Stephen G. West's research while affiliated with Arizona State University and other places

Publications (172)

Article
To determine the extent to which secure attachment moderates the effects of previous child abuse history on the intermediate variables (putative mediators) of emotion dysregulation and coping, which, in turn, influence adult behavioral health and mental health problems. Black women (N = 440, M age = 20.33, SD = 1.88) were selected from the baseline...
Article
It is often claimed that only experiments can support strong causal inferences and therefore they should be privileged in the behavioral sciences. We disagree. Overvaluing experiments results in their overuse both by researchers and decision makers and in an underappreciation of their shortcomings. Neglect of other methods often follows. Experiment...
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Trajectories of chronic illnesses depend on patient socioeconomic status (SES). This study examines main and equity effects (age, gender, education, region of residence) of a brief telephone self‐management intervention on self‐rated health and depressive symptoms of health insurance clients with chronic illnesses. Randomized invitation design (n =...
Article
Introduction Black women are at disproportionately greater risk for HIV and sexually transmitted infections than women of other ethnic/racial backgrounds. Alcohol use may further elevate the risk of HIV/sexually transmitted infection acquisition and transmission. Study Design A random-assignment parallel-group comparative treatment efficacy trial...
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The present article provides a didactic presentation and extension of selected features of Pearl’s DAG-based approach to causal inference for researchers familiar with structural equation modeling. We illustrate key concepts using a cross-lagged panel design. We distinguish between (a) forecasts of the value of an outcome variable after an interven...
Article
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Objective The symmetry principle and the frame‐of‐reference perspective have each made contributions to improving the measurement of personality. Although each perspective is valuable in its own right, we argue that even greater improvement can be achieved through the combination of both. Therefore, the goal of the current article was to show the v...
Article
Wayne Velicer is remembered for a mind where mathematical concepts and calculations intrigued him, behavioral science beckoned him, and people fascinated him. Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin on March 4, 1944, he was raised on a farm, although early influences extended far beyond that beginning. His Mathematics BS and Psychology minor at Wisconsin Stat...
Article
When estimating multiple regression models with incomplete predictor variables, it is necessary to specify a joint distribution for the predictor variables. A convenient assumption is that this distribution is a joint normal distribution, the default in many statistical software packages. This distribution will in general be misspecified if the pre...
Article
One issue in analyzing longitudinal multirater data arises if raters drop-in or drop-out throughout a longitudinal study. We term this issue random rater movement (RRM), assuming that the selection of raters into the study approximates a random process and is strongly ignorable. We explain how RRM can be modeled in case of longitudinal multirater d...
Article
When estimating multiple regression models with incomplete predictor variables, it is necessary to specify a joint distribution for the predictor variables. A convenient assumption is that this distribution is a multivariate normal distribution, which is also the default in many statistical software packages. This distribution will in general be mi...
Article
Multiscale Regression Analysis (MRA) is a promising new tool for the analysis of bivariate time series that is based on Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (DFA) and Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression. The method was developed within the economics and environmental science literatures (Kristoufek, 2015, 2018; Kristoufek and Ferreira, 2018) and is b...
Article
Technological developments increasingly permit the collection of longitudinal data sets in which the data structure contains a large number of participants N and a large number of measurement occasions T. Promising new dynamical systems approaches to the analysis of large N, large T data sets have been proposed that utilize both between-subjects an...
Article
The Motivation for Educational Attainment (MEA) questionnaire, developed to assess facets related to early adolescents’ motivation to complete high school, has a bifactor structure with a large general factor and three smaller orthogonal specific factors (teacher expectations, peer aspirations, value of education). This prospective validity study i...
Article
This didactic article aims to provide a gentle introduction to penalized splines as a way of estimating nonlinear growth curves in which many observations are collected over time on a single or multiple individuals. We begin by presenting piecewise linear models in which the time domain of the data is divided into consecutive phases and a separate...
Article
Models of change typically assume longitudinal measurement invariance. Key constructs are often measured by ordered-categorical indicators (e.g., Likert scale items). If tests based on such indicators do not support longitudinal measurement invariance, it would be useful to gauge the practical significance of the detected non-invariance. The author...
Article
This study investigated the effect of grade retention in elementary school on dropping out of school by age 16. Participants were 538 (54% males) ethnically diverse, academically at-risk students recruited from Texas schools into a longitudinal study when they were in first grade (mean age = 6.58). Propensity score weighting successfully equated th...
Article
This 14-year prospective study investigated the effect of retention in Grades 1–5 on high school completion (diploma, GED, or drop out). Participants were 734 (52.7% males) ethnically diverse, academically at-risk students recruited from Texas schools into the study when they were in first grade (mean age = 6.57). Propensity score weighting success...
