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Latent Class Analysis

in Mplus Version 3
Karen Nylund
Social Research Methods
Graduate School of Education &
Information Studies
knylund@ucla.edu
Overview of Session
General description of Latent Class
Analysis (LCA) within a hypothetical
example
Two examples of LCA analysis using
Mplus Version 3
Anti-Social Behavior
Diabetes Diagnosis
Extensions of the LCA models
Resources and References

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Hypothetical Example:
Identifying effective
teachers
Setting: Unsure how to identify an
effective teacher

Possible Indicators:
Credential or Not?
Promotes critical thinking
Reflective
Professional Development (P.D.)

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What would the data look
like?
Critical
Teache Credenti Thinking Reflectiv P.D.
r al e
1 0 1 1 1
2 0 0 1 0
3 1 1 1 1
4 1 1 0 1
5 1 1 0 1
6 0 1 0 0
7 1 0 0 0
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Possible research questions:
Are there specific characteristics that
identify an effective teacher?

Given known ideas of what an effective


teacher is, what characteristics are
important indicators?

Are there background characteristics of the


teachers that help classify them as effective?

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What could LCA tell us?
To find groups of teacher that are similar
based on observed characteristics

Identify and accurately enumerate the number of


groups of teachers

Identify characteristics that indicate groups well

Estimate the prevalence of the groups

Classify teachers into classes

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The LCA Model
Observed Continuous
Y1 Y2 Y3 Yp (ys) or Categorical
...
Items (us)

Categorical Latent
X C Class Variable (c)

Continuous or
Categorical Covariates
(x)

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How is this modeling
process conducted?
Run
through models imposing different
numbers of classes

Estimation via the EM algorithm


Start with random split of people into
classes.
Reclassify based on a improvement criterion
Reclassify until the best classification of
people is found.

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Evaluating the Model
Model Fit Model Usefulness

BIC and AIC Substantive


X2 Statistic Interpretation
Lo-Mendell-Rubin Classification Quality
Test (Tech 11) Classification Tables
Entropy
Standardized
Residuals (Tech 10)

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1st Data Example: Anti-Social
Behavior
National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY)
Respondent ages between 16 and 23
Background information: age, gender and ethnicity
N=7,326

17 antisocial dichotomously scored behavior items:

Damaged Use Marijuana


property Use other drug
Fighting Sold Marijuana
Shoplifting Sold hard drugs
Stole <$50 Con somebody
Stole >$50 Stole an Automobile
Use of force Broken into a
building
Seriously threaten Held stolen goods
Intent to injure Gambling Operation 10
Anti Social Behavior
Example
Damage
Fighting Shoplifting Stole <$50 . . . Gambling
Property

Male

Race
C
Age

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Antisocial behavior Example in
Mplus Version 3

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ASB Item Probabilities

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Relationship between
class probabilities and covariate
(AGE94)
Females Males

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ASB Example Conclusions
Summary of four classes:
Property Offense Class (9.8%)
Substance Involvement Class (18.3%)
Person Offenses Class (27.9%)
Normative Class (44.1%)
Classification Table:
1 2 3 4
1 0.85 0.031 0.070 0.040
4
2 0.041 0.91 0.04 0
7
3 0.058 0.021 0.82 0.100
0
4 0.038 0 0.08 0.88
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2 Example: Diabetes Data
nd

Three continuous variables:


Glucose (y1)
Insulin (y2)
SSPG (Steady-stage plasma glucose, y3)
N=145
Data from Reaven and Miller (1979)

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Diabetes Example

Glucose Insulin SSPG

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Diabetes Example in Mplus
Version 3

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Diabetes Results

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Diabetes Results

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Diabetes Example
Conclusions
Summary of Three classes:
Class 1: Overt Diabetes group (52%)
Class 2: Chemical Diabetes group
(19.6%)
Class 3: Normal Group (28.4%)
Classification Table:
1 2 3
1 0.92 0.001 0.071
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2 0.000 0.967 0.033
3 0.053 0.010 0.937

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Extensions of the LCA
Model
Confirmatory LCA
Constraints on Model Parameters
Multiple LCA variables
Multiple Measurement Instruments
Latent Transition Analysis
Multi-level LCA
Use Monte Carlo to explore sample
size issues

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Resources
Mplus User Guide
http://www.statmodel.com

ATS Mplus Support


http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/mplus/
http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/seminars/ed231e/

Applied
Latent Class Analysis, Edited by
Hagenaars and McCutcheon (02)

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References
Hagenaars, J.A & McCutcheon, A. (2002). Applied latent class
analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Muthn, B. (2001). Latent variable mixture modeling. In G. A.


Marcoulides & R. E. Schumacher (eds.), New Developments and
Techniques in Structural Equation Modeling (pp. 1-33). Lawrence
Erlbaum Associates. (#86)

Muthn, L. & Muthn, B. (1998-2004). Mplus users guide. Los


Angeles, CA: Muthn & Muthn.

Muthn, B. & Muthn, L. (2000). Integrating person-centered and


variable-centered analysis: growth mixture modeling with latent
trajectory classes. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research,
24, 882-891.

Reaven, G.M., & Miller., R.G.(1979). An attempt to define the


nature of chemical diabetes using multidimensional analysis,
Diabetologica, 16, 17-27.

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