The Measurement of Dynamic Latent Variables in Longitudinal Aging Research: Quantifying Adult Development

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Abstract

Dynamic latent variables involve systematic intraindividual change over time. Although it seems natural to apply traditional measurement theory to dynamic latent variables, in fact this is often inappropriate. Traditional measurement theory is based on the idea of static latent variables and offers little guidance to the researcher who wishes to measure a dynamic latent variable with a high degree of accuracy and validity. It is the contention of this article that measurement of a dynamic latent variable must start from a clearly defined substantive theory about human development. Two approaches that take this perspective are presented; the longitudinal Guttman simplex (LGS), a measurement model for dynamic latent variables undergoing irreversible cumulative, unitary development; and latent transition analysis (LTA), a more general latent class measurement model.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-134
Number of pages8
JournalGerodontology
Volume9
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1990

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Dentistry(all)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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