Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling

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Data Files for Structural Equation Modeling

The Centre for Statistics of Ghent University in co-operation with the Institute for Continuing Education in Science (ICES) organizes a yearly series of courses to meet the needs of users of statistical methods. Module 8 of this series deals with Structural Equation Modeling, and in 2012 this two-days course will be given by Anne Boomsma on April 10 and 11 at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences, H. Dunantlaan 1, Ghent.

Contents and Objectives
The purpose of the course is to provide a theoretical introduction to the analysis of covariance structures, or structural equation modeling as it is called, and to gain practical experience with this type of modeling using LISREL software mainly.

For the description and analysis of theory-based directed relationships between several variables simultaneously, it is possible to construct models that can be visualized as path diagrams. The first aim of the researcher is to formulate an underlying structure of relations between variables (latent variables or hypothetical constructs) on the basis of theoretical considerations. By means of a random sample of covariances between observed variables, the next step is to examine the discrepancy between the postulated model and these sample data. The set of directed relations between the variables in a structural equation model, also known as a covariance structure, may be regarded as a complex `regression model'. The observed variables, being indicators of latent variables in such models, may be subject to measurement error which can be modeled as well. Social scientists use these types of models more and more frequently, whether justified from a statistical point of view or not. The LISREL (LInear Structural RELations) program, together with its preprocessor PRELIS, supports these analyses.

The course offers an introduction to the theoretical backgrounds of the statistical analysis of structural equation models. By means of practical assignments participants may learn how to construct covariance structure models, how to work with the LISREL and PRELIS program, and how to interpret the results of such analyses.

Course Material

      In addition, students may choose material from the following list: Preliminary Reading
Participants who want to prepare themselves might start to read the English abstracts (i.e., copies of the lecture notes) from the Dutch manuscript of Boomsma (2008). Covariantiestructuuuranalyse, mentioned above. These abstracts and a more detailed advice on preliminary reading – all in English – will be sent to the participants in advance: Chapter 2 of Bollen (1989) or the first chapters of Brown (2006), for example, would be a good start. In addition, one might take a look into the English version of Chapter 15 (Reporting of Structural Equation Analyses) of Boomsma's manuscript, that will be dispatched as a separate paper to the participants.

Provisional Program

Tuesday, April 10, 2012
09.00 - 11.00  Introduction to structural equation modeling
11.15 - 12.00  Some probability theory and other preliminaries
12.00 - 13.00  Lunch
13.00 - 13.45  The LISREL model
14.00 - 14.45  Model specification; issues of standardization
15.15 - 16.00  The program command language SIMPLIS
16.15 - 17.00  Exercises

Wednesday, April 11, 2012
09.00 - 09.45  Identification problems; estimation methods
10.00 - 10.45  Exercises
11.00 - 12.00  Discussion exercises
12.00 - 13.00  Lunch
13.00 - 13.45  Model evaluation and modification
14.00 - 14.45  How to deal with ordinal, categorical variables?
15.15 - 16.00  Exercises
16.15 - 17.00  Reporting analyses of covariance structures, or How to publish?

Detailed Information, Participation and Registration
For details on participation and registration those interested are referred to the necessary information provided online.

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Update:  November 1, 2011

Copyright © 2012 Anne Boomsma, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
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