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Adv Nutr. 2014 Jan 1;5(1):46-56. doi: 10.3945/an.113.004739.

Cutting-edge statistical methods for a life-course approach.

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  • 1Auburn University, Auburn, AL.


Advances in research methods, data collection and record keeping, and statistical software have substantially increased our ability to conduct rigorous research across the lifespan. In this article, we review a set of cutting-edge statistical methods that life-course researchers can use to rigorously address their research questions. For each technique, we describe the method, highlight the benefits and unique attributes of the strategy, offer a step-by-step guide on how to conduct the analysis, and illustrate the technique using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development. In addition, we recommend a set of technical and empirical readings for each technique. Our goal was not to address a substantive question of interest but instead to provide life-course researchers with a useful reference guide to cutting-edge statistical methods.

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