The Long Beach Longitudinal Study (LBLS) was created in 1978 to obtain normative data for the Schaie-Thurston Adult Mental Abilities Test (STAMAT). From 1994 to 2003 it was extended under the guiding principle that cognitive aging is a largely contextual phenomenon. Individual differences in abilities and change in those abilities over adulthood are associated not only with cognitive mechanisms, but with sociodemographic phenomena such as birth cohort, or gender, and within-individual characteristics, including health, affect, self-efficacy, personality, and other variables that impact health. This principle is reflected in the testing measures added to the original panel. Besides the original ability measures used by Schaie, the Life Complexity Inventory, has been included in all testing. Because these measures were included in the later generations of testing, independent and direct comparisons can be made with Seattle Longitudinal Study (ICPSR 00158) to replicate findings and to generalize longitudinal samples.
The initial panel was sampled in 1978 and consisted of 65 adults aged 28-33 and 518 adults aged 55-84. This sample was tested using the STAMAT, as well as a 20-item list of common English nouns for testing free recall, and a brief essay to test text recall. In 1981, 264 participants from this sample were retested, 106 were again retested from 1994-1995, and 42 in 1997. Finally, 15 participants of the original sample were tested from 2000-2002 using additional tests adopted for the creation of a second panel, described below, as well as a test for measuring executive function.
In 1994, a second panel of 630 participants aged 30-97, a third of which were over 80, was added to the study. The testing for this sample included multiple indices of list recall, text recall, working memory, perceptual speed, and vocabulary for structural equation modeling. Assessment of language, autobiographical memory, personality, depression, health, health behaviors and other measures were also incorporated into the study. In 1997, 352 members of this second panel were retested. From 2000-2002, 179 participants of this second panel completed the 1994-1995 measures, as well as several tests extending the battery to indices of executive function. In 2003, 133 participants were retested.
A third sample was recruited during the 2000-2002 time frame consisting of 911 participants aged 30-98, again approximately a third of which were over the age of 80. In 2003, 513 members of this third panel were retested.
The data are provided in 6 datasets.
Panel 1 and 2 1978 - 2003 Longitudinal File
Dataset 1 is a longitudinal file of data from Panel 1 for tests performed in 1978, 1981, 1994, 1997, and 2000-2002, and data from Panel 2 for tests performed in 1994, 1997, 2000-2002 and 2003.
Panels 1 and 2 1994 STAMAT File
Dataset 2 contains the STAMAT test variables for Panels 1 and 2.
Panel 1 and 2 1994-2000 Master Data Longitudinal File
Dataset 3 is a second longitudinal file containing the complete catalog of variables from Panels 1 and 2 for test performed in 1994, 1997 and 2000.
Panel 2 Wave 1 1994 Cross File
Dataset 4 contains variables for the first wave of Panel 2 which took place in 1994.
Panel 2 Wave 2 1997 Cross File
Dataset 5 contains variables for the second wave of Panel 2 which took place in 1997.
Panel 3 Wave 1 2000 Master File
Dataset 6 contains variables from the first wave of Panel 3 which took place in 2000.
The Long Beach Longitudinal Study (LBLS) of cognition and aging seeks to study change and the predictors of change in cognitive processes across the adult life span.
The LBLS approach to cognitive change and aging involves:
- evaluating individual differences in performance on cognitive measures
- relating sociodemographic phenomena (e.g. birth cohort, gender) to cognitive performance
- understanding how individual charateristics (e.g. personality, physical and mental health, affect) influence cognitive abilities.
Unit(s) of Observation
Mode of Data Collection
Description of Variables
This study includes variables on geriatric depression, immediate and delayed recall, rare word definition, sentence memory and memory function, personality inventory, home quality, reading and eating habits, employment and family variables, and demographic variables.
Original Release Date
2010-02-08 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:
- Created variable labels and/or value labels.
- Created online analysis version with question text.
- Performed recodes and/or calculated derived variables.
2011-06-17 A longitudinal crosswalk, formatted in Microsoft Excel, has been added to the available files for this study.
The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.
This study is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Computerized Data on Aging (NACDA), the aging program within ICPSR. NACDA is sponsored by the National Institute on Aging (NIA) at the National Institutes of Heath (NIH).