This innovative volume demonstrates the use of a range of statistical approaches that examine "turning points" (a change in direction, magnitude, or meaning) in real data. Analytic techniques are illustrated with real longitudinal data from a variety of fields. As such the book will appeal to a variety of researchers including:
- Developmental researchers interested in identifying factors precipitating turning points at various life stages.
- Medical or substance abuse researchers looking for turning points in disease or recovery.
- Social researchers interested in estimating the effects of life experiences on subsequent behavioral changes.
- Interpersonal behavior researchers looking to identify turning points in relationships.
- Brain researchers needing to discriminate the onset of an experimentally produced process in a participant.
The book opens with the goals and theoretical considerations in defining turning points. An overview of the methods presented in subsequent chapters is then provided. Chapter goals include discriminating "local" from long-term effects, identifying variables altering the connection between trajectories at different life stages, locating non-normative turning points, coping with practical distributional problems in trajectory analyses, and changes in the meaning and connections between variables in the transition to adulthood. From an applied perspective, the book explores such topics as antisocial/aggressive trajectories at different life stages, the impact of imprisonment on criminal behavior, family contact trajectories in the transition to adulthood, sustained effects of substance abuse, alternative models of bereavement, and identifying brain changes associated with the onset of a new brain process.
Ideal for advanced students and researchers interested in identifying significant change in data in a variety of fields including psychology, medicine, education, political science, criminology, and sociology.