Using R Package RAMpath for Tracing SEM Path Diagrams and Conducting Complex Longitudinal Data Analysis

Zhiyong Zhang, Fumiaki Hamagami, Kevin J. Grimm, John J. McArdle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In this article, we introduce and demonstrate the application of a newly developed R package RAMpath for tracing path diagrams and conducting structural longitudinal data analysis. RAMpath was developed to preserve the essential features of the classic DOS version of the RAMpath program (McArdle & Boker, 1990) and ease data analysis done through structural equation modeling (SEM). The applicability of RAMpath is demonstrated through a mediation model, a MIMIC model, several latent growth curve models, a univariate latent change score model, and a bivariate latent change score model. In addition to performing regular SEM analysis, RAMpath has unique features. First, it can generate path diagrams according to a given model. Second, it can display path tracing rules through path diagrams and decompose total effects into their respective direct and indirect effects as well as decompose variances and covariances into individual bridges. Furthermore, RAMpath can fit dynamic system models automatically based on latent change scores and generate vector field plots based on results obtained from a bivariate dynamic system. RAMpath is provided as an open-source R package.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)132-147
Number of pages16
JournalStructural Equation Modeling
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • R package
  • RAMpath
  • latent change
  • longitudinal data analysis
  • score models
  • tracing path diagram

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)


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