Multivariate data that combine binary, categorical, count and continuous outcomes are common in the social and health sciences. We propose a semiparametric Bayesian latent variable model for multivariate data of arbitrary type that does not require specification of conditional distributions. Drawing on the extended rank likelihood method by Hoff [Ann. Appl. Stat. 1 (2007) 265–283], we develop a semiparametric approach for latent variable modeling with mixed outcomes and propose associated Markov chain Monte Carlo estimation methods. Motivated by cognitive testing data, we focus on bifactor models, a special case of factor analysis. We employ our semiparametric Bayesian latent variable model to investigate the association between cognitive outcomes and MRI-measured regional brain volumes.
"A semiparametric approach to mixed outcome latent variable models: Estimating the association between cognition and regional brain volumes." Ann. Appl. Stat. 7 (4) 2361 - 2383, December 2013. https://doi.org/10.1214/13-AOAS675