Structural Equation Modeling in Practice: A Review and Recommended Two-Step Approach

James C. Anderson*, David W. Gerbing

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29341 Scopus citations


In this article, we provide guidance for substantive researchers on the use of structural equation modeling in practice for theory testing and development. We present a comprehensive, two-step modeling approach that employs a series of nested models and sequential chi-square difference tests. We discuss the comparative advantages of this approach over a one-step approach. Considerations in specification, assessment of fit, and respecification of measurement models using confirmatory factor analysis are reviewed. As background to the two-step approach, the distinction between exploratory and confirmatory analysis, the distinction between complementary approaches for theory testing versus predictive application, and some developments in estimation methods also are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-423
Number of pages13
JournalPsychological bulletin
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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