Statistical Analysis of Human Growth and Development: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Statistical Analysis of Human Growth and Development

1st Edition

By Yin Bun Cheung

Chapman and Hall/CRC

378 pages | 57 B/W Illus.

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Statistical Analysis of Human Growth and Development is an accessible and practical guide to a wide range of basic and advanced statistical methods that are useful for studying human growth and development. Designed for nonstatisticians and statisticians new to the analysis of growth and development data, the book collects methods scattered throughout the literature and explains how to use them to solve common research problems. It also discusses how well a method addresses a specific scientific question and how to interpret and present the analytic results. Stata is used to implement the analyses, with Stata codes and macros for generating example data sets, a detrended Q-Q plot, and weighted maximum likelihood estimation of binary items available on the book’s CRC Press web page.

After reviewing research designs and basic statistical tools, the author discusses the use of existing tools to transform raw data into analyzable variables and back-transform them to raw data. He covers regression analysis of quantitative, binary, and censored data as well as the analysis of repeated measurements and clustered data. He also describes the development of new growth references and developmental indices, the generation of key variables based on longitudinal data, and the processes to verify the validity and reliability of measurement tools. Looking at the larger picture of research practice, the book concludes with coverage of missing values, multiplicity problems, and multivariable regression.

Along with two simulated data sets, numerous examples from real experimental and observational studies illustrate the concepts and methods. Although the book focuses on examples of anthropometric measurements and changes in cognitive, social-emotional, locomotor, and other abilities, the ideas are applicable to many other physical and psychosocial phenomena, such as lung function and depressive symptoms.


"… a very useful and well-organised manual to be used by statisticians and non-statisticians. It responds to the problems that may arise on both sides."

Journal of Applied Statistics, 2014

"… a very useful overview of the vast array of statistical tools, models and tests, which can be applied to the study of human growth and development and also to some important concepts, which are relevant to epidemiological research more generally. The code provided makes this book particularly accessible to those who are familiar with Stata or who are intending to use this software for their analysis, although the methods described could easily be implemented in other standard statistical software packages."

—Corrie Macdonald-Wallis, International Journal of Epidemiology, 2014

"The author, Yin Bun Cheung has been part of studies in human growth and development in African and Asian countries for about fifteen years. Thereby, he has recognized the lack of statistical analysis books with an emphasis on this specific field . . . I recommend the book for anyone interested in dealing with data of human growth and development, as it extensively describes how to approach a problem in this field. The book is addressed to researchers and postgraduate students without a broad statistical education. Therefore, basic statistical concepts necessary for following subsequent Book Reviews 1467 chapters are explained at the beginning, and the multitude of examples facilitate understanding and application.

—Johanna Straubinger, The International Biometric Society

Table of Contents



Human Growth

Human Development

Statistical Considerations

Causal Reasoning and Study Designs


Study Designs

Basic Statistical Concepts and Tools

Normal Distribution

Statistical Inference and Significance

Standardized Scores

Statistical Programming

Quantifying Growth and Development: Use of Existing Tools



Change Scores

Regression Analysis of Quantitative Outcomes

Least-Squares Regression

Quantile Regression

Covariate-Adjusted Variables

Regression Analysis of Binary Outcomes

Basic Concepts

Introduction to Generalized Linear Models

Logistic Regression

Log-Binomial and Binomial Regression Models

Regression Analysis of Censored Outcomes


Regression Analysis of Right-Censored Data

Analysis of Interval-Censored Data

Analysis of Repeated Measurements and Clustered Data


Robust Variance Estimator

Analysis of Subject-Level Summary Statistics

Mixed Models

Quantifying Growth: Development of New Tools

Capturing Nonlinear Relationships


Quantifying Development: Development of New Tools

Summary Index Based on Binary Items

Summary Index Based on Quantitative Variables

Defining Growth and Development: Longitudinal Measurements

Expected Change and Unexplained Residuals

Reference Intervals for Longitudinal Monitoring

Conditional Scores by Quantile Regression

Trajectory Characteristics

Validity and Reliability


Statistical Methods

Further Topics

Missing Values and Imputation


When Is Missing Data (Not) a Problem?

Interpolation and Extrapolation

Mixed Models

Multiple Imputation

Imputing Censored Data

Multiple Comparisons

The Problem

When Not to Do Multiplicity Adjustment

Strategies of Analysis to Prevent Multiplicity

P-Value Adjustments

Close Testing Procedure

Regression Analysis Strategy


Rationale of Using Multivariable Regression

Point Measures, Change Scores, and Unexplained Residuals

Issues in Variable Selection


Role of Prior Knowledge


Appendix A: Stata Codes to Generate Simulated Clinical Trial (SCT) Dataset

Appendix B: Stata Codes to Generate Simulated Longitudinal Study (SLS) Dataset

Appendix C: Stata Program for Detrended Q-Q Plot

Appendix D: Weighted Maximum Likelihood Estimation for Binary Items


About the Author

Yin Bun Cheung is a professor in the Centre for Quantitative Medicine, Office of Clinical Sciences at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School in Singapore and adjunct professor in the Department of International Health at the University of Tampere in Finland. Dr. Cheung has been studying human growth and development in African and Asian countries for about 15 years.

About the Series

Chapman & Hall/CRC Biostatistics Series

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MATHEMATICS / Probability & Statistics / General
MEDICAL / Epidemiology
MEDICAL / Nutrition