I am trying to figure out what the best way to analyse the following data in MPlus:
Participants completed measures about 4 goals they were planning to pursue throughout the semester (goals nested within individuals). Participants then completed daily diaries for 2 weeks (days nested within individuals). In those repeated questionnaires, some were about each of the goals (how hard they tried on each of their goals, each day), and other about the day in general (e.g. daily mood). Since both goals and days are nested within individuals, but not really within each other, what would be the best way to analyse the data? I would like to run a model where goal motivation predicts daily goal-specific effort, which in turn predicts daily mood. I also collected data on goal progress a few months later, and would like to expand the model into a mediation model where the relationship between goal motivation and goal progress is mediated by daily effort and daily mood.
The only solution I could come up with is to aggregate either across the goals (leaving 2-level data of days within person)or across the days (for a 2-level data of goals within person), but in either case I feel like I would lose some valuable information. If you have alternative suggestions for how to handle this data it would be much appreciated.