Stephanie Lanza

Pennsylvania State University


Stephanie T. Lanza, Ph.D., is Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Human Development and Family Studies at The Pennsylvania State University and serves as Director of the Edna Bennett Pierce Prevention Research Center and the Consortium to Combat Substance Abuse. Stephanie also serves as Principal Investigator of the Center for Complex Data to Knowledge in Drug Abuse and HIV Behavioral Science.

Stephanie's career has been devoted to advancing prevention research in behavioral health through the development and application of innovative quantitative methods. Her background is in research methods, human development, and substance use and comorbid behaviors. She is co-author of Latent Class and Latent Transition Analysis: With Applications in the Social, Behavioral, and Health Sciences (Wiley, 2010) and her articles have appeared in methodological journals such as Structural Equation Modeling and Psychological Methods and in applied journals such as Development and Psychopathology and Prevention Science.

Stephanie’s research focuses on two key areas. First, she works on extensions to latent class analysis so that researchers can discover hidden subgroups in their data and understand antecedents and consequences of their membership. Second, she focuses on translating time-varying effect models, which have been described in the statistical literature, for behavioral and health scientists and solve problems that arise in their application. These models enable scientists to examine regression coefficients as a continuous function of age or time, often using intensive longitudinal data. Her current research leverages new technologies and methods to understand substance use behaviors in daily life based on intensive longitudinal assessment. For more information, visit her faculty website at