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Precision, Reliability, and Effect Size of Slope Variance in Latent Growth Curve Models: Implications for Statistical Power Analysis

Brandmaier, Andreas M.
von Oertzen, Timo
Lindenberger, Ulman
Hertzog, Christopher
Published in Frontiers in Psychology. 2018, vol. 9, no. 294
Abstract Latent Growth Curve Models (LGCM) have become a standard technique to model change over time. Prediction and explanation of inter-individual differences in change are major goals in lifespan research. The major determinants of statistical power to detect individual differences in change are the magnitude of true inter-individual differences in linear change (LGCM slope variance), design precision, alpha level, and sample size. Here, we show that design precision can be expressed as the inverse of effective error. Effective error is determined by instrument reliability and the temporal arrangement of measurement occasions. However, it also depends on another central LGCM component, the variance of the latent intercept and its covariance with the latent slope. We derive a new reliability index for LGCM slope variance—effective curve reliability (ECR)—by scaling slope variance against effective error. ECR is interpretable as a standardized effect size index.We demonstrate how effective error, ECR, and statistical power for a likelihood ratio test of zero slope variance formally relate to each other and how they function as indices of statistical power. We also provide a computational approach to derive ECR for arbitrary intercept-slope covariance. With practical use cases, we argue for the complementary utility of the proposed indices of a study's sensitivity to detect slope variance when making a priori longitudinal design decisions or communicating study designs.
Keywords Linear latent growth curve modelStatistical powerEffect sizeEffective errorStructural equation modelingReliabilityLongitudinal study design
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Research group Méthodologie et analyse des données (MAD)
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BRANDMAIER, Andreas M. et al. Precision, Reliability, and Effect Size of Slope Variance in Latent Growth Curve Models: Implications for Statistical Power Analysis. In: Frontiers in Psychology, 2018, vol. 9, n° 294. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00294 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:107247

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Deposited on : 2018-08-27

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