Adding missing-data-relevant variables to FIML-based structural equation models

John W. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

471 Scopus citations


Conventional wisdom in missing data research dictates adding variables to the missing data model when those variables are predictive of (a) missingness and (b) the variables containing missingness. However, it has recently been shown that adding variables that are correlated with variables containing missingness, whether or not they are related to missingness, can substantially improve estimation (bias and efficiency). Including large numbers of these "auxiliary" variables is straightforward for researchers who use multiple imputation. However, what is the researcher to do if 1 of the FIML/SEM procedures is the analysis of choice? This article suggests 2 models for SEM analysis with missing data, and presents simulation results to show that both models provide estimation that is clearly as good as analysis with the EM algorithm, and by extension, multiple imputation. One of these models, the saturated correlates model, also provides good estimates of model fit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-100
Number of pages21
JournalStructural Equation Modeling
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Decision Sciences
  • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Modeling and Simulation


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