Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Simple and flexible SAS and SPSS programs for analyzing lag-sequential categorical data

  • 1383 Accesses

  • 19 Citations


This paper describes simple and flexible programs for analyzing lag-sequential categorical data, using SAS and SPSS. The programs read a stream of codes and produce a variety of lag-sequential statistics, including transitional frequencies, expected transitional frequencies, transitional probabilities, adjusted residuals, z values, Yule’s Q values, likelihood ratio tests of stationarity across time and homogeneity across groups or segments, transformed kappas for unidirectional dependence, bidirectional dependence, parallel and nonparallel dominance, and significance levels based on both parametric and randomization tests.


  1. Arundale, R. B. (1984). SAMPLE and TEST: Two FORTRAN IV programs for analysis of discrete-state, time-varying data using first-order, Markov-chain techniques.Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers,16, 335–336.

  2. Bakeman, R., Adamson, L. B., &Strisik, P. (1995). Lags and logs: Statistical approaches to interaction. In J. M. Gottman (Ed.),The analysis of change (pp. 261–276). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

  3. Bakeman, R., &Gottman, J. M. (1997).Observing interaction: An introduction to sequential analysis. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  4. Bakeman, R., McArthur, D., &Quera, V. (1996). Detecting group differences in sequential association using sampled permutations: Log odds, kappa, and phi compared.Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers,28, 446–457.

  5. Bakeman, R., &Quera, V. (1995a).Analyzing interaction: Sequential analysis with SDIS and GSEQ. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  6. Bakeman, R., &Quera, V. (1995b). Log-linear approaches to lag-sequential analysis when consecutive codes may and cannot repeat.Psychological Bulletin,118, 272–284.

  7. Bakeman, R., Robinson, B. F., &Quera, V. (1996). Testing sequential association: Estimating exactp values using sampled permutations.Psychological Methods,1, 4–15.

  8. Castellan, N. J., Jr. (1992). Shuffling arrays: Appearances may be deceiving.Behavior Research Methods, Instrumentation, & Computers,24, 72–77.

  9. Christensen, R. (1997).Log-linear models and logistic regression. New York: Springer-Verlag.

  10. Cordova, J. V., Jacobson, N. S., Gottman, J. M., Rushe, R., &Cox, G. (1993). Negative reciprocity and communication in couples with a violent husband.Journal of Abnormal Psychology,102, 559–564.

  11. Coyne, J. C., Burchill, S. A. L., &Stiles, W. B. (1991). An interactional perspective on depression. In C. R. Snyder & D. R. Forsyth (Eds.),Handbook of social and clinical psychology. New York: Pergamon.

  12. Edgington, E. S. (1995).Randomization tests. New York: Marcel Dekker.

  13. File, P. E., &Todman, J. (1994). Identification of sequential dependencies in conversations: A Pascal program.Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers,26, 65–69.

  14. Gardner, W. (1990). CONTIME: Continuous-time analysis of parallel streams of behavior.Multivariate Behavioral Research,25, 205–206.

  15. Gottman, J. M., &Roy, A. K. (1990).Sequential analysis: A guide for behavioral researchers. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  16. Holloway, E. L., Freund, R. D., Gardner, S. L., Nelson, M. L., &Walker, B. R. (1989). Relation of power and involvement to theoretical orientation in supervision: An analysis of discourse.Journal of Counseling Psychology,36, 88–102.

  17. Holloway, E. L., Wampold, B. E., &Nelson, M. L. (1990). Use of paradoxical intervention with a couple: An interactional analysis.Journal of Family Psychology,3, 385–402.

  18. Kiesler, D. J. (1996).Contemporary interpersonal theory and research: Personality, psychopathology, and psychotherapy. New York: Wiley.

  19. Margolin, G., &Wampold, B. E. (1981). Sequential analysis of conflict and accord in distressed and nondistressed marital partners.Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology,49, 554–567.

  20. Roloff, M. E., & Miller, G. R. (Eds.). (1987).Interpersonal processes: New directions in communications research. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

  21. Symons, D. K., Wright, R. D., &Moran, G. (1988). Computing lag sequential statistics on dyadic time interval data: The TLAG program.Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers,20, 343–346.

  22. Wampold, B. E. (1984). Tests of dominance in sequential categorical data.Psychological Bulletin,96, 424–429.

  23. Wampold, B. E. (1989). Kappa as a measure of pattern in sequential data.Quality & Quantity,23, 171–187.

  24. Wampold, B. E. (1992). The intensive examination of social interactions. In T. Kratochwill & J. Levin (Eds.),Single-case research design and analysis: New directions for psychology and education (pp. 93–131). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

  25. Wampold, B. E. (1995). Analysis of behavior sequences in psychotherapy. In J. Siegfried (Ed.),Therapeutic and everyday discourse as behavior change: Towards a micro-analysis in psychotherapy process research (pp. 189–214). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

  26. Wampold, B. E., &Kim, K. H. (1989). Sequential analysis applied to counseling process and outcome: A case study revisited.Journal of Counseling Psychology,36, 357–364.

  27. Wampold, B. E., &Margolin, G. (1982). Nonparametric strategies to test the independence of behavioral states in sequential data.Psychological Bulletin,92, 755–765.

  28. Wampold, B. E., Roll, R., &East, T. (1989).Sequential analysis program (SAP) [Computer program]. Salt Lake City: University of Utah.

  29. Yoder, P. J., &Tapp, J. T., Sr. (1990). SATS: Sequential analysis of transcripts system.Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers,22, 339–343.

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Brian P. O’Connor.

Electronic supplementary material

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

O’Connor, B.P. Simple and flexible SAS and SPSS programs for analyzing lag-sequential categorical data. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers 31, 718–726 (1999).

Download citation


  • Behavior Research Method
  • Sequential Statistic
  • Transitional Probability
  • Iterative Proportional Fitting
  • Transitional Frequency