Causation Issues in Structural Equation Modeling Research
Date of Original Version
As the use of structural equation modeling (SEM) has increased, confusion has grown concerning the correct use of and the conclusions that can be legitimately drawn from these methodologies. It appears that much of the controversy surrounding SEM is related to the degree of certainty with which causal statements can be drawn from these procedures. SEM is discussed in relation to the conditions necessary for providing causal evidence. Both the weaknesses and the strengths of SEM are examined. Although structural modeling cannot ensure that necessary causal conditions have been met, it is argued that SEM methods may offer the potential for tentative causal inferences to be drawn when used with carefully specified and controlled designs. Keeping in mind that no statistical methodology can in and of itself determine causality, specific guidelines are suggested to help researchers approach a potential for providing causal evidence with SEM procedures. © 1994, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal
Bullock, Heather E., Lisa L. Harlow, and Stanley A. Mulaik. "Causation Issues in Structural Equation Modeling Research." Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal 1, 3 (1994): 253-267. doi:10.1080/10705519409539977.