Modular Open-Source Software for Item Factor Analysis

Joshua N. Pritikin, Micheal D. Hunter, Steven M. Boker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


This article introduces an item factor analysis (IFA) module for OpenMx, a free, open-source, and modular statistical modeling package that runs within the R programming environment on GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows. The IFA module offers a novel model specification language that is well suited to programmatic generation and manipulation of models. Modular organization of the source code facilitates the easy addition of item models, item parameter estimation algorithms, optimizers, test scoring algorithms, and fit diagnostics all within an integrated framework. Three short example scripts are presented for fitting item parameters, latent distribution parameters, and a multiple group model. The availability of both IFA and structural equation modeling in the same software is a step toward the unification of these two methodologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)458-474
Number of pages17
JournalEducational and Psychological Measurement
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 6 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Applied Mathematics


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