Encyclopedia of Couple and Family Therapy

2019 Edition
| Editors: Jay L. Lebow, Anthony L. Chambers, Douglas C. Breunlin

Structural Equation Modeling in Couple and Family Research

  • Joanna HerresEmail author
  • Quintin Hunt
  • Guy S. Diamond
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49425-8_411

Name of Concept

Structural Equation Modeling in Couple and Family Research


Theories about couples and families focus us beyond simple relationships between variables to more complicated models that take into account direct and indirect relationships. The study of couple and family therapy process in particular tests theories about how therapy improves outcomes through some mediating variable. For example, improvement in the parent/child attachment relationship is considered an important mechanism of change in family therapy for adolescent depression (Kobak et al. 2015). According to attachment theory, family therapy reduces depressive symptoms through improvement in the parent/child relationship (the mediator). Structural equation modeling (SEM) provides a single statistical method of testing mediation models, as long as the necessary conditions are satisfied (e.g., temporal precedence and third variable controls).


SEM refers to a statistical method used to...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The College of New JerseyEwing TownshipUSA
  2. 2.Center for Family Intervention, Drexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Heather Pederson
    • 1
  • Diana Semmelhack
    • 2
  1. 1.Council for RelationshipsPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Midwestern UniversityDowners GroveUSA