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Implications of latent trajectory models for the study of developmental psychopathology

Implications of latent trajectory models for the study of developmental psychopathology,10.1017/S0954579403000300,Development and Psychopathology,PATR

Implications of latent trajectory models for the study of developmental psychopathology   (Citations: 43)
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Abstract The field of developmental psychopathology is faced with a dual challenge. On the one hand, we must build interdisciplinary theoretical models that adequately reflect the complexity of normal and abnormal human development over time. On the other hand, to remain a viable empirical science, we must rigorously evaluate these theories using statistical methods that fully capture this complexity. The degree to which our statistical models fail to correspond to our theoretical models undermines,our ability to validly test developmental,theory. The broad class of random,coefficient trajectory (or growth curve) models allow us to test our theories in ways not previously possible. Despite these advantages, there remain certain limits with regard to the types of questions these models can currently evaluate. We explore these issues through the pursuit of three goals. First, we provide an overview of a variety of trajectory models that can be used for rigorously testing many,hypotheses in developmental psychopathology. Second, we highlight what types of research questions are well tested using these methods and what types of questions currently are not. Third, we describe areas for future statistical development and encourage the ongoing interchange between developmental,theory and quantitative methodology. One of the most interesting aspects of work- ical development. Given these complexities, we require correspondingly complex,theoreti- ing in the field of developmental,psychopa- thology is the never ending cycle of moving cal models. Indeed, Sameroff (2000) conclud- ed, “My own view is that the appropriate from complex developmental theory to rig- orous experimental design to comprehensive,model,for understanding,developmental,psy- chopathology,is one that matches,the com- statistical analysis and back to developmental theory. As a field, we are faced with the chal- plexity of human behavior” (p. 300). We agree. However, here lies a challenge. We require lenge of gaining a theoretically and empiri- cally based understanding about the complex-,a theoretical model that matches the complex- ity of human behavior, yet we simultaneously ities of the world around us, particularly as they relate to the processes of typical and atyp- require that we subject our theories to rigor- ous empirical evaluation with the ever-present chance that our theory might be falsified. This Additional resources related to hierarchical ltheoretically derived suppositions may be em-
Journal: Development and Psychopathology - DEV PSYCHOPATHOL , vol. 15, no. 03, 2003
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