Statistical methods for causal analysis in life course research: an illustration of a cross-lagged structural equation model, a latent growth model, and an autoregressive latent trajectories model

Pakpahan, Eduwin, Hoffmann, Rasmus and Kröger, Hannes (2017) Statistical methods for causal analysis in life course research: an illustration of a cross-lagged structural equation model, a latent growth model, and an autoregressive latent trajectories model. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 20 (1). pp. 1-19. ISSN 1364-5579

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/13645579.2015.1091641

Abstract

We present three statistical methods for causal analysis in life course research that are able to take into account the order of events and their possible causal relationship: a cross-lagged model, a latent growth model (LGM), and a synthesis of the two, an autoregressive latent trajectories model (ALT). We apply them to a highly relevant causality question in life course and health inequality research: does socioeconomic status (SES) affect health (social causation) or does health affect SES (health selection)? Using retrospective survey data from SHARELIFE covering life courses from childhood to old age, the cross-lagged model suggests an equal importance of social causation and health selection; the LGM stresses the effect of education on health growth; whereas the ALT model confirms no causality. We discuss examples, present short and non-technical introduction of each method, and illustrate them by highlighting their relative strengths for causal life course analysis.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Life course, causal analysis, social causation, health selection, cross-lagged, latent growth
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
G300 Statistics
L700 Human and Social Geography
Department: Faculties > Engineering and Environment > Mathematics, Physics and Electrical Engineering
Depositing User: John Coen
Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2020 10:55
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2020 11:00
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/43647

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