Article
A goal of developmental research is to examine individual changes in constructs over time. The accuracy of the models answering such research questions hinges on the assumption of longitudinal measurement invariance: The repeatedly measured variables need to represent the same construct in the same metric over time. Measurement invariance can be st...
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Purpose This study investigated the convergence of knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) required for either face-to-face (FtF) or text-based computer-mediated (CM) communication, the latter being frequently mentioned as core twenty-first century competencies. Design/Methodology/Approach In a pilot study (n = 150, paired s...
Article
In multiple regression researchers often follow up significant tests of the interaction between continuous predictors X and Z with tests of the simple slope of Y on X at different sample-estimated values of the moderator Z (e.g., ±1 SD from the mean of Z). We show analytically that when X and Z are randomly sampled from the population, the variance...
Article
Objective: Can an intervention that contained no content on sex or contraception reduce rates of early-age intercourse among Mexican American adolescents? The current study examined whether the Bridges to High School intervention designed, in part, to decrease harsh parenting, had a longitudinal effect on decreasing rates of early-age intercourse...
Article
In a sample of 527 academically at-risk youth, we investigated trajectories of friends' and parents' school involvement across ages 12–14 and the joint contributions of these trajectories to adolescents' age 15 school engagement and academic achievement. Girls reported higher levels of friends' and parents' school involvement than boys. Both parent...
Article
Should low-achieving students be promoted to the next grade or be retained (held back) in the prior grade? This special section presents a discussion of the application of marginal structural models to the challenging problem of estimating the effect of promotion versus retention in grade on math scores in elementary school. Vandecandelaere, De Fra...
Article
Daily dairies and other everyday experience methods are increasingly used to study relationships between two time-varying variables X and Y. Although daily data potentially often have weekly cyclical patterns (e.g., stress may be higher on weekdays and lower on weekends), the majority of daily diary studies have ignored this possibility. In this st...
Article
Propensity score analysis is a method that equates treatment and control groups on a comprehensive set of measured confounders in observational (nonrandomized) studies. A successful propensity score analysis reduces bias in the estimate of the average treatment effect in a nonrandomized study, making the estimate more comparable with that obtained...
Article
In this special section Nesselroade and Molenaar (N & M) propose a provocative new approach to measurement invariance. When measures are collected repeatedly over time (e.g., daily diary studies), a potentially unique measurement model relating the items to the underlying construct can be created for each individual. If hypothesized causal paths sp...
Chapter
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In this chapter, we provide a tutorial on how to test for moderated effects of home–school relationships using different statistical approaches. We first provide a brief review of current research on moderated effects of home–school relationships to illustrate the theoretical and practical value of statistical testing of moderated effects. Next, wi...
Article
We address two challenges in data analysis of group research. First, data may be clustered (i.e., responses of individual group members are correlated). Second, some dependent variables may consist of integer counts of number of occurrences of an event. Familiar ANOVA and regression models provide nonoptimal analyses in both cases. Standard multile...
Article
This study investigated the effect of grade retention in elementary school on students' motivation for educational attainment in grade 9. We equated retained and promoted students on 67 covariates assessed in grade 1 through propensity score weighting. Retained students (31.55%, nretained=177) and continuously promoted students (68.45%, npromoted=3...
Chapter
Propensity scores represent the probability that an individual is assigned to a treatment group given the individual's scores on a set of covariates. Propensity scores are used in nonrandomized studies to equate treatment and control groups on a large number of covariates measured at baseline. Assumptions necessary for propensity score analysis to...
Chapter
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This chapter describes several best practices for collecting, storing, analyzing, and writing up data generated from biobehavioral research. The goal is to provide a foundation for researchers who wish to consider more advanced topics of experimental design and statistical inference in their work. The principles considered here are general and appl...
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Mediation analysis, or more generally models with direct and indirect effects, are commonly used in the behavioral sciences. As we show in our illustrative example, traditional methods of mediation analysis that omit confounding variables can lead to systematically biased direct and indirect effects, even in the context of a randomized experiment....
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Treatment noncompliance in randomized experiments threatens the validity of causal inference and the interpretability of treatment effects. This article provides a nontechnical review of 7 approaches: 3 traditional and 4 newer statistical analysis strategies. Traditional approaches include (a) intention-to-treat analysis (which estimates the effect...
Article
A propensity score is the probability that a participant is assigned to the treatment group based on a set of baseline covariates. Propensity scores provide an excellent basis for equating treatment groups on a large set of covariates when randomization is not possible. This article provides a nontechnical introduction to propensity scores for clin...
Article
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The Adolescent Motivation for Educational Attainment Questionnaire is a 32-item questionnaire (we drew 20 items from 3 subscales of the Educational Motivation Questionnaire; Murdock, 1999) that was developed to measure multiple potential dimensions of adolescents' motivation to complete high school and enroll in post-secondary education, including...
