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Mplus Discussion > Structural Equation Modeling >
 Rosalind Arden posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - 10:42 am
1) Please could someone advise me whether the courses

October 2006

* Day 1: Traditional Latent Variable Modeling Using Mplus
* Day 2: Growth Modeling With Latent Variables Using Mplus

are suitable for a complete beginner?

2)It would be marvellous to have a book like 'The little SAS book, or Julie Pallant's wonderful "SPSS Survivor's Guide' written for MPLus - has anyone considered writing such a book? I think it would broaden access and enhance the experience for people, like me, who don't have colleagues nearby to point them in the right direction.
 Matthew Cole posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - 11:05 am
I have found the best way to learn mplus is to get some introductory books on sem and complete the exercises using mplus. Also, the movies that Bengt has recorded are great tools to take you through some of the most common procedures.
 Bengt O. Muthen posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2006 - 7:19 pm
Answer to Rosalind Arden:

1) Yes, the upcoming Day 1 training in Baltimore is suitable for beginners of latent variable modeling. Linear regression is, however, a prerequisite. Many individuals - even experienced SEM analysts - underestimate how much they can learn from this day and than hampers their learning in subsequent days.

2) We hope to produce many very applied Mplus books. And perhaps longer, 2-week courses (40 hours) if there is interest. In the meanwhile, my UCLA 10-week course could be watched on your computer.
 Rosalind Arden posted on Thursday, August 24, 2006 - 11:20 am
Thank you, Matthew, and Bengt for your replies. I'll see if I can come to the upcoming training days in Baltimore.

I'm very pleased to hear that you are considering producing more books and courses. The biggest frustrations for me (in my life as a mature i.e. old, PhD student) result from my not knowing how to 'drive the machinery' of a new application that I want to learn. That's why I particularly value books, like Julie Pallant's, that start with showing you how to turn the application on! It's a stage of learning that once past it's easy to forget ever happened. I used to be a science television producer; it was then a truism that we had to guard against losing the viewpoint of the absolute novice when speaking to the audience otherwise quickly learned, implicit knowledge colonises the dialogue - which removes you from the audience of lay people.

Mplus has such a lot to offer; if beginners could latch on to courses readily, we could use all the momentum of excitement in answering a specific research question or set of questions, to fuel our commitment to learning. So as a keen beginner, I strongly hope that you produce lots of courses and books. I have watched some of your videos and heard from a friend that your courses are excellent - so I look forward to attending one.
 mpduser1 posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2007 - 10:12 am
Is there a simple way to truncate integer variables in Mplus before estimating model parameters ?

For example, for cases for which variable X = 59.2381, I'd like to reset the values to 59.0, etc.

I've tried experimenting with the remainder (%) function in DEFINE without much luck.

Is there a trick or work-around I'm missing ?

 Linda K. Muthen posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2007 - 1:04 pm
If the data are fixed format, you could read just the columns without the decimal. Or you could read the data and save it with a different format. I can't think of a function that would do what you want.
 mpduser1 posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2007 - 1:51 pm
What might this look like in Mplus ?

I currently used TYPE=INDIVIDUAL.
 Linda K. Muthen posted on Wednesday, October 31, 2007 - 2:13 pm
See the FORMAT statement of the DATA command.
 mpduser1 posted on Monday, November 12, 2007 - 10:50 am
Would you provide an example of how to use the remainder ("%") function on the DEFINE command in Mplus ?

I've tried the following as part of an IF / THEN construction and keep getting errors regarding a missing right parenthesis:

IF ... THEN newvar = (1 + %(q1 / 55))
IF ... THEN newvar = 1 + %(q1 / 55)

 Linda K. Muthen posted on Monday, November 12, 2007 - 11:10 am
new = y1%y2;
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