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I want to check for associations between categorical variables before using some of them as predictors in a logistic regression. Normally I would simply use chi-square, however I have about 15 variables.

What is the best way to test for associations between pairs of all 15 variables?

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If you really want to test pairwise associations than you should perform any test in pairwise manner. In such situation there are no problem with chi-squared test. However, I suppose you want to score and compare sizes of association but not their significances. So there are several different measures for that purpose. Here is a useful discussion about them.

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