

SecondOrder Factor Model 

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Hello: Could you please tell me why a secondorder factor model cannot be identified when there are only two constructs for one secondorder factor. I know there are estimation methods that are able to fit the model, but is it appropriate to employ these in such a situation? I should also note I’m working with ordinal indicators? Also, could you just correlate the two firstorder constructs? Best regards, Tom 


For a factor with two indicators, the parameters that need to be estimated are one factor loading, two residual variances, and one factor variance. With two continuous items, you have two sample variances and one sample covariance. So you have more parameters to estimate that you have information from the data. Thus the model is not identified. You can apply this same reasoning to a secondorder factor with two firstorder factors. Even if you can find a method that will give you estimates for all parameters in the model, this is not proper. You can estimate a covariance or correlation for the two firstorder factors. 


Okay, thank you Linda. 

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