Latent transition analysis and how it can address prevention research questions

L. M. Collins, J. W. Graham, S. S. Rousculp, P. L. Fidler, J. Pan, W. B. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The objective of this chapter is to introduce latent transition analysis (LTA) to the substance use prevention research community. LTA is a new methodological technique for testing stage-sequential models, such as models of substance use onset. LTA estimates several different sets of parameters. One of these sets is the transition probability matrix, which contains information about the probability of movement between stages in the model. LTA can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of prevention intervention programs by comparing the transition probability matrices of the program and control groups. If the prevention program is successful, the transition probability matrices will indicate that the probability of moving to a more advanced stage of drug use is lower for the program participants than for the control group. An advantage of taking a stage-sequential approach is that examining the transition probability matrix reveals how effective a program is for individuals entering the program with different levels and types of substance use experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-111
Number of pages31
JournalNIDA Research Monograph Series
Issue number142
StatePublished - 1994

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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