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A practical introduction to methods for analyzing longitudinal data in the presence of missing data using a marijuana price survey

Jeremy N.V Miles (RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California, USA)
Priscillia Hunt (RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, USA AND Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), Bonn, Germany.)

Journal of Criminal Psychology

ISSN: 2009-3829

Article publication date: 5 May 2015

Abstract

Purpose

In applied psychology research settings, such as criminal psychology, missing data are to be expected. Missing data can cause problems with both biased estimates and lack of statistical power. The paper aims to discuss these issues.

Design/methodology/approach

Recently, sophisticated methods for appropriately dealing with missing data, so as to minimize bias and to maximize power have been developed. In this paper the authors use an artificial data set to demonstrate the problems that can arise with missing data, and make naïve attempts to handle data sets where some data are missing.

Findings

With the artificial data set, and a data set comprising of the results of a survey investigating prices paid for recreational and medical marijuana, the authors demonstrate the use of multiple imputation and maximum likelihood estimation for obtaining appropriate estimates and standard errors when data are missing.

Originality/value

Missing data are ubiquitous in applied research. This paper demonstrates that techniques for handling missing data are accessible and should be employed by researchers.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

Funding for this study was provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (3R01-DA032693-03S1).

© RAND 2015. The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND ' s publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.

Citation

Miles, J.N.V. and Hunt, P. (2015), "A practical introduction to methods for analyzing longitudinal data in the presence of missing data using a marijuana price survey", Journal of Criminal Psychology, Vol. 5 No. 2, pp. 137-148. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCP-02-2015-0007

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Company