Matching Items (22)

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Impact of violations of longitudinal measurement invariance in latent growth models and autoregressive quasi-simplex models

Description

In order to analyze data from an instrument administered at multiple time points it is a common practice to form composites of the items at each wave and to fit

In order to analyze data from an instrument administered at multiple time points it is a common practice to form composites of the items at each wave and to fit a longitudinal model to the composites. The advantage of using composites of items is that smaller sample sizes are required in contrast to second order models that include the measurement and the structural relationships among the variables. However, the use of composites assumes that longitudinal measurement invariance holds; that is, it is assumed that that the relationships among the items and the latent variables remain constant over time. Previous studies conducted on latent growth models (LGM) have shown that when longitudinal metric invariance is violated, the parameter estimates are biased and that mistaken conclusions about growth can be made. The purpose of the current study was to examine the impact of non-invariant loadings and non-invariant intercepts on two longitudinal models: the LGM and the autoregressive quasi-simplex model (AR quasi-simplex). A second purpose was to determine if there are conditions in which researchers can reach adequate conclusions about stability and growth even in the presence of violations of invariance. A Monte Carlo simulation study was conducted to achieve the purposes. The method consisted of generating items under a linear curve of factors model (COFM) or under the AR quasi-simplex. Composites of the items were formed at each time point and analyzed with a linear LGM or an AR quasi-simplex model. The results showed that AR quasi-simplex model yielded biased path coefficients only in the conditions with large violations of invariance. The fit of the AR quasi-simplex was not affected by violations of invariance. In general, the growth parameter estimates of the LGM were biased under violations of invariance. Further, in the presence of non-invariant loadings the rejection rates of the hypothesis of linear growth increased as the proportion of non-invariant items and as the magnitude of violations of invariance increased. A discussion of the results and limitations of the study are provided as well as general recommendations.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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Estimating causal direct and indirect effects in the presence of post-treatment confounders: a simulation study

Description

In investigating mediating processes, researchers usually use randomized experiments and linear regression or structural equation modeling to determine if the treatment affects the hypothesized mediator and if the mediator affects

In investigating mediating processes, researchers usually use randomized experiments and linear regression or structural equation modeling to determine if the treatment affects the hypothesized mediator and if the mediator affects the targeted outcome. However, randomizing the treatment will not yield accurate causal path estimates unless certain assumptions are satisfied. Since randomization of the mediator may not be plausible for most studies (i.e., the mediator status is not randomly assigned, but self-selected by participants), both the direct and indirect effects may be biased by confounding variables. The purpose of this dissertation is (1) to investigate the extent to which traditional mediation methods are affected by confounding variables and (2) to assess the statistical performance of several modern methods to address confounding variable effects in mediation analysis. This dissertation first reviewed the theoretical foundations of causal inference in statistical mediation analysis, modern statistical analysis for causal inference, and then described different methods to estimate causal direct and indirect effects in the presence of two post-treatment confounders. A large simulation study was designed to evaluate the extent to which ordinary regression and modern causal inference methods are able to obtain correct estimates of the direct and indirect effects when confounding variables that are present in the population are not included in the analysis. Five methods were compared in terms of bias, relative bias, mean square error, statistical power, Type I error rates, and confidence interval coverage to test how robust the methods are to the violation of the no unmeasured confounders assumption and confounder effect sizes. The methods explored were linear regression with adjustment, inverse propensity weighting, inverse propensity weighting with truncated weights, sequential g-estimation, and a doubly robust sequential g-estimation. Results showed that in estimating the direct and indirect effects, in general, sequential g-estimation performed the best in terms of bias, Type I error rates, power, and coverage across different confounder effect, direct effect, and sample sizes when all confounders were included in the estimation. When one of the two confounders were omitted from the estimation process, in general, none of the methods had acceptable relative bias in the simulation study. Omitting one of the confounders from estimation corresponded to the common case in mediation studies where no measure of a confounder is available but a confounder may affect the analysis. Failing to measure potential post-treatment confounder variables in a mediation model leads to biased estimates regardless of the analysis method used and emphasizes the importance of sensitivity analysis for causal mediation analysis.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2013

