Stephanie T. Lanza, Ph.D.

Stephanie Lanza, Ph.D.Scientific Director and Senior Research Associate, The Methodology Center

Research Associate Professor, College of Health and Human Development


The Methodology Center

The Pennsylvania State University

204 E. Calder Way, Suite 400

State College, PA 16801







Ph.D., Penn State, 2003 (Human Development and Family Studies)

M.A.S., Penn State, 2002 (Applied Statistics)

M.S., Penn State, 1998 (Human Development and Family Studies)

B.S., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1992 (Mathematical Science)

B.A., University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1992 (Psychology)



Research Interests

The majority of my work has focused on advancing finite mixture models, in particular latent class analysis. More recently, I have begun to focus on how modern methods for causal inference can be integrated into latent variable models. I also have a growing interest in statistical models that rely on intensive longitudinal data in order to reveal dynamic processes, such as recovery from drug addiction.



Current Projects and Collaborators

I am working on a research project to expand the types of research questions that can be addressed using finite mixture models. My collaborators on this project include Bethany Bray (Virginia Tech), Michael Cleveland, Brittany Rhoades, and Linda Collins. I also collaborate with Donna Coffman on several projects related to causal inference, and with Runze Li on work related to the time-varying effect model for intensive longitudinal data.



Recent Teaching

Fall 2013: New Methods for the Analysis of Intensive Longitudinal Data. Penn State Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

Spring 2011, Spring 2009, Spring 2007: Latent Class Analysis for Cross-Sectional and Repeated Measures Data. Penn State Department of Human Development and Family Studies.



Selected Grants


Center for Prevention and Treatment Methodology

National Institute on Drug Abuse: P50-DA-10075

2010-2015; Role: Co-investigator, Software Development and Technology Transfer Core; Co-investigator, Advances in Finite Mixture Modeling for Substance Use and HIV Research (PI: Linda M. Collins)


Advancing Tobacco Research by Integrating Systems Science and Mixture Models

National Cancer Institute: R01 CA168676

2012-2015; Role: Principal Investigator


Drug Abuse and HIV Prevention Research Methodology Conferences

National Institute on Drug Abuse: R13 DA020334

2011-2016; Role: Principal Investigator

Honors and Awards

2012-present: Associate Editor, Prevention Science

2011: Ad-hoc Member, Review Panel for NIH SBIR Phase I Project – Improving Measures of Addiction Risk

2010: Ad-hoc Member, NIH Behavioral Genetics and Epidemiology (BGES) Study Section Review Panel

2008: Society for Prevention Research ECPN Early Career Award

2008: Board Member, Penn State Graduate School Alumni Society

2008: Ad-hoc Member, NIH Cutting-Edge Basic Research Awards (CEBRA) Review Council

2005-2007: Ad-hoc Member, NIH Community Influences on Health Behavior (CIHB) Study Section Review Panel

2001-2002: Kligman pre-doctoral fellow



Selected Publications

Books and Chapters

Lanza, S. T., Bray, B. C., & Collins, L. M. (2013). An introduction to latent class and latent transition analysis. In J. A. Schinka, W. F. Velicer, & I. B. Weiner (Eds.), Handbook of psychology (2nd ed.,Vol. 2, pp. 691-716). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Collins, L. M., & Lanza, S. T. (2010). Latent class and latent transition analysis for the social, behavioral, and health sciences. New York: Wiley.

Lanza, S. T., & Collins, L. M. (2010). Modeling multidimensional sexual risk behavior using latent class analysis. In L. Passero & C. Sgariglia (Eds.), Sexual risk behaviors (pp. 119-124). Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers Inc.

Peer-Reviewed Articles

Bekiroglu, K., Lagoa, C., Murphy, S. A., & Lanza, S. T. (in press). A robust MPC approach to the design of treatments. Proceedings of the 52nd IEEE Conference on Decision and Control.

