Subject specific and population average models for binary longitudinal data: a tutorial

Camille Szmaragd, Paul Clarke, Fiona Steele


Using data from the British Household Panel Survey, we illustrate how longitudinal repeated measures of binary outcomes are analysed using population average and subject specific logistic regression models.  We show how the autocorrelation found in longitudinal data is accounted for by both approaches, and why, in contrast to linear models for continuous outcomes, the parameters of population average and subject specific models for binary outcomes are different.  To illustrate these points, we fit different models to our data set using both approaches, and compare and contrast the results obtained.  Finally, we use our example to provide some guidance on how to choose between the two approaches.


Autocorrelation; British Household Panel Survey; hierarchical models; logistic regression; marginal models; mixed effects models; random effects models; repeated-measures analysis

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