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Article
First- versus second-order latent growth curve models: Some insights from latent state-trait theory
Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal
  • Christian Geiser, Utah State University
  • Brian T. Keller, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Ginger Lockhart, Utah State University
Document Type
Article
Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Publication Date
7-22-2013
DOI
10.1080/10705511.2013.797832
Abstract
First order latent growth curve models (FGMs) estimate change based on a single observed variable and are widely used in longitudinal research. Despite significant advantages, second order latent growth curve models (SGMs), which use multiple indicators, are rarely used in practice, and not all aspects of these models are widely understood. In this article, our goal is to contribute to a deeper understanding of theoretical and practical differences between FGMs and SGMs. We define the latent variables in FGMs and SGMs explicitly on the basis of latent state-trait (LST) theory and discuss insights that arise from this approach. We show that FGMs imply a strict trait-like conception of the construct under study, whereas SGMs allow for both trait and state components. Based on a simulation study and empirical applications to the CES-D depression scale (Radloff, 1977) we illustrate that, as an important practical consequence, FGMs yield biased reliability estimates whenever constructs contain state components, whereas reliability estimates based on SGMs were found to be accurate. Implications of the state-trait distinction for the measurement of change via latent growth curve models are discussed.
Citation Information
Christian Geiser, Brian T. Keller and Ginger Lockhart. "First- versus second-order latent growth curve models: Some insights from latent state-trait theory" Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal Vol. 20 Iss. 3 (2013) p. 479 - 503
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/christian-geiser/26/