Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 217–229 | Cite as

Why So Many Arrows? Introduction to Structural Equation Modeling for the Novitiate User

  • Olga V. Berkout
  • Alan M. Gross
  • John Young


Structural equation modeling (SEM) is the term for a broadly applicable set of statistical techniques that allow researchers to precisely represent constructs of interest, measure the extent to which data are consistent with a proposed conceptual model, and to adjust for the influence of measurement error. Although SEM may appear intimidating at first glance, it can be made accessible to researchers. The current manuscript provides a non-technical overview of SEM and its major constructs for a novitiate user. Concepts are illustrated using a simple example, representing a potential study performed in the field of youth and family research. The purpose of this manuscript is to offer interested scholars a conceptual overview and understanding of research questions and issues that may be addressed with this family of techniques.


Statistics Structural equation modeling Measurement Confirmatory factor analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MississippiOxfordUSA

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