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Handbook of Developmental Research Methods

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This is the first methods handbook specifically designed to meet the needs of those studying development. Leading developmental methodologists present cutting-edge analytic tools and describe how and when to use them in accessible, nontechnical language. They also provide valuable guidance for strengthening developmental research with designs that anticipate potential sources of bias. Sections typically begin with an overview chapter on foundational issues. Subsequent chapters delve into specific techniques, following a consistent format that encompasses basic issues, conceptual principles and statistical assumptions, recent technical advances, developmental applications, and future directions. Research examples demonstrate the procedures in action and give readers a better understanding of how to match research questions to developmental methods. The companion website supplies data and program syntax files for most of the examples.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"The study of developmental change is a cardinal activity of behavioral and social science, but determining how to do it has prompted denial, disagreement, and despair for nearly a century. The contributors to this excellent volume are an outstanding group whose qualifications for guiding the field at this point in our history are truly stellar. Graduate students and faculty members alike will find this well-organized, highly informative volume indispensable as they articulate questions, design research, and analyze data pertaining to the study of change."--John R. Nesselroade, PhD, Hugh Scott Hamilton Professor of Psychology, University of Virginia

"In 41 chapters, this volume covers a very wide range of research methods, all extremely relevant to the developmental researcher. I know of no other handbook that even comes close to being so generally useful to young developmental researchers seeking to improve their knowledge of research methods. Numerous advanced topics are also treated--in many cases in depth--making the book valuable for methodologists as well. A highly commendable feature is the discussion of each method's applicability and assumptions."--Lars R. Bergman, PhD, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Sweden

"This is perhaps the most comprehensive and accessible handbook on developmental methodology yet written. Impressively, the handbook both covers current thinking on longstanding, classic issues and presents cutting-edge developments in emergent areas of developmental research, analysis, and design. Unlike many edited volumes whose chapters vary widely in style, format, and technical detail, the book is unified in its approach and eminently readable. It would serve nicely as the core text for a graduate seminar on developmental research methods."--Daniel J. Bauer, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

"The Handbook has an all-star roster of contributors who know both developmental and methodological issues. Especially impressive is that the volume covers a wide range of cutting-edge methodological issues at a level that is understandable to the practicing developmentalist. It is sure to be a valuable resource for decades to come for those who study change."--David A. Kenny, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Connecticut

"The editors have compiled a volume that could easily become a standard reference that defines a generation of developmental researchers. This is an ideal reference for researchers at any career stage seeking an accessible yet informative introduction to state-of-the-art methods. The illustrative applications to substantive problems in human development will be useful to methodologists interested in further developing these methods. The chapters interweave research design with data analysis, reflecting the complex interdependence of the two in developmental research."--Keith A. Markus, PhD, Department of Psychology, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York

"Comprehensive and consolidated, this volume is a 'one-stop shop' for methodological advances that need to be in every developmental scientist's tool box."--Antonio A. Morgan-Lopez, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

International Journal of Social Research Methodology

“This Handbook is an impressive collection of methods that span the familiar through cutting edge…useful to developmental researchers at all career and experience levels….Does a preeminent job at providing coverage of sufficient breadth and depth, making it an essential volume for both graduate students and seasoned investigators studying human development.  From the perspective of someone new to developmental research, the value of the six chapters on foundational issues cannot be overstated.  These chapters could easily form the starting point for a graduate seminar in developmental research methods.  The scope of topics covered…ensures that The Handbook of Developmental Research Methods will be relevant for many years to come.  Researchers working across the life span will find several examples with topics in the study of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.  Researchers working with both normative and clinical populations will also find examples throughout the Handbook….The Handbook will also be valuable for methodologists.”--International Journal of Social Research Methodology
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781606236093
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/7/2011
  • Pages: 788
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Brett Laursen is Professor of Psychology and Director of Graduate Training at Florida Atlantic University. He is also a Docent Professor of Social Developmental Psychology at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. In 2008, Dr. Laursen received an honorary doctorate from Örebro University, Sweden. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 7, Developmental) and a Fellow and Charter Member of the Association for Psychological Science. In addition to his own research on parent–child and peer relationships, Dr. Laursen is a consultant and collaborator on several large longitudinal projects currently under way in North America and Europe.


Todd D. Little is Professor of Psychology, Director of the Quantitative Training Program, and a member of the Developmental Training Program at the University of Kansas (KU), where he is also Director of the Center for Research Methods and Data Analysis. Past president of the American Psychological Association's Division 5 (Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics), Dr. Little organizes and teaches in the internationally renowned KU "Stats Camps" each June.


Noel A. Card is Associate Professor in Family Studies and Human Development at the University of Arizona. His research centers on social development and quantitative methods, and especially the interface of these disciplines. Dr. Card's developmental research focuses on aggression and peer relations during childhood and adolescence; his quantitative interests include longitudinal analyses, analysis of interdependent data, and meta-analysis. He is a recipient of the Society for Research in Child Development’s Early Career Research Award.

