# Statistical test for association between 3 categorical variables

If I want to find the association between three categorical variables (all coded yes/no). What statistical test should I use?

I have read online that I can use multiple linear regression. But I have always thought that there needs to be at least one continuous variable. Is that right? My understanding is that chi-squared can be used to compare two variables each time. Is that right?

• If none are continuous you cannot use multiple regression. What is it you want to find out about these variables? Do you just want to see if there is some form of bivariate non-independence for each of the 3 pairings? Do you want to see if you can predict one of them (which?) from the other two? Etc. – gung - Reinstate Monica May 20 '15 at 0:29
• i am trying to see if there are any associations between the 3 variables.. so one of them is a dependent variable and the other two would be independent.. not sure if i have answered you question.. – katji May 20 '15 at 0:54
• chronbach's alpha might work for what you want. If not, look at other related measures. – mandata May 20 '15 at 3:54
• The Cochran–Mantel–Haenszel test might work for you. You can also look around for 3 way contingency tables. – Eric Farng May 21 '15 at 0:42

You can do two pairwise chi-squared tests (outcome vs exposure 1, outcome vs exposure 2), or you can fit a logistic regression in the form of: $$logit(outcome)=exposure_1 + exposure_2$$