Relating the classical covariance adjustment techniques of multivariate growth curve models to modern univariate mixed effects models. (English) Zbl 1059.62678

Summary: The relationship between the modern univariate mixed model for analyzing longitudinal data, popularized by N. M. Laird and J. H. Ware [Biometrics 38, 963–974 (1982; Zbl 0512.62107)], and its predecessor, the classical multivariate growth curve model, summarized by J.E. Grizzle and Allen [Biometrics 25, 357–381 (1969)], has never been clearly established. Here, the link between the two methodologies is derived, and balanced polynomial and cosinor examples cited in the literature are analyzed with both approaches. Relating the two models demonstrates that classical covariance adjustment for higher-order terms is analogous to including them as random effects in the mixed model. The polynomial example clearly illustrates the relationship between the methodologies and shows their equivalence when all matrices are properly defined. The cosinor example demonstrates how results from each method may differ when the total variance-covariance matrix is positive definite, but that the between-subjects component of that matrix is not so constrained by the growth curve approach. Additionally, advocates of each approach tend to consider different covariance structures. Modern mixed model analysts consider only those terms in a model’s expectation (or linear combinations), and preferably the most parsimonious subset, as candidates for random effects. Classical growth curve analysts automatically consider all terms in a model’s expectation as random effects and then investigate whether “covariance adjusting” for higher-order terms improves the model. We apply mixed model techniques to cosinor analyses of a large, unbalanced data set to demonstrate the relevance of classical covariance structures that were previously conceived for use only with completely balanced data.


62P10 Applications of statistics to biology and medical sciences; meta analysis


Zbl 0512.62107


Full Text: DOI


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