Modern Practices to Improve Human Development Research

Todd D. Little, Britt K. Gorrall, Pavel Panko, Jacob D. Curtis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


We review several methodological practices that are integral to enhancing developmental research in the social sciences. Our primary theme is shifting the dominant statistical and methodological paradigm in the developmental sciences to embrace modern modeling practices. Although null-hypothesis significance testing is unavoidable in some cases, techniques such as latent variable modeling and planned missing data designs can improve research. We also address instances in which only quasi-experiment designs are possible, highlighting three alternative designs: regression discontinuity, propensity score matching, and regression point displacement. Ill-guided and outdated methodological paradigms in research lead to biased results which can lead to biased conclusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-349
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Human Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2 2017


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