Article
This study demonstrates how a variant of growth curve modeling known as longitudinal parallel-process modeling can yield an understanding of the effect of symptoms on quality of life (QOL). A two-level hierarchical linear model with random intercepts and slopes was implemented within a structural equation modeling approach. The data (N = 367) comes...
Article
In this article, the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Task Force on Publication and Research Practices offers a brief statistical primer and recommendations for improving the dependability of research. Recommendations for research practice include (a) describing and addressing the choice of N (sample size) and consequent issues...
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This study examined the performance of 4 correlation-based fit indexes (marginal and conditional pseudo R 2s; average and conditional concordance correlations) in detecting misspecification in mean structures in growth curve models. Their performance was also compared to that of 4 traditional SEM fit indexes. We found that the marginal pseudo R 2 a...
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Maternal sensitivity is a fundamental parenting construct and a determinant of positive child outcomes and healthy parent-child relationships. Few longitudinal studies have investigated determinants of sensitive parenting, particularly in a population of children at risk for developmental delay. This study modeled trajectories of maternal sensitivi...
Conference Paper
How many days per week do you exercise for 30 minutes or more? Never? Once or twice? Every other day? Most days? Every day? Coarsely grouped counts such as this are commonly used in the behavioral sciences. When these variables are used as outcome variables, they often violate the assumptions of both linear regression and models designed for catego...
Article
A Monte Carlo simulation was conducted to investigate the robustness of four latent variable interaction modeling approaches (Constrained Product Indicator [CPI], Generalized Appended Product Indicator [GAPI], Unconstrained Product Indicator [UPI], and Latent Moderated Structural Equations [LMS]) under high degrees of non-normality of the observed...
Article
This study investigated the effects of retention or promotion in first grade on growth trajectories in mathematics and reading achievement over the elementary school years (grades 1-5). From a large multiethnic sample (n = 784) of children who were below the median in literacy at school entrance, 363 children who were either promoted (n = 251) or r...
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Multimethod data analysis is a complex procedure that is often used to examine the degree to which different measures of the same construct converge in the assessment of this construct. Several authors have called for a greater understanding of the definition and meaning of method effects in different models for multimethod data. In this article, w...
Article
Multilevel mediation analysis examines the indirect effect of an independent variable on an outcome achieved by targeting and changing an intervening variable in clustered data. We study analytically and through simulation the effects of an omitted variable at level 2 on a 1-1-1 mediation model for a randomized experiment conducted within clusters...
Article
Registered nurses and nurse researchers often use questionnaires to measure patient outcomes. When questionnaires or other multiple-item instruments have been developed using a relatively homogeneous sample, the suitability of even a psychometrically well-developed instrument for the new population comes into question. Bias or lack of equivalence c...
Article
Behavioral science researchers routinely use scale scores that sum or average a set of questionnaire items to address their substantive questions. A researcher applying multiple imputation to incomplete questionnaire data can either impute the incomplete items prior to computing scale scores or impute the scale scores directly from other scale scor...
Article
Many health measures (e.g., blood pressure, quality of life) have meaningful fluctuation over time around a relatively stable mean level for each person. This didactic paper describes two closely related statistical models for examining between-person and within-person relationships between two or more sets of measures collected over time: the late...
Article
Psychologists have long had interest in the processes through which antecedent variables produce their effects on the outcomes of ultimate interest (e.g., Woodworth's Stimulus-Organism-Response model). Models involving such meditational processes have characterized many of the important psychological theories of the 20th century and continue to the...
Thesis
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Cognitive function is multidimensional and complex, and research indicates that it is impacted by age, lifetime experience, and ovarian hormone milieu. One particular domain of cognitive function that is susceptible to age-related decrements is spatial memory. Cognitive practice can affect spatial memory when aged in both males and females, and in...
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Interaction and quadratic effects in latent variable models have to date only rarely been tested in practice. Traditional product indicator approaches need to create product indicators (e.g., x 1 2, x 1 x 4) to serve as indicators of each nonlinear latent construct. These approaches require the use of complex nonlinear constraints and additional mo...
Article
In this article we propose several modeling choices to extend propensity score analysis to clustered data. We describe different possible model specifications for estimation of the propensity score: single-level model, fixed effects model, and two random effects models. We also consider both conditioning within clusters and conditioning across clus...
Article
We investigated growth trajectories for classroom performance goal practices and for student behavioral engagement across grades 2 to 5 for 497 academically at-risk elementary students. This study is the first longitudinal investigation of performance goal practices in the early elementary years. On average, teacher use of performance goal practice...
Article
Traditional statistical analyses can be compromised when data are collected from groups or multiple observations are collected from individuals. We present an introduction to multilevel models designed to address dependency in data. We review current use of multilevel modeling in 3 personality journals showing use concentrated in the 2 areas of exp...
