Two methods, direct maximum likelihood (ML) and the expectation maximization (EM) algorithm, can be used to obtain ML parameter estimates for structural equation models with missing data (MD). Although the 2 methods frequently produce identical parameter estimates, it may be easier to satisfy missing at random assumptions using EM. However, no single value of N is applicable to the EM covariance matrix, and this may compromise inferences gained from the model fit statistic and parameter standard errors. The purpose of this study was to identify a value of N that provides accurate inferences when using EM. If all confirmatory factor analysis model indicators have MD, results suggest that the minimum N per covariance term yields honest Type 1 error rates. If MD are restricted to a subset of indicators, the minimum N pet variance works well. With respect to standard errors, the harmonic mean N per variance term produces honest confidence interval coverage rates.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Decision Sciences(all)
- Modeling and Simulation
- Sociology and Political Science
- Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)