Bray, B. C., Lanza, S. T., & Tan, X. (in press). Eliminating bias in classify-analyze approaches for latent class analysis. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal. PMC Journal – In process

Dziak, J. J., Lanza, S. T., & Tan, X. (in press). Effect size, statistical power and sample size requirements for the bootstrap likelihood ratio test in latent class analysis. Structural Equation Modeling. 

Lagoa, C., Bekiroglu, K., Lanza, S. T., & Murphy, S. (in press). Designing adaptive intensive interventions using methods from engineering. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. PMC Journal – In process

Vasilenko, S. A., Piper, M. E., Lanza, S. T. Liu, X., Yang, J. & Li, R. (in press). Time-varying processes involved in smoking lapse in a randomized trial of smoking cessation therapies. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. PMC Journal- In process

Lanza, S. T., Cooper, B. R., & Bray, B. C. (2014). Population heterogeneity in the salience of multiple risk factors for adolescent delinquency. Journal of Adolescent Health, 54, 319-325. NIHMSID: NIHMS541047

Vasilenko, S. A., & Lanza, S. T. (2014). Predictors of multiple sexual partners from adolescence through young adulthood. Journal of Adolescent Health. doi: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2013.12.025. NIHMSID: NIHMS569951

Vasilenko, S. A., Kugler, K. C., Butera, N. M. & Lanza, S. T. (2014). Patterns of adolescent sexual behavior predicting young adult sexually transmitted infections: A latent class analysis approach. Archives of Sexual Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s10508-014-0258-6

Butera, N. M., Lanza, S. T., & Coffman, D. L. (2013). A framework for estimating causal effects in latent class analysis: Is there a causal link between early sex and subsequent profiles of delinquency? Prevention Science. doi: 10.1007/s11121-013-0417-3  NIHMSID: NIHMS504065

Deiches, J., Baker, T., Lanza, S. T., & Piper, M. (2013). Early lapses in a cessation attempt: Lapse contexts, cessation success and predictors of early lapse. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 15, 1883-91. PMCID: PMC23780705

Hillemeier, M. M., Lanza, S. T., Landale, N. S., & Opopesa, R. S. (2013). Measuring early childhood health and health disparities: A new approach. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 17, 1852-1861. PMCID: PMC3615056

Hopfer, S., Hecht, M. L., Lanza, S. T., Tan, X., & Xu, S. (2013). Preadolescent drug use resistance skill profiles, substance use, and substance use prevention. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 34, 395-404. PMC Journal-In Process

Landale, N. S., Lanza, S. T., Hillemeier, M. M., & Oropesa, R. S. (in press). Health and development of Mexican, black, and white preschool children: An integrative approach using latent class analysis. Demographic Research.

Lanza, S. T., Coffman, D. L., & Xu, S. (2013). Causal inference in latent class analysis. Structural Equation Modeling, 20(3), 361-383. PMC Journal-in process

Lanza, S. T., Moore, J. E., & Butera, N. M. (2013). Drawing causal inference using propensity scores: A practical guide for community psychologists. American Journal of Community Psychology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10464-013-9604-4 PMC Journal – In process

Lanza, S. T. & Rhoades, B. L. (2013). Latent class analysis: An alternative perspective on subgroup analysis in prevention and treatment. Prevention Science, 14, 157-168. PMCID: PMC3173585

Lanza, S. T., Tan, X., & Bray, B. C. (2013). Latent class analysis with distal outcomes: A flexible model-based approach. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 20, 1-20. PMC Journal- In Process

Lanza, S. T., Vasilenko, S., Liu, X., Li, R., & Piper, M. (2013). Advancing the understanding of craving during smoking cessation attempts: A demonstration of the time-varying effect model. Nicotine and Tobacco Research. doi: 10.1093/ntr/ntt128 PMC Journal—In process

