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Sample selection bias in gerontology research?

  1. Feb 5, 2008 #1

    EnumaElish

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    A new paper is reported to look at negativity in relationships.

    Quote from the Yahoo news story:
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20080205/sc_livescience/marriageitsonlygoingtogetworse

    This sounds like the definition of selectivity bias. It is not at all surprising that older people are reporting less negativity with spouses, etc., simply because those with more negativity had a divorce (or lost their friendships) before they got old!
     
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  3. Feb 5, 2008 #2

    Moonbear

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    Quite possible. Does the original article say anything about the duration of the marriage? For example, your point would be completely valid if we were talking about 20 and 30 year olds with 0-10 years of marriage and older people with 50 years of marriage under their belts. But, if they were careful to find older couples who had only been married shorter times (i.e., remarriage after divorce from or death of a prior spouse), then this might not be as valid a criticism. But, note it's also not talking about JUST spousal relationships, but those with friends as well.
     
  4. Feb 5, 2008 #3

    EnumaElish

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    I did not see the original research. You have a good point, which might also apply to friendships, I guess.
     
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