A Survey of Issues Related to the Analysis of Observational Data in Longitudinal Research

  • John E. Overall


The primary problems in analysis of data from longitudinal studies arise from the fact the such studies most frequently involve naturally occurring groups, or samples of convenience, rather than random assignment and other features of good experimental design. This fact results In numerous possibly confounded effects that must be disentangled in analysis of the data. Because groups may differ initially on the measures that are to be the basis for evaluation of change, the particular index chosen to define change is more critical than in experimental studies. In this brief discussion, an attempt will be made to survey some of the more controversial issues related to definition of change and the statistical control over a variety of possibly confounding factors In observational type research.


Difference Score Longitudinal Research Trend Component Trend Function Elevation Factor 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bock, R.D. Multivariate analysis of variance of repeated measurements. In C.W. Harris (Ed.), Problems in Measuring Change. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1963.Google Scholar
  2. Bock, R.D., and Haggard, E.A. The use of multivariate analysis of variance in behavioral research. In D.K. Whitla (Eds.), Handbook of measurement and assessment in behavioral sciences. Reading, Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley, 1968.Google Scholar
  3. Campbell, D.T., and Erlebacher, A. How regression artifacts in quasi-experimental evaluations can mistakenly make compensatory education look harmful. Disadvantaged Child, 1970, 3, 185–210.Google Scholar
  4. Cochran, W. G. Analysis of covariance: Its nature and uses. Biometrics, 1957, 13, 261–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Davis, F.B. The assessment of change. In Marquette University, Reading Center, Tenth Yearbook, National Reading Conference. Milwaukee: Marquette University, 1961.Google Scholar
  6. Evans, S.H., and Anastasio, E.J. Misuse of analysis of covariance when treatment effect and covariate are confounded. Psychological Bulletin, 1968, 69, 225–234.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gaito, J., and Wiley, D.E. Univariate analysis of variance procedures in the measurement of change. In C.W. Harris (Ed.), Problems in measuring change. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1963.Google Scholar
  8. Gocka, E.F. Regression analysis of proportional cell data. Psychological Bulletin, 1973, 80, 28–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kahneman, D. Control of spurious association and the reliability of controlled variables. Psychological Bulletin, 1965, 64, 326–329.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lord, F.G. Elementary models for measuring change. In C.W. Harris (Ed.), Problems in measuring change. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1963.Google Scholar
  11. Morrison, D.F. Multivariate statistical methods. New York: McGraw Hill, 1967.Google Scholar
  12. McNemar, Q. On growth measurement. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 1958, l8, 47–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. O’Connor, E.F., Jr. Unraveling Lord’s paraodx: The appropriate use of multiple regression analysis in quasi-experimental research. Research Bulletin, Princeton: Educational Testing Service, 1973.Google Scholar
  14. Overall, J.E. Multiple covariance analysis by the general least squares regression method. Behavioral Science, 1972, 17, 313–320.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Overall, J.E. and Klett, C.J. Applied multivariate analysis. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1972.Google Scholar
  16. Overall, J.E., Spiegel, D.K., and Cohen, J. Equivalence of orthogonal and nonorthogonal analysis of variance. Psychological Bulletin, 1975, 82, 182–186.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Overall, J.E., and Woodward, J. A. Unreliability of difference scores: A paradox in the measurement of change. Psychological Bulletin, 1975, 82, 85–86.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Overall, J.E., and Woodward, J. A. Nonrandom assignment and the analysis of covariance. Psychological Bulletin, 1977 (in press).Google Scholar
  19. Roy, S. N. and Bargmann, R. E. Tests of multiple independence and the associated confidence bounds. Annals of Mathematical Statistics, 1958, 29, 491–503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Webster, H., and Bereiter, C. The reliability of changes measured by mental test scores. In C.W. Harris (Ed.), Problems in measuring change. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1963.Google Scholar
  21. Woodward, J. A., and Overall, J. E. Nonorthogonal analysis of variance in repeated measures experimental designs. Journal of Educational and Psychological Measurement, 1976, in press. Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • John E. Overall
    • 1
  1. 1.The University of Texas Medical BranchGalvestonUSA

Personalised recommendations