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Psychol Methods. 2013 Mar;18(1):71-86. doi: 10.1037/a0030001. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

Structural equation model trees.

Author information

1
Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany. brandmaier@mpib-berlin.mpg.de

Abstract

In the behavioral and social sciences, structural equation models (SEMs) have become widely accepted as a modeling tool for the relation between latent and observed variables. SEMs can be seen as a unification of several multivariate analysis techniques. SEM Trees combine the strengths of SEMs and the decision tree paradigm by building tree structures that separate a data set recursively into subsets with significantly different parameter estimates in a SEM. SEM Trees provide means for finding covariates and covariate interactions that predict differences in structural parameters in observed as well as in latent space and facilitate theory-guided exploration of empirical data. We describe the methodology, discuss theoretical and practical implications, and demonstrate applications to a factor model and a linear growth curve model.

PMID:
22984789
PMCID:
PMC4386908
DOI:
10.1037/a0030001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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