Send to

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

Structural equation model trees.

Author information

Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Psychological Association Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center