Abstract

This paper presents preliminary findings from a mixed-methods study that examines how women use adult education and family literacy programs to construct supportive social networks, and, in turn, how these influence their mental health. We argue that these programs offer opportunities to form friendships and to access emotional, informational, and material support, thereby alleviating psychological distress arising from poverty, caregiving, and other stressors. However, intentional efforts to cultivate social ties and support systems among adult learners are needed.

Keywords

adult basic education, family literacy, mental health, social networks, social support

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Jun 10th, 5:52 PM

Women’s Involvement in Adult Education and Family Literacy: Consequences for Social Networks, Social Support, and Mental Health

This paper presents preliminary findings from a mixed-methods study that examines how women use adult education and family literacy programs to construct supportive social networks, and, in turn, how these influence their mental health. We argue that these programs offer opportunities to form friendships and to access emotional, informational, and material support, thereby alleviating psychological distress arising from poverty, caregiving, and other stressors. However, intentional efforts to cultivate social ties and support systems among adult learners are needed.