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An Empirical Evaluation of the Use of Fixed Cutoff Points in RMSEA Test Statistics in Structural Equation Models

Citation

Chen, Feinian; Curran, Patrick J.; Bollen, Kenneth A.; Kirby, James B.; & Paxton, Pamela M. (2008). An Empirical Evaluation of the Use of Fixed Cutoff Points in RMSEA Test Statistics in Structural Equation Models. Sociological Methods & Research, 36(4), 462-494. PMCID: PMC2743032

Abstract

This article is an empirical evaluation of the choice of fixed cutoff points in assessing the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) test statistic as a measure of goodness-of-fit in Structural Equation Models. Using simulation data, the authors first examine whether there is any empirical evidence for the use of a universal cutoff, and then compare the practice of using the point estimate of the RMSEA alone versus that of using it jointly with its related confidence interval. The results of the study demonstrate that there is little empirical support for the use of .05 or any other value as universal cutoff values to determine adequate model fit, regardless of whether the point estimate is used alone or jointly with the confidence interval. The authors' analyses suggest that to achieve a certain level of power or Type I error rate, the choice of cutoff values depends on model specifications, degrees of freedom, and sample size.

URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0049124108314720

Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published

2008

Journal Title

Sociological Methods & Research

Author(s)

Chen, Feinian
Curran, Patrick J.
Bollen, Kenneth A.
Kirby, James B.
Paxton, Pamela M.

PMCID

PMC2743032