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ERIC Number: EJ917508
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Mar
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 19
ISSN: ISSN-1040-3590
Reporting of Life Events Over Time: Methodological Issues in a Longitudinal Sample of Women
Pachana, Nancy A.; Brilleman, Sam L.; Dobson, Annette J.
Psychological Assessment, v23 n1 p277-281 Mar 2011
The number of life events reported by study participants is sensitive to the method of data collection and time intervals under consideration. Individual characteristics also influence reporting; respondents with poor mental health report more life events. Much current research on life events is cross-sectional. Data from a longitudinal study of women's health from 4 waves over a decade suggest that over time additional systematic biases in reporting life events occur. Inconsistency over time is due to both fall-off of reporting and telescoping. Intracategory variability and ambiguity of items, as well as respondent characteristics, also potentially contribute to response biases. Although some factors (e.g., item wording) are controllable, others (e.g., respondents' mental health) are not and must be factored into data analysis and interpretation. (Contains 3 tables.)
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:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Australia