Cross-Sectional Research: Definition & Examples

Cross-Sectional Research: Definition & Examples
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Lisa Roundy

Lisa has taught at all levels from kindergarten to college and has a master's degree in human relations.

Cross-sectional research is used to examine one variable in different groups that are similar in all other characteristics. Learn more about cross-sectional research in this lesson and test your knowledge with a quiz at the end.

Definition of Cross-Sectional Research

If you wanted to know if the percentage of women diagnosed with breast cancer increases with age, how would you go about answering this question? One way you could find the answer is to look at three groups of women who are similar but of different ages. Let's say your three age groups are 20-35 years, 36-50 years, and 51-65 years. You can then calculate the percentage of women in each group that have been diagnosed with breast cancer. This information can then be used to answer your question.

This is an example of cross-sectional research. Cross-sectional research involves using different groups of people who differ in the variable of interest but share other characteristics, such as socioeconomic status, educational background, and ethnicity.

In the example above, the variable of interest was age because you wanted to see if any changes were noticed in groups of different ages. By looking at similar women in different age groups, you can assume that any differences between groups can be attributed to age difference rather than another factor.


Cross-Sectional Research

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