with me the objective of this research is to kind of explore whether a specific numeracy skill so we have a scale of 0 to 500 and suggested level of 5 but way at what point would be useful information to predict all the adults preventive health behaviors and another objective of this research is to identify association between numeracy so we focused on numeracy and the preventive health service utilization among middle age and all the adults in the United States so what what we mean by middle age is 50 years and older so this research is sort of framed with two different thoughts one is the health literacy it's a set of skills to obtain understand and use health information in order to make good healthy health-related decisions and they navigate in a complex healthcare systems the other framework if I have time I work at PETA and numeracy since this is a peer conference I believe all of your familiar with literacy numeracy so I don't need to repeat that so in this research we use the literacy and numeracy skills as indicator of health literacy the rationale is without basic skills it is nearly impossible to have sufficient health literacy so we are just using this literacy and numeracy as an indicator of health literacy so what we are measuring is obviously missing few important components of health literacy but this is just our attempt and surprisingly there are significantly more literacy related research numeracy research so this particularly the role of literacy in the health-related context is under explored so that's we'd like to address so based on the literature review we are confident that numerous trees should be predicting preventive health behaviors some of the reasons include numeracy determines your risk and benefit perceptions in a health context so if you can understand the risk and benefits for both short term and long term that should be reflected in your behaviors and nowadays because of the advancement of information technologies we can access to a wide range of a large amount of complex health information so the numeracy plays an important role to tease out which pieces of information be useful for your health behaviors and sufficient numeracy skills according to the recent you know latest wave of peer only about 9% to 10% of u.s. adult population has the highest proficiency of numeracy and since aging is associated with poorer health and a lower numeracy and this particular age group the second half of adult life has not been quite explored so this is what we wanted to do and just to give you some heads up and I was pretty confident about this relationship but it turned out that I was wrong so we used the piaac 2000 2012 2014 data let me correct what we mean by middle age is actually 45 plus that was different study sample size was nearly 3,000 we looked at the four different outcomes that's sort of common for both men and women some of the health preventive health care utilization behaviors are specific for specifically for men and women separately so we not looking to that predictors include numeracy proficiency levels so we try the continuous numeracy scores as well as different groupings so the five levels of numeracy three levels combining lower and high end and also low versus medium and high proficiency so this is more of a exploratory analysis and the covariate include literacy skills as well as socio demographic socio economic factors including in addition to health status and health insurance status we use the IDB analyzers and i'm sure that all of your family with this method so i'm gonna skip this and we use the binary logistic regression this is just the descriptive statistics for the health preventive health behaviors we shall the dental checkup and vision screening and osteoporosis screening so these are results so as i said we didn't find the relationship between numeracy and the most of preventive health behaviors except for one but before you get to that we identified that dichotomous numeracy level comparing the law and versus medium and the higher end was the most useful club point when it comes to the preventive health behaviors among middle-aged and older adults and other numeracy levels did not quite predict preventive health behaviors and so luckily we identified one association between numeracy and dental checkup so that was our main findings and the rest of them are known findings so that was the very brief result section but unfortunately that's all we have and the meanings for numeracy cut points so this is the research question objective number one I was we argue that dichotomous measures so comparing the lower end of the numeracy skills process higher seems to be related to the preventive health behaviors specifically a dental checkup so the numeracy may be so this is more baseline exploratory analysis so numeracy seems to be useful to predict a very specific type of preventive health behaviors so overall this sort of baseline analysis at the empirical evidence of under study topics and the sub population specifically numeracy and preventive health behaviors among middle-aged and older adults and based on our literature review there are not too many nationally representative findings so this matter seems to be a fairly simple analysis but still kind of lays the foundation for the future research numeracy measurement and the risk communication in healthcare so this could be one of the preliminary implications for practice so it's how to connect such exploratory preliminary findings to actual practice but sort of looking for the future these findings might inform health in the health care settings to emphasize the importance of assessing the patient's numeracy skills not only at the hospital settings but in the community settings as well and how we communicate the importance of preventive health behaviors so the future research should definitely look into why numeracy is associated