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Testing concurrent validity in retrospective life history data using a prospective cohort study

27th October 2016 2pm, University of Southampton, Room 1065, Building 58

Stephen Jivraj, UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care

Paper co-authored with Alissa Goodman (UCL Institute of Education), George Ploubidis (UCL Institute of Education) and Cesar de Oliveira (UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care). This study determines whether comparable prospective and retrospective data present the same direction and magnitude of association between childhood and life course characteristics and later life health and economic wellbeing. We use prospective data taken from the 1958 National Child Development Study at age 50 in 2008 and earlier sweeps at age 7, 11, 16, 23, 33, 42, 46 (n=8,033). Retrospective data is taken from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing at age 50 from a life history interview in 2007 (n=921). There is a high degree of similarity in the magnitude of regression coefficients of certain childhood circumstances predicting health and economic wellbeing outcomes, suggesting that although there may be issues of recall error in retrospective data, it is not biased for the variables used in the analysis, and leads to similar associations when taking into account contemporaneous and life course characteristics. The findings provide reassurance to the growing literature using life history data to determine life course associations with later life wellbeing outcomes.

Download Presentation File 1 (pdf format)