The Fullerton Longitudinal study (FLS) is a conceptually derived hand-crafted prospective investigation. It was launched in 1979 with 130 1-year-olds and their parents and currently spans from infancy through middle adulthood. The children were directly assessed at 6 month intervals during infancy and preschool, annually across the school years, and via surveys at 24-, 29-, and 38-years of age. Home visits were conducted at 15- and 39-months of age, and at age 8-years (see here for assessment waves). From infancy through high school, parents completed various questionnaires and inventories. At each grade level during the elementary school years, teachers completed a standardized student functioning checklist. Approximately 18,000 variables comprising multiple sources of information have been collected pertaining to each study participant. Throughout the course of investigation (37 years), no less than 80% of the participants returned for any assessment (N=107, 82.3% at age 38). Because geographic mobility is common in extensive longitudinal studies, the participants reside throughout the United Stated and abroad.
Whereas the central theme of the FLS involves long-term relations and trajectories during human psychological development, the investigation has been characterized by several content areas. These include: effects of early home experiences and stimulation on cognitive development and educational achievement; role of temperament on various aspects of development; academic intrinsic motivation and parental motivational practices to educational competence; intellectual and motivational giftedness; maternal and dual-earner employment with regard to children’s development; significance of positive family relationships for children’s and adults’ functioning; laterality as related to cognitive and educational performance; quantitative developmental assessments; and early predictors of everyday leadership, success, happiness, and life-satisfaction.
The research has resulted in numerous publications (books and journal articles) and presentations at major conferences, and served as a basis of a California Supreme Court Ruling. The FLS involves the collaboration of researchers from various universities. An extensive number of students working on the FLS have pursued Ph.D. degrees and have become professors and researchers at various institutions.
The staff of the FLS deeply appreciates the dedication and contribution of “our study kids” and their parents for their ongoing participation in this unique long-term longitudinal investigation. We also thank the various funding agencies for their support.