# Growth modeling within a structural equation modeling framework

In a prior episode of Office Hours, Patrick explored “Growth modeling in a multilevel modeling framework.” In the current episode he discusses how growth models can also be estimated within the structural equation modeling (SEM) framework. He begins with a brief review of the confirmatory factor analysis model and describes this as the foundation of the latent curve model (LCM) estimated within the SEM. He explains the motivation for using the observed repeated measures as multiple indicators defining one or more underlying latent growth factors. He then describes using this formulation to estimate an LCM that he then extends to include time-invariant and time-varying covariates. He concludes with a brief description of multivariate LCMs that allow for the simultaneous estimation of growth processes in two or more constructs at once.

To see all episodes in this series, see our Growth Modeling playlist.

## My advisor told me to use principal components analysis to examine the structure of my items and compute scale scores, but I was taught not to use it because it is not a “true” factor analysis. Help!

We explain the difference between principal components analysis and exploratory factor analysis

## My advisor told me I should group-mean center my predictors in my multilevel model because it might “make my effects significant” but this doesn’t seem right to me. What exactly is involved in centering predictors within the multilevel model?

How to specify multilevel models to obtain within- and between-group effects through centering lower-level predictors.

## I fit a multilevel model and got the warning message “G Matrix is Non-Positive Definite.” What does this mean and what should I do about it?

Received the cryptic warning message “G matrix is non-positive definite”? Learn what this means and what to do about it.

## What’s the best way to determine the number of latent classes in a finite mixture analysis?

Selecting the number of classes (or components) is one of the most challenging decisions to make when fitting a finite mixture model (including latent class analysis and latent profile analysis). In this post, we talk through the conventional wisdom on class enumeration, as well as when this breaks down.

## I’m reporting within- and between-group effects in from a multilevel model, and my reviewer says I need to address “sampling error” in the group means. What does this mean, and what can I do to address this?

Why between-group effects estimating in MLMs are sometimes biased, and what to do about it