S5E21 Multilevel Factor Analysis: But What Do The Factors Mean?!


In this week’s episode, Greg and Patrick talk about the challenges of combining confirmatory factor analysis and multilevel data, and the underappreciated but absolutely critical role that theory plays in choosing the proper model for your constructs. Along the way they also discuss learning in a second language, torn meniscuseseses, concert C trumpets, nosy neighbors, forts of equations, artillery commanders, saluting cadets, the huffing closet, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Rock’em Sock’em Robots, lactose intolerance, Greg’s ATM PIN, our circle of friend, and configural configurations.

Related Episodes

  • S5E06: Advanced Factor Structures
  • S5E05: Multilevel Models Unleashed
  • S2E29: Multilevel Models: The Often Unnecessary Green Monster with Dan McNeish
  • S1E22: Factor Analysis: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Suggested Readings

Hox, J. J. (2013). Multilevel regression and multilevel structural equation modeling. The Oxford handbook of quantitative methods2(1), 281-294.

Jak, S. (2019). Cross-level invariance in multilevel factor models. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 26, 607-622.

Jak, S., Jorgensen, T. D., ten Hove, D., & Nevicka, B. (2023). Modeling Cluster-Level Constructs Measured by Individual Responses: Configuring a Shared Approach. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science6, 1-18.

Kim, E. S., Dedrick, R. F., Cao, C., & Ferron, J. M. (2016). Multilevel factor analysis: Reporting guidelines and a review of reporting practices. Multivariate Behavioral Research51(6), 881-898.

Muthén, B. O. (1994). Multilevel covariance structure analysis. Sociological Methods & Research22, 376-398.

Ryu, E. (2014). Factorial invariance in multilevel confirmatory factor analysis. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 67, 172-194.

Ryu, E., & West, S. G. (2009). Level-specific evaluation of model fit in multilevel structural equation modeling. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 16, 583-601.

Stapleton, L. M., & Johnson, T. L. (2019). Models to examine the validity of cluster-level factor structure using individual-level data. Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychological Science, 2, 312-329.

Stapleton, L. M., McNeish, D. M., & Yang, J. S. (2016). Multilevel and single-level models for measured and latent variables when data are clustered. Educational Psychologist51(3-4), 317-330.

Stapleton, L. M., Yang, J. S., & Hancock, G. R. (2016). Construct meaning in multilevel settings. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics41, 481-520.


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