Life-Span Developmental Psychology: Methodological Contributions

By Stanley H. Cohen; Hayne W. Reese | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Gollob & Reichardt, 1987). As an alternative we can estimate the difference factors, or differences in the factor scores, and we can use these either as out comes or predictors. By far the most popular structural equation model for longitudinal data is the "antoregressive" or "time forward" prediction model (as in Fig. 10.1). With just two points of measurement this is inseparable from the difference score model (Fig. 10.1). In a model more expanded along the variables and occasions axes, we might be able to make a more formal and rigorous distinction between "traits" and "states" (see Hertzog & Nesselroade, 1987). For example, a state might have some relation over time and a mean but, in contrast to a trait, these covariance and mean changes would average out to zero over many occasions. With more than two occasions of measurement we can begin to compare the value of these models as explanations of our data.

It is a truism that putting more information into a data base allows one to get more information out. Developmentalists must heed this truism, nevertheless, and aim for better representation of persons, variables, and occasions of measurement in building their data bases. Given more extensive data, more general multivariate models can be developed and applied to the task of understanding development.


Conclusions

The analytic approach used here demonstrated some parallels and some differences between traditional multivariate models and newer structural equation models. The applications studied here showed the same substantive results in most all cases, but also illustrated why the newer methods are "more precise and clear in their testing implications'' (after Cattell, 1966; Nesselroade & Cattell, 1988). From a developmental perspective we were able to show how these models deal directly with "interindividual differences in intra-individual change" (see Baltes, Reese, & Nesselroade, 1977/ 1988). These formal models provide a structural vehicle for the examination of changes in groups and changes in individuals as well.

We think these multivariate structural approaches can be useful to developmental research in psychology. At all stages of any research study we will need to make both qualitative and quantitative evaluations. The qualitative features of any study come in the data selection and in the model selection. As we have demonstrated here, the quantitative indexes simply provide us with an objective organization for substantively motivated but inherently qualitative judgments. We have tried to show how these quantitative models do not blindly spit out a maximum likely answer to our questions. Instead, structural equation models provide a set of visual aids to help us focus on the often ambiguous and fuzzy phenomena of development.

-262-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Life-Span Developmental Psychology: Methodological Contributions
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 292

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?