Hearing the term wave might bring images of water moving toward shore. Waves in statistical analysis are similar to those of the ocean. Just like crests (highs) and troughs (lows) in examining patterns of moving water, waves are cycles of data analysis that extend in time for individuals (students) or groups of individuals (families or schools). A crest would represent when researchers are gathering data. A trough would represent a break in data collection. As such, waves are repeated measures of data collection. Statisticians collect data over multiple repeated measures in time because they are often interested in addressing research questions about human development or historical change. Sections that follow include examples of research studies where waves are used, important statistical considerations in the analysis ...
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