Minimum level-1 sample size?
Message/Author
 Jane W. posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 3:15 pm
I have data on 200+ employees who provided twice-daily ratings over a 7-day period. Which I see as:

- Level 3 (employee): n=200+
- Level 2 (day): n=7
- Level 1 (event/within-day): n=2

The variance is mostly distributed across levels 1 and 3, with anywhere from 0-8% of variance occurring at level

2.

Alternatively, I could run a 2-level model and collapse across day, such that:

- Level 2 (employee): n=200+
- Level 1 (event): n=14

Which would help if level-1 fixed effects were of primary interest.

My questions:
1) In general, is n=2 too small for level 1?
2) Would you run as a 2- or 3-level model?

Thanks for any input!
 Linda K. Muthen posted on Thursday, March 13, 2014 - 11:28 am
You have too few level 2 units for three-level analysis. You should use alternative 2. You need at least 20 and some would say 30-50 clusters.

N=2 is not too small for level 1.
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