Identifying subgroups of potential youth smokers using latent profile analysis: A comparison with Ward's method cluster analysis

David Lee Villegas, University of Rhode Island

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis was to compare Ward's method cluster and latent profile analysis in their identification of subgroups of youth that are not yet smokers but may be in the near future. The variables used to identify these subgroups are measures indicative of behavior change known as the Pros of Smoking, Cons of Smoking, and Situational Temptations to Smoke. Both analyses were conducted within 5 random subsamples generated out of a larger pool (N=3493) of 6th grade children attending elementary school in the state of Rhode Island. Evidence for the existence of a 4-cluster solution of potential youth smokers was found with both methods despite variability in actual case assignment of subjects to subgroups within and across methods. The use of Ward's method and latent profile analysis together allowed for the identification of additional cases at elevated risk for smoking acquisition.^

Subject Area

Psychology, Psychometrics|Health Sciences, Epidemiology

Recommended Citation

David Lee Villegas, "Identifying subgroups of potential youth smokers using latent profile analysis: A comparison with Ward's method cluster analysis" (2012). Dissertations and Master's Theses (Campus Access). Paper AAI1508234.
http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/dissertations/AAI1508234

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