Cross-sectional designs

Cross-sectional designs are commonly used in developmental studies and aging research to investigate age differences in a variety of psychological constructs that may change across the lifespan. Participants of different ages are enrolled in the study at a single point in time, and differences between the age groups are assumed to reflect the effects of aging. This design has several advantages and is efficient in terms of cost and resources but also has significant disadvantages, including confounds between the effects of aging and of birth cohort differences.