with specific type of preventive health behaviors dental checkup we still have little idea about why these two things are connected and also the subgroups there might be a gender difference race ethnic group differences differences between across socioeconomic status so this has not been explored enough and also some practical issues so we can just say we should assess numeracy skills in health care settings and community settings but how do we do it we still have little idea about how to do that based on literature so that type of practical assessment tools as well as practical intervention program needs to be developed I'd like to acknowledge that this research was partially funded by a yes as well as air through a grant of NCES so we'd like to think for this support and kept kept it very simple but I would be happy to answer any questions later on so this is my contact information and thank you very much for your attention I thought his comments and they appreciate the opportunity to share our research talk to Gama sheeted myself and I should have had an ago Arbogast name on here she's a excuse me a doctoral student at Miami University just by way of background middle-aged and older adults are important segments of the u.s. labor force they represent between 40 and 50 percent of the labor force and it has been increasing over the last several decades partly because older adult middle-aged and older adults are remaining in the labor force at older ages but a lot of it has to do with the co workflow the baby boomers are aging so they're now in these older age groups and as we all know the technical technological advances really require ongoing skill upgrading in order to be competitive in the labor market today so it's important that adults of all ages participate in lifelong learning activities previous research has really not focused on this age group and because of the supplemental sample that included adults 66 to 74 that gave us this opportunity and even the 45 to 50 65 age group there's not been a lot of research on it's all education and training for this those age groups so this research hopefully fills that gap the purpose of this study was to examine the associations between key human capital indicators and employment in the second half of life and the human capital indicators are participating in formal and informal learning activities as I mentioned our focus is ages 45 to 74 we we will discuss three research questions today lifelong learning by employment status are there differences in participation in adult education and training based on employment status and that's employee unemployed and out of the labor force literacy skills and use by employment status are there differences in literacy skills for use of reading and writing skills at home based on employment status and use of reading and writing skills at home and we'll talk about that a little more that's really a proxy for informal learning activities literacy skills and use by appointment by retirement status are there differences in literacy skills or use of reading and writing skills at home among the retired employed and unemployed so the key variables we looked at included demographic characteristics age education and then we looked at employment status as I mentioned in health status literacy participation and lifelong learning activities and skill use at home the indices for skill use at home are derived from a series of px survey items and examples and we've heard this a few times yesterday reading books and newspapers at home and just general activities that really are an indicator of informal learning activities so it's talking mentioned this we use the sass map grant program to account for a conflict survey design weighted descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression talking to the daily analysis so if there's questions he'll address those the findings from research question one over all and this is no surprise the employee participate more in adult education and training than the unemployed or out of the labor force for all employment groups people with higher levels of education more likely to participate in Ag and this just shows it graphically and there was a significant difference as you can see between those with less than associate's degree and those with more than associate's degree so for those with less than associate's degree about 50% of the employee participated whereas 81% of associate's degree or higher participated and then for the unemployed it was 33 compared to 62 percent and the other labor force was 1516 compared to 37% so there were significant differences for those with less education and in many respects those are the individuals most in need so findings for research question to literacy skills and employment status for ages 45 to 64 that should be 65 actually I thought I fixed that the employed had well the unemployed and out of the labor force had significantly lower literacy scores than the employed the employed was our reference group in this example so compared to the employed had roughly average scores of 284 literacy unemployed to 60 and then out of the labor force to 72 reading an writing skill use at home 45 to 65 I've got the aegis right there there was a significant difference between the employee 2.11 and retired 1.93 and the higher index score is better that means they participate more in skill use at home so there was a significant difference between the employee and the retired there was no significant difference between the employee and the retired in reading skills of 10 was just writing skills and there was the significant difference so here's a graph showing the information retirement for research question 3 literacy skills and retirement status ages and I did it again 45 to 65 it should be retired had retired and employed had significantly higher literacy scores than the unemployed