Modelling non-response in the National Child Development Study

Denise Hawkes, Ian Plewis

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    There is widespread concern that the cumulative effects of the non-response that is bound to affect any long-running longitudinal study will lead to mistaken inferences about change. We focus on the National Child Development Study and show how non-response has accumulated over time. We distinguish between attrition and wave non-response and show how these two kinds of non-response can be related to a set of explanatory variables. We model the discrete time hazard of non-response and also fit a set of multinomial logistic regressions to the probabilities of different kinds of non-response at a particular sweep. We find that the best predictors of non-response at any sweep are generally variables that are measured at the previous sweep but, although non-response is systematic, much of the variation in it remains unexplained by our models. We consider the implications of our results for both design and analysis. © 2006 Royal Statistical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)479-491
    Number of pages12
    JournalJournal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series A: Statistics in Society
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2006


    • Attrition
    • Birth cohort studies
    • Logistic regression
    • Longitudinal data
    • Multinomial regression
    • Non-response
    • Survival models


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