cross-sectional study

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cross-sectional study

[¦krȯs ¦sek·shən·əl ′stəd·ē]
(psychology)
The study of groups of individuals differing on the basis of specified criteria (for example, age) at the same point in time.

cross-sectional study

a method of examining a varied population at one point in time in order to gather data about people at different life stages, or in different circumstances. This method contrasts with LONGITUDINAL STUDIES which investigate groups over a time period, in order to observe the developmental process, the influence of changing circumstances. The advantage of cross-sectional study is that it is quicker, not dependent on changing resources or research teams, and reduces extraneous variables resulting from the passage of time. The disadvantage is that no account of change can be given.