Monday, Nov 3
Melvin Stephens, Estimating Program Benefits
Growing sociological interest in the timing and sequencing of important life events continues to fuel the development of sophisticated analytic methods. The life history calendar (LHC) was designed as a method of collecting detailed individual-level event timing and sequencing data. This paper describes new innovations which make gathering retrospective event history data with an LHC more feasible in a wider range of settings and for a broader set of substantive topics. These innovations allow researchers to accommodate broader age-range populations, populations who do not use standardized time measures, and an expanded set of behaviors. The innovations themselves include adding a more detailed set of timing cues, reorganizing the life history calendar's visual cues, and using new recording strategies. Together these new methods expand the applicability of this well-established data collection tool, increasing the opportunities for using life history calendars to study the timing and sequencing of life events.