data are one of the frequently encountered problems in quantitative research.
When neglected or handled improperly, missing data can have adverse impact on
research results (e.g., Enders, 2010; Peugh & Enders, 2004; Schafer &
Graham, 2002). However, the issue of missing data in quantitative second
language (L2) research has largely been ignored when compared to the other
sister disciplines such as education and psychology. The purpose of this methodological
synthesis was, therefore, to investigate the issue of missing data in L2
research, with a particular focus on L2 researchers’ current missing data
management practices. A total of 143 studies published in six leading L2
journals were reviewed in this synthesis. The results indicated that missing
data were indeed quite common in L2 research, but L2 researchers’ management
and reporting of missing data was often less than optimal. In light of the
results, several directed suggestions were made to improve the rigor and
quality of L2 research.
Quantitative Research Methods, Statistical Literacy, Missing Data