Solved – One CFA for each scale, or one CFA for all of the scales together

confirmatory-factorfactor analysisstructural-equation-modeling

I have a doubt regarding confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). I have three different constructs, each one with its corresponding scale:

  1. resilience (3 dimensions, 4 items each)
  2. humour (3 dimensions, 4-5 items each)
  3. coping (2 dimensions, 8 items each)

My question is: do I have to perform a different CFA for each construct (one for resilience, one for humour and another one for coping, separately)? Or do I need to perfom a single CFA testing for the three constructs simultaneously, establishing correlations (double-headed arrows) between the different dimensiones of resilience, humour and coping?

Best Answer

You can do a confirmatory factor analysis of the whole thing. This is preferable, although as @StasK notes, most likely your model will be rejected because of things like items not perfectly loading onto only one factor. This is very common, and it shouldn't necessarily bother you too much. You can look at the root mean squared error of the approximation (RMSEA) to see how well your model approximates the data, despite the fact that your model won't be exactly correct.

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