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In this article by Paul Gerrard and Radia M. Johnson, the authors of Mastering Scientific Computation with R, we’ll discuss the fundamental ideas underlying structural equation modeling, which are often overlooked in other books discussing structural equation modeling (SEM) in R, and then delve into how SEM is done in R. We will then discuss two R packages, OpenMx and lavaan. We can directly apply our discussion of the linear algebra underlying SEM using OpenMx. Because of this, we will go over OpenMx first. We will then discuss lavaan, which is probably more user friendly because it sweeps the matrices and linear algebra representations under the rug so that they are invisible unless the user really goes looking for them. Both packages continue to be developed and there will always be some features better supported in one of these packages than in the other.