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Fit Indices In Covariance Structure Modeling : Sensitivity To Underparameterized Model Misspecification

Li-tze Hu, P. Bentler
Published 1998 · Mathematics

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This study evaluated the sensitivity of maximum likelihood (ML)-, generalized least squares (GLS)-, and asymptotic distribution-free (ADF)-based fit indices to model misspecification, under conditions that varied sample size and distribution. The effect of violating assumptions of asymptotic robustness theory also was examined. Standardized root-mean-square residual (SRMR) was the most sensitive index to models with misspecified factor covariance(s), and Tucker-Lewis Index (1973; TLI), Bollen's fit index (1989; BL89), relative noncentrality index (RNI), comparative fit index (CFI), and the MLand GLS-based gamma hat, McDonald's centrality index (1989; Me), and root-mean-square error of approximation (RMSEA) were the most sensitive indices to models with misspecified factor loadings. With ML and GLS methods, we recommend the use of SRMR, supplemented by TLI, BL89, RNI, CFI, gamma hat, Me, or RMSEA (TLI, Me, and RMSEA are less preferable at small sample sizes). With the ADF method, we recommend the use of SRMR, supplemented by TLI, BL89, RNI, or CFI. Finally, most of the ML-based fit indices outperformed those obtained from GLS and ADF and are preferable for evaluating model fit.
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