Dr. Xia is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Psychology. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and Learning Systems at Florida State University and joined T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University as a postdoctoral research fellow. His research interests embrace the development of statistical methods for several difficult data types, including categorical, nonnormal, and missing data, in structural equation modeling and item response theory. He is also collaborating on studies in diverse substantive fields such as special education, child development, organizational behavior, and sports psychology.

Dr. Xia is accepting new doctoral students for Fall 2020.


Ph.D., Measurement and Statistics, Florida State University, 2016

M.A., Statistics, Florida State University, 2015

B.S., Economics, Peking University, 2010

B.S., Psychology, Peking University, 2010

Research & Service

The primary goal of Dr. Xia's research is to develop and evaluate statistical methods for several types of difficult data, including ordered categorical, nonnormal, contaminated, and missing data. His research interests surround these difficult data types in structural equation modeling and item response theory, intertwined with diverse topics such as goodness-of-fit evaluation, dimensionality assessment, and reliability. At present, he is improving parallel analysis methods for determining the number of factors with the existence of model-data misfit. He is generalizing his proposed method to complex situations where data types are realistic. In addition, he is extending his previous work that evaluates the estimation methods and model-data fit indices for ordered categorical data in structural equation modeling. Finally, he is working on collaborative research in substantive fields, including social capital for children with disabilities, measures of creativity, emotional regulation, bullying, and organizational behavior.


Xia, Y., & Yang, Y. (2019). RMSEA, CFI, and TLI in structural equation modeling with ordered categorical data: The story they tell depends on the estimation methods. Behavior research methods, 51 (1), 409-428.

Xia, Y., & Yang, Y. (2019). The Influence of Number of Categories and Threshold Values on Fit Indices in Structural Equation Modeling with Ordered Categorical Data. Multivariate behavioral research.

Xia, Y., Green, S., Xu, Y., & Thompson, M. (2019). Proportion of indicator common variance due to a factor as an effect size statistic in revised parallel analysis. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 79 (1), 85-107.

Xia, Y., & Zheng, Y. (2018). Asymptotically Normally Distributed Person Fit Indices for Detecting Spuriously High Scores on Difficult Items. Applied Psychological Measurement, 42 (5), 343--358.

Yang, Y., & Xia, Y. (2019). Categorical Omega With Small Sample Sizes via Bayesian Estimation: An Alternative to Frequentist Estimators. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 79 (1), 19-39.

Xu, J., Paek, I., & Xia, Y. (2017). Investigating the Behaviors of M 2 and RMSEA2 in Fitting a Unidimensional Model to Multidimensional Data. Applied psychological measurement, 41 (8), 632--644.

Zach, S., Xia, Y., Zeev, A., Arnon, M., Choresh, N., & Tenenbaum, G. (2017). Motivation dimensions for running a marathon: A new model emerging from the Motivation of Marathon Scale (MOMS). Journal of sport and health science, 6 (3), 302--310.

Xia, Y., & Yang, Y. (2016). Bias introduced by rounding in multiple imputation for ordered categorical variables. The American Statistician, 70 (4), 358--364.

Xia, Y., Yung, Y., & Zhang, W. (2016). Evaluating the selection of normal-theory weight matrices in the Satorra--Bentler correction of chi-square and standard errors. Structural Equation Modeling: A Multidisciplinary Journal, 23 (4), 585--594.

Yang, Y., Li, M., & Xia, Y. (2012). Measurement invariance of the Resilience Scale The International Journal of Educational and Psychological Assessment, 11 (2), 1-19.


Dr. Xia teaches graduate-level statistics courses to students from various academic backgrounds, including Education, Psychology, Business, Kinesiology, and Linguistics. His courses focus on the application and also address statistical theories to ensure a deeper understanding of the methods. After the courses, students will be capable of analyzing data, interpreting and presenting results in a professional manner that is consistent with the APA requirement.

For the course projects, he encourages students to work on research datasets that interest them or other faculty members who the students work with. Many students submitted their project articles to conferences or peer-reviewed journals.

Currently, he teaches EPSY/PSYC 581: Applied Regression Analysis every Spring and EPSY/PSYC/SOC 584: Multivariate Analysis in Psychology and Education every Fall. He was ranked as outstanding by students (overall rating top 10%) based on ICES teaching evaluation for Fall 2018.

In Fall 2019, he will teach a new seminar course, Analysis of Messy Data in Structural Equation Modeling under EPSY 590: Advanced Seminar in Educational Psychology. The new course will discuss the state-of-the-art methods for analyzing nonnormal, categorical, missing, and not-applicable data in structural equation modeling.


Applied Regression Analysis (EPSY 581) Emphasis on educational research applications of regression with special emphasis placed on application and interpretation of techniques. Topics covered include rudimentary linear algebra, the general linear model, different coding schemes, regression diagnostics, and extensions to binary data and nested data structures. Same as PSYC 581.

Structural Equation Modeling (EPSY 590) Seminar in educational psychology; topics relate to the areas of specialization represented by the various divisions within the department. 0 to 4 graduate hours. No professional credit. Approved for Letter and S/U grading. May be repeated to a maximum of 8 hours in the same or separate semesters, if topics vary.

Xia, Yan

Assistant Professor, Educational Psychology



230B Education Building
1310 S. Sixth St.
Champaign, IL 61820

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