Core Principles of Life Course Health Development Methodology and Analytics

This is one of 26 chapters published in the Handbook of Life Course Health Development.


Abstract: The complexity of life course health development research demands rigorous methodology and analytics. Advanced techniques, improved estimation algorithms, and user-accessible software/hardware developments signal what I see as a paradigm shift in how life science research will be conducted now and in the future. Although techniques such as structural equation modeling (SEM), multilevel modeling (MLM), and mixture distribution modeling have permeated the research agenda in many fields, the capability of these tools has hardly been fully utilized. The craft of life course health development methodology and analytics requires dedication, sophistication, and a knack for molding the analysis tool to the research question at hand. For life course health development research to be at its most effective, utilizing the expertise of collaborative teams is essential. The days of one person being both expert theoretician and methodologist are waning. Partnering with dedicated experts on the various issues that I have outlined here will bring the needed sophistication and knack to execute research at its finest and most impactful levels. In this chapter, I highlight many of the issues that life course health development researchers will need to address and practices to adopt.


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