Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) Foundations Training Seminar

SEM Foundations Statistics Training Seminar

A comprehensive 3-day Stats Camp seminar on the Foundations of SEM

Overview: Do you want to take your measurement to the latent level? Well, this is it, you have found it, the foundation to what you need to know for latent variable modeling – structural equation modeling (SEM)! Most campers report their prior training was insufficient and/or outdated. We 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.

3-Day Topics Include:

  • Phantom Constructs
  • Fitting measurement models
  • Three methods of scale setting – including effects coding!
  • 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

University Camp: September 30 – October 2, 2019
UCLA Math Sciences Building – Room 5628 (the Portal)


September 30, 2019 at 9AM

The Stats Camp will take place on the UCLA Campus. Please book your accommodation as soon as possible. The cost of accommodation is not included in the fee for the Stats Camp.

Parking Location – Guests must drive to any information kiosk on campus and provide the event name or the confirmation in order to receive their courtesy permit. They must display this on their dashboard, then proceed to park in any non-reserved stall in Lot 2.

Travel Info:

Hotels are listed below in order of proximity to the UCLA Stats Camp course location:
Marriott Hotel
Hotel Angeleno

For those who may fly in, there is also a “Fly Away” bus that runs from LAX and LAS to Westwood.

Payment Options

$1,295 Faculty/Professional or $945 Student/Post-Doc

View Upcoming Statistics Courses Here

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.


Stats Camp 2019: SEM Foundations
Monday September 30, 2019
9:00 am Welcome and Introductions. Philosophy and Foundations
10:15-10:30 Snack and Refreshment Break
Foundations and Scale setting
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch Break
Defining Constructs and Identification
2:30 – 2:45 Snack and Refreshment Break
Confirmatory Factor Analysis I – Introduction to CFA
5:00 pm End daily
Tuesday October 1, 2019
9:00 am Missing Data
10:15-10:30 Snack and Refreshment Break
Confirmatory Factor Analysis II – Comparing Models, Model fit
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch Break
CFA: The foundation of any SEM model, continued
2:30 – 2:45 Snack and Refreshment Break
Parcels and Parceling; Start of Individual Consultations
Wednesday October 2, 2019
9:00 am Multiple-Group CFA – Testing for configural and weak invariance
10:15-10:30 Snack and Refreshment Break
Multiple-Group CFA – Testing for Strong Invariance
12:00 – 1:00 Lunch Break
Multiple-Group CFA – Tests and comparing latent parameters
2:30 – 2:45 Snack and Refreshment Break
Wrap-up then Individual Consultations

Instructor: Todd D. Little Ph.D.

Todd D. Little, PhD is a Professor and director of the Institute for Measurement, Methodology, Analysis and Policy 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 24,500 citations with an h-index of 78 and an i10-index of 183. 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.

Co-Instructor: Elizabeth Grandfield Ph.D.

Elizabeth received her Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology from the University of Kansas. Her research focuses on evaluating measurement invariance with an emphasis in longitudinal designs. In areas of applied research, Elizabeth has been involved in longitudinal children studies at Juniper Gardens as well as a national nursing study at Kansas University Medical Center, both in Kansas City. She also received the 2011 Multivariate Software Award, presented by Peter Bentler and Eric Wu. Elizabeth has been involved in Stats Camp since 2012.

Seminar Prerequisites


  • Proficiency in multiple linear regression.
  • At least limited experience with continuous latent variable models, e.g., exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis (EFA; CFA) and structural equation modeling (SEM).
  • Intermediate proficiency 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.

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

  • Longitudinal SEM.
  • 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
  • Lunches & Snacks Daily