Evaluating convergence of within-person change and between-person age differences in age-heterogeneous longitudinal studies

Martin Sliwinski, Lesa Hoffman, Scott M. Hofer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations


The distinction of between-person age differences from within-person age changes is necessary for understanding aging-related change processes. Although longitudinal studies are required to address issues relating to within-person change, most studies begin using age-heterogeneous samples and conclude using survival-heterogeneous samples. Given the numerous potential confounds associated with age-heterogeneous samples, careful treatment of between-person age differences is essential to obtain the correct inferences regarding within-person age change. The authors demonstrate how failure to differentiate between-person age effects (and by extension, of survival age or other effects producing sample heterogeneity) will lead to uninterpretable inferences regarding within-person change. The authors recommend that convergence of age differences and age changes be formally evaluated whenever possible.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-60
Number of pages16
JournalResearch in Human Development
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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