Methods for analyzing longitudinal developmental data have increased in terms of quantity and complexity in the last few decades. In this article, we describe the advantages of longitudinal data, review the use of longitudinal data in current developmental research, and then preview the articles in this Special Issue. A survey of recently published literature indicates that longitudinal data are commonly used (due to several advantages over concurrent data) across domains of developmental research and vary tremendously in terms of time spans studied, the number and structure of data points, and the analytic strategies used. The articles included in this Special Issue reflect the diversity in usage within developmental research and provide didactic presentations of advanced methods of analyzing longitudinal data to answer important developmental questions.
- Longitudinal data