Van Prooijen, J.-W., & Van der Kloot, W. A. (2001). Confirmatory analysis of exploratively obtained factor structures. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 6, 777-792.


Factor structures obtained by exploratory factor analysis (EFA) often turn out to fit poorly in confirmative follow-up studies. In the present study, the authors assessed the extent to which results obtained in EFA studies can be replicated by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) in the same sample. More specifically,we used CFA to test three different factor models on several correlation matrices of exploratively obtained factor structures that were reported in the literature. The factor models varied with respect to the role of the smaller factor pattern coefficients. Results showed that confirmatory factor models in which all low EFA pattern coefficients were fixed to zero fitted especially poorly. The authors conclude that it may be justified to use a less constrained model when testing a factor model by allowing some correlation among the factors and some of the lower factor pattern coefficients to differ from zero.