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The sensitivity of confirmatory factor analytic fit indices to violations of factorial invariance across latent classes: a simulation study

Description

Although the issue of factorial invariance has received increasing attention in the literature, the focus is typically on differences in factor structure across groups that are directly observed, such as

Although the issue of factorial invariance has received increasing attention in the literature, the focus is typically on differences in factor structure across groups that are directly observed, such as those denoted by sex or ethnicity. While establishing factorial invariance across observed groups is a requisite step in making meaningful cross-group comparisons, failure to attend to possible sources of latent class heterogeneity in the form of class-based differences in factor structure has the potential to compromise conclusions with respect to observed groups and may result in misguided attempts at instrument development and theory refinement. The present studies examined the sensitivity of two widely used confirmatory factor analytic model fit indices, the chi-square test of model fit and RMSEA, to latent class differences in factor structure. Two primary questions were addressed. The first of these concerned the impact of latent class differences in factor loadings with respect to model fit in a single sample reflecting a mixture of classes. The second question concerned the impact of latent class differences in configural structure on tests of factorial invariance across observed groups. The results suggest that both indices are highly insensitive to class-based differences in factor loadings. Across sample size conditions, models with medium (0.2) sized loading differences were rejected by the chi-square test of model fit at rates just slightly higher than the nominal .05 rate of rejection that would be expected under a true null hypothesis. While rates of rejection increased somewhat when the magnitude of loading difference increased, even the largest sample size with equal class representation and the most extreme violations of loading invariance only had rejection rates of approximately 60%. RMSEA was also insensitive to class-based differences in factor loadings, with mean values across conditions suggesting a degree of fit that would generally be regarded as exceptionally good in practice. In contrast, both indices were sensitive to class-based differences in configural structure in the context of a multiple group analysis in which each observed group was a mixture of classes. However, preliminary evidence suggests that this sensitivity may contingent on the form of the cross-group model misspecification.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2011

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Model criticism for growth curve models via posterior predictive model checking

Description

Although models for describing longitudinal data have become increasingly sophisticated, the criticism of even foundational growth curve models remains challenging. The challenge arises from the need to disentangle data-model misfit

Although models for describing longitudinal data have become increasingly sophisticated, the criticism of even foundational growth curve models remains challenging. The challenge arises from the need to disentangle data-model misfit at multiple and interrelated levels of analysis. Using posterior predictive model checking (PPMC)—a popular Bayesian framework for model criticism—the performance of several discrepancy functions was investigated in a Monte Carlo simulation study. The discrepancy functions of interest included two types of conditional concordance correlation (CCC) functions, two types of R2 functions, two types of standardized generalized dimensionality discrepancy (SGDDM) functions, the likelihood ratio (LR), and the likelihood ratio difference test (LRT). Key outcomes included effect sizes of the design factors on the realized values of discrepancy functions, distributions of posterior predictive p-values (PPP-values), and the proportion of extreme PPP-values.

In terms of the realized values, the behavior of the CCC and R2 functions were generally consistent with prior research. However, as diagnostics, these functions were extremely conservative even when some aspect of the data was unaccounted for. In contrast, the conditional SGDDM (SGDDMC), LR, and LRT were generally sensitive to the underspecifications investigated in this work on all outcomes considered. Although the proportions of extreme PPP-values for these functions tended to increase in null situations for non-normal data, this behavior may have reflected the true misfit that resulted from the specification of normal prior distributions. Importantly, the LR and the SGDDMC to a greater extent exhibited some potential for untangling the sources of data-model misfit. Owing to connections of growth curve models to the more fundamental frameworks of multilevel modeling, structural equation models with a mean structure, and Bayesian hierarchical models, the results of the current work may have broader implications that warrant further research.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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Interaction effects in multilevel models

Description

Researchers are often interested in estimating interactions in multilevel models, but many researchers assume that the same procedures and interpretations for interactions in single-level models apply to multilevel models.

