Article and Chapter Overviews of SEM

While there are many whole books available on the topic of structural equation modeling (SEM), some researchers may prefer a briefer introduction to the field. The following articles and book chapters have been recommended as good overviews of the field. However, readers are advised to be aware of publication dates. SEM is a fast-moving field, and old recommendations may be obsolete.


Anderson, J. C., & Gerbing, D. W. (1988). Structural equation modeling in practice: A review and recommended two-step approach. Psychological Bulletin, 103 (3), 411-423.

But see also:
Fornell, C., & Yi, Y. (1992a). Assumptions of the two-step approach to latent variable modeling. Sociological Methods & Research, 20 (1), 291-320.

Anderson, J. C., & Gerbing, D. W. (1992). Assumptions and comparative strengths of the two-step approach: Comment on Fornell and Yi. Sociological Methods & Research, 20 (1), 321-333.

Fornell, C., & Yi, Y. (1992b). Assumptions of the two-step approach: Reply to Anderson and Gerbing. Sociological Methods & Research, 20 (1), 334-339.

And for an earlier presentation of the sequential model heuristic, see James, Mulaik & Brett (1982).


Baumgartner, H., & Homburg, C. (1996). Applications of structural equation modeling in marketing and consumer research: A review. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 13, 139-61.

As the title suggests, this article examines prior applications in the marketing literature and makes some recommendations.


Bentler, P. M., & Chou, C.-P. (1987). Practical issues in structural modeling. Sociological Methods & Research, 16, 78-117.

Bentler, P. M., & Chou, C.-P. (1988). Practical issues in structural modeling. In J. S. Long (Ed.), Common problems/proper solutions: Avoiding error in survey research (pp.161-192). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.


Child Development (1987), Vol. 58, No. 1, included a special section on structural equation modeling, edited by Connell and Tanaka, with articles by Mulaik, Anderson, Bentler, Hertzog, McArdle, Huba and Harlow, and others.


Chapter 11 of Hair, Anderson, Tatham & Black (1995), Multivariate Data Analysis (4th ed.),Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, pp. 616-707, is devoted to SEM.


I have recently written an overview chapter on SEM:
Rigdon, E.E. (1998). Structural equation modeling. In G. Marcoulides (ed.), Modern methods for business research. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, pp. 251-94.
This book also includes chapters on partial least squares and latent class analysis--alternatives to SEM--and on longitudinal modeling and dynamic factor analysis.


Jodie Ullman wrote a chapter on SEM for:
Using multivariate statistics (3rd ed.) by Tabachnick and Fidell--HarperCollins, pp. 709-812.
Jodie states, "The chapter is very much an intro and overview of SEM along with demonstration of SEM models using EQS, LISREL, CALIS, and RAMONA."


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Last updated: May 14, 1996