Criminologists are increasingly interested in the effects of life-course dynamics on criminological development. However, detailed longitudinal data are difficult to obtain and possibly confounded due to recall errors. Life Event Calendars (LECs) are designed to reduce recall errors and are increasingly used as a method for obtaining valid retrospective data in criminological studies. Yet few studies exist that assess the accuracy of LEC data in offender samples. This study aims to fill this void. We compare data regarding the prevalence and timing of marriage, divorce, and childbirth obtained through an LEC to official registry data in a sample of convicted offenders. We examine whether the accuracy of the data vary by event or respondent specific characteristics. We conclude that the LEC data are quite accurate regarding the prevalence of marriage, divorce, and childbirth. The data are less accurate regarding the timing of these life events.
|Number of pages||35|
|Early online date||9 Apr 2018|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Apr 2019|
- data accuracy
- Life Event Calendar
- offender sample
- self-reported data