This accessible introduction to the theory and practice of longitudinal research takes the reader through the strengths and weaknesses of this kind of research, making clear: how to design a longitudinal study; how to collect data most effectively; how to make the best use of statistical techniques; and how to interpret results. Although the book provides a broad overview of the field, the focus is always on the practical issues arising out of longitudinal research. This book supplies the student with all that they need to get started and acts as a manual for dealing with opportunities and pitfalls. It is the ideal primer for this growing area of social research.

Measuring Concepts across Time: Issues of Stability and Meaning

This chapter addresses the concept of change (and its complement, stability) in longitudinal research. I first discuss four types of across-time change that may occur (structural, normative, level, and ipsative stability, respectively), showing that the latter three types of change (stability) can only be examined if the structure of a concept that has repeatedly been measured did not change across time. Then a three-step ...

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