Announcing colloquium and workshop on cutting-edge quantitative methods for intervention science

October 18, 2019

We are excited to host Dr. Bethany Bray, an expert on innovative research processes for intervention science, as part of our 2019-2020 colloquium series on Thursday, Nov. 21. The following day she will also give a free, day-long workshop on Latent Class Analysis.

Dr. Bray is Associate Director for Scientific Outreach at the Center for Dissemination and Implementation Science and an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

RSVP for one or both by responding to this e-mail or e-mailing Please indicate which you plan to attend.


When: Thursday, November 21, noon to 1:30 p.m.

Where: ITR offices (1100 S Washington Avenue)

Abstract: This talk will focus on addressing the motivating public health issue that effective interventions do not work equally well for all individuals by understanding recent advances in mixture modeling and time-varying effect modeling that can help us understand multidimensional and dynamic moderators. These advances include latent class analysis with distal outcomes, latent class moderation, causal inference with latent class variables, and latent class analysis with time-varying effects.

We will look at the application of these methods to a variety of studies, including the Familias Unidas intervention program for Hispanic families, the Monitoring the Future longitudinal data, and the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions study. Although this talk will focus on innovative data analytic techniques that can be used with primary or secondary data, a brief discussion about how the multiphase optimization strategy for optimizing interventions and how experimental designs for adaptive interventions can be used in dissemination and implementation science will be integrated near the end this talk. Information about how to learn more and collaborate on research projects at the Center for Dissemination and Implementation Science at the University of Illinois at Chicago and The Methodology Center at Penn State will also be discussed.


When: Friday, November 22, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (lunch provided)

Where: ITR offices (1100 S Washington Avenue)

Objective: The goal of this one-day workshop is to help participants gain the theoretical background and applied skills to be able to address interesting research questions using latent class analysis. By the end of the workshop, participants will have fit a preliminary latent class model to data provided by the instructor. Participants will become familiar with introductory latent class analysis concepts covered in the recent book co-authored by Drs. Linda Collins and Stephanie Lanza and published by Wiley, Latent Class and Latent Transition Analysis: With Applications in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences.

General description: Workshop time will be spent in lecture, software demonstrations, computer exercises, and discussion. At the workshop, participants will be provided with all lecture notes, select computer exercises and output, and suggested reading lists for future reference. The software used in this workshop will be SAS or Mplus.

Prerequisites: The prerequisite for this workshop is graduate-level statistics training for the behavioral or health sciences up through linear regression (usually two semesters of course work). Basic familiarity with SAS or Mplus and logistic regression is helpful, but not a prerequisite.

Computer requirements: Participants are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop so that they can conduct the computer exercises and analyze their own data. To conduct analyses at the workshop, SAS V9 or Mplus Version 8 must be installed on the laptop prior to arrival. Simulated data sets will be made available to participants for use during and after the workshop.

Topics to be covered:

  • Introduction to latent class analysis (LCA) and the LCA model
  • Model interpretation, model selection, model identification
  • Multiple-groups LCA, measurement invariance across groups
  • LCA with covariates, LCA with distal outcomes


Bethany C. Bray, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago and serves as Associate Director for Scientific Outreach at the Center for Dissemination and Implementation Science, an interdisciplinary research center focused on the processes that promote or inhibit the adoption of evidence-based and empirically-supported interventions in real-life settings in the US and globally. Dr. Bray also serves as the Director of the Dissemination, Software, and Technology Core of The Methodology Center at Penn State. Her research focuses on the development and application of advanced latent class modeling techniques to questions about the development of substance use, with a special emphasis on its relation to the development of comorbid risk behaviors, such as risky sexual behavior and gambling. Her technical work has focused on flexible approaches to adding predictors, outcomes, moderators, mediators, and inverse propensity score weights to latent class models.

Dr. Bray’s work has been funded through the National Institutes of Health, the Alcohol Beverage Medical Research Foundation, and the National Center for Responsible Gaming, and has been published in a variety of methodological and applied journals, such as Structural Equation Modeling, Methodology, Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, and Journal of Adolescent Health. Her work has won awards from the National Council on Problem Gambling and the National Center for Responsible Gaming. Dr. Bray has taught graduate-level courses on research methods, psychometrics, and categorical data analysis, as well as hands-on workshops on latent class, latent profile, and latent transition analysis, and programming in SAS and R. She has extensive experience presenting technical material to applied scientists. For more information, visit her personal website at