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Longitudinal Studies

  1. Clifford J. Drew

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0515

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Drew, C. J. 2010. Longitudinal Studies. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.

Author Information

  1. University of Utah

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Investigators in psychology use longitudinal research designs to assess changes in participant performance or status over time. Longitudinal studies employ research designs where groups of participants are observed or repeatedly assessed over a fairly lengthy interval—sometimes years. Longitudinal designs represent a very important research approach in psychology and other behavioral science investigations where time-related phenomena are under study. This has particularly been the case in developmental psychology and gerontology where maturation is the focus of an investigation. Often the intent is to examine behavioral, cognitive, or physiological changes that may occur in participants as they grow older.


  • experimental designs;
  • research methods;
  • developmental research;
  • gerontology research