Consultation on the Department’s social policy research activities
Longitudinal data initiatives gather information by following the same individual or group over time. Many social policy measures depend on understanding the extent and dynamic nature of many variables (such as income, employment and family relationships) over time.
Longitudinal data aid the investigation of behavioural determinants and casual factors, and allow researchers to better evaluate the effects of different types of policy interventions over time. Longitudinal data are especially valuable in informing policy initiatives that focus on prevention and early intervention.
Guide to Australian longitudinal studies
The Guide to Australian longitudinal studies showcases why longitudinal datasets are valuable, what datasets are available and how they can be used to better inform policy.
The Guide explains the unique strengths and opportunities of longitudinal data, including why longitudinal data allows research to address critical questions that more widely available cross-sectional datasets cannot. The Guide also provides practical examples of how longitudinal data can improve decision-making, summarises the features of some of Australia’s major longitudinal studies and provides links to further resources to help in understanding and using the data.