What are the most effective methods for doing life course research? The field's founders and leaders answer this question, giving readers tips on: the art and method of the appropriate research design; the collection of life-history data; and the search for meaningful patterns to be found in the results.

Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Data

John H.Laub
Robert J.Sampson

In this chapter, we recount our efforts to integrate quantitative and qualitative data in addressing a series of research questions regarding continuity and change in human behavior over the life course. Our work on this issue stems from a long-term research project using a unique data archive, the Unraveling Juvenile Delinquency (UJD) study, and subsequent follow-ups conducted by Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck of the Harvard Law School. In 1986, we uncovered 60 cartons of case files in the basement of the Harvard Law School Library. These boxes contained the original case records from the classic longitudinal study of 500 delinquents and 500 nondelinquents initiated by the Gluecks in 1940 (S. Glueck & E. Glueck, 1950, 1968). The UJD ...

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