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Front. Psychol. | doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00251

Using iMCFA to Perform the CFA, Multilevel CFA, and Maximum Model for Analyzing Complex Survey Data

  • 1National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
  • 2National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan
  • 3National Central University, Taiwan

To construct CFA, MCFA, and maximum MCFA with LISREL v.8 and below, we provide iMCFA (integrated Multilevel Confirmatory Analysis) to examine the potential multilevel factorial structure in the complex survey data. Modeling multilevel structure for complex survey data is complicated because building a multilevel model is not an infallible statistical strategy unless the hypothesized model is close to the real data structure. Methodologists have suggested using different modeling techniques to investigate potential multilevel structure of survey data. Using iMCFA, researchers can visually set the between- and within-level factorial structure to fit MCFA, CFA and/or MAX MCFA models for complex survey data. iMCFA can then yield between- and within-level variance-covariance matrices, calculate intraclass correlations, perform the analyses and generate the outputs for respective models. The summary of the analytical outputs from LISREL is gathered and tabulated for further model comparison and interpretation. iMCFA also provides LISREL syntax of different models for researchers’ future use. An empirical and a simulated multilevel dataset with complex and simple structures in the within or between level was used to illustrate the usability and the effectiveness of the iMCFA procedure on analyzing complex survey data. The analytic results of iMCFA using Muthen's limited information estimator were compared with those of Mplus using Full Information Maximum Likelihood regarding the effectiveness of different estimation methods.

Keywords: Multilevel structural equation modeling, confirmatory factor analysis, Complex survey data, LISREL, Mplus, maximum model

Received: 13 Jul 2017; Accepted: 15 Feb 2018.

Edited by:

Ehri Ryu, Boston College, United States

Reviewed by:

Ronny Scherer, Centre for Educational Measurement, Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo, Norway
Salvador Chacón-Moscoso, Universidad de Sevilla, Spain
Yu Liu, University of Houston, United States  

Copyright: © 2018 Wu, Lee and Lin. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Dr. Jiun-Yu Wu, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan,