Benefits of Longitudinal Studies
Longitudinal studies primarily help discover the relationship between different variables that lack similar background information. This mode of research basically involves studying a certain group of people over a particular period. Data is collected before the study, and gathered throughout the period of research, which can last for several decades.
1. Useful when studying lifespan issues
Longitudinal studies are important as it allows you to analyze changes over a period of time. Due to this, longitudinal modes of research are particularly beneficial, especially when it comes to studying lifespan and development issues. Common methods applied by researchers include retrospective study, cohort study and panel study.
2. Early childhood development and anti-social behavior
This longitudinal research investigates children’ overall social development and aims to identify life experiences/challenges that cause anti-social behavior. Moreover, the study aims at understanding how social cultural contexts and life experience, and biological factors combine to affect psychopathology processes.
The health and retirement study commonly known as HRS interviews people after every two years on a variety of subjects, including pension, housing, health care, disability and employment. In fact, you can download HRS data online. This study further seeks to analyze the expanding population ages and addresses retirement issues.
4. The immigrants study
Studies show that more than 50,000 immigrants move to Europe annually in search of better job opportunities. While this issue is hotly debated, the study seeks to scrutinize the lives of immigrant children living abroad. The study also evaluates children’s academic attainment, self-identities, language use, and demographic characteristics as well.
5. The Framingham study
This is an ongoing heart study on people living in the towns of Massachusetts and Framingham. As a result, more people now know more about heart disease, as well as the importance of good nutrition and exercise.
Longitudinal studies often take decades to gather data.