SAS Data Analysis Examples Multivariate Regression Analysis

As the name implies, multivariate regression is a technique that estimates a single regression model with multiple outcome variables and one or more predictor variables.

Please Note: The purpose of this page is to show how to use various data analysis commands. It does not cover all aspects of the research process which researchers are expected to do. In particular, it does not cover data cleaning and checking, verification of assumptions, model diagnostics and potential follow-up analyses.

Examples of multivariate regression analysis

Example 1. A researcher has collected data on three psychological variables, four academic variables (standardized test scores), and the type of educational program the student is in for 600 high school students. She is interested in how the set of psychological variables relate to the academic variables and gender. In particular, the researcher is interested in how many dimensions are necessary to understand the association between the two sets of variables.

Example 2. A doctor has collected data on cholesterol, blood pressure and weight.  She also collected data on the eating habits of the subjects (e.g., how many ounces of red meat, fish, dairy products, and chocolate consumed per week).  She wants to investigate the relationship between the three measures of health and eating habits.

Example 3. A researcher is interested in determining what factors influence the health African Violet plants.  She collects data on the average leaf diameter, the mass of the root ball, and the average diameter of the blooms, as well as how long the plant has been in the current container.  For predictor variables, she measures several elements in the soil, in addition to the amount of light and water each plant receives.

Description of the data

Let's pursue Example 1 from above. We have a hypothetical dataset, mvreg.sas7bdat, with 600 observations on seven variables. The psychological variables are locus of control, self-concept and motivation. The academic variables are standardized tests scores in reading, writing, and science, as well as a categorical variable giving the type of program the student is in (general, academic, or vocational). In our example the dataset mvreg.sas7bdat is saved in a library called data.

Let's look at the data (note that there are no missing values in this data set).

proc means data = data.mvreg;
vars locus_of_control self_concept motivation read write science;
run;

The MEANS Procedure

Variable            Label      N            Mean         Std Dev         Minimum         Maximum
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
LOCUS_OF_CONTROL             600       0.0965333       0.6702799      -1.9959567       2.2055113
SELF_CONCEPT                 600       0.0049167       0.7055125      -2.5327499       2.0935633
MOTIVATION                   600       0.0038979       0.8224000      -2.7466691       2.5837522
READ                         600      51.9018333      10.1029831      24.6200066      80.5864944
WRITE                        600      52.3848332       9.7264550      20.0688801      83.9348221
SCIENCE                      600      51.7633331       9.7061791      21.9895325      80.3694153
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

proc freq data = data.mvreg;
table prog;
run;

The FREQ Procedure

program type

Cumulative    Cumulative
PROG    Frequency     Percent     Frequency      Percent
---------------------------------------------------------
1         138       23.00           138        23.00
2         271       45.17           409        68.17
3         191       31.83           600       100.00

proc corr data = data.mvreg nosimple;
var locus_of_control self_concept motivation;
run;

The CORR Procedure

3  Variables:    LOCUS_OF_CONTROL SELF_CONCEPT     MOTIVATION

Pearson Correlation Coefficients, N = 600
Prob > |r| under H0: Rho=0

LOCUS_OF_         SELF_
CONTROL       CONCEPT      MOTIVATION

LOCUS_OF_CONTROL         1.00000       0.17119         0.24513
<.0001          <.0001

SELF_CONCEPT             0.17119       1.00000         0.28857
<.0001                        <.0001

MOTIVATION               0.24513       0.28857         1.00000
<.0001        <.0001

proc corr data = data.mvreg nosimple;
run;

The CORR Procedure

Pearson Correlation Coefficients, N = 600
Prob > |r| under H0: Rho=0

<.0001        <.0001

WRITE         0.62859       1.00000       0.56915
<.0001                      <.0001

SCIENCE       0.69069       0.56915       1.00000
<.0001        <.0001

Analysis methods you might consider

Below is a list of some analysis methods you may have encountered. Some of the methods listed are quite reasonable while others have either fallen out of favor or have limitations.

• Separate OLS Regressions - You could analyze these data using separate OLS regression analyses for each outcome variable. The individual coefficients, as well as their standard errors, will be the same as those produced by the multivariate regression. However, the OLS regressions will not produce multivariate results, nor will they allow for testing of coefficients across equations.
• Canonical correlation analysis might be feasible if don't want to consider one set of variables as outcome variables and the other set as predictor variables.

Multivariate regression analysis

Technically speaking, we will be conducting a multivariate multiple regression.  This regression is "multivariate" because there is more than one outcome variable.  It is a "multiple" regression because there is more than one predictor variable.  Of course, you can conduct a multivariate regression with only one predictor variable, although that is rare in practice.

To conduct a multivariate regression in SAS, you can use proc glm, which is the same procedure that is often used to perform ANOVA or OLS regression. The syntax for estimating a multivariate regression is similar to running a model with a single outcome, the primary difference is the use of the manova statement so that the output includes the multivariate statistics. The f- and p-values for four multivariate criterion are given, including Wilks' lambda, Lawley-Hotelling trace, Pillai's trace, and Roy's largest root. By specifying h=_ALL_ on the manova statement, we indicate that we would like multivariate statistics for all of the predictor variables in the model, if we were only interested in the multivariate statistics for some variables, we could replace _ALL_ with the name of a variable (e.g. h=read).

proc glm data = data.mvreg;
class prog;
model locus_of_control self_concept motivation
= read write science prog / solution ss3;
manova h=_ALL_;
run;
quit;

The SAS output for multivariate regression can be very long, especially if the model has many outcome variables.  The output from our example has four parts: one for each of the three outcome variables, and the fourth from the manova statement. Below we will discuss the output in sections.

                                        The GLM Procedure

Class Level Information

Class         Levels    Values

PROG               3    1 2 3

Number of Observations Used         600

Above we see that the class variable prog has three levels. Just below the class level information, we see the number of observations read form the data and the number of observations used in the analysis. If the variables used in the analysis contained missing values the number of observations used would be smaller than the number of observations read.

Dependent Variable: LOCUS_OF_CONTROL

Sum of
Source                      DF         Squares     Mean Square    F Value    Pr > F

Model                        5      50.2595509      10.0519102      27.28    <.0001

Error                      594     218.8562365       0.3684448

Corrected Total            599     269.1157874

R-Square     Coeff Var      Root MSE    LOCUS_OF_CONTROL Mean

0.186758      628.7948      0.606997                 0.096533

Source                      DF     Type III SS     Mean Square    F Value    Pr > F

READ                         1      4.16815963      4.16815963      11.31    0.0008
WRITE                        1      4.72524304      4.72524304      12.82    0.0004
SCIENCE                      1      0.92248638      0.92248638       2.50    0.1141
PROG                         2      5.02961991      2.51480995       6.83    0.0012
• The dependent variable, locus_of_control, is listed at the top of the output above.
• The ANOVA table for locus_of_control gives the sum of squares and mean square for both the model and error term. The model for locus_of_control is statistically significant with a p-value of less than 0.0001.
• Below the ANOVA table we see the R-square value of 0.187, indicating that 18.7% of variance in locus_of_control is explained by the model.
• The final table shown above gives the predictor variables in the model, along with the type III sum of squares for each variable. We can see that read, write, and prog are statistically significant. Note that because prog is a class variable with three levels, it uses 2 degrees of freedom (shown in the column labeled DF).
                                                    Standard
Parameter           Estimate             Error    t Value    Pr > |t|

Intercept       -1.373094234 B      0.16259260      -8.44      <.0001
WRITE            0.012145048        0.00339136       3.58      0.0004
SCIENCE          0.005761477        0.00364116       1.58      0.1141
PROG      1     -0.251670509 B      0.06846988      -3.68      0.0003
PROG      2     -0.123875431 B      0.05760714      -2.15      0.0319
PROG      3      0.000000000 B       .                .         .

NOTE: The X'X matrix has been found to be singular, and a generalized inverse was used to solve
the normal equations.  Terms whose estimates are followed by the letter 'B' are not
uniquely estimable.
• The table above gives the parameter estimates, their standard errors, t-value, and associated p-value. The coefficients are interpreted in the same manner as OLS regression coefficients. For example, a one unit increase in read is associated with a 0.013 increase in the predicted value of locus_of_control.
• The note shown above is SAS's way of telling us that it could not include the terms for all three levels of prog and the intercept in the model. Instead it has included the intercept and terms for prog=1 and prog=2, leaving prog=3 as the reference group.

