, Volume 55, Issue 1, pp 107-122

Latent curve analysis

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As a method for representing development, latent trait theory is presented in terms of a statistical model containing individual parameters and a structure on both the first and second moments of the random variables reflecting growth. Maximum likelihood parameter estimates and associated asymptotic tests follow directly. These procedures may be viewed as an alternative to standard repeated measures ANOVA and to first-order auto-regressive methods. As formulated, the model encompasses cohort sequential designs and allow for period or practice effects. A numerical illustration using data initially collected by Nesselroade and Baltes is presented.

The authors wish to thank John Nesselroade for providing us the data for our illustration and Karen Paul and Connie Tilse for assisting in the data analysis. This research was supported by a grant (No. AG03164) from the National Institute on Aging to the senior author.