lavaan: An R Package for Structural Equation Modeling

Yves Rosseel

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Structural equation modeling (SEM) is a vast field and widely used by many applied researchers in the social and behavioral sciences. Over the years, many software packages for structural equation modeling have been developed, both free and commercial. However, perhaps the best state-of-the-art software packages in this field are still closed-source and/or commercial. The R package lavaan has been developed to provide applied researchers, teachers, and statisticians, a free, fully open-source, but commercial-quality package for latent variable modeling. This paper explains the aims behind the development of the package, gives an overview of its most important features, and provides some examples to illustrate how lavaan works in practice.

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