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Growth mixture models are often used to determine if subgroups exist within the population that follow qualitatively distinct developmental trajectories. However, statistical theory developed for finite normal mixture models suggests that latent trajectory classes can be estimated even in the absence of population heterogeneity if the distribution of the(More)
The authors propose new procedures for evaluating direct, indirect, and total effects in multilevel models when all relevant variables are measured at Level 1 and all effects are random. Formulas are provided for the mean and variance of the indirect and total effects and for the sampling variances of the average indirect and total effects. Simulations show(More)
Structural equation mixture modeling (SEMM) integrates continuous and discrete latent variable models. Drawing on prior research on the relationships between continuous and discrete latent variable models, the authors identify 3 conditions that may lead to the estimation of spurious latent classes in SEMM: misspecification of the structural model, nonnormal(More)
Many important research hypotheses concern conditional relations in which the effect of one predictor varies with the value of another. Such relations are commonly evaluated as multiplicative interactions and can be tested in both fixed- and random-effects regression. Often, these interactive effects must be further probed to fully explicate the nature of(More)
Finite mixture models are well known to have poorly behaved likelihood functions featuring singularities and multiple optima. Growth mixture models may suffer from fewer of these problems, potentially benefiting from the structure imposed on the estimated class means and covariances by the specified growth model. As demonstrated here, however, local(More)
The current study examined the role of heavy alcohol use in the developmental process of desistance in physical dating aggression during adolescence. Using longitudinal data spanning grades 8 through 12 we tested the hypotheses that (a) higher levels of early heavy alcohol use would be associated with decreased deceleration from dating aggression during(More)
Longitudinal models are becoming increasingly prevalent in the behavioral sciences, with key advantages including increased power, more comprehensive measurement, and establishment of temporal precedence. One particularly salient strength offered by longitudinal data is the ability to disaggregate between-person and within-person effects in the regression(More)
A key strength of latent curve analysis (LCA) is the ability to model individual variability in rates of change as a function of 1 or more explanatory variables. The measurement of time plays a critical role because the explanatory variables multiplicatively interact with time in the prediction of the repeated measures. However, this interaction is not(More)
Individually randomized treatments are often administered within a group setting. As a consequence, outcomes for treated individuals may be correlated due to provider effects, common experiences within the group, and/or informal processes of socialization. In contrast, it is often reasonable to regard outcomes for control participants as independent, given(More)