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ERIC Number: EJ822475
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 29
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 36
ISSN: ISSN-0027-3171
Distinguishing between Latent Classes and Continuous Factors with Categorical Outcomes: Class Invariance of Parameters of Factor Mixture Models
Lubke, Gitta; Neale, Michael
Multivariate Behavioral Research, v43 n4 p592-620 Oct 2008
Factor mixture models are latent variable models with categorical and continuous latent variables that can be used as a model-based approach to clustering. A previous article covered the results of a simulation study showing that in the absence of model violations, it is usually possible to choose the correct model when fitting a series of models with different numbers of classes and factors within class. The response format in the first study was limited to normally distributed outcomes. This article has 2 main goals, first, to replicate parts of the first study with 5-point Likert scale and binary outcomes, and second, to address the issue of testing class invariance of thresholds and loadings. Testing for class invariance of parameters is important in the context of measurement invariance and when using mixture models to approximate nonnormal distributions. Results show that it is possible to discriminate between latent class models and factor models even if responses are categorical. Comparing models with and without class-specific parameters can lead to incorrectly accepting parameter invariance if the compared models differ substantially with respect to the number of estimated parameters. The simulation study is complemented with an illustration of a factor mixture analysis of 10 binary depression items obtained from a female subsample of the Virginia Twin Registry. (Contains 8 tables, 2 figures and 3 footnotes.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia