Planned missing data designs with small sample sizes: How small is too small? How small is too small?

Fan Jia, Richard Kinai, Kelly S. Crowe, Alexander M. Schoemann, Todd Little, Whitney G. Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Utilizing planned missing data (PMD) designs (ex. 3-form surveys) enables researchers to ask participants fewer questions during the data collection process. An important question, however, is just how few participants are needed to effectively employ planned missing data designs in research studies. This article explores this question by using simulated three-form planned missing data to assess analytic model convergence, parameter estimate bias, standard error bias, mean squared error (MSE), and relative efficiency (RE).Three models were examined: a one-time-point, cross-Sectional model with 3 constructs; a two-time-point model with 3 constructs at each time point; and a three-time-point, mediation model with 3 constructs over three time points. Both full-information maximum likelihood (FIML) and multiple imputation (MI) were used to handle the missing data. Models were found to meet convergence rate and acceptable bias criteria with FIML at smaller sample sizes than with MI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-452
Number of pages18
JournalDefault journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2014


  • 3-form survey
  • Full information maximum likelihood (FIML)
  • Multiple imputation (MI)
  • Planned missing data designs
  • Simulation


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