Structural equation modeling (SEM) has received growing attention by researchers in social sciences and education. There are several distinct features of SEM. First, the SEM can estimate the complex relationships between variables. Second, it allows researchers to test hypothesized models based on theory and prior empirical findings. Third, unlike traditional multivariate statistical methods, such as multiple regression analyses, multivariate analysis of variance, and correlation, SEM takes measurement error into account, thereby giving [Page 1625]unbiased parameter estimates. Last, it provides multiple fit indices of model fit and suggests how a model can be modified.
Given the increased popularity of SEM, many software packages, including LISREL, EQS, Amos, SAS, and Mplus, are available to conduct the related analyses. All are equation based, except Amos, which is commonly used ...
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