I have a question regarding the interpretation of the Latent Class output and consequently the selection of group numbers.

I ran the LC analysis with the settings, seeds=0 and number of replications= 5 (the default).

So in the output I get a summary of best replications and a summary of all replication. To identify the best group solution (looking for lowest BIC and CAIC values), do I compare the values in the Summary of best replications or of all replications?

Furthermore, there is the advice to run several LCs with different starting points to avoid solutions by luck. Does this mean to run a second analysis (with seed=0) or do I have to look at the Summary of all replications and check if every replication shows me the same differences in BIC/CAIC values?

Thank you for your help.

Regards, Sophia

So this means that I have to run the analysis only once with e.g. 10 replications?

In my latent class output, there are many replications with CAIC (most of the replications) and BIC (a few) having not the lowest value for the 5 group solution. But the best summary looks like this:

Groups CAIC

2 5749,83718

3 5589,00730

4 5587,43794

5 5577,84376

6 5594,54510

7 5629,06527

So is it reasonable to choose the 5 group solution although there are other replications with higher values for CAIC (like 5595, 5627, 5630). The 3 group CAIC is always at 5589. Thus, is more stable.

Thanks for your help.