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ERIC Number: EJ838539
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 84
ISSN: ISSN-0012-1649
New Approaches to Studying Problem Behaviors: A Comparison of Methods for Modeling Longitudinal, Categorical Adolescent Drinking Data
Feldman, Betsy J.; Masyn, Katherine E.; Conger, Rand D.
Developmental Psychology, v45 n3 p652-676 May 2009
Analyzing problem-behavior trajectories can be difficult. The data are generally categorical and often quite skewed, violating distributional assumptions of standard normal-theory statistical models. In this article, the authors present several currently available modeling options, all of which make appropriate distributional assumptions for the observed categorical data. Three are based on the generalized linear model: a hierarchical generalized linear model, a growth mixture model, and a latent class growth analysis. They also describe a longitudinal latent class analysis, which requires fewer assumptions than the first 3. Finally, they illustrate all of the models using actual longitudinal adolescent alcohol-use data. They guide the reader through the model-selection process, comparing the results in terms of convergence properties, fit and residuals, parsimony, and interpretability. Advances in computing and statistical software have made the tools for these types of analyses readily accessible to most researchers. Using appropriate models for categorical data will lead to more accurate and reliable results, and their application in real data settings could contribute to substantive advancements in the field of development and the science of prevention. (Contains 11 figures, 6 tables, and 14 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Grade 10; Grade 12; Grade 7; Grade 8; Grade 9; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A