Introduction to Longitudinal Structural Equation Modelling with R (join a waiting list)

Course Code


Organised by

NCRM, University of Southampton


Dr Alexandru Cernat


31/01/2019 - 01/02/2019


University of Southampton, Building 39, Highfield, Southampton


View in Google Maps  (SO17 1BJ)


Jacqui Thorp
Training and Capacity Building Co-ordinator
National Centre for Research Methods
Tel: 02380 594069


Longitudinal data (data collected multiple times from the same cases) is becoming increasingly popular due to the important insights it can bring us. For example, it can be used to track how individuals change in time and what are the causes of change, it can also be used to understand causal relationships or used as part of impact evaluation. Unfortunately, traditional models such as OLS regression are not appropriate as multiple individuals are nested in different time points. For this reason specialised statistical models need to be learned.

Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) offers a flexible framework in which longitudinal data can be analysed. It offers a series of advantages compared to other approaches such as traditional multilevel models: the inclusion of multiple relationships (path analysis, mediation, etc.), the inclusion of measurement error, the estimation of change in measurement error, multi-group analysis, etc.

The course will cover some of the basics and more advanced models used in Longitudinal SEM using the lavaan package in R. In addition to the fact that the package is free and open source they also offer great flexibility, being able to estimate most of the models typically used in Longitudinal SEM.

The course covers:

  • Introduction to R and lavaan package;
  • Short discussion of the SEM framework;
  • Regression and path analysis in SEM;
  • Cross-lagged models;
  • Latent Growth Models;
  • Factor models and their identification;
  • Equivalence testing;
  • Second order cross-lagged and Latent Growth Models;

By the end of the course participants will:

  • Know what is SEM;
  • Be able to estimate and interpret results from a cross-lagged model;
  • Be able to estimate and interpret results from a Latent Growth Model;
  • Be able to estimate and interpret longitudinal equivalence testing;
  • Understand second order factors and how they can be used in Longitudinal SEM;

The course is aimed at people from all disciplines and types of institutions that want to learn about longitudinal data analysis or about latent variable modelling.


Knowledge of regression analysis. Prior knowledge of R or SEM would be an advantage but not essential.

Preparatory Reading

For an introduction to SEM:

Brown, T. (2006). Confirmatory Factor Analysis for Applied Research (1st ed.). The Guilford Press.

Further reading

Using lavaan in R:

Beaujean, A. A. (2014). Latent Variable Modeling Using R: A Step-by-Step Guide. New York: Routledge.

For Longitudinal SEM:

Little, T. D. (2013). Longitudinal Structural Equation Modeling. New York: Guilford Press.


Intermediate (some prior knowledge)


The fee per teaching day is:

• £30 per day for UK/EU registered students
• £60 per day for staff at UK/EU academic institutions, UK/EU Research Councils researchers, UK/EU public sector staff and staff at UK/EU registered charity organisations and recognised UK/EU research institutions.
• £220 per day for all other participants

All fees include event materials, lunch, morning and afternoon tea. They do not include travel and accommodation costs.

Full refund is available two weeks prior to the course taking place, NO refund is available after this date.

Website and registration


South West


Longitudinal Data Analysis, Latent class growth analysis, R, Equivalence testing , , Measurement error

Related publications and presentations

Longitudinal Data Analysis
Latent class growth analysis

Back to archive...