Structural Equation Models using Amos


Dr Nichola Shackleton


An understanding of multiple regression is essential and knowledge of exploratory factor analysis is highly desirable. It is also expected that participants have previous experience with a statistical data analysis package such as SPSS. However, the course assumes that participants have little or no prior knowledge of structural equation modelling (SEM) and have not previously used Amos.

Course outline

The course is divided into three parts and follows the historical development of SEM.
Part I is concerned with directly observed variables. Topics include regression and path analysis, and model testing of causal models with observed variables.
Part II introduces latent (unobserved) variables. Topics include confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), model comparisons, model equivalence and higher-order CFA, formative versus reflective indicators, and invariance testing via multi-group analyses.
Part III combines the ideas covered in the first two parts by introducing full SEM models as path models amongst latent variables. Topics include single indicator latent variable models, and mediating, potentially moderating (interaction) and alternate models in SEM. Specification of longitudinal and growth models will also be introduced. Throughout the course, issues related to fitting structural models are addressed. These include model specification and identification, assessing model fit, and dealing with problem data including missing data, small samples, ordinal and/or dichotomous variables, non-normal data, non-positive definite matrices and inadmissible models.
Course participants will be provided with instruction and practical experience in the use of Amos to estimate parameters implied by various types of models. Participants will also be given the opportunity to ask questions about their own research and receive feedback on their models when time permits during the course. Participants wishing to bring their own data should bring an SPSS (*.sav) file or Excel (*.xlsx) file.
While no pre-reading is required and all necessary materials will be provided for the course, interested participants may wish to consult the reference below for preliminary reading.

Course text

Cunningham E (2012). A practical guide to structural equation modelling using Amos™. Melbourne: Statsline.


Kline RB (2005). Principles and Practice of Structural Equation Modelling (2nd Ed). NY: The Guilford Press.