unemployed with a reference group in this case so employed average literacy score of about 281 and the unemployed was as you can see substantially lower so reading and writing skill use of home and employment status age of 66 to 75 there was no significant difference between employed and retired in use of reading skills at home and there was no significant difference between employee and retired than the use of writing skills at home the we weren't able to look at the unemployed because the end was too small for the 66 to 75 age group so policies and practices implications it's really twofold it's not just about providing opportunities for a lifelong learning for older adults middle-aged and older adults it's educating them on why it's important why should they should be participating and why in order to remain employed that they are going to need continuous skill upgrades with technology increases a lot of older adults must remain in the in the labor market for financial reasons with the change from divide benefit to defined contribution pension plans with Social Security retirement ages increase for many it's a necessity rather than a choice to remain in the labor market and I think that's my last slide I think you all have contact information for talking me appropriate materials and I would like to thank AR and NCES for this opportunity and for funding our research thank you [Applause] good afternoon are you still awake from lunch it is great to be here it's nice to see all of you independent researcher what does that mean up until five months ago I was with the US Department of Education career technical education and while my work was in the area of the research initiatives and investments that are interested in literacy in career tech education so when jala was reaching out to trying to catch me I had already left the office so she said I need a final for the things what do we say retired former federal employees in some that works thank you both for your papers I thought they were very interesting and a little surprising so this is like the third year of PIAT research spending 300 papers have been written and I think we kind of have a sense on the relationship of Malusi numeracy and other other indicators or variables in there so when I when I open up the two papers the first thing I did was sort of write down a couple assumptions I had before I even read the paper so I assumed that there was a positive relationship between literacy numeracy and these other indicators such as income employment education yes the other thing is I assumed is because there was a correlation let me you know point eight correlation between literacy and numeracy that there would be a similar plea little less relationship between positive numeracy scores and a variety of the health indicators Oh surprise surprise that was it what we found that wasn't it was timed in the paper so it would make for interesting reading so thank you now before I get too far into this I also want to admit my bias towards strong theory kymaro's and therefore rationales as underlying research efforts so some of my comments will sort of reflect that I think that the job market is as they explained for older people kind of dynamic it was more so during the Great Recession well there was a big push out of people with moderate to lower skills and there was a sort of increasing requirements of people who did retain in the job market or or who are hired Peter capella talks about the fact that they even increased requirements to the degree that silly things were stated such as if you wanted to work a cotton candy machine you had to demonstrate prior experience have you had that vacuum in the practice previous so you couldn't get a job doing the cotton candy machine well that's silly so now as the as the employment feature is improved and now we're moving toward larger and larger groups of people being employed and retaining employment there are questions as to what are the skill sets required and I think Phyllis has done a very good job in terms of capturing sort of that question within within this paper than she has now one of the things I I know we tend to come to a research question for our own sort of what the data provides us so we say things such as low literacy is associated worth worse visible and mental health but it may not and so there's almost an implied relationship not causation because we're smarter to know that correlation is not a causality but still there is that sort of equation of mind that comes up and I wonder if we need to think more about sort of the reciprocal determinism of health and literacy and numeracy it may be that our health is is as much a driver of literacy as loses a determinant or how so I say that because they kind of continually remind myself that it's not it's not always what the language leads us to believe I've put comment on the relationship of AET adopted education and training and the notion that the more employed participate that people were more employed participating ADT then the unemployed all training has a cost there is a opportunity cost and a dollar cost associated with it so even if if the Train is free still have to if they're unemployed maybe get a babysitter or you have to get on the bus so you have to expend a certain effort and give up something and able to get there if there is a cost that's another barrier one of the things that we've seen is that often for the employed the employers pay the cost and there's very little opportunity cost because often training is at the workplace especially if it's required or time is given for that in lieu of the training time so some of the explanation that may differentiate between the fact that employed people have more training than unemployed could be explained merely by the nature of the cost structure in stop there is a variable in pH D cube 11 which actually asks formal