An overview of structural equation modeling: its beginnings, historical development, usefulness and controversies in the social sciences

Piotr Tarka


This paper is a tribute to researchers who have significantly contributed to improving and advancing structural equation modeling (SEM). It is, therefore, a brief overview of SEM and presents its beginnings, historical development, its usefulness in the social sciences and the statistical and philosophical (theoretical) controversies which have often appeared in the literature pertaining to SEM. Having described the essence of SEM in the context of causal analysis, the author discusses the years of the development of structural modeling as the consequence of many researchers’ systematically growing needs (in particular in the social sciences) who strove to effectively understand the structure and interactions of latent phenomena. The early beginnings of SEM models were related to the work of Spearman and Wright, and to that of other prominent researchers who contributed to SEM development. The importance and predominance of theoretical assumptions over technical issues for the successful construction of SEM models are also described. Then, controversies regarding the use of SEM in the social sciences are presented. Finally, the opportunities and threats of this type of analytical strategy as well as selected areas of SEM applications in the social sciences are discussed.
Author Piotr Tarka (WZ / KBRiU)
Piotr Tarka,,
- Department of Research Markets and Services
Journal seriesQuality and Quantity, ISSN 0033-5177, (A 30 pkt)
Issue year2018
Publication size in sheets2.05
Keywords in EnglishStructural equation modeling, Development and usefulness of SEM, Controversies of SEM, Areas of applications in social science research
ASJC Classification3300 General Social Sciences; 2613 Statistics and Probability
Languageen angielski
Score (nominal)30
Score sourcejournalList
ScoreMinisterial score = 30.0, 17-03-2020, ArticleFromJournal
Publication indicators WoS Citations = 15; Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2018 = 0.886; WoS Impact Factor: 2017 = 1.072 (2) - 2017=1.154 (5)
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UwagiFirst Online: 09 January 2017
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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