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I would appreciate some help distinguishing between cross-sectional, longitudinal, and panel analyses.

We surveyed people at T1 and surveyed these same people at T2 (four weeks later). At T1, we asked these people how often they usually engage in harm minimisation strategies. We also asked them how much alcohol they consumed per week over the preceding 12 months. At T2, we asked these respondents how often they engaged in harm minimisation strategies over the previous 4 weeks (i.e., between T1 and T2). We also asked how much alcohol they consumed per week over the preceding 4 weeks (i.e., between T1 and T2).

We wanted to see if engagement in harm minimisation strategies over time is associated with a reduction in alcohol consumption over time. In our analyses, engagement in harm minimisation strategies between T1 and T2 (as assessed at T2) was the IV and alcohol consumption between T1 and T2 (as assessed at T2) was the DV. We controlled for both engagement in harm minimisation strategies AND alcohol consumption at T1.

Does this qualify as a form of longitudinal analysis even though the IV and DV were both measured at T2 (as well as at T1, with T1 controlled for)? We are of the understanding that it can be considered a longitudinal analysis because it involves an examination of variables over time (in this case, change in enactment and change in consumption over time).

Thanks in advance! Michelle

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Panel data and longitudinal data are the same thing - the former terminology is more common in econometrics.

Cross-sectional data are all collected at the same time.

Therefore you have longitudinal / panel data, though I would rather call your study a type of "analysis of change"

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