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Introduction to Structural Equation Modelling using Mplus

Organizing institution
Utrecht University, Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (UU)
Course code
Course fee (incl. housing)
€ 800
Master level

The main objective of this course is to learn how to analyze 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.

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More and more 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 longitudinal models (latent growth curves 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 each day, 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 (and/or 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 (accessible via www.joophox.net): Hox, J. J. & Bechger, T.M. (2007). An introduction to structural equation modelling. Family Science Review, 11, 354-373.

No previous knowledge of Mplus is assumed. You do not need to have any knowledge on matrix algebra, calculus, or likelihood theory. The following book might come in handy: Muthén, Muthén & Asparouhov (2016). Regression And Mediation Analysis Using Mplus. Los Angeles: Muthén & Muthén.

A good follow up is our Summer School course ‘Advanced course on using Mplus’ (S23) (10-14 July).

Tags: mplus, structural equation modelling (sem), latent growth model (lgm), confirmatory factor analysis (cfa), multigroup models, cross-lagged panel models

» Download the day-to-day programme (PDF)

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Dr. Rebecca Kuiper and Dr. Rens van de Schoot


Dr. Rebecca Kuiper, Kimberley Lek MSc., Milica Miočević PhD., Dr. Rens van de Schoot


Participants (Research Master Students, PhD students, or post-graduate researchers) from a variety of fields, including sociology, psychology, education, human development, marketing, business, biology, medicine, political science, and communication sciences, may benefit from the course.

A max. of 80 number of participant will be allowed in this course.

Please note: selection for this course will be done on a first-come-first-served basis. There is always a one-day delay between the registration system and the information on the website about the availability of places.


The main objective of the course is to acquire a basic understanding of how to use Mplus for SEM as applied in the social and behavioural sciences. Moreover, participants will learn how to analyze datasets with Mplus, to interpret the output and to report the results.


Days 1-4: morning session consists of lectures, and the afternoon session of a computer lab where everyone can practice working with Mplus.
Day 5: individual consultations with Mplus experts and room to work on your own data.


• € 800 - Course + course materials + housing
• € 600 - Course + course materials

Tuition fees for PhD candidates from the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences will be funded by the Graduate School of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

» Overview of all available discounts

The course Introduction to Structural Equation Modelling using Mplus can be combined with the following courses.


Utrecht Summer School does not offer scholarships for this course.


Marianne Geelhoed

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Deadline for registration: 19 June 2017

Course fully booked