SMABS 2004 Jena University
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European Association of Methodology

Department of methodology and evaluation research

Jena University

Contributions: Abstract

The development of deviant and delinquent behavior of adolescents: Applications of growth curves and growth mixture models

Jost Reinecke
Universität Trier

Many studies discuss the development of drug and drinking behavior during the adolescents' live span. Applications of growth curve models have been extensively discussed recently (Curran & Muthén 1999; Muthén & Muthén 2000a; Muthén & Muthén 2000b). Unobserved heterogeneity can be considered with Muthén's extension of structural equation models by categorical latent classes (Muthén 2001; 2002).

The paper will discuss applications of the aforementioned models with data from one of the first panel studies in Germany to explore deviant and delinquent behavior (and several predictors) across a four year time interval (Boers et al., 2002). Observed aswell as unobserved heterogeneity will be considered in the growth curve models using the program Mplus (Muthén & Muthén 2001). The strategy of analysis is compared to alcohol and drug studies. Problems of model estimation and future extensions will also bediscussed.


Boers, K., Reinecke, J., Motzke, K. & Wittenberg, J. (2002): Wertorientierungen, Freizeitstile und Jugenddelinquenz. Neue Kriminalpolitik, 4, 141-146.

Curran, P.J., & Muthén, B. O. (1999). The application of latent curve analysis to testing developmental theories in intervention research. American Journal of Community Psychology, 27, 567-595.

Muthén, B. O. (2000). Methodological issues in random coefficient growth modeling using a latent variable framework: In J. Rose, L. Chassin, C. Presson & J. Sherman (eds.), Applications to the development of heavy drinking. MultivariateApplications in Substance Use Research, Hillsdale, N.J.: Erlbaum, 113-140.

Muthén, B. O. (2001). Second-generation structural equation modeling with a combination of categorical and continuous latent variables: New opportunities for latent class/latent growthmodeling. In Collins, L.M. & Sayer, A. (Eds.), New Methods for the Analysis of Change, 291-322,Washington, D.C.: APA.

Muthén, B. O. (2002). Beyond SEM: General latent variable modeling. Behaviormetrika, 29, 81-117.

Muthén, B. O. & Muthén, L. (2000a). Integrating person-centered and variable-centered analysis: growth mixture modeling with latent trajectory classes. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 24, 882-891.

Muthén, B. O. & Muthén, L. (2000b). The development of heavy drinking and alcohol-related problems from ages 18 to 37 in a U.S. national sample. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 61, 290-300.

Muthén, B. O. & Muthén, L. (2001). Mplus user's guide (Second edition). Los Angeles, CA: Muthén & Muthén.