Journal of Family Violence

, Volume 33, Issue 3, pp 227–238 | Cite as

Benefits and Challenges of Using Life History Calendars to Research Intimate Partner Violence

  • Brittany E. HayesEmail author
Original Article


Research on intimate partner violence (IPV) suffers from high rates of attrition, which can be a problem for collecting longitudinal data. As one strategy to help address this problem, this paper will highlight the application of life history calendars (LHCs) to research on IPV. LHCs are cost-effective retrospective alternatives to longitudinal data collection strategies and have the potential to improve recall of events. Additionally, LHC data can establish temporal order and capture instances of repeat victimization. Quantitatively representing repeat victimization is especially important for IPV research because many IPV victims report experiencing more than one incident of abuse. First, a brief overview of LHCs is presented and the Chicago Women Health Risk Study is presented as an example to illustrate the utility of the LHC. Statistical methods to analyze this type of data are discussed as they relate to the data from the Chicago Women Health Risk Study. More specifically, the application of multi-level modeling with repeated measures and survival analyses (also referred to as event history analysis) to calendar data are reviewed. Particular attention is given to using survival analyses to analyze LHC data, especially in instances when the respondent reports more than one incident on the LHC. Benefits of calendar data, including improved recall of events and the ability to address questions related to repeat victimization, are highlighted. Challenges of working with LHC data, such as missing data and the use of open versus closed coding schemes, are reviewed.


Intimate partner violence Life history calendar Multi-level modeling Survival analysis Event history analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminal Justice and CriminologySam Houston State UniversityTexasUSA

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