I have been experimenting with latent class analysis (LCA), which I've recently learned is a form of structural equation modeling (SEM). I know some forms of SEM, I know path analysis can be done where a structural model and a measurement model.

Can LCA be used as part of this path analysis? If so, what's a good resource / example of this?


2 Answers 2


Yes it can. It's pretty tricky to parameterize.

I believe that the Mplus manual has examples, and there's also this paper by David Kaplan: https://www.statmodel.com/download/Dkaplan.MarkovModels.pdf


Having a latent categorical variable as outcome of a path analysis is standard within the Mplus package. Bengt Muthen, one of Mplus' authors, pioneered incorporating latent categorical variables within the SEM framework in the 1980s.

Here is one example

Yes, you do run into special problems. You can start to get a sense of those from the Mplus manual. The availability of this functionality varies greatly by package.


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