The Craft of Model Construction Using Structural Equation Modeling

A Comprehensive 3-day Stats Camp Seminar on Crafting an Exquisite SEM Model in Florence, Italy.

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Seminar includes hands-on training, materials, downloads, software access, and access to recorded class video.

Do you want to take your research to the latent level?

Well, this is it! Based on over 30 years of experience in crafting SEM models for 1000s of research projects, I will show you what you need to know for crafting a structural equation modeling (SEM) that truly tests your research questions! Most campers report their prior training was insufficient and/or outdated. I will introduce you to the current techniques and advances in SEM as well as guide you through the steps to ‘craft’ an exquisite SEM model.

January 20 – 22, 2020
University of Florence Italy


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Seminar Venue:

Florence Center for Data Science Department Website

The venue of the Course will be located in room 32, 2nd floor, of the Department of Statistics, Computer Science, Applications “G. Parenti” of the University of Florence, Viale G.B. Morgagni 59 (map).

Carla Rampichini Website (Professor of Statistics)
Carla Rempichini Profile on UNIFI Website

How to Get to the Course Location:

The Department can be reached by tram (line T1 – Direction Careggi-Ospedale) from the Florence Train Central Station – Santa Maria Novella. The Department is right next to the stop ‘Morgagni – Università’. (map)

The tram goes into service at 5 am and ends its run at 00.30 am. Throughout the day, there is a run every 5 minutes from 7am to 8pm and every 10 minutes the rest of the day.

You can check the transportation company web page for directions and timetables.

If you arrive to Rifredi station, the conference venue can be reached in about 10 minutes walk.

Question? Please contact us for more info or visit our FAQ page.

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Payment Options

Lodging Recommendations:

The Student Hotel

The Student Hotel is near the city centre and near the T1 stop ‘Strozzi-Fallaci’ (only few stops from the Unifi Department) and they have also special prices for long stays.

Note: The most economical option may be to shop Air BnB directly or sharing a room with other attendees.

Other Accommodations:

There are plenty of hotels and budget accommodations in Florence, however WE SUGGEST YOU TO MAKE YOUR HOTEL AND TRAVEL PLANS EARLY.

We suggest to choose an accommodation in the center of Florence, particularly in the areas of Piazza Santa Maria Novella, Piazza San Marco, Piazza San Lorenzo, Piazza del Duomo, Piazza Santissima Annunziata, Piazza Indipendenza and Fortezza da Basso. All these areas are a short walk from the T1 tram line stops (from 1 to 10 minutes), which leads you directly to the Course site, in Viale Morgagni, 59.

Information on accommodations and on tourist attractions can be found on the Official Tourist Website of the City of Florence (  or on the Visit Florence website (

Stats Camp Staff:

Todd Little, Ph.D.
Todd Little, Ph.D.Stats Camp Director

Instructor: Todd D. Little Ph.D.

Todd D. Little, PhD is a Professor at Texas Tech University. He is widely recognized for his quantitative work on various aspects of applied SEM (e.g., modern missing data treatments, indicator selection, parceling, modeling developmental processes) as well as his substantive developmental research (e.g., action-control processes and motivation, coping, and self-regulation). His work has garnered over 35,230 citations with an h-index of 89 and an i10-index of 212. In 2001, he was elected to membership in the Society for Multivariate Experimental Psychology, and in 2009, he was elected President of APA’s Division 5 (Evaluation, Measurement, and Statistics). He is a fellow in APA, APS, and AAAS. In 2013, he received the Cohen award from Division 5 of APA for distinguished contributions to teaching and mentoring and in 2015 he received the inaugural distinguished contributions award for mentoring developmental scientists from the Society for Research in Child Development. Both awards cited his founding of Stats Camp ( in 2003 and its ongoing impact on shaping the quality of scientific inquiry for both past and future generations of researchers.