Liu, X., Li, R., Lanza, S. T., Vasilenko, S., & Piper, M. (2013). Understanding the role of cessation fatigue in the smoking cessation process. Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2013.07.025 PMC Journal – In process

Pancsofar, N., Vernon-Feagans, L., Odom, E., & The Family Life Project Investigators. (2013). Work characteristics and fathers' vocabulary to infants in African American families. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 34, 73-81. DOI: 10.1016/j.appdev.2012.11.005 PMCID: PMC3587678

Cleveland, M. J., Lanza, S. T., Ray, A. E., Turrisi, R., & Mallett, K. M. (2012). Transitions in first-year college student drinking behaviors: Does drinking latent class membership moderate the effects of parent- and peer-based intervention components? Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 26, 440-450. PMCID: PMC3413757

Shiyko, M. P., Lanza, S. T., Tan, X., Li, R., & Shiffman, S. (2012). Using the time-varying effect model (TVEM) to examine dynamic associations between negative affect and self confidence on smoking urges: Differences between successful quitters and relapsers. Prevention Science. PMCID: PMC3171604

Goodman, W. B., Crouter, A. C., Lanza, S. T., Cox, M. J., Vernon-Feagans, L., & The Family Life Project Key Investigators. (2011). Paternal work stress and latent profiles of father-infant parenting quality. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77(3), 588-604. PMCID: PMC3495607

Lanza, S. T., Rhoades, B. L., Greenberg, M. T., Cox, M. J., & The Family Life Project Key Investigators. (2011). Modeling multiple risks during infancy: Contributions of a person-centered approach. Infant Behavior and Development, 34(3), 390-406. PMCID: PMC3134117

Lanza, S. T., Kugler, K. C., & Mathur, C. (2011). Differential effects for sexual risk behavior: An application of finite mixture regression. The Open Family Studies Journal, 4(Supp11-M9), 81-88. PMCID: PMC3487167

Maldonado, M. M., & Lanza, S. T. (2011). A framework to examine gateway relations in drug use: An application of latent transition analysis. Journal of Drug Issues, 40(4), 901-924. PMCID: PMC3400537

Rhoades, B. L., Greenberg, M. T., Lanza, S. T., & Blair, C. (2011). Demographic and familial predictors of early executive function development: Contribution of a person-centered perspective. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 108(3), 638-662. PMCID: PMC3016464

Smith, R. A., & Lanza, S. T. (2011). Testing theoretical network classes and HIV-related correlates with latent class analysis. AIDS Care, 23, 1274-1281. doi: 10.1080/09540121.2011.555747 PMCID: PMC3181093

Bray, B. C., Lanza, S. T., & Collins, L. M. (2010). Modeling relations among discrete developmental processes: A general approach to associative latent transition analysis. Structural Equation Modeling, 17, 541-569. PMCID: PMC3094019

Cleveland, M. J., Collins, L. M., Lanza, S. T., Greenberg, M. T., & Feinberg, M. E. (2010). Does individual risk moderate the effect of contextual-level protective factors? A latent class analysis of substance use. Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, 38(3), 213-228. PMCID: PMC2898733

Lanza, S. T., & Bray, B. C. (2010). Transitions in drug use among high-risk women: An application of latent class and latent transition analysis. Advances and Applications in Statistical Sciences, 3, 203-235. PMCID: PMC3171700

Lanza, S. T., Patrick, M. E., & Maggs, J. L. (2010). Latent transition analysis: Benefits of a latent variable approach to modeling transitions in substance use. Journal of Drug Issues, 40(1), 93-120. PMCID: PMC2909684

Lanza, S. T., Rhoades, B. L., Nix, R. L., Greenberg, M. T., & the Conduct Problems Prevention Research Group (2010). Modeling the interplay of multilevel risk factors for future academic and behavior problems: A person-centered approach. Development and Psychopathology, 22, 313-335. PMCID:PMC3005302

