Nonlinear growth curves in developmental research

Kevin J. Grimm, Nilam Ram, Fumiaki Hamagami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

207 Scopus citations


Developmentalists are often interested in understanding change processes, and growth models are the most common analytic tool for examining such processes. Nonlinear growth curves are especially valuable to developmentalists because the defining characteristics of the growth process such as initial levels, rates of change during growth spurts, and asymptotic levels can be estimated. A variety of growth models are described beginning with the linear growth model and moving to nonlinear models of varying complexity. A detailed discussion of nonlinear models is provided, highlighting the added insights into complex developmental processes associated with their use. A collection of growth models are fit to repeated measures of height from participants of the Berkeley Growth and Guidance Studies from early childhood through adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1357-1371
Number of pages15
JournalChild development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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