Latent growth models make up a class of methods to study within-person change—how it progresses, how it differs across individuals, what are its determinants, and what are its consequences. Latent growth methods have been applied in many domains to examine average and differential responses to interventions and treatments. In this review, we introduce the growth modeling approach to studying change by presenting different models of change and interpretations of their model parameters. We then apply these methods to examining sex differences in the development of binge drinking behavior through adolescence and into adulthood. Advances in growth modeling methods are then discussed and include inherently nonlinear growth models, derivative specification of growth models, and latent change score models to study stochastic change processes. We conclude with relevant design issues of longitudinal studies and considerations for the analysis of longitudinal data.


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