R build status

blavaan is a free, open source R package for Bayesian latent variable analysis. It relies on JAGS and Stan to estimate models via MCMC.

The blavaan functions and syntax are similar to lavaan. For example, consider the Political Democracy example from Bollen (1989):


model <- '
   # latent variable definitions
     ind60 =~ x1 + x2 + x3
     dem60 =~ y1 + y2 + y3 + y4
     dem65 =~ y5 + y6 + y7 + y8
   # regressions
     dem60 ~ ind60
     dem65 ~ ind60 + dem60
   # residual covariances
     y1 ~~ y5
     y2 ~~ y4 + y6
     y3 ~~ y7
     y4 ~~ y8
     y6 ~~ y8
fit <- bsem(model, data = PoliticalDemocracy)

The development version of blavaan (containing updates not yet on CRAN) can be installed via the command below. Compilation is required; this may be a problem for users who currently rely on a binary version of blavaan from CRAN.

remotes::install_github("ecmerkle/blavaan", INSTALL_opts = "--no-multiarch")

For further information, see:

Merkle, E. C., Fitzsimmons, E., Uanhoro, J., & Goodrich, B. Efficient Bayesian structural equation modeling in Stan. arXiv 2008.07733.

Merkle, E. C., & Rosseel, Y. (2018). blavaan: Bayesian structural equation models via parameter expansion. Journal of Statistical Software, 85(4), 1–30.