Model Specification Searches in Latent Growth Modeling: A Monte Carlo Study
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This dissertation investigated the optimal strategy for the model specification search in the latent growth modeling. Although developing an initial model based on the theory from prior research is favored, sometimes researchers may need to specify the starting model in the absence of theory. In this simulation study, the effectiveness of the start models in searching for the true population model was examined. The four possible start models adopted in this study were: the simplest mean and covariance structure model, the simplest mean and the most complex covariance structure model, the most complex mean and the simplest covariance structure model, and the most complex mean and covariance structure model. Six model selection criteria were used to determine the recovery of the true model: Likelihood ratio test (LRT), DeltaCFI, DeltaRMSEA, DeltaSRMR, DeltaAIC, and DeltaBIC. The results showed that specifying the most complex covariance structure (UN) with the most complex mean structure recovered the true mean trajectory most successfully with the average hit rate above 90% using the DeltaCFI, DeltaBIC, DeltaAIC, and DeltaSRMR. In searching for the true covariance structure, LRT, DeltaCFI, DeltaAIC, and DeltaBIC performed successfully regardless of the searching method with different start models.
Kim, Min Jung (2012). Model Specification Searches in Latent Growth Modeling: A Monte Carlo Study. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from