Trend analysis is the assessment of linear and curvilinear associations among variables. Linear trends are straight-line associations commonly evaluated in ordinary least squares (OLS) regression. Curvilinear trends include U- or inverted U-shape associations known as quadratic or parabolic trends, as well as sideways S-shape associations known as cubic trends. Other types of trends are available but rarely pursued because justifications for their use are often questionable. After describing some applied examples and the background of trend analysis, this entry discusses how trend analysis is applied in research.

Examples and Background

Applied examples of trend analysis within the research literature are prevalent. For example, Debra Murphy and William Marelich report linear trend declines in depression during an 18-month period for both resilient and nonresilient children whose mothers are ...

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