

WLSMV vs. MLR in EFA/ESEM and what to... 

Message/Author 

Clio Berry posted on Thursday, July 12, 2012  3:33 am



Hi, I'm new to SEM (and factor analysis) and am trying to work my way through creating an exploratory SEM model. I'm working with a 4 factor/latent variables strcuture with 46 indicators each. I was working with WLSMV and had conducted the EFA, respecified in a CFA framework and was then adding my observed predictors into a full ESEM model (i.e. latent variables regressed on various predictors). I have one variables which is ordered categorical but has 9 categories, so I believe it could be treated as continuous or ordered categorical. I then read that MLR is recommended for nonnormal data rather than WLSMV, and my data is nonnormally distributed, but MLR won't converge with more than 3 factors when I attempt it for the EFA portion of my analysis. If I run my EFA by CFA model (built using the WLSMV EFA) using MLR instead of WLSMV, then the fit statistics are much poorer, e.g. CFI .880 instead of .921, RMSEA of .064 instead of .045. Now I'm not sure what to do. Any help appreciated! 


Are the 46 indicators for each factor continuous or categorical? What is the role of the variable with 9 categories. 

Clio Berry posted on Friday, July 13, 2012  1:35 am



The variable with 9 categories is a measure of weekly hours spent in occupational activity (e.g. 05 hours, 5.5  10 hours and so on). The categories are not all equal to each other. All the other indicators are continuous (mean scores from questionnaire subscales, plus one variable which is a 10 item global happiness score (010)). The 9 category variable loads onto one (loadings of .3/,4) of the 4 latent variables. This variable loads onto the latent variable with another 3 continuous variables that all seem to refer to occupation, e.g. occupational satisfaction. Thank you for your response. 


I would treat it as categorical and use WLSMV. 

Clio Berry posted on Monday, July 16, 2012  1:23 am



Thank you for your response may I ask why your advice is to treat it as categorical? Is it because the categories do not represent equal intervals in terms of numbers of hours? Thank you, Clio. 


I would treat it as categorical because it is not measured on an interval scale. 

Clio Berry posted on Tuesday, July 17, 2012  1:41 am



Okay, thank you. 

Back to top 

