Bootstrap mediation test with complex... PreviousNext
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 Randall MacIntosh posted on Tuesday, September 06, 2011 - 9:56 pm
I would like to test for mediation using the INDIRECT, CINTERVAL and BOOTSTRAP commands. But I have a complex sample. Will the Bootstrap function properly with weighted clustered data?

Am I correct in assuming that I don't have to use the TYPE=COMPLEX specification because the bootstrap will provide the appropriate variance estimates?

 Linda K. Muthen posted on Wednesday, September 07, 2011 - 9:44 am
BOOTSTRAP cannot be used with COMPLEX. BOOTSTRAP does not take into account lack of independence of observations. You need COMPLEX for that.
 Sarah Ryan posted on Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 11:01 am
I am using data from the ELS:2002 data set (an NCES data set). Is it possible to use "Resampling Methods in Mplus for Complex
Survey Data" (Tihomir Asparouhov and Bengt Muthen, May 4, 2010) as a guide in obtaining bootstrap standard errors? If so, would bootstrap SE's also then be provided for the MODEL INDIRECT output?

Like the example given with ECLS data in this paper, the sampling structure is available in the ELS:2002 data, i.e., the strata and PSU (cluster) variable are available in the sample.
 Tihomir Asparouhov posted on Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 11:33 pm
Yes on both questions. You can obtain the bootstrap SE using
and "model indirect:" is available as well.
 Sarah Ryan posted on Friday, September 16, 2011 - 9:10 am
Excellent. Thank you.
 Stat posted on Saturday, April 19, 2014 - 1:32 pm
I try to do a mediation and compute indirect/direct effects using SEM with latent variables and a complex sample design (Cluster, Stratum and weight). Since I cannot use bootstrap with COMPLEX, I tried to use the "Resampling Methods in Mplus for Complex Survey Data". Since the p values changed slightly, I would like to be able to justify this choice.

1-Is the “Resampling Methods [bootstrap in my case] in Mplus for Complex Survey Data" give SE that are more “accurate”, or does the idea of the resampling methods was implemented to answer specific problems. In other words, when we have complex sample design, is it generally better to use this method, or only in certain (precise) cases?

2-Will it still be possible/adequate to use model constraints to compare strength of my direct and indirect effects?

Thank you
 Linda K. Muthen posted on Monday, April 21, 2014 - 10:03 am
You should use MLR or ML if you are using replicate weights. The indirect effect standard errors are typically okay unless the sample size is small. Bootstrap often does not make a difference.
 Stat posted on Monday, April 21, 2014 - 11:19 am
Thank you!
 Amanda Pollitt posted on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 - 8:06 am
Just for clarification, is it or is it not incorrect to use the "repe=bootstrap" command if you do not have replicate weights?

Said another way, if I have weights, strata, and clustering design effects but not replicate weights, it is appropriate to use "repse=bootstrap" to obtain bootstapped confidence intervals for indirect effects?
 Linda K. Muthen posted on Thursday, June 15, 2017 - 6:06 am
This option is for replicate weights only. I would not using it for any other purpose.
 Hannah Wallis posted on Friday, May 04, 2018 - 7:59 am
Dear Bengt, Linda & Tihomir,

what would you recommend for 2 mediatian analyses on 2 levels with TYPE IS TWOLEVEL COMPLEX that is comparable to bootstrapping?
I tried to calculate the indirect effects via Estimator = bayes and MODEL CONSTRAINT. However Estimator BAYES is not allowed with TYPE=COMPLEX. Also the resampling methods does not seem to work.

Thank you very much
 Tihomir Asparouhov posted on Friday, May 04, 2018 - 11:18 pm
You can use Bayes with type=threelevel and model both levels that are on the cluster command. At this point this is the only way to obtain asymmetric distributions for the indirect effects in your situation.
 Hannah Wallis posted on Wednesday, May 09, 2018 - 3:38 am
Thanks a lot!
 Grzegorz Humenny posted on Monday, May 28, 2018 - 3:29 pm
I have data from children nested in classes so I use type = complex. Model is with indirect effects (latent and observed variables) . Models without bootstrap and with bootstrap (type =complex with WEIGHT IS weight; and weight =1) give substantially different results not only in estimation of INDIRECT effects but also DIRECT effects. For example: part of result from model WITHOUT bootstrap
LIKE -0.247 0.208 -1.189 0.234
DISLIKE -0.359 0.359 -1.001 0.317
And the same WITH bootstrap
LIKE -0.275 0.140 -1.966 0.049
DISLIKE -0.421 0.224 -1.877 0.061
Which result should I believe? What kind of analysis do you recommend to obtain trustworthy results?
 Tihomir Asparouhov posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 8:29 am
Bootstrap does not affect the point estimates. There must be another difference between the files (such as different weight variable which can affect the point estimates). Since this is a mixture model it maybe that one of the runs is at incomplete convergence/local maximum (but that is unlikely if you have all other estimation settings the same). To avoid that problem you can use the run with the higher likelihood to obtain good starting values for the other run (using output:svalaues in the higher likelihood run and then use these starting values for the other run with starts=0). If you can't figure it out send your example and data to
 Grzegorz Humenny posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 - 9:37 am
Thank you,
I add wieght to model without bootstrap (the same as in model with) but it doesn't change it's point estimates (the differences are still there). Now I'll try with svalues.
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