Master Workshop

Longitudinal Research Methods for the Study of Identity:
Recommendations from an Applied Researcher

Theo Klimstra, Tilburg University, the Netherlands

This interactive workshop will start with an overview on some of the major conceptual issues in studying identity longitudinally. These include issues related to the distinction of the between-person and within-person level of analysis, and the developmental timescale that is most appropriate for a particular research question. In addition, there will be a brief discussion on the importance of adjusting the operationalization of your constructs to the timescale on which you examine these. This first part should provide attendants with some guidelines on how to set up their studies and/or make some initial decisions on how analyze the data.
In the second part, the focus will be on crucial preliminary steps you have to take before analyzing your longitudinal data. These steps include testing for attrition effects, patterns of missingsness in your data, and conducting measurement invariance tests. Participants will also be asked to share their experiences with encountering and dealing with these issues.

The aim of the third part is to present some of the commonly used models to examine longitudinal data. These include latent growth models, latent growth mixture models, cross-lagged panel models, and multilevel models. I will use my own work to illustrate how these methods can be applied (and when they should perhaps not be applied…). If there still is time left, participants will be invited to practice with their own data, while I will be available to help with basic troubleshooting (more so for Mplus users than for R users, as I use the former and not the latter).

Throughout, I will draw from my experience as an applied researcher who has used various statistical models and has some background knowledge on these models. However, once more I would like to emphasize that I am not a statistician, methodologist, or mathematician!

Workshop date: May 19th 2018
Workshop duration: 5 hours

Recommended reading:

Klimstra, T. A., Hale III, W. W., Raaijmakers, Q. A., Branje, S. J., & Meeus, W. H. (2010). Identity formation in adolescence: change or stability?. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39, 150-162.

Klimstra, T. A., Kuppens, P., Luyckx, K., Branje, S., Hale, W. W., Oosterwegel, A., ... & Meeus, W. H. (2016). Daily dynamics of adolescent mood and identity. Journal of Research on Adolescence, 26, 459-473.

Crocetti E., Cieciuch, J., Gao, C-H, Klimstra, T., Lin, C.-L., Matos, P. M, Morsünbül, Ü., Negru, O., Sugimura, K., Zimmermann, G., & Meeus, W. (2015). National and gender measurement invariance of the Utrecht-Management of Identity Commitments Scale (U-MICS): A ten-nation study with university students. Assessment, 22, 753-768.

Hatano, K., Sugimura, K., & Klimstra, T. A. (2017). Which came first, personality traits or identity processes during early and middle adolescence?. Journal of Research in Personality, 67, 120-131.

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