Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling: Confirmatory Factor Analysis with Mplus
The course focuses on measurement models and their application within the Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) framework. We will show how a theoretical model, represented by measurement models, can be applied to empirical
data and how to assess its fit to the data through the measurements' covariance matrix. Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) is an important and basic aspect of the SEM-framework and its understanding and application to data is the core learning aspect of this course. Also, CFA is a necessary conceptual precondition to understand and apply the structural aspect of SEM, path modeling. Therefore, the course deals with concepts and applications of CFA such as assessing construct validity and reliability of a measurement model as well as the interpretation of calculated results. The topics addressed in the course include different modeling techniques of CFA such as single measurement models, simultaneous CFA (SCFA), the Multiple Group Comparison of the CFA (MGCFA), and the higher-order CFA. If time permits on the last day, we can peak into topics as CFA with categorical data, path-modeling, how to handle missing data, or longitudinal analysis. Throughout the course we will work on examples provided by the lecturers using the popular SEM software package Mplus. For data preparation we accommodate needs of SPSS- or Stata-users.