Survey Methodology in Life-span Human Development Research
This chapter explores conceptual and methodological issues in the application of survey research methods to the study of life-span human development. It highlights those factors critical to an examination of the survey method in life-span development research. The chapter discusses three areas of potential application are: cohort trend, longitudinal panel, and longitudinal multigenerational studies. In order to ascertain change in individual development and aging, longitudinal panel studies are necessary. The continued use of powerful parametric statistics on haphazardly drawn samples, particularly in longitudinal research is becoming less and less justifiable. In longitudinal studies, total nonresponse and item nonresponse can have critical effects on estimates of population and individual trends through sample censoring, population and sample compositional changes, and missing units. The systematic and standardized methods developed by survey researchers to address stability and instability of behavior through cohort trend and panel longitudinal studies are of relevance and value to the investigation of human development and aging.