Child Development 133 
Research Methods in Human Development

Sections 01 & 05
Hembree            Fall, 2012


Quasi-Experimental and Developmental Designs


I. Non-experimental designs  

A. Case study




B. One-group pre-posttest design




C. Non-equivalent control group  




D. Quasi-experimental designs  




 E. Evaluating quasi-experimental designs




II.  Developmental Designs

A. What is development?



B. The problem with studying change…



C. Developmental designs as Quasi-experimental designs



  D. Longitudinal Designs

          1. Longitudinal designs allow us to

  • observe change over time


  • examine individual patterns (paths)


  • examine associations between past and present (stability) 

2. Problems with this design



3. When is a longitudinal design appropriate?




 E.  Cross-Sectional 

1.  Age DIFFERENCES (vs. age changes)





2. Problems with this design




3.  When is a cross-sectional study appropriate?


F. Cross-sequential Designs






Discussion questions:

1)   Both longitudinal studies and cross-sectional studies have problems with cohort differences.  How do cohort differences affect the conclusions you draw from your cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, respectively?  What does this have to do with external and internal validity?

2) Think of some potential cohort differences between:

·        20-, 40-, and 60-year-olds

·        3-, 6-, 9-year-olds

3)  What potential confounds are associated with longitudinal and cross-sectional designs respectively?



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California State University, Sacramento
College of Education
Department of Child Development

Updated: August, 2012