Using the longitudinal guttman simplex as a basis for measuring growth

Linda M. Collins, Norman Cliff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many difficulties inherent in the measurement of growth stem from the use of traditional measurement methodologies. The longitudinal Guttman simplex (LGS), an alternative approach based on a model of growth, is discussed in this article. The LGS has several advantages over traditional methodology. First, interindividual differences in developmental rates are a part of the model. Second, the LGS procedure can easily handle any number of occasions of measurement. Third, the LGS is suited to nonlinear as well as linear monotonic growth. Fourth, a consistency index associated with the LGS methodology, CL, indicates the extent to which cumulative, unitary development characterizes a particular latent variable. Finally, and perhaps most important, because a model of the growth undergone by the latent variable being measured is incorporated in the LGS model the resulting instruments enjoy a high level of construct validity. The LGS is limited to cumulative, unitary development; additional measurement theories are needed for other kinds of development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)128-134
Number of pages7
JournalPsychological bulletin
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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