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22-03-2017 | Empirical Research

Modeling Pathways of Character Development across the First Three Decades of Life: An Application of Integrative Data Analysis Techniques to Understanding the Development of Hopeful Future Expectations

Auteurs: Kristina Schmid Callina, Sara K. Johnson, Jonathan M. Tirrell, Milena Batanova, Michelle B. Weiner, Richard M. Lerner

Gepubliceerd in: Journal of Youth and Adolescence | Uitgave 6/2017

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Abstract

There were two purposes of the present research: first, to add to scholarship about a key character virtue, hopeful future expectations; and second, to demonstrate a recent innovation in longitudinal methodology that may be especially useful in enhancing the understanding of the developmental course of hopeful future expectations and other character virtues that have been the focus of recent scholarship in youth development. Burgeoning interest in character development has led to a proliferation of short-term, longitudinal studies on character. These data sets are sometimes limited in their ability to model character development trajectories due to low power or relatively brief time spans assessed. However, the integrative data analysis approach allows researchers to pool raw data across studies in order to fit one model to an aggregated data set. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate the promises and challenges of this new tool for modeling character development. We used data from four studies evaluating youth character strengths in different settings to fit latent growth curve models of hopeful future expectations from participants aged 7 through 26 years. We describe the analytic strategy for pooling the data and modeling the growth curves. Implications for future research are discussed in regard to the advantages of integrative data analysis. Finally, we discuss issues researchers should consider when applying these techniques in their own work.
Voetnoten
1
Curran and Hussong (2009) distinguish between measurement invariance, which applies to studies with the same items, and measurement comparability, which applies to studies with different but similar items. For this demonstration, we selected a construct that shares the same items across studies, and so we focus on measurement invariance here.
 
2
Scale averages assume all items are exchangeable, meaning that they have equal factor loadings (DeShon, 2004). Although this assumption is usually not tested, we did examine whether it was feasible in our studies, to provide additional justification for the computation of scale scores. For this test, we began with the models assuming strong invariance and added the additional constraint of equality of factor loadings. The exchangeability constraint produced negligible decreases in model fit (based on the change in the Comparative Fit Index, ΔCFI ≤ .001) for the ACT/4-H and ACT/YES comparisons, but not for the CAMP/4-H comparisons (ΔCFI = .023); see Table 4.
 
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Metagegevens
Titel
Modeling Pathways of Character Development across the First Three Decades of Life: An Application of Integrative Data Analysis Techniques to Understanding the Development of Hopeful Future Expectations
Auteurs
Kristina Schmid Callina
Sara K. Johnson
Jonathan M. Tirrell
Milena Batanova
Michelle B. Weiner
Richard M. Lerner
Publicatiedatum
22-03-2017
Uitgeverij
Springer US
Gepubliceerd in
Journal of Youth and Adolescence / Uitgave 6/2017
Print ISSN: 0047-2891
Elektronisch ISSN: 1573-6601
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-017-0660-1

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