Register now: Longitudinal measurement equivalence – new comparative research methods training for the CLOSER partner studies

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Training

This two-day training event aims to help researchers affiliated with the CLOSER partner studies learn and practice new skills for comparative research (between studies and across time periods) using cohort and panel data. The workshop will take place from 1-2 March 2022.

Event details

  • Date:

    Tuesday 01 March 2022

  • Time:

    - PM only (exact timing TBC)

  • Venue:

    Online

  • Event organiser:

    CLOSER

  • Price:

    Free

Overview and aims

We are hosting a training event for research staff in the CLOSER partner studies on measurement equivalence testing using structural equation modelling/confirmatory factor analysis. The training will cover methods for examining and validating comparability of assessment instruments and the data they generate between studies and across time periods. The event will be led by Dr. Daniel Seddig, interim professor for empirical social research at the University of Passau.

The aim of the workshop is to help build capacity amongst researchers affiliated with the CLOSER partner studies to pursue new avenues of comparative research. It will comprise two sessions to meet the needs of both newcomers and more advanced analysts.

About the workshop

The rapid response of CLOSER’s partner studies to implement pandemic-relevant survey data collections, often in a methodologically-aligned manner, following the outbreak of COVID-19 has brought increased attention to the novel research utility these studies offer. This shift to aligned questionnaire instruments, albeit not universally and potentially temporarily, facilitates data pooling and coordinated cross-study analysis. However, it also stands in contrast to the differences and heterogeneity in measurement strategies implemented across studies historically. Moreover, it also has consequences for backwards comparability within studies. Validating the equivalence of survey measurements is a vital step in realising the research potential of CLOSER’s partner studies, not just for issues relevant to the pandemic (e.g. its mental health impact), but also for comparative research purposes across all disciplines.

CLOSER’s cross-study harmonisation work to date has similarly highlighted how even where assessment tools administered in different studies or at different times appear to measure similar characteristics of participants, there can be many sources of divergence that inform the validity of any comparisons or pooling of data. Instruments may utilise different phrasing, response scales, or even respondents (e.g., observer-rating versus self-report). Evaluating the impact of such heterogeneity is a key step in data harmonisation and cross-study work more generally.

This new training event will help researchers affiliated with the CLOSER partner studies learn and practice new skills for comparative research (between studies and across time periods) using cohort and panel data.

Outline of the agenda

The training will comprise two half-day workshops:

  • 1 March 2022, from 14:00 GMT: The first afternoon will consist of an introductory session on measurement equivalence testing in longitudinal research
  • 2 March 2022, from 14:00 GMT: The second afternoon will be a more advanced session addressing more complex and novel analytic techniques.

The end time of each session will be confirmed as soon as possible.

These workshops will combine presentations with interactive elements, including hands-on analytic tasks with guidance, feedback and discussion. Participants will be provided with handouts and recommended reading to continue their learning and implement the new skills taught by this course.

Expected prior knowledge

Recommended: Regression analysis
Advantageous: Classic test theory, exploratory/confirmatory factor analysis

A pre-workshop survey will be undertaken to garner specific requirements from registered attendees, including disciplinary interests and statistical software experience.

The course will principally focus on R and the package lavaan, as it is free to download and use by all workshop participants. Introductory guidance for newcomers to R is available on the intro2r website. In addition, some advanced techniques may be presented in the Mplus software environment.

About the session lead

Dr. Seddig is currently interim professor for empirical social research at the University of Passau (staff profile / publications), who has designed and delivered training courses on latent measurement issues in cross-survey and longitudinal comparative analysis at the Essex Summer School in Social Science and at GESIS (e.g., a forthcoming workshop). His experience has applicability to both panel and cohort study data.

Registration

Please note that this workshop is only open to researchers affiliated to the CLOSER partner studies.

If you would like to attend this workshop, please contact Jennie Blows (j.blows@ucl.ac.uk) expressing your interest and confirming which CLOSER partner study you are affiliated with.

Contact

If you have any questions or would like any further information about this workshop, please contact Jennie Blows (j.blows@ucl.ac.uk).