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Methodological Considerations in a Community-Based Longitudinal Study

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Objectives : To describe methodological issues and strategies relevant to conducting a community-based longitudinal study.

Methods : Study participants (N=1117 youth/parent pairs) residing in neighborhoods that were randomly selected using a multistage sampling procedure and 2000 census data. Data were collected annually using in-home, inperson, computer-assisted interviewing methods. Numerous retention methods were used to track and retain participants.

Results : The initial response rate was 61. The retention rate is 97, and the valid interview completion rate is 93 after nearly 4 waves of data collection.

Conclusions : In order for community-based longitudinal studies to overcome barriers to enrollment and retention, particular attention must be given to appropriate planning and available resources.

Keywords: community-based longitudinal study; retention; sampling

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1 Professor, Department of Health Promotion Sciences, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma City, OK.

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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