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A Life Course Approach to Mental Disorders$
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Karestan C. Koenen, Sasha Rudenstine, Ezra Susser, and Sandro Galea

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199657018

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657018.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 July 2021

Study designs: traditional and novel approaches to advance life course research

Study designs: traditional and novel approaches to advance life course research

(p.11) Chapter 2 Study designs: traditional and novel approaches to advance life course research
A Life Course Approach to Mental Disorders

Stephen L. Buka

Mary E. Lacy

Oxford University Press

A life course approach provides a framework to understand the interactions of multiple determinants of health and disease across the lifespan. The theories underlying life course approaches are varied, but each emphasizes the importance of understanding the occurrence and accrual of risk over time and how these contribute to the development of psychopathology. This chapter reviews the major design options for studying psychiatric disorders across the life course. Study designs included in this chapter are: (i) prospective cohort studies (general prospective cohort studies, perinatal/birth cohorts, and high-risk prospective cohort studies); (ii) case–control studies, including nested case–control studies within larger cohorts; (iii) cross-sectional studies; (iv) quasi-experimental designs; and (v) randomized controlled trials. The chapter concludes with remarks on general considerations for designing life course studies, as well as recommendations for future directions of the field.

Keywords:   life course, psychiatric epidemiology, study designs, cohort studies, case–control studies, randomized controlled trials

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