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ERIC Number: EJ846975
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 27
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
Use of Missing Data Methods in Longitudinal Studies: The Persistence of Bad Practices in Developmental Psychology
Jelicic, Helena; Phelps, Erin; Lerner, Richard M.
Developmental Psychology, v45 n4 p1195-1199 2009
Developmental science rests on describing, explaining, and optimizing intraindividual changes and, hence, empirically requires longitudinal research. Problems of missing data arise in most longitudinal studies, thus creating challenges for interpreting the substance and structure of intraindividual change. Using a sample of reports of longitudinal studies obtained from three flagship developmental journals---"Child Development", "Developmental Psychology", and "Journal of Research on Adolescence"--we examined the number of longitudinal studies reporting missing data and the missing data techniques used. Of the 100 longitudinal studies sampled, 57 either reported having missing data or had discrepancies in sample sizes reported for different analyses. The majority of these studies (82%) used missing data techniques that are statistically problematic (either listwise deletion or pairwise deletion) and not among the methods recommended by statisticians (i.e., the direct maximum likelihood method and the multiple imputation method). Implications of these results for developmental theory and application, and the need for understanding the consequences of using statistically inappropriate missing data techniques with actual longitudinal data sets, are discussed. (Contains 7 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail: order@apa.org; Web site: http://www.apa.org/publications
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A