Integrating person-centered and variable-centered approaches in the study of developmental courses and transitions in alcohol use: Introduction to the special section

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Abstract

This special section consists of research from the symposium 'Integrating Person-Centered and Variable-Centered Approaches to the Study of Developmental Courses and Transitions in Alcohol Use,' presented at the 1999 Annual Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism. The section focuses on ways to integrate variable-centered and person-centered approaches to better understand longitudinal trajectories of alcohol use and associated problems. Our aim is to increase awareness and discussion of alternative conceptual and quantitative approaches that involve both a person-centered and a variable- centered component, and to make these methods more accessible to alcohol and other drug researchers. The first paper provides a general latent variable modeling framework within which to conceptualize developmental questions that involve the combination of continuous latent variables and categorical variables that represent classifications of individuals into meaningful subgroups. This is followed by three empirical papers that use integrative methods to examine early adult outcomes of adolescent binge drinking; potential mediators of familial alcoholism effects on alcohol and tobacco use disorder comorbidity; and the ability of psychopathology, substance use, and parental history of alcohol problems to predict individual differences in the likelihood of transitions in drinking behavior during adolescence. The section concludes with a discussion of the statistical basis for integrating person-centered and variable-centered methods, a comparison of study findings, and directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)878-881
Number of pages4
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2000

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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