education rate from employer did an employee or prospective employer paid for tuition or registration exam fees expenses for books or other cost systems they're studying for this degree I didn't see whether that was actually used as a covariant or in part of the analysis but I think I mean it would be interesting to take a look at both that variable and also its corollary for an examination for the priority or B q16 C of costs then differentiate participation in in a et even for those who are employed education is not equally distributed you know in our work that we've looked at at career technical education you can see we have found we read studies that show that people who are at entry level and the lowest level of unemployment do not get the offers of training as the higher level employees do and the rationale for that has been well if we train these people then our competitors will come and poach them away from us have we've spent on this plan to train them for someone else and it is interesting because even even though that may or may not be true that's not progression are given for me for those who higher levels of income or higher levels the member of the organization they don't say well if we treat her our assistant vice president someone's gonna come to steal them so it's kind of a strange ration let's give them at that level the other thing that we know and it's been repeated in some other papers is this notion that sort of the Matthews effect in education math respect in reading the standards talk to that number actually and I think I'm gonna repeat it again what I talked about the numeracy paper but there are I think Matthews effects in education and there are what Pat cross called the chain of response in in education I think Pat cross would be very pleased to see that the PFD actually validates a theoretical model and she had said about the chip response and which participation in a learning activity whether in organized classes or self-directed is not a single act but the result of a chain of responses which based which she responds each based on an evaluation of the position of the individual and his or her environment so people who have successfully negotiated education participate in more of it conversely people who have had negative experiences education find reasons to exit out of it or or decline participation so theory in the theoretical model suggests above the chair response we would not be surprised to see those people who have less education to have even less so as we move toward the challenges that Phil is to suggest that we need to take a look at how to improve this we need to think about modifying that now I want to move very quickly to the numeracy paper and I think I'm gonna reflect first up we have a numbers problem or rather they have a problem with numbers and that is where as very few people who consider themselves well educated would profess without and there is enough that they are illiterate different so um I can't read many of us are very willing to state that I'm not members so you know we need to change the narrative or change the explanation of what it is to be delivered both in terms of numeracy and literacy so excusing the notion that not being to seal with numbers is okay is not okay so and I think just as I stated before I think the arts significant mathews affects what we start to learning numeracy and they're much more challenging I think that indicator of literacy you know we get throughout the day we see some of these instances which we read that we get thousands of hours of reinforcement of literacy so then the authenticity of the processes is very very well established not so much with members so now look you very quickly at the relationship between the health questions and the numerous opinion and widely be confounding in its findings I couldn't find a theoretical model that suggested why these health questions find a conceptual framework to ask questions and and it's very basic level how do these things relate to help to do the presence of these Manifesta some who has them has better help than someone who doesn't believe in a general way but I couldn't find any research on research that suggested so I think we need to or for those who have for help so I think at one level we need to be thinking about the kinds of research we need to validate the questions that are put into survey estimates such as this how do we know that they really tell us what we want to know about health finally there was one other thing I doing that the opportunity cost I was looking at people you don't have it people 3.1 which I was looking at the changes in it responses and one of them I notice was that age sixty sixty-five there was a 12% jump in flu shots 10% increase in screening and osteoporosis screening priest by seven what happened then why that 60 to 65 group experienced such a jump have access to insurance and so it may be that again cost is the determinant of participation there is a variable in there for health insurance and then the summary said that that was one of the variables that was used in the variant analysis right couldn't find it so if it's there maybe we need to raise that a little bit more finally I want to end with this notion of the data we looking at tends to be somewhat we approach there's a continuous stream of data it is for the most part where the numeric scores but then the numeracy of the overall three of three measures but in fact I think the populations are quite different within the set within the subpopulations and I would say that it's time now after three years of study to do more of what more of the labor bill analysis more of the structural equation modeling that might ease out the latent variables that lay behind some of these so we could see whether these are differences of kind and not differences of degree

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