Structural Equation Modeling for IOPS

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Data Files for Structural Equation Modeling

For student of the Interuniversity Graduate School of Psychometrics ond Sociometrics a two-days postdoctoral course on Structural Equation Modeling will be offered in February 2007. Details on the contents of the course and subscription procedures, as well as an overview of upcoming courses and seminars can be found online.

The course is given by Anne Boomsma, and will, in principle, be held at the University of Leiden. The exact location has still to be set.

Contents and Objectives of the Course
The purpose of this 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.

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 such a 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, however. 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 the 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.

Preliminary Reading
Participants who want to prepare themselves might start to read abstracts (sheets of the lectures) in English from a Dutch manuscript of Boomsma, A. (2006). Covariantiestructuuuranalyse. Ongepubliceerd manuscript, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Vakgroep Statistiek & Meettheorie. These abstracts will all be sent to the participants in advance.

Section 16.1 (page 16-4f.) of that manuscript also provides an advice – in English – on preliminary reading (sent to participants): Chapter 2 of Bollen (1989), 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, which will be sent as well as a separate paper to the participants.

Provisional Program

Monday, February 12, 2007
10.00 - 12.00  Introduction to structural equation modeling
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

Tuesday, February 13, 2007
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 - 13.30  Model evaluation and modification
13.30 - 14.45  Exercises
15.15 - 16.00  How to deal with ordinal, categorical variables?
16.15 - 17.00  Reporting analyses of covariance structures, or How to publish?

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Update:  January 24, 2007

Copyright © 2006 Anne Boomsma, University of Groningen, The Netherlands.
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