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ERIC Number: EJ809793
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Jul
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 37
ISSN: ISSN-0027-3171
Postmodeling Sensitivity Analysis to Detect the Effect of Missing Data Mechanisms
Jamshidian, Mortaza; Mata, Matthew
Multivariate Behavioral Research, v43 n3 p432-452 Jul 2008
Incomplete or missing data is a common problem in almost all areas of empirical research. It is well known that simple and ad hoc methods such as complete case analysis or mean imputation can lead to biased and/or inefficient estimates. The method of maximum likelihood works well; however, when the missing data mechanism is not one of missing completely at random (MCAR) or missing at random (MAR), it too can result in incorrect inference. Statistical tests for MCAR have been proposed, but these are restricted to a certain class of problems. The idea of sensitivity analysis as a means to detect the missing data mechanism has been proposed in the statistics literature in conjunction with selection models where conjointly the data and missing data mechanism are modeled. Our approach is different here in that we do not model the missing data mechanism but use the data at hand to examine the sensitivity of a given model to the missing data mechanism. Our methodology is meant to raise a flag for researchers when the assumptions of MCAR (or MAR) do not hold. To our knowledge, no specific proposal for sensitivity analysis has been set forth in the area of structural equation models (SEM). This article gives a specific method for performing postmodeling sensitivity analysis using a statistical test and graphs. A simulation study is performed to assess the methodology in the context of structural equation models. This study shows success of the method, especially when the sample size is 300 or more and the percentage of missing data is 20% or more. The method is also used to study a set of real data measuring physical and social self-concepts in 463 Nigerian adolescents using a factor analysis model. (Contains 2 figures and 3 tables.)
Psychology Press. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A