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 Jennifer Lloyd posted on Thursday, June 12, 2008 - 5:34 pm
Hello,

I have *three waves* of data for individual children:

(1) Time 0 = Kindergarten (readiness for school measure)
(2) Time 1 = Grade 4 (academic achievement measure)
(3) Time 2 = Grade 7 (academic achievement measure)

My ultimate interest is seeing the way in which children's developmental trajectories (from Time 0 to Time 1 to Time 2) vary across residential neighbourhoods.

Here is the rub: Because the Time 0 measure is 'non-equatable' with the Time 1&2 measures (they measure different constructs), then I *cannot* include the measures in a three-wave growth model, or else the results would simply be uninterpretable (as per Singer & Willett, 2003).

Therefore, can I instead run a regular two-level HLM model (kids within neighbouhoods) within the SEM framework, in which the Time 2 measure is my DV and the Time 0&1 measures simply serve as Level-1 predictors?

If so, can I use SEM to explore both (a) the effect of particular Level-1 mediators and (b) the role of particular Level-2 predictors?

Thanks for any guidance!
 Linda K. Muthen posted on Friday, June 13, 2008 - 10:55 am
It is hard to do growth modeling even with three repeated measures. I would stick with a simple model of either:

y2 ON y1;
y1 ON y0;

or

y2 ON y1 y0;
y1 ON y0;

How many neighborhoods do you have and how many children per neighborhood?
 Jennifer Lloyd posted on Monday, June 16, 2008 - 11:05 am
Dear Dr. Muthen,

Thanks so much for your reply. I have 30 neighbourhoods, and approximately 40-100 children per neighbourhood.

I figured that a simple two-level model was going to be the way to go, rather than a growth model. Therefore, I am leaning towards [y2 ON y1 y0].

Thanks again!
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