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Bayesian analysis of mixtures in structural equation models with non-ignorable missing data


Correspondence should be addressed to Dr Xin-Yuan Song, Department of Statistics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China (e-mail:


Structural equation models (SEMs) have become widely used to determine the interrelationships between latent and observed variables in social, psychological, and behavioural sciences. As heterogeneous data are very common in practical research in these fields, the analysis of mixture models has received a lot of attention in the literature. An important issue in the analysis of mixture SEMs is the presence of missing data, in particular of data missing with a non-ignorable mechanism. However, only a limited amount of work has been done in analysing mixture SEMs with non-ignorable missing data. The main objective of this paper is to develop a Bayesian approach for analysing mixture SEMs with an unknown number of components and non-ignorable missing data. A simulation study shows that Bayesian estimates obtained by the proposed Markov chain Monte Carlo methods are accurate and the Bayes factor computed via a path sampling procedure is useful for identifying the correct number of components, selecting an appropriate missingness mechanism, and investigating various effects of latent variables in the mixture SEMs. A real data set on a study of job satisfaction is used to demonstrate the methodology.