Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling using lavaan

Yves Rosseel


Half day short course (Monday, July 11; 10:00AM-1:15PM)

This workshop will provide both a refresher of SEM concepts and practices, and a tutorial on how to use the open-source R package lavaan for SEM ( After a brief general introduction to SEM, this workshop will explain the basics of the lavaan syntax, and give an overview of the most important functions in the lavaan package. After discussing a few simple CFA and SEM examples, the workshop will demonstrate how lavaan can handle mean structures and multiple groups, measurement invariance, missing data and non-normal data, binary and ordinal data, longitudinal data (with a small number of time points), and clustered (two level) data. The workshop will end with several tips and tricks to solve common problems that users may encounter when using SEM software (e.g., non-convergence, negative variances, non positive-definite matrices, strange error and warnings messages).

The intended audience for the workshop is undergraduate/graduate students, faculty, researchers, and anyone who is interested in structural equation modeling. The workshop may also be useful for those who have been using commercial software for SEM, and are interested in switching to open-source software. Some prior experience with R is useful, but not necessary.

About the Instructor

Yves Rosseel

Yves Rosseel is a full professor at the Department of Data Analysis, Ghent University (Belgium). His research interests include computational statistics, psychometrics, and structural equation modeling. He is a strong advocate of open source software for scientific purposes, and contributed code to several projects. He is the main developer of lavaan, an R package for structural equation modeling.

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