3-Day Topics Include:

  • Fitting measurement models
  • Three methods of scale setting – including effects coding!
  • Using rescaling constructs (aka Phantom Constructs)
  • Updated recommendations for Scale Validation/Evaluation
  • Multiple-Group Comparisons with applications for experimental and observational groups!
  • Factorial/Measurement Invariance – Are you measuring the same construct?
  • Extended Applications Such as Parceling and Missing Data

Statistics Seminar Objectives

The three-day training institute on Structural Equation Modeling will enable participants to:

  • Gain a basic understanding of structural equation modeling techniques as applied in the social and behavioral sciences.
  • Develop a clear understanding of the conceptual basis of SEM and an appreciation of its mathematical basis.
  • Gain knowledge of the ways in which one should formulate models, test alternative models, and evaluate models with regard to statistical and practical significance.
  • Introduce the use of SEM program(s) with example scripts for LISREL, Mplus and Laavan.

Seminar Audience

If you need to analyze the covariance structure of multivariate data and have a basic statistical background, this seminar is for you. You should have a good working knowledge of the principles and practice of multiple regression and elementary statistical inference. You do not need to know matrix algebra, calculus, or likelihood theory (although that knowledge would be beneficial). Participants from a variety of fields, including sociology, psychology, education, human development, marketing, business, biology, medicine, political science, and communication, will benefit from the seminar.

The seminar will support LISREL, Mplus or Laavan. No previous knowledge of LISREL, Mplus or Laavan is assumed. Furthermore, nearly all the techniques taught in the seminar can be translated fairly easily to most other packages.


The Craft of Model Construction Using Structural Equation Modeling
MondayJanuary 20, 2020
9:00 amWelcome and Introductions.

Philosophy and Theory Construction

10:15-10:30Short Break
Foundations and Scale setting
12:00 – 1:00Lunch Break
Defining Constructs and Identification
2:30 – 2:45Short Break
Confirmatory Factor Analysis I – Introduction to CFA
5:00 pmEnd daily
TuesdayJanuary 21, 2020
9:00 amMissing Data
10:15-10:30Short Break
Confirmatory Factor Analysis II – Comparing Models, Model fit
12:00 – 1:00Lunch Break
CFA: The foundation of any SEM model, continued
2:30 – 2:45Short Break
Parcels and Parceling; Start of Individual Consultations
WednesdayJanuary 22, 2020
9:00 amMultiple-Group CFA – Testing for configural and weak invariance
10:15-10:30Short Break
Multiple-Group CFA – Testing for Strong Invariance
12:00 – 1:00Lunch Break
Multiple-Group CFA – Tests and comparing latent parameters
3:30 – 3:45Short Break
Wrap-up then Individual Consultations

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Seminar Prerequisites


  • Proficiency in multiple linear regression.
  • Beginner-level exposure with at least one statistical software package (e.g., SPSS, Stata, SAS, R, LISREL, Mplus, etc.).

Not required but advantageous:

  • At least limited experience (e.g., graduate-level course) with multivariate data analysis.
  • At least limited experience with continuous latent variable models, e.g., exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (EFA; CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM).

No level of proficiency beyond basic awareness is assumed for skills related to:

  • Modern missing data treatments
  • Parceling procedures
  • Multiple group SEM
  • Advanced mathematical or statistical topics such as matrix algebra or likelihood theory.

Software and Computer Support

Participants need to bring a laptop computer with Wi-Fi capabilities. We strongly recommend that you also bring an extension cord or power strip

All statistical software used at Stats Camp will be available, free to participants, on our SMORS (statistical modeling on remote servers) system for the duration of camp.

The course will support LISREL, Mplus and laavan. Previous knowledge of LISREL, Mplus or laavan is preferred but not required.

Seminar Files

Seminar files and downloads will be posted on the first day of class. Please download these files onto your computer at the beginning of the first day. The files are password protected to respect the intellectual property rights of the instructors. By using your login information, you agree not to share login information or the content protected by it.

Seminar Certificate

Upon completion of the course you may request an official Stats Camp print-ready PDF certificate.  Please contact us here to request a digital copy.

Why Should You Attend?

  • Get 1 on 1 Consultation With Instructor
  • Professional Networking
  • Peer Socializing
  • Collaboration
  • All Course Resources
  • Lunch Daily

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