Latent variable models for mixed discrete and continuous outcomes

Publisher:
Blackwell Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B: Statistical Methodology, 1997, 59 (3), pp. 667 - 678
Issue Date:
1997-01
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We propose a latent variable model for mixed discrete and continuous outcomes. The model accommodates any mixture of outcomes from an exponential family and allows for arbitrary covariate effects, as well as direct modelling of covariates on the latent variable. An EM algorithm is proposed for parameter estimation and estimates of the latent variables are produced as a by-product of the analysis. A generalized likelihood ratio test can be used to test the significance of covariates affecting the latent outcomes. This method is applied to birth defects data, where the outcomes of interest are continuous measures of size and binary indicators of minor physical anomalies. Infants who were exposed in utero to anticonvulsant medications are compared with controls.
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