Statistical methods for evaluating the correlation between timeline follow-back data and daily process data with applications to research on alcohol and marijuana use

Wanjun Liu, Runze Li, Marc A. Zimmerman, Maureen A. Walton, Rebecca M. Cunningham, Anne Buu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Retrospective timeline follow-back (TLFB) data and prospective daily process data have been frequently collected in addiction research to characterize behavioral patterns. Although previous validity studies have demonstrated high correlations between these two types of data, the conventional method adopted in those studies was based on summary measures that may lose critical information and the Pearson's correlation coefficient that has an undesirable property. This study proposes the functional concordance correlation coefficient to address these issues. Methods: We use real data collected from a randomized experiment to demonstrate the applications of the proposed method and compare its analytical results with those of the conventional method. We also conduct a simulation study based on the real data to evaluate the level of overestimation associated with the conventional method. Results: The results of the real data example indicate that the correlation between these two types of data varies across substances (alcohol vs. marijuana) and assessment schedules (daily vs. weekly). Additionally, the correlations estimated by the conventional method tend to be higher than those estimated by the proposed method. The simulation results further show that the magnitude of overestimation associated with the conventional method is greatest when the true correlation is medium. Conclusions: The findings of the real data example imply that daily assessments are particularly beneficial for characterizing more variable behaviors like alcohol use, whereas weekly assessments may be sufficient for low variation events such as marijuana use. The proposed method is a better approach for evaluating the validity of TLFB data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-155
Number of pages9
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume94
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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