Negative variance in ESEM for categor... PreviousNext
Mplus Discussion > Categorical Data Modeling >
 Stéphanie Baggio posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 - 6:02 am
Dear Mrs. and Mr. Muthen,

I am performing an exploratory structural equation modeling with categorical variables, but unfortunately, 2 of my loadings are up to 1 or very close to 1.
I suppose I have negative residual variance, but I'm unable to fix the problem.
I know I have to switch to theta parameterization, test if the variance if significant, and fix it to 0 if not, but I don't know how to do.
Can you help me?

My model is:
F1-F3 BY V1-V10 (*1);
[F1@0 F2@0 F3@0];

Thank you
 Linda K. Muthen posted on Friday, January 18, 2013 - 2:03 pm
Please send the output and your license number to
 Sylia Wilson posted on Tuesday, April 04, 2017 - 8:00 am
I am attempting to use ESEM to first establish fit of a model at two ages and in two groups, and to then test for measurement invariance. Variables are continuous, the sample is clustered in families.

I've used the below at both ages successfully.

F1 by
V1 V2~0 V3~0 V4 V5~0 V6~0 V7~0 V8~0 V9~0 V10~0 (*1);
F2 by
V1~0 V2 V3 V4~0 V5~0 V6~0 V7~0 V8~0 V9~0 V10~0 (*1);
F3 by
V1~0 V2~0 V3~0 V4~0 V5 V6 V7 V8~0 V9~0 V10~0 (*1);
F4 by
V1~0 V2~0 V3~0 V4~0 V5~0 V6~0 V7~0 V8 V9 V10 (*1);

However, when I try to examine the model in one of the groups, variable V3 has negative residual variance (nonsignificant). I tried constraining the residual variance for that variable:

! fix residual error variance to 0
V3 (vV3)
Model constraint:

However, the residual variance for V3 is still negative (though smaller than in the original model).

I also tried constraining the residual variance for that variable to be greater than 0:

! fix residual error variance greater than 0
V3 (vV3)
Model constraint:

But this model doesn't converge.

Do you have any suggestions for how to proceed from here?
 Tihomir Asparouhov posted on Thursday, April 06, 2017 - 9:16 am
Can you send the examples and the data to

You can probably resolve the problem by updating your version of Mplus.

Also in the model you can use
instead of
V3 (vV3);
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