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Family mattersDesigning, analysing and understanding family based studies in life course epidemiology$
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Deborah A. Lawlor and Gita D. Mishra

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199231034

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199231034.001.0001

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Statistical considerations in intergenerational studies

Statistical considerations in intergenerational studies

(p.195) Chapter 10 Statistical considerations in intergenerational studies
Family matters

Dorothea Nitsch

Gita D Mishra

Oxford University Press

Intergenerational data necessarily reflect the time and place that the different generations of participants were living in. This chapter aims first to introduce simple concepts to provide an understanding of the founding assumptions and principles, before moving on to more complex analytic methods. As the objectives of analyses may vary substantially across intergenerational studies, there is no easy guideline for analyses, except perhaps that some a priori clarity on the main associations of interest is crucial. Since parents and their offspring are genetically related, intergenerational studies are to some extent genetically informative even if no genotyping was performed. Much of the analyses are concerned with identifying or unravelling the relationship between outcomes and genetic and environmental factors. Ways of handling missing data as well as approaches to deal with non-paternity are also discussed. Illustrative examples are drawn from the two cohort studies.

Keywords:   life course epidemiology, family studies, intergenerational studies, offspring outcome, multilevel models, path analysis, non-paternity, statistical methods

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