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Wed 3 Mar - Thu 4 Mar 2021
09:00 - 13:00

Venue: SSRMP Zoom

Provided by: Social Sciences Research Methods Programme


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Structural Equation Modelling

Wed 3 Mar - Thu 4 Mar 2021


This intensive one-day course on structural equation modelling will provide an introduction to SEM using the statistical software Stata. The aim of the course is to introduce structural equation modelling as an analytical framework and to familiarize participants with the applications of the technique in the social sciences.

The application of the structural equation modelling framework to a variety of social science research questions will be illustrated through examples of published papers. The examples used are drawn from recent papers as well as from publications from the early days of the technique; some use path analysis using cross-national data, others confirmatory factor analysis, and other still full structural models, to test particular hypotheses. Some example papers may be found below, though they should not be treated as the gold standard, rather as an illustration of the variety of approaches and reporting techniques within SEM.

  • Duff, A., Boyle, E., Dunleavy, K., & Ferguson, J. (2004). The relationship between personality, approach to learning and academic performance. Personality and individual differences, 36(8), 1907-1920.
  • Garnier, M., & Hout, M. (1976). Inequality of educational opportunity in France and the United States. Social Science Research, 5(3), 225-246.
  • Helm, F., Müller-Kalthoff, H., Mukowski, R., & Möller, J. (2018). Teacher judgment accuracy regarding students' self-concepts: Affected by social and dimensional comparisons?. Learning and Instruction, 55, 1-12.
  • Parker, P. D., Jerrim, J., Schoon, I., & Marsh, H. W. (2016). A multination study of socioeconomic inequality in expectations for progression to higher education: The role of between-school tracking and ability stratification. American Educational Research Journal, 53(1), 6-32.

Students will engage in a critique of such examples, with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the SEM framework, as well as its application to real-life data. To further facilitate this application focus, the theoretical introduction will be accompanied by practical examples based on real, publicly-available data.

Target audience
  • University Students from Tier 1 Departments
  • Further details regarding eligibility criteria are available here

This course is intended for students who in their research may want to engage with the testing of multiple hypotheses, or with complex relationships between variables.

  • No prior knowledge of SEM is assumed, and only a basic familiarity with Stata (or any other command-based statistical software) is needed.
  • Students should have an understanding of the principles of multivariate regression
  • Background reading (see below)

Number of sessions: 2

# Date Time Venue Trainer
1 Wed 3 Mar   09:00 - 13:00 09:00 - 13:00 SSRMP Zoom Sonia Ilie
2 Thu 4 Mar   09:00 - 13:00 09:00 - 13:00 SSRMP Zoom Sonia Ilie
Topics covered
  • Introduction to the general principles of SEM;
  • Latent variables, measurement models, and confirmatory factor analysis;
  • Path analysis and mediation analysis, with practical application in Stata;
  • Confirmatory factor analysis and latent variable models.
  • Schumacker, R.E. & Lomax, R.G. (fourth edition, 2016, but other editions will also be fine) A beginner's guide to structural equation modelling
    • Chapter: 1 (Introduction);
    • Chapter 5 (Path Models);
    • Chapter 6 (Factor Analysis).

The text is a particularly accessible introduction to SEM. It contains examples in a variety of software packages, although not in Stata©.

Students should focus on understanding the concepts of the technique rather than software issues in preparation for the course. Chapters 1, 5, and 6 provide the core concepts of structural equation modeling, and are required reading for everyone enrolling on the course.

Students who are less confident about their background in quantitative data analysis may want to also read Chapters 2 (Data Entry and Edit Issues), 3 (Correlation) and 4 (Regression Models).


There may be an online open-book test at the end of the module; for most students, the test is not compulsory.

How to Book

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8 hours
This is an intensive, one-day module

Specialist Statistics

Booking / availability