The Use of Latent Trajectory Models in Psychopathology Research
Despite the recent surge in the development of powerful modeling strategies to test questions about individual differences in stability and change over time, these methods are not currently widely used in psychopathology research. In an attempt to further the dissemination of these new methods, the authors present a pedagogical introduction to the structural equation modeling based latent trajectory model, or LTM. They review several different types of LTMs, discuss matching an optimal LTM to a given question of interest, and highlight several issues that might be particularly salient for research in psychopathology. The authors augment each section with a review of published applications of these methods in psychopathology-related research to demonstrate the implementation and interpretation of LTMs in practice.