Calendar and Time Diary Methods in Life Course Research

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Robert F. Belli, Frank P. Stafford, Duane F Alwin
SAGE Publications, 2009 - Social Science - 345 pages
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Calendar and Diary Methods in Life Methods Research is the first book to provide a road map to using both calendar and diary methods in research. An ideal tool for examining issues related to these up-and-coming approaches to data collection, the book is also a helpful resource for readers who interpret literature based on calendar and diary research.

Introductory chapters cement the placement of calendar and time diary methods within life course research, expanding the book s orientation beyond a description of methods into an understanding of the value of these methods. Chapters from well-known contributors from an array of disciplines include examples of ways these methods can be used in the social, health, and behavioral sciences, assess their use in both quantitative and qualitative methods, and deal with measuring and assessing data quality. A final chapter reviews key themes and discusses future directions for research.

Key Features

  • Demonstrates the common problems, solutions, and strategies that have been faced by researchers who collect data via calendar and time diary methods through a range of examples from internationally known contributors
  • Includes qualitative and quantitative approaches, and, when possible, discusses how the various paradigms may complement each other
  • Offers examples of using the methods in face-to-face and telephone interviewing, in self-administered data collection, and with instruments designed in paper and pencil and computerized formats
  • Provides a brief introductory section for each part of the book that orients readers to the importance of the upcoming chapters
  • Concludes each part with For Further Thought essays that provide practical advice on how to develop and implement calendar and time diary instruments and encourage readers to explore critical issues concerning the applications of these methods

Calendar and Diary Methods in Life Events Research is appropriate for courses such as Survey Research and Methodology, Data Analysis, Quantitative Methods, and Qualitative Methods in departments of sociology, psychology, nursing, communication, education, and economics.

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About the author (2009)

Robert F. Belli is Professor of Psychology and Graduate Chair of the Survey Research and Methodology Program at the University of Nebraska—Lincoln, and Adjunct Research Associate Professor of the Survey Research Center at the University of Michigan. He is also North American Editor of Applied Cognitive Psychology. His most recent interests include the application of principles from cognitive psychology--especially autobiographical memory and conversational processes--to reduce response errors in retrospective survey reports.

Frank P. Stafford is Professor of Economics, Co-Director of the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, and Associate Director of the Institute for Social Research (ISR) at the University of Michigan. His active research areas include issues of time allocation, the economics of childcare, and cross-national comparative studies on the role of information technology. Other research interests include family decisions about wealth, pensions and savings as they relate to individual mental and physical health through time.

Duane F. Alwin is Tracy Winfree and Ted H. McCourtney Professor in Sociology, Demography, and Human Development at Pennsylvania State University, where he is affiliated with the Population Research Institute, the Survey Research Center, and the Gerontology Center. Prior to moving to Penn State, Alwin held an appointment for 23 years in the Survey Research Center of the Institute for Social Research, University of Michigan. The focus of his research and teaching includes survey methodology, families and children, socio-economic inequalities and health disparities, aging and the life course, and the linkages between processes of individual development, history and social change.

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