I just returned from the privilege of attending an introduction to Mplus course as part of the Summer School program at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. It was a very good and intensive program and I am grateful for the opportunity to attend. This activity was funded by part of my recent promotion to Distinguished Professor at Illinois State University. The short course description is below:
- “We offer a 5-day course on how to perform basic SEM analyses using Mplus. The main objective of this course is to learn how to analyse several models with Mplus (e.g., path models, multiple group models, mediation and moderation, CFA, and longitudinal models). No previous knowledge of Mplus is assumed, but prior knowledge of SEM, although not mandatory, will make this course more useful.
- Many researchers in the social and behavioural sciences are using, or want to use, Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) to investigate their theories. Mplus is a popular and flexible software package for doing SEM. We offer a 5-day course on how to perform basic SEM analyses using Mplus.
- The course starts with an introduction on how to use Mplus to perform regression analysis and how to ‘communicate’ with Mplus (e.g., how to specify a model, and how to deal with error messages). In the following days basic models relevant for social scientists will be discussed, including multiple group models, confirmatory factor analysis, and cross-lagged panel models, and important topics such as moderation and mediation and testing for measurement invariance are covered. On the last day participants can meet with Mplus experts for individual consultation, and work on their own data. On the other days, the morning session consists of lectures, and the afternoon session of a computer lab where participants practice with Mplus.
- Researchers are expected to have a basic knowledge of regression analysis and exploratory factor analysis (i.e., principal component analysis). These techniques are discussed in most books on multivariate statistics (e.g., Andy Field: Discovering Statistics; Tabachnick and Fidell: Using multivariate statistics). Some knowledge of SEM and software like AMOS, LISREL, Mx or EQS is helpful, but not mandatory. If you have no experience with SEM, please read the following paper: Hox, J. J. & Bechger, T.M. (2007). An introduction to structural equation modelling. Family Science Review, 11, 354-373. Accessible via www.joophox.net.
- No previous knowledge of Mplus is assumed. You do not need to have any knowledge on matrix algebra, calculus, or likelihood theory.”