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

Group-based trajectory modeling in clinical research.

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Heinz School of Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213-3890, USA.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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