Brian Flaherty

Image of Brian Flaherty

Brian Flaherty, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
(206) 616-0402
Advising: Possibly accepting new graduate students in 2023-2024, please email with questions.
Interests: Latent class and mixture models; Measurement; Model selection; Exploratory data analysis; Analysis of change over time


My research focuses on measurement and applied statistics, with a developmental perspective. Broadly, my statistical interests include latent variable models, measurement & psychometrics, and the analysis of change. How do we measure and operationalize scientific constructs? How do the design, measurement, and analysis choices we make impact/limit/drive what we can learn from our data?


The Pennsylvania State University (2003)

  • PSYCH 530: Introduction to Manifest Path, Confirmatory Factor, and Latent Variable Path Analysis for Psychology
  • PSYCH 523/525: Linear models and data analysis
  • PSYCH 315: Understanding Statistics In Psychology
  • PSYCH 317: Introduction To Probability And Statistics For Psychology
  • PSYCH 318: Statistical Inference In Psychological Research
  • CSSS/SOC/STAT 536: Analysis of Categorical and Count Data
  • PSYCH 548: Exploratory Data Analysis
  • PSYCH 548: Measurement and some measurement models

  • Arnett, A. B. & Flaherty, B. P. (2022). A framework for characterizing heterogeneity in neurodevelopmental data using latent profile analysis in a sample of children with ADHD. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, 45. doi:10.1186/s11689-022-09454-w
  • Flaherty, B. P. & Shono, Y. (2021). Many classes, restricted measurement (MACREM) models for improved measurement of activities of daily living. Journal of Survey Statistics and Methodology, 9(2), 231–256. doi:10.1093/jssam/smaa047.
  • Ostermann, J., Flaherty, B. P., Brown, D. S., Njau, B., Hobbie, A. M., Mtuy, T., Masnick, M., Mühlbacher, A. C., & Thielman., N. M., (2021). What factors influence HIV testing? Modeling preference heterogeneity using latent classes and class-independent random effects. Journal of Choice Modelling, 40, 100305. doi:10.1016/j.jocm.2021.100305.
  • Roberts, S. T., Flaherty, B. P., Deya, R., Masese, L., Ngina, J., McClelland, R. S., Simoni, J., Graham, S. M. (2018). Patterns of gender-based violence and associations with mental health and sexual risk behavior among female sex workers in Mombasa Kenya: A latent class analysis. AIDS and Behavior. doi:10.1007/s10461-018-2107-4
  • Staples, J. M., Neilson, E. C., George, W. H., Flaherty, B. P., & Davis, K. C. (2018). A descriptive analysis of alcohol behaviors across gender subgroups within a sample of transgender adults. Addictive Behaviors, 76, 355–362. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.08.0172
  • Flaherty, B. P. (2015). Cigarette smoking patterns as a case study of theory oriented latent class analysis. In. L. M. Scheier (Ed.), Handbook of Adolescent Drug Use Prevention: Research, Intervention Strategies, and Practice (pp. 437–458). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
  • Kristman-Valente, A. N. & Flaherty, B. P. (2015). Latino cigarette smoking patterns by gender in a US-national sample. Annals of Behavioral Medicine, 50(1), 34–47. doi:10.1007/s12160-015-9729-9
  • Flaherty, B. P. & Kiff, C. J. (2012). Latent class and latent profile models. In H. Cooper & K. Sher (Eds.), Handbook of Research Methods in Psychology: Vol. 3 (pp. 391–404). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. doi:10.1037/13621-019
  • Flaherty, B. P. (2008). Testing the degree of cross-sectional and longitudinal dependence between two discrete dynamic processes. Developmental Psychology, 44, 468--480
  • Chung, H., Flaherty, B. P. & Schafer, J. L. (2006). Latent class logistic regression: Application to marijuana use and attitudes among high-school seniors. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series A, 169, 723--743.
  • Colder, C. R., Lloyd-Richardson, E. E., Flaherty, B. P., Hedeker, D., Segawa, E., Flay, B. R. & TERN (2006). The natural history of college smoking: Trajectories of daily smoking during the freshman year. Addictive Behaviors, 31, 2212-2222.
  • O'Connor, R. J., Flaherty, B. P., Quinio, B. A., & Kozlowski, L. T. (2003). Regular smokeless tobacco use is not a reliable predictor of smoking onset when psychosocial predictors are included in the model. Nicotine and Tobacco Research, 5, 535--543.
  • Flaherty, B. P. (2002). Assessing the reliability of categorical substance use items with latent class analysis. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 68S, 7--20.
  • Shanahan, M. J. & Flaherty, B. P. (2001). Dynamic patterns of time use strategies in adolescence. Child Development, 72, 385--401.
  • Collins, L. M., Graham, J. W., & Flaherty, B. P. (1998). An alternative framework for defining mediation. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 33, 295--312.