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International Journal on Disability and Human Development

Official journal of the the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Israel

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Volume 13, Issue 2


The use of confirmatory factor analyses in adolescent research: Project P.A.T.H.S. in Hong Kong

Daniel T.L. Shek
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, P.R. China
  • Public Policy Research Institute, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, P.R. China
  • Kiang Wu Nursing College of Macau, Macau, P.R. China
  • Department of Social Work, East China Normal University, Shanghai, P.R. China
  • Division of Adolescent Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Kentucky Children’s Hospital, University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, KY, USA
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Cecilia M.S. Ma
  • Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, P.R. China
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2014-04-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijdhd-2014-0307


Factor analyses are often used to examine latent variables underlying a set of observed variables. Although exploratory factor analyses are commonly used, the findings are not definitive and there are few useful methods to determine superiority of different exploratory factor analysis models. In contrast, confirmatory factor analyses are used to test models defined in an a priori manner and different goodness-of-fit indicators are available. However, confirmatory factor analyses are complex if one uses the traditional syntax commands in LISREL. In this paper, primary factor and hierarchical confirmatory factor analyses as well as factorial invariance were examined based on the data collected in the Project P.A.T.H.S. in Hong Kong. It is expected that through a step-by-step approach, researchers and students can understand the basic procedures in performing confirmatory factor analyses using SIMPLIS commands in LISREL.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: confirmatory factor analyses; factorial invariance; hierarchical factor models; LISREL; primary factor model


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About the article

Corresponding author: Professor Daniel T.L. Shek, PhD, FHKPS, BBS, JP, Chair Professor of Applied Social Sciences, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Department of Applied Social Sciences, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Room HJ407, Core H, Hunghom, Hong Kong, P.R. China, E-mail:

Received: 2013-01-05

Accepted: 2013-02-09

Published Online: 2014-04-18

Published in Print: 2014-05-01

Citation Information: International Journal on Disability and Human Development, Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 217–226, ISSN (Online) 2191-0367, ISSN (Print) 2191-1231, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ijdhd-2014-0307.

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