Multilevel Factor Analysis: Reporting Guidelines and a Review of Reporting Practices

We provide reporting guidelines for multilevel factor analysis (MFA) and use these guidelines to systematically review 72 MFA applications in journals across a range of disciplines (e.g., education, health/nursing, management, and psychology) published between 1994 and 2014. Results are organized in terms of the (a) characteristics of the MFA application (e.g., construct measured), (b) purpose (e.g., measurement validation), (c) data source (e.g., number of cases at Level 1 and Level 2), (d) statistical approach (e.g., maximum likelihood), and (e) results reported (e.g., intraclass correlations for indicators and latent variables, standardized factor loadings, fit indices). Results from this review have implications for applied researchers interested in expanding their approaches to psychometric analyses and construct validation within a multilevel framework and for methodologists using Monte Carlo methods to explore technical and methodological issues grounded in realistic research design conditions.