Researchers are often interested in estimating interactions in multilevel models, but many researchers assume that the same procedures and interpretations for interactions in single-level models apply to multilevel models. However, estimating interactions in multilevel models is much more complex than in single-level models. Because uncentered (RAS) or grand mean centered (CGM) level-1 predictors in two-level models contain two sources of variability (i.e., within-cluster variability and between-cluster variability), interactions involving RAS or CGM level-1 predictors also contain more than one source of variability. In this Master’s thesis, I use simulations to demonstrate that ignoring the four sources of variability in a total level-1 interaction effect can lead to erroneous conclusions. I explain how to parse a total level-1 interaction effect into four specific interaction effects, derive equivalencies between CGM and centering within context (CWC) for this model, and describe how the interpretations of the fixed effects change under CGM and CWC. Finally, I provide an empirical example using diary data collected from working adults with chronic pain.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2015

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A Bayesian Synthesis approach to data fusion using augmented data-dependent priors

Description

The process of combining data is one in which information from disjoint datasets sharing at least a number of common variables is merged. This process is commonly referred to as

The process of combining data is one in which information from disjoint datasets sharing at least a number of common variables is merged. This process is commonly referred to as data fusion, with the main objective of creating a new dataset permitting more flexible analyses than the separate analysis of each individual dataset. Many data fusion methods have been proposed in the literature, although most utilize the frequentist framework. This dissertation investigates a new approach called Bayesian Synthesis in which information obtained from one dataset acts as priors for the next analysis. This process continues sequentially until a single posterior distribution is created using all available data. These informative augmented data-dependent priors provide an extra source of information that may aid in the accuracy of estimation. To examine the performance of the proposed Bayesian Synthesis approach, first, results of simulated data with known population values under a variety of conditions were examined. Next, these results were compared to those from the traditional maximum likelihood approach to data fusion, as well as the data fusion approach analyzed via Bayes. The assessment of parameter recovery based on the proposed Bayesian Synthesis approach was evaluated using four criteria to reflect measures of raw bias, relative bias, accuracy, and efficiency. Subsequently, empirical analyses with real data were conducted. For this purpose, the fusion of real data from five longitudinal studies of mathematics ability varying in their assessment of ability and in the timing of measurement occasions was used. Results from the Bayesian Synthesis and data fusion approaches with combined data using Bayesian and maximum likelihood estimation methods were reported. The results illustrate that Bayesian Synthesis with data driven priors is a highly effective approach, provided that the sample sizes for the fused data are large enough to provide unbiased estimates. Bayesian Synthesis provides another beneficial approach to data fusion that can effectively be used to enhance the validity of conclusions obtained from the merging of data from different studies.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Obtaining accurate estimates of the mediated effect with and without prior information

Description

Research methods based on the frequentist philosophy use prior information in a priori power calculations and when determining the necessary sample size for the detection of an effect, but not

Research methods based on the frequentist philosophy use prior information in a priori power calculations and when determining the necessary sample size for the detection of an effect, but not in statistical analyses. Bayesian methods incorporate prior knowledge into the statistical analysis in the form of a prior distribution. When prior information about a relationship is available, the estimates obtained could differ drastically depending on the choice of Bayesian or frequentist method. Study 1 in this project compared the performance of five methods for obtaining interval estimates of the mediated effect in terms of coverage, Type I error rate, empirical power, interval imbalance, and interval width at N = 20, 40, 60, 100 and 500. In Study 1, Bayesian methods with informative prior distributions performed almost identically to Bayesian methods with diffuse prior distributions, and had more power than normal theory confidence limits, lower Type I error rates than the percentile bootstrap, and coverage, interval width, and imbalance comparable to normal theory, percentile bootstrap, and the bias-corrected bootstrap confidence limits. Study 2 evaluated if a Bayesian method with true parameter values as prior information outperforms the other methods. The findings indicate that with true values of parameters as the prior information, Bayesian credibility intervals with informative prior distributions have more power, less imbalance, and narrower intervals than Bayesian credibility intervals with diffuse prior distributions, normal theory, percentile bootstrap, and bias-corrected bootstrap confidence limits. Study 3 examined how much power increases when increasing the precision of the prior distribution by a factor of ten for either the action or the conceptual path in mediation analysis. Power generally increases with increases in precision but there are many sample size and parameter value combinations where precision increases by a factor of 10 do not lead to substantial increases in power.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2014

