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Structural Equation Modeling: A Primer for Health Behavior Researchers

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Objective : To introduce the state of the art of structural equation modeling (SEM).

Method : This primer is organized in a manner allowing readers to review any one of 5 freestanding sections.

Results : SEM maintains several advantages over regression and other multivariate techniques. Through a 2-step modeling process, SEM strengthens research by allowing for the specification of complex, theory-driven models that can be tested with empirical data. Although use of SEM alone is not a magic solution, new software developments provide users with unparalleled flexibility for improving research.

Conclusion : SEM must be thrust into the daily vocabulary and routine practice of health behavior researchers.

Keywords: SEM; health behavior research; multivariate statistics; primer; structural equation models

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2007

More about this publication?
  • The American Journal of Health Behavior seeks to improve the quality of life through multidisciplinary health efforts in fostering a better understanding of the multidimensional nature of both individuals and social systems as they relate to health behaviors.

    The Journal aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the impact of personal attributes, personality characteristics, behavior patterns, social structure, and processes on health maintenance, health restoration, and health improvement; to disseminate knowledge of holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to designing and implementing effective health programs; and to showcase health behavior analysis skills that have been proven to affect health improvement and recovery.

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