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This study investigated the sensitivity of fit indices to model misspecification in within-individual covariance structure, between-individual covariance structure, and marginal mean structure in growth curve models. Five commonly used fit indices were examined, including the likelihood ratio test statistic, root mean square error of approximation,...
Article
Some nonlinear developmental phenomena can be represented by using a simple piecewise procedure in which 2 linear growth models are joined at a single knot. The major problem of using this piecewise approach is that researchers have to optimally locate the knot (or turning point) where the change in the growth rate occurs. A relatively simple way t...
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Donald Campbell's approach to causal inference (D. T. Campbell, 1957; W. R. Shadish, T. D. Cook, & D. T. Campbell, 2002) is widely used in psychology and education, whereas Donald Rubin's causal model (P. W. Holland, 1986; D. B. Rubin, 1974, 2005) is widely used in economics, statistics, medicine, and public health. Campbell's approach focuses on t...
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In a 4-year longitudinal study, the authors investigated effects of retention in first grade on children's externalizing and internalizing behaviors; social acceptance; and behavioral, cognitive, and affective engagement. From a large multiethnic sample (n = 784) of children below the median on literacy at school entrance, 124 retained children wer...
Article
In multilevel structural equation modeling, the “standard” approach to evaluating the goodness of model fit has a potential limitation in detecting the lack of fit at the higher level. Level-specific model fit evaluation can address this limitation and is more informative in locating the source of lack of model fit. We proposed level-specific test...
Article
Randomized experiments are preferred for making inferences about causality when they can be implemented and their assumptions are met. Yet assumptions can fail (e.g., attrition, treatment noncompliance) or randomization may be unethical or infeasible. I describe alternative design and statistical approaches that permit testing causal hypotheses and...
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Evaluating overall model fit for growth curve models involves 3 challenging issues. (a) Three types of longitudinal data with different implications for model fit may be distinguished: balanced on time with complete data, balanced on time with data missing at random, and unbalanced on time. (b) Traditional work on fit from the structural equation m...
Article
Count data reflect the number of occurrences of a behavior in a fixed period of time (e.g., number of aggressive acts by children during a playground period). In cases in which the outcome variable is a count with a low arithmetic mean (typically < 10), standard ordinary least squares regression may produce biased results. We provide an introductio...
Article
Recent field studies have revived the hypothesis that low self-esteem causes aggression. Accordingly, we reanalyzed the data from a previous experiment and conducted a new experiment to study direct physical aggression in the form of blasting a fellow participant with aversive noise. We also conducted a field study using a measure of indirect aggre...
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We extended Wilson and Cleary's (1995) health-related quality of life model to examine the relationships among symptoms status (Symptoms), functional health (Disability), and quality of life (QOL). Using a community sample (N = 956) of male HIV positive patients, we tested a mediation model in which the relationship between Symptoms and QOL is part...
Article
Replies to the comment Ramifications of increased training in quantitative methodology by Herbet Zimiles on the current authors original article "Doctoral training in statistics, measurement, and methodology in psychology: Replication and extension of Aiken, West, Sechrest, and Reno's (1990) survey of PhD programs in North America". The current aut...
Article
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The authors investigated the relatively short-term and longer term effects of grade retention in 1st grade on the growth of mathematics and reading achievement over 4 years. The authors initially identified a large multiethnic sample (n = 784) of children who were below the median in literacy at school entrance. From this sample, the authors closel...
Article
This study examines an intervention for heterosexual couples to prevent human immunodeficiency virus/sexually transmitted infections. It also evaluates the effect of the intervention, which is based on current models of health behavior change, on intermediate outcomes (individual and relationship factors) and consistency of condom use. Eligible cou...
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Public health researchers are addressing new research questions (e.g., effects of environmental tobacco smoke, Hurricane Katrina) for which the randomized controlled trial (RCT) may not be a feasible option. Drawing on the potential outcomes framework (Rubin Causal Model) and Campbellian perspectives, we consider alternative research designs that p...
Article
The current study investigated whether, for spatial reference memory, age impacts (1) sensitivity to surgical ovarian hormone loss (Ovx), (2) response to estradiol therapy (ET), and (3) the relation between circulating estradiol levels and memory scores in ovary-intact sham and Ovx plus ET rats. Young, middle-aged and aged Fischer-344 rats received...
Article
A new instrument of individualism and collectivism (I/C) was developed and three key issues in I/C measurement were addressed: differentiating components of I/C, understanding the impact of reference groups, and testing of measurement invariance. Three components of I/C were assessed in China and the U.S.: independence, competitiveness, and uniquen...
Article
We investigated the effects of grade retention in first grade on the growth of the Woodcock-Johnson broad mathematics and reading scores over three years using linear growth curve modeling on an academically at-risk sample. A large sample (n=784) of first grade children who were at risk for retention was initially identified based on low literacy s...