Relating latent change score and continuous time models
Number of pages
SourceStructural Equation Modeling, 22, 3, (2015), pp. 366-381
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI OGG
Structural Equation Modeling
The primary goal of this article is to demonstrate the close relationship between 2 classes of dynamic models in psychological research: latent change score models and continuous time models. The secondary goal is to point out some differences. We begin with a brief review of both approaches, before demonstrating how the 2 methods are mathematically and conceptually related. It will be shown that most commonly used latent change score models are related to continuous time models by the difference equation approximation to the differential equation. One way in which the 2 approaches differ is the treatment of time. Whereas there are theoretical and practical restrictions regarding observation time points and intervals in latent change score models, no such limitations exist in continuous time models. We illustrate our arguments with three simulated data sets using a univariate and bivariate model with equal and unequal time intervals. As a by-product of this comparison, we discuss the use of phantom and definition variables to account for varying time intervals in latent change score models. We end with a reanalysis of the Bradway-McArdle longitudinal study on intellectual abilities (used before by McArdle & Hamagami, 2004) by means of the proportional change score model and the dual change score model in discrete and continuous time.
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