Equivalence and differences between structural equation modeling and state-space modeling techniques

Sy Miin Chow, Moon ho R. Ho, Ellen L. Hamaker, Conor V. Dolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


State-space modeling techniques have been compared to structural equation modeling (SEM) techniques in various contexts but their unique strengths have often been overshadowed by their similarities to SEM. In this article, we provide a comprehensive discussion of these 2 approaches' similarities and differences through analytic comparisons and numerical simulations, with a focus on their use in representing intraindividual dynamics and interindividual differences. To demonstrate the respective strengths and weaknesses of the 2 approaches in representing these 2 aspects, we simulated data under (a) a cross-sectional common factor model, (b) a latent difference score model with random effects in intercept and slope, and (c) a bivariate dynamic factor analysis model with auto- and cross-regression parameters. Possible ways in which SEM and state-space modeling can be utilized as complementary tools in representing human developmental and other related processes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)303-332
Number of pages30
JournalStructural Equation Modeling
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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