Group-based trajectory modeling in clinical research

Annu Rev Clin Psychol. 2010:6:109-38. doi: 10.1146/annurev.clinpsy.121208.131413.


Group-based trajectory models are increasingly being applied in clinical research to map the developmental course of symptoms and assess heterogeneity in response to clinical interventions. In this review, we provide a nontechnical overview of group-based trajectory and growth mixture modeling alongside a sampling of how these models have been applied in clinical research. We discuss the challenges associated with the application of both types of group-based models and propose a set of preliminary guidelines for applied researchers to follow when reporting model results. Future directions in group-based modeling applications are discussed, including the use of trajectory models to facilitate causal inference when random assignment to treatment condition is not possible.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biomedical Research / methods*
  • Biomedical Research / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Psychology, Clinical / methods*
  • Psychology, Clinical / statistics & numerical data*