Structural Equation Modeling: Latent Growth Curve Analysis

John B. Willett, Kristen L. Bub

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, we use an example of panel data on the longitudinal development of reading in children to introduce the latent growth curve analysis. Latent growth modeling originates in a simple mapping of the standard multilevel model for change onto the general model available for covariance structure analysis (CSA). Here, we illustrate how the latent growth modeling approach can be enacted by using the CSA Y‐measurement model to contain the level‐1 individual growth model and the CSA structural model to contain the level‐2 model for interindividual differences in change. Because this mapping is possible, all fixed and random parameters in the multilevel model for change can be estimated by fitting the corresponding CSA model to data using standard structural equation modeling software (such as LISREL). Latent growth curve analysis is important because it capitalizes on the intrinsic flexibility of the general CSA model to test interesting and complex hypotheses about change, many of which are either more difficult or impossible to test using standard multilevel modeling approaches.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWiley StatsRef: Statistics Reference Online
EditorsN. Balakrishnan, Theodore Colton, Brian Everitt, Walter Piegorsch, Fabrizio Ruggeri, Jozef L. Teugels
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISBN (Electronic)9781118445112
StatePublished - Sep 29 2014
Externally publishedYes


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