Lanza, S. T., Savage, J., & Birch, L. (2010). Identification and prediction of latent classes of weight loss strategies among women. Obesity, 18(4), 833-840. PMCID: PMC2847025

BeLue, R., Lanza, S. T., & Figaro, M. K. (2009). Lifestyle therapy changes and hypercholesterolemia: Identifying risk groups in a community sample of blacks and whites. Ethnicity & Disease, 19(2), 142-147. PMCID: PMC2786171

Chung, H., Lanza, S. T., & Loken, E. (2008). Latent transition analysis: Inference and estimation. Statistics in Medicine, 27, 1834-1854. PMCID: PMC18069720

Goodman, W. B., Crouter, A. C., Lanza, S. T., Cox, M. J., & The Family Life Project Key Investigators (2008). Paternal work characteristics and father-infant interaction quality in low-income, rural families. Journal of Marriage and Family, 70, 640-653. PMCID: PMC2791409

Lanza, S. T., & Collins, L. M. (2008). A new SAS procedure for latent transition analysis: Transitions in dating and sexual risk behavior. Developmental Psychology, 44(2), 446-456. PMCID: PMC2846549

Lanza, S. T., Collins, L. M., Lemmon, D. R., & Schafer, J. L. (2007). PROC LCA: A SAS procedure for latent class analysis.Structural Equation Modeling, 14(4), 671-694. PMCID: PMC2785099

Maldonado-Molina, M. M., Collins, L. M., Lanza, S. T., Prado, G., Ramirez, R. R., & Canino, G. (2007). Patterns of substance use onset among Hispanics in Puerto Rico and the United States. Addictive Behaviors, 32(10), 2432-2437. PMCID: PMC3001340

Crouter, A. C., Lanza, S. T., Pirretti, A., Goodman, W. B., Neebe, E., & The Family Life Project Key Investigators. (2006). The O*Net jobs classification system: A primer for family researchers. Family Relations, 55, 461-472.

Lanza, S. T., & Collins, L. M. (2006). A mixture model of discontinuous development in heavy drinking from ages 18 to 30: The role of college enrollment. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, 67, 552-561.

Ridenour, T.A., Lanza, S.T., Donny, E.C., & Clark, D.B. (2006). Different lengths of times for progressions in adolescent substance involvement. Addictive Behaviors, 31, 962-983. PMCID: PMC1531690

Chung, H., Park, Y., & Lanza, S. T. (2005). Latent transition analysis with covariates: Pubertal timing and substance use behaviours in adolescent females. Statistics in Medicine, 24, 2895-2910.

Lanza, S. T., Collins, L. M., Schafer, J. L., & Flaherty, B. P. (2005). Using data augmentation to obtain standard errors and conduct hypothesis tests in latent class and latent transition analysis. Psychological Methods, 10, 84-100.

NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (2005). Predicting individual differences in attention, memory and planning in first graders from experiences at home, child care, and school. Developmental Psychology, 41, 99-114.

Donny, E., Lanza, S. T., Balster, R., Collins, L. M., Caggiula, A., & Rowell, P. P. (2004). Using growth models to relate acquisition of nicotine self-administration to break point and nicotine receptor binding. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 75, 23-35.

Lanza, S. T., Donny, E., Collins, L. M., & Balster, R. (2004). Analyzing the acquisition of drug self-administration using growth curve models. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 75, 11-21.

NICHD Early Child Care Research Network (2004). Father’s and mother’s parenting behavior and beliefs as predictors of children’s social adjustment in the transition to school. Journal of Family Psychology, 18, 628-638.

Jacobs, J. E., Lanza, S. T., Osgood, D. W., Eccles, J. S., & Wigfield, A. (2002). Changes in children’s self-competence and values: Gender and domain differences across grades one through twelve. Child Development, 73, 509-527

Lanza, S. T., & Collins, L. M. (2002). Pubertal timing and the stages of substance use in females during early adolescence. Prevention Science, 3, 69-82.


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