ERIC Number: EJ822827
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Regularized Finite Mixture Models for Probability Trajectories
Shedden, Kerby; Zucker, Robert A.
Psychometrika, v73 n4 p625-646 Dec 2008
Finite mixture models are widely used in the analysis of growth trajectory data to discover subgroups of individuals exhibiting similar patterns of behavior over time. In practice, trajectories are usually modeled as polynomials, which may fail to capture important features of the longitudinal pattern. Focusing on dichotomous response measures, we propose a likelihood penalization approach for parameter estimation that is able to capture a variety of nonlinear class mean trajectory shapes with higher precision than maximum likelihood estimates. We show how parameter estimation and inference for whether trajectories are time-invariant, linear time-varying, or nonlinear time-varying can be carried out for such models. To illustrate the method, we use simulation studies and data from a long-term longitudinal study of children at high risk for substance abuse.
Descriptors: Substance Abuse, Probability, Children, At Risk Persons, Longitudinal Studies, Simulation, Psychometrics, Measurement Techniques
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A