Innovations in Life History Calendar Applications
Axinn, William G., Lisa D. Pearce, and Dirgha J. Ghimire. 1999. “Innovations in Life History Calendar Applications.” Social Science Research 28(3):243-64. doi:10.1006/ssre.1998.0641.
Growing sociological interest in the timing and sequencing of important life events continues to fuel the development of sophisticated analytic methods. The life history calendar (LHC) was designed as a method of collecting detailed individual-level event timing and sequencing data. This paper describes new innovations which make gathering retrospective event history data with an LHC more feasible in a wider range of settings and for a broader set of substantive topics. These innovations allow researchers to accommodate broader age-range populations, populations who do not use standardized time measures, and an expanded set of behaviors. The innovations themselves include adding a more detailed set of timing cues, reorganizing the life history calendar’s visual cues, and using new recording strategies. Together these new methods expand the applicability of this well-established data collection tool, increasing the opportunities for using life history calendars to study the timing and sequencing of life events.