1 Preface

Structural equation modeling is among the fastest growing statistical techniques in the natural sciences, thanks in large part to new advances and software packages that make it broadly applicable and easy to use.

This book is meant to be an approachable and open-source guide to the theory, math, and application of SEM. It integrates code for the R software for statistical computing from popular packages such as lavaan and piecewiseSEM. Each chapter ends with worked examples from the published literature.

Moreover, as the author of the piecewiseSEM package, this format allows me to document newly-deployed functionality in the package, such as the addition of categorical variables, multigroup analysis and composite variables, new forms of coefficient standardization, and updates to model R2s.

Check back often, as this book is a “living resource:” as new functionality is added and bugs uncovered and fixed, they will be described in detail here (with worked examples where possible).

In some ways, this is my grandest experiment: happy reading!