Answering Developmental Questions Using Secondary Data

Pamela E. Davis-Kean, Justin Jager, Julie Maslowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Secondary data analysis of large longitudinal and national data sets is a standard method used in many social sciences to answer complex questions regarding behavior. In this article, we detail the advantages of using these data sets to study developmental questions across the life span. First, we provide an overview of how using secondary data can increase studies' scientific integrity. Then, we detail where and how data sets can be obtained that answer specific questions. Finally, we discuss methodological issues related to using longitudinal, population data sets. These data sets can enhance science and test theories by increasing the rigor and generalizability of research to the general population, making secondary data analysis an important method to consider.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)256-261
Number of pages6
JournalChild Development Perspectives
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2015


  • Population studies
  • Quantitative methods
  • Secondary data

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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