Feinian Chen, Patrick J. Curran, Kenneth A. Bollen, James Kirby, and Pamela Paxton An Empirical Evaluation of the Use of Fixed Cutoff Points in RMSEA Test Statistic in Structural Equation Models Sociological Methods & Research 2008 36: 462-494.
This article is an empirical evaluation of the choice of fixed cutoff points in assessing the root mean square error of approximation (RMSEA) test statistic as a measure of goodness-of-fit in StructuralEquation Models. Using simulation data, the authors first examine whether there is any empirical evidence for the use of a universal cutoff, and then compare the practice of using the point estimateof the RMSEA alone versus that of using it jointly with its related confidence interval. The results of the study demonstrate that there is little empirical support for the use of .05 or any other value as universal cutoff values to determine adequate model fit, regardless of whether the point estimate is used alone or jointly with the confidence interval. The authors’ analyses suggest that to achieve a certain level of power or Type I error rate, the choice of cutoff values depends on modelspecifications, degrees of freedom, and sample size.
Key Words: RMSEA • SEM • goodness-of-fit • computer simulations