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Table of Contents

I. Measurement and Design

1. Foundational Issues of Design and Measurement in Developmental Research, Scott M. Hofer, Valgeir Thorvaldsson, and Andrea M. Piccinin

2. Causal Inference, Identification, and Plausibility, E. Michael Foster

3. Accelerated Longitudinal Designs, Susan C. Duncan and Terry E. Duncan

4. Time-Scale-Dependent Longitudinal Designs, Theodore A. Walls, William D. Barta, Robert S. Stawski, Charles E. Collyer, and Scott M. Hofer

5. Event Frequency Measurement, Brett Laursen, Jaap Denissen, and David F. Bjorklund

6. The Impact of Scaling and Measurement Methods on Individual Differences in Growth, Susan E. Embretson and John Poggio

7. Investigating Factorial Invariance in Longitudinal Data, Roger E. Millsap and Heining Cham

II. Approaches to Data Collection

8. Foundational Issues in Longitudinal Data Collection, Lea Pulkkinen and Katja Kokko

9. The Use of Large-Scale Data Sets for the Study of Developmental Science, Pamela Davis-Kean and Justin Jager

10. Telemetrics and Online Data Collection: Collecting Data at a Distance, Joshua Wilt, David M. Condon, and William Revelle

11. Collecting and Analyzing Longitudinal Diary Data, Bernhard Schmitz, Julia Klug, and Silke Hertel

12. Retrospective Methods in Developmental Science, Andrea Follmer Greenhoot

13. Peer Ratings, William M. Bukowski, Antonius H. N. Cillessen, and Ana Maria Velásquez

III. Interindividual Longitudinal Analysis

14. Foundational Issues in Investigating Development as Interindividual Variation, Jari-Erik Nurmi

15. Analysis of Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Data: Pinpointing Explanations, Richard Gonzalez, Tianyi Yu, and Brenda Volling

16. Autoregressive and Cross-Lagged Panel Analysis for Longitudinal Data, James P. Selig and Todd D. Little

17. Analyzing Change between Two or More Groups: Analysis of Variance versus Analysis of Covariance, Kamala London and Daniel B. Wright

18. Mediation Models for Developmental Data, Matthew S. Fritz and David P. MacKinnon

IV. Intraindividual Longitudinal Analysis

19. Foundational Issues in Intraindividual Longitudinal Analysis, Michael J. Rovine and Lawrence L. Lo

20. Dynamic Factor Analysis and Control of Developmental Processes, Peter Molenaar and Lawrence L. Lo

21. P-Technique Factor Analysis, Ihno A. Lee and Todd D. Little

22. Hazard, Event History, and Survival Modeling, Margaret K. Keiley, Cassandra Kirkland, Ali Zaremba, and Ashley Anders Jackson

V. Combining Interindividual and Intraindividual Longitudinal Analysis

23. Foundational Issues in the Contemporary Modeling of Longitudinal Trajectories, John J. McArdle

24. Growth Curve Modeling from a Structural Equation Modeling Perspective, Kevin J. Grimm and Nilam Ram

25. Growth Curve Modeling from a Multilevel Model Perspective, Joop J. Hox and Jan Boom

26. Nonlinear Growth Modeling, Shelley A. Blozis

27. Group-Based Trajectory Modeling in Developmental Science, Daniel S. Nagin and Candice L. Odgers

28. Longitudinal Mixture Models and the Identification of Archetypes, Nilam Ram, Kevin J. Grimm, Lisa M. Gatzke-Kopp, and Peter C. M. Molenaar

29. Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling, James A. Bovaird and Leslie H. Shaw

VI. Nonindependent Data Analysis

30. Foundational Issues in Nonindependent Data Analysis, William L. Cook

31. Dyadic Data Analyses in a Developmental Context, Robert A. Ackerman, M. Brent Donnellan, Deborah A. Kashy, and Rand D. Conger

32. Applying the Social Relations Model to Developmental Research, Noel A. Card and Russell B. Toomey

33. Analysis of Static Social Networks and their Developmental Effects, Scott D. Gest and Thomas A. Kindermann

34. Actor-Based Model for Network and Behavior Dynamics, René Veenstra and Christian Steglich

VII. Special Topics in Data Analysis

35. Configural Frequency Analysis in Developmental Research, Alexander von Eye, Eun-Young Mun, Richard M. Lerner, Jacqueline V. Lerner, and Edmond P. Bowers

36. Cluster Analysis and Latent Class Clustering Techniques, Christine DiStefano

37. Meta-Analysis in Developmental Science, Marinus H. van IJzendoorn, Marian J. Bakermans-Kranenburg, and Lenneke R. A. Alink

38. Evaluating Gene–Environment Interplay, Mara Brendgen, Frank Vitaro, and Alain Girard

39. Epidemic Models of the Onset of Social Activities, Joseph Lee Rodgers and Andrey Koval

40. Dynamic Systems, Paul van Geert

41. Planned Missing Data Designs for Developmental Research, Stephen A. Mistler and Craig K. Enders

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