5 Sought-After Longitudinal Study Examples To Explore  

5 Sought-After Longitudinal Study Examples To Explore 

For any society to advance and grow, research is crucial. These studies and research are done using a number of different methods. A longitudinal study is one of the ways to perform research. Understanding a longitudinal study example can help you better gauge the effectiveness of this method.  

A longitudinal study involves examining its subject over a long period of time. They are typically used in social and medical sciences to observe changes in individuals or groups over time. The time span of these studies can extend over years, lifetimes, and sometimes even generations!   

Longitudinal studies are also done in different ways. Some of them include panel studies, cohort studies, and repeated measures studies. In this article, we are going to explore a longitudinal study example and look at its role in the specific domain of child care.  

Top Longitudinal Study Example You Must Know! 

  • Up Series  

 The Up series is one of the most famous longitudinal studies. The objective of this research is to study the lives of its subjects. The subjects selected for study are fourteen in number, and all live in Britain. The examination takes place after an interval of every seven years. The study is executed through interviews with each subject.  

In these interviews, they describe changes that have happened in their lives. Then the interviews are filmed as a part of the Up series. The Up series is like a documentary that is being directed by Michael Apsted. The most recent study was conducted in 2019, and by the time the participants reached the age of sixty-three years.  

These participants were selected from different socio-economic backgrounds at the age of seven. The study has claimed that the life consequences of the subjects were greatly impacted by their socio-economic background and demographics.  

  • Grant Study  

The grant study is another very aspiring longitudinal study. The duration of this study extends over a long period. It started in 1942 and has been studied till now. Central to this study is a philosophical question that intrigues every human being. People have been trying to answer it from the very beginning of human civilization. The question is, what is the secret of living a good life? 

The researchers try to answer this by studying the lives of Harvard University Graduates. The candidates chosen are 268 males, which are investigated every two years. The methods used for research include interviews, questionnaires, and collecting data about their physical and mental health.  

The outcomes show that the quality of relationships was one of the major factors in living a good life. This study has provided a deeper view into what exactly boosts people to live to their fullest.  

  • Minnesota Twin Study  

As its name suggests, the study was designed to examine identical twin behavior. The research was conducted over an 11-year period from 1979 to 1990.  

This renowned study lays emphasis on answering a critical question: what percentage of the similarity between identical twins is genetic, while how much is led by their shared upbringing in comparable environments?  

Thomas J. Bouchard was given the charge of this study’s execution. The results that came out showed that the twins’ similarities and differences had primarily been caused by genetics rather than their upbringing. 

  • Baltimore Longitudinal Study Of Aging  

This study was initiated in 1958, and it continues to date. The Baltimore longitudinal study of aging, also known as BLSA, aimed at studying the impacts of aging. It was the longest study on aging in America.  

The subject size was 3200 volunteers. The study has revealed many essential findings. The most important was the fact that aging happens differently in all humans. 

  • Terman Life Cycle Study  

This research is an effective longitudinal study example to understand psychology better. Older than 100 years, this study started in 1921 and is still being conducted.  

The Terman life cycle study is one of the oldest longitudinal studies in psychology. A study of exceptionally gifted children is the objective of this study.  

Lewis Terman set out to dispel the then-common belief that kids with intellectually strong personalities tended to be socially awkward and physically underdeveloped. It was concluded that these children also have a similar level of social and physical development as normal children.  

Key Strengths and Weaknesses To Consider For Longitudinal Study Example 

Each and every study method often has its own points of strengths and weaknesses. Below are some of the major pros and cons of the longitudinal study: 


  • Shows Changes Over Time: An essential aspect of these studies is the insights they provide for changes over time. This also enables researchers to identify relevant patterns and reach conclusive ends.  
  • Permits the Investigation of Causality: Because changes in the independent variable can be measured before changes in the dependent variable, longitudinal research can assist in establishing causal links between variables. 
  • Offers Precise Estimates of Prevalence: Longitudinal studies can provide more precise estimates of the prevalence and incidence of medical disorders and other outcomes. 


  • Costly and Time-Consuming: Because longitudinal studies must gather data from numerous points over a long period of time, they can be both resource- and time-intensive. 
  • Missing Data and Participant Attrition: Longitudinal studies may have high participant attrition rates, which can restrict the generalizability of the results. The absence of data is also a concern because research participants may skip data collection opportunities or decide not to continue. 
  • Practice Effects: Participants in longitudinal studies may become increasingly accustomed to the study measurements and methods over time, skewing the results. 
  • Limited Generalizability: Because longitudinal studies frequently focus on particular groups or environments, the results’ applicability to other populations or environments may be constrained. 

Longitudinal Study Example: Quantitative or Qualitative  

Longitudinal studies can be qualitative or quantitative in nature. The chosen technique is determined by the study question, the type of data to be collected, and the analysis methods to be applied.  

The quantitative study includes numbers and different statistical tools to comprehend data, whereas the qualitative data is non-numerical and collected through open-ended conversations. 

What is Longitudinal Study in Child Development?  

To conduct these studies, most researchers would hold tracks of children groups from birth till age. They collect data over regular time intervals and note the changes.  

A longitudinal study example child care is the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. More than 1000 kids from birth to age fifteen were taken into account in this study. They gathered information on various areas of their development and came to the conclusion that children can grow positively as a result of receiving high-quality childcare. 


Longitudinal studies are extremely effective in understanding the overall evolution of the population. Taking a closer look at a longitudinal study example can help researchers explore the impact of time and other conditions on the audience. This provides even deeper insights into the changing times and how people adapt to these changes. 

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