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Between-litter variation in developmental studies of hormones and behavior: Inflated false positives and diminished power
University of California, USA.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6456-5735
University of Münster, Germany.
2017 (English)In: Frontiers in neuroendocrinology (Print), ISSN 0091-3022, E-ISSN 1095-6808, Vol. 47, 154-166 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Developmental studies of hormones and behavior often include littermates—rodent siblings that share early-life experiences and genes. Due to between-litter variation (i.e., litter effects), the statistical assumption of independent observations is untenable. In two literatures—natural variation in maternal care and prenatal stress—entire litters are categorized based on maternal behavior or experimental condition. Here, we (1) review both literatures; (2) simulate false positive rates for commonly used statistical methods in each literature; and (3) characterize small sample performance of multilevel models (MLM) and generalized estimating equations (GEE). We found that the assumption of independence was routinely violated (>85%), false positives (α = 0.05) exceeded nominal levels (up to 0.70), and power (1−β) rarely surpassed 0.80 (even for optimistic sample and effect sizes). Additionally, we show that MLMs and GEEs have adequate performance for common research designs. We discuss implications for the extant literature, the field of behavioral neuroendocrinology, and provide recommendations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 47, 154-166 p.
Keyword [en]
Hormones and behavior, False Positives, Litter Effects
National Category
Neurosciences
Research subject
Social Sciences, Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-68404DOI: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2017.08.003ISI: 000412154600010PubMedID: 28837830OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-68404DiVA: diva2:1150969
Available from: 2017-10-20 Created: 2017-10-20 Last updated: 2017-11-01Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf