Structural equation modeling (SEM) belongs to the class of statistical analyses that examines the relations among multiple variables (both exogenous and endogenous). The methodology can be viewed as a combination of three statistical techniques: multiple regression, path analysis, and factor analysis. It has the purpose of determining the extent to which a proposed theoretical model, which is often expressed by a set of relations among different constructs, is supported by the collected data. SEM is, therefore, a technique for [Page 1455]confirmatory instead of exploratory analysis. This entry represents a nonmathematical introduction to SEM, with an emphasis on its benefits, usage, and basic underlying assumptions. Principal concepts related to the methodology and summarized comparisons with other multivariate analyses are also presented. Then, the entry outlines and ...
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