Purpose: To investigate how missing data (Missing Completely at Random [MCAR] vs. Missing Not at Random [MNAR]) on risk factors can impact trajectory solutions (i.e., latent class probabilities) and coefficient estimates capturing the relationship between covariates and trajectory group solutions using a semiparametric group-based trajectory modeling (GBTM) approach. Methods: To address this issue, we conducted a systematic investigation using Monte Carlo simulation. Data were generated from a population with known growth parameters and risk factors. Observations for risk factors were then systematically deleted in a way that reflects key missing data assumptions (MCAR and MNAR). Models were then estimated to test the sensitivity of the estimates to each missing data scenario. Results: Two key findings emerged: (1) trajectory solutions were largely unaffected by missing data on risk factors; and, (2) there was some degree of bias in estimating relationships between risk factors and trajectory group membership when data were missing on those risk factors. Conclusions: GBTM may be useful for testing etiological explanations of long-term patterns of offending. Missing data on risk factors poses a threat to this approach, however.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||21|
|Journal||Journal of Developmental and Life-Course Criminology|
|State||Published - Sep 1 2018|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Applied Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies