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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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Discussant chapter—the practicalities of undertaking family-based studies

Discussant chapter—the practicalities of undertaking family-based studies

(p.181) Chapter 9 Discussant chapter—the practicalities of undertaking family-based studies
Family matters

Rebecca Hardy

Diana Kuh

Oxford University Press

This chapter summarizes the origins of some of the existing life course studies and the current potential for using these studies to address family-based life course questions. It also highlights important methodological and practical issues for the future conduct of such studies. It has to be considered carefully whether it is worth collecting more prior generation and/or offspring generation data in these established cohorts given the practical difficulties and costs associated with such an undertaking as detailed Chapters 6, 7, and 8. The chapter concludes that there is a growing need to build infrastructure across cohort studies to encourage and support collaborative research. It is also clear that there is a great need to value and support the lifelong volunteers and the researchers who initiate and run longitudinal studies in order to realise the full scientific potential of life course research.

Keywords:   life course epidemiology, family studies, proxy informant, birth cohorts, study design, data collection, intergenerational studies

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