Modeling Transitions in Latent Stage-Sequential Processes: A Substance Use Prevention Example

John W. Graham, Linda M. Collins, Stuart E. Wugalter, N. K.(Jacob) Chung, William B. Hansen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article illustrates the use of latent transition analysis (LTA), a methodology for testing stage-sequential models of individual growth. LTA is an outgrowth of latent class theory and is a particular type of latent Markov model emphasizing the use of multiple manifest indicators. LTA is used to compare the fit of two models of early adolescent substance use onset and to assess the effects of a school-based substance use prevention program on Ss measured in 7th grade and again in 8th grade. Several interesting findings emerged. First, a model of substance use onset including both alcohol and tobacco use as possible starting points fit better than a model that included alcohol use as the only starting point. Second, Ss who had tried tobacco but not alcohol in 7th grade seemed to be on an accelerated onset trajectory. Third, the normative education prevention program was generally successful, except for the students who had tried only tobacco in 7th grade.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)48-57
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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