The Life History Calendar: A Research and clinical assessment method for collecting retrospective event-history data

Avshalom Caspi, Terrie E. Moffitt, Arland Thornton, Deborah Freedman, James W. Amell, Honalee Harrington, Judith Smeijers, Phil A. Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

396 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article describes the Life History Calendar (LHC), a data-collection method for obtaining reliable retrospective data about life events and activities. The LHC method was developed in the context of longitudinal research to record central events that can occur in a respondent's life. The LHC can be used as both a research and a clinical assessment method. As a research instrument, the LHC can be used to collect detailed event-history data for analyzing life-course dynamics. As a clinical instrument, the LHC can be used both as an assessment tool and as a therapeutic guide. In this article, we explain the need for a LHC when studying life-course dynamics; describe the advantages of the LHC method; present data about the validity of the LHC; describe research and clinical uses of the LHC; and discuss the design of the LHC and offer suggestions about how to tailor LHC's for unique research and clinical purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)101-114
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research
Volume6
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Calendar
  • Event history
  • Life events
  • Retrospective

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