Power and sample size computation for Wald tests in latent class models

D.W. Gudicha, F.B. Tekle, J.K. Vermunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)
126 Downloads (Pure)


Latent class (LC) analysis is used by social, behavioral, and medical science researchers among others as a tool for clustering (or unsupervised classification) with categorical response variables, for analyzing the agreement between multiple raters, for evaluating the sensitivity and specificity of diagnostic tests in the absence of a gold standard, and for modeling heterogeneity in developmental trajectories. Despite the increased popularity of LC analysis, little is known about statistical power and required sample size in LC modeling. This paper shows how to perform power and sample size computations in LC models using Wald tests for the parameters describing association between the categorical latent variable and the response variables. Moreover, the design factors affecting the statistical power of these Wald tests are studied. More specifically, we show how design factors which are specific for LC analysis, such as the number of classes, the class proportions, and the number of response variables, affect the information matrix. The proposed power computation approach is illustrated using realistic scenarios for the design factors. A simulation study conducted to assess the performance of the proposed power analysis procedure shows that it performs well in all situations one may encounter in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30–51
JournalJournal of Classification
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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