Robustness of stepwise latent class modeling with continuous distal outcomes

Z. Bakk, J.K. Vermunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

502 Citations (Scopus)


Recently, several bias-adjusted stepwise approaches to latent class modeling with continuous distal outcomes have been proposed in the literature and implemented in generally available software for latent class analysis. In this article, we investigate the robustness of these methods to violations of underlying model assumptions by means of a simulation study. Although each of the 4 investigated methods yields unbiased estimates of the class-specific means of distal outcomes when the underlying assumptions hold, 3 of the methods could fail to different degrees when assumptions are violated. Based on our study, we provide recommendations on which method to use under what circumstances. The differences between the various stepwise latent class approaches are illustrated by means of a real data application on outcomes related to recidivism for clusters of juvenile offenders.
Keywords: latent class analysis, robustness, stepwise approaches
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-31
JournalStructural Equation Modeling
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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