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Statistical properties of the single mediator model with latent variables in the bayesian framework

Description

Statistical mediation analysis has been widely used in the social sciences in order to examine the indirect effects of an independent variable on a dependent variable. The statistical properties of

Statistical mediation analysis has been widely used in the social sciences in order to examine the indirect effects of an independent variable on a dependent variable. The statistical properties of the single mediator model with manifest and latent variables have been studied using simulation studies. However, the single mediator model with latent variables in the Bayesian framework with various accurate and inaccurate priors for structural and measurement model parameters has yet to be evaluated in a statistical simulation. This dissertation outlines the steps in the estimation of a single mediator model with latent variables as a Bayesian structural equation model (SEM). A Monte Carlo study is carried out in order to examine the statistical properties of point and interval summaries for the mediated effect in the Bayesian latent variable single mediator model with prior distributions with varying degrees of accuracy and informativeness. Bayesian methods with diffuse priors have equally good statistical properties as Maximum Likelihood (ML) and the distribution of the product. With accurate informative priors Bayesian methods can increase power up to 25% and decrease interval width up to 24%. With inaccurate informative priors the point summaries of the mediated effect are more biased than ML estimates, and the bias is higher if the inaccuracy occurs in priors for structural parameters than in priors for measurement model parameters. Findings from the Monte Carlo study are generalizable to Bayesian analyses with priors of the same distributional forms that have comparable amounts of (in)accuracy and informativeness to priors evaluated in the Monte Carlo study.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2017

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Performance of contextual multilevel models for comparing between-person and within-person effects

Description

The comparison of between- versus within-person relations addresses a central issue in psychological research regarding whether group-level relations among variables generalize to individual group members. Between- and within-person effects may

The comparison of between- versus within-person relations addresses a central issue in psychological research regarding whether group-level relations among variables generalize to individual group members. Between- and within-person effects may differ in magnitude as well as direction, and contextual multilevel models can accommodate this difference. Contextual multilevel models have been explicated mostly for cross-sectional data, but they can also be applied to longitudinal data where level-1 effects represent within-person relations and level-2 effects represent between-person relations. With longitudinal data, estimating the contextual effect allows direct evaluation of whether between-person and within-person effects differ. Furthermore, these models, unlike single-level models, permit individual differences by allowing within-person slopes to vary across individuals. This study examined the statistical performance of the contextual model with a random slope for longitudinal within-person fluctuation data.

A Monte Carlo simulation was used to generate data based on the contextual multilevel model, where sample size, effect size, and intraclass correlation (ICC) of the predictor variable were varied. The effects of simulation factors on parameter bias, parameter variability, and standard error accuracy were assessed. Parameter estimates were in general unbiased. Power to detect the slope variance and contextual effect was over 80% for most conditions, except some of the smaller sample size conditions. Type I error rates for the contextual effect were also high for some of the smaller sample size conditions. Conclusions and future directions are discussed.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016

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Multiscale interactions in psychological systems

Description

For many years now, researchers have documented evidence of fractal scaling in psychological time series. Explanations of fractal scaling have come from many sources but those that have gained

For many years now, researchers have documented evidence of fractal scaling in psychological time series. Explanations of fractal scaling have come from many sources but those that have gained the most traction in the literature are theories that suggest fractal scaling originates from the interactions among the multiple scales that make up behavior. Those theories, originating in the study of dynamical systems, suffer from the limitation that fractal analysis reveals only indirect evidence of multiscale interactions. Multiscale interactions must be demonstrated directly because there are many means to generate fractal properties. In two experiments, participants performed a pursuit tracking task while I recorded multiple behavioral and physiological time series. A new analytical technique, multiscale lagged regression, was introduced to capture how those many psychological time series coordinate across multiple scales and time. The results were surprising in that coordination among psychological time series tends to be oscillatory in nature, even when the series are not oscillatory themselves. Those and other results demonstrate the existence of multiscale interactions in psychological systems.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2016