longitudinal study

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longitudinal study

[‚län·jə‚tüd·ən·əl ′stəd·ē]
(psychology)
The study of a group of individuals at regular intervals over a relatively long period of time.

longitudinal study

an investigation which involves making observations of the same group at sequential time intervals. Thus, a longitudinal study of a COHORT of children may be made to assess, for example, the effect of social class on school achievement (see BIRTH COHORT STUDY). Longitudinal studies are used by the National Children's Bureau to document various aspects of children's development in the UK. However, longitudinal studies are not only appropriate for studying human development or change, they may also be used to observe change over time within organizations.

The advantage of longitudinal studies compared with CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDIES is that the causal factor involved in a sequence of changes an be directly explored using data collected before and after changes (e.g. analysis of the effect of changes in the school curriculum). The main disadvantages are the greater expense of repeated study, the possible HAWTHORNE EFFECT of repeated studies and the influence of other changes which may be occurring concurrently (e.g. changes in the school curriculum may take place at the same time as changes in the resourcing of educational services). Compare PANEL STUDY.

References in periodicals archive ?
Longitudinal research on intergroup contact has generally shown that contact has positive effects on intergroup attitudes over time (Brown et al.
Im (1990) pointed to different types of longitudinal research models as growth curve approach, stability approach, and the school effect approach.
In the second article Bronwyn Ellis, Julie Watkinson and Janet Sawyer, from the Centre for Rural Health and Community Development at the University of South Australia, discuss the final stage of a longitudinal research project, which investigated the impact of a new university presence in a South Australian regional city.
Professor of nursing practice at Massey University, Jenny Carryer, talked about her work in "Conducting longitudinal research on long-term condition management".
She added: "Future research should examine these associations using a longitudinal research design.
Strelan, Acton, and Patrick encouraged others to conduct longitudinal research that could prove causation between these variables.
2008) offer a rationale for commencing longitudinal research in middle to late childhood, referring to middle childhood as the dawn of vocational development.
A new longitudinal research study will measure the effectiveness of nonprofit charter school management organizations (CMOs).
One particularly productive stream of longitudinal research can be traced to pioneering studies examining the natural history and causes of antisocial behavior and mental health disorders (Glueck & Glueck, 1950; Robins, 1966; Rutter, 1981; Vaillant, 1983; West & Farrington, 1973).
There is nothing in my longitudinal research or any of my writings to support such conclusions (about same-gender families).
However, it is important to clarify that the preliminary results of this longitudinal research project are not conclusive, and are subject to further scrutiny.
The investigators concluded that further longitudinal research would be needed to better understand the sources of disagreement between the 18-month and 3-year diagnostic assessments.

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