Analysis of change: modeling individual growth

J Consult Clin Psychol. 1991 Feb;59(1):27-37. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.59.1.27.


Research on change is complicated by problems of measurement and analysis stemming from a conceptualization of change as a series of accumulating increments and decrements. In contrast, individual growth curves depict change as a continuous process underlying individual performance. These two perspectives are reviewed, and some problems with the use of difference scores in the study of change are clarified. Traditional methods are contrasted with growth curve analysis for the purposes of measuring change and studying its correlates. An illustrative example of the use of growth curves is provided from research on recovery of cognitive function following pediatric closed head injury.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aging / psychology
  • Behavior Therapy
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child Behavior Disorders / therapy
  • Craniocerebral Trauma / psychology
  • Humans
  • Individuality
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Research Design / statistics & numerical data*
  • Statistics as Topic*