Social Indicators Research

, Volume 23, Issue 4, pp 395–414 | Cite as

Behaviour and the life cycle: a consideration of the role of longitudinal time use studies

  • David H. Elliott
  • Jean Leonard Elliott


This paper discusses the application of time use data for the study of behavioural change over the life cycle. The longitudinal design reduces the need for complex statistical controls and sample matching procedures and simplifies the problem of distinguishing period effects from cohort and development effects.

The data are based upon 24 hour time diaries of a panel of 453 persons in Halifax, Canada who were interviewed on the same day of the week in the Fall of both 1971 and 1981. Data for each gender are presented illustrative of the kinds of changes in time use which might be associated with aging or with changes in occupational, financial, educational, or familial status. Cross-sectional time use data from different periods can be used in conjunction with the longitudinal time use data to differentiate between behavioural change based upon maturation or other individual changes and that deriving from a broader base of cultural change.


Life Cycle Behavioural Change Period Effect Cultural Change Longitudinal Design 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • David H. Elliott
    • 1
  • Jean Leonard Elliott
    • 1
  1. 1.Sociology DepartmentDalhousie UniversityHalifaxCanada

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