Help with understanding an SEM analysis PreviousNext
Mplus Discussion > Structural Equation Modeling >
 Keith Tan posted on Wednesday, November 25, 2015 - 9:42 pm

I am trying to understand an SEM analysis from my colleague. I've asked her to explain it to me, but I find it confusing and I suspect something wrong with her understanding.

For me, the final model diagram seems very complicated and I am unable to clearly deduce what the research question might be from it or what the endogenous variables or variables of interest are. Unfortunately, she also cannot give me a clear answer on what these are.

She says that in specifying the model syntax, she tried out all possible relations. I asked if that meant all possible relations like 1 to 2, 1 to 3.. 2 to 3, 2 to 4 and also in the opposite direction etc. and she said yes.

It sounds very suspicious to me as with 7 variables, the possible number of identified/over-identified models will range in the hundreds if not thousands.

From what I have shared, could I ask your help to share possible scenarios of what my colleague actually did? Would you also call this an SEM with an exploratory approach?


Measurement model: 7 latent variables were calculated from the observed data, i've labeled them 1 to 7. they include constructs like efficacy, agency and practice etc. model fit indices are good (i am not including them here though)

Structural Model: Below is the syntax on the structural relations.

1 on 2
3 on 4 5 7
6 on 5 3 7
4 on 1 5
2 on 3 5
 Bengt O. Muthen posted on Thursday, November 26, 2015 - 6:39 pm
Mplus does not allow numbers as variable names.

From your description I don't think the person has enough theory to do SEM. I wouldn't call that exploratory SEM, but rather not knowing enough about the subject matter behind the variables to do a meaningful analysis. You may want to ask on SEMNET.
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