Meta-analytic structural equation modeling: a two-stage approach

Psychol Methods. 2005 Mar;10(1):40-64. doi: 10.1037/1082-989X.10.1.40.


To synthesize studies that use structural equation modeling (SEM), researchers usually use Pearson correlations (univariate r), Fisher z scores (univariate z), or generalized least squares (GLS) to combine the correlation matrices. The pooled correlation matrix is then analyzed by the use of SEM. Questionable inferences may occur for these ad hoc procedures. A 2-stage structural equation modeling (TSSEM) method is proposed to incorporate meta-analytic techniques and SEM into a unified framework. Simulation results reveal that the univariate-r, univariate-z, and TSSEM methods perform well in testing the homogeneity of correlation matrices and estimating the pooled correlation matrix. When fitting SEM, only TSSEM works well. The GLS method performed poorly in small to medium samples.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic*
  • Psychology / methods*