The output for the first outcome variable (locus_of_control) is followed by similar output for each additional outcome (self_concept and motivation). This output is shown below, but we will not discuss it further, instead we will move on to the multivariate output.

                                        The GLM Procedure

Dependent Variable: SELF_CONCEPT

Sum of
Source                      DF         Squares     Mean Square    F Value    Pr > F

Model                        5      16.1107053       3.2221411       6.79    <.0001

Error                      594     282.0402900       0.4748153

Corrected Total            599     298.1509953

R-Square     Coeff Var      Root MSE    SELF_CONCEPT Mean

0.054035      14014.91      0.689068             0.004917

Source                      DF     Type III SS     Mean Square    F Value    Pr > F

READ                         1      0.04557875      0.04557875       0.10    0.7568
WRITE                        1      0.59051932      0.59051932       1.24    0.2652
SCIENCE                      1      0.78237876      0.78237876       1.65    0.1998
PROG                         2     14.21838537      7.10919268      14.97    <.0001

Standard
Parameter           Estimate             Error    t Value    Pr > |t|

Intercept       0.0510179965 B      0.18457670       0.28      0.7823
WRITE           -.0042934282        0.00384990      -1.12      0.2652
SCIENCE         0.0053059405        0.00413348       1.28      0.1998
PROG      1     -.4233591913 B      0.07772768      -5.45      <.0001
PROG      2     -.1468757972 B      0.06539618      -2.25      0.0251
PROG      3     0.0000000000 B       .                .         .

NOTE: The X'X matrix has been found to be singular, and a generalized inverse was used to solve
the normal equations.  Terms whose estimates are followed by the letter 'B' are not
uniquely estimable.

The GLM Procedure

Dependent Variable: MOTIVATION

Sum of
Source                      DF         Squares     Mean Square    F Value    Pr > F

Model                        5      60.7672827      12.1534565      20.96    <.0001

Error                      594     344.3614302       0.5797330

Corrected Total            599     405.1287128

R-Square     Coeff Var      Root MSE    MOTIVATION Mean

0.149995      19533.65      0.761402           0.003898

Source                      DF     Type III SS     Mean Square    F Value    Pr > F

READ                         1      2.49445035      2.49445035       4.30    0.0385
WRITE                        1      9.85052717      9.85052717      16.99    <.0001
SCIENCE                      1      2.25173630      2.25173630       3.88    0.0492
PROG                         2     30.18084209     15.09042104      26.03    <.0001

Standard
Parameter           Estimate             Error    t Value    Pr > |t|

Intercept       -.6911458885 B      0.20395228      -3.39      0.0007
WRITE           0.0175354486        0.00425404       4.12      <.0001
SCIENCE         -.0090014528        0.00456739      -1.97      0.0492
PROG      1     -.6196960376 B      0.08588699      -7.22      <.0001
PROG      2     -.2593666472 B      0.07226102      -3.59      0.0004
PROG      3     0.0000000000 B       .                .         .

NOTE: The X'X matrix has been found to be singular, and a generalized inverse was used to solve
the normal equations.  Terms whose estimates are followed by the letter 'B' are not
uniquely estimable.

The final section of output for our model is output for the multivariate tests of the model.

                                        The GLM Procedure
Multivariate Analysis of Variance

Characteristic Roots and Vectors of: E Inverse * H, where
H = Type III SSCP Matrix for READ
E = Error SSCP Matrix

Characteristic               Characteristic Vector  V'EV=1
Root    Percent    LOCUS_OF_CONTROL    SELF_CONCEPT      MOTIVATION

0.02414400     100.00          0.05725523     -0.00912678      0.02560444
0.00000000       0.00         -0.00704393      0.05979895      0.00102214
0.00000000       0.00         -0.03710958     -0.01295454      0.04972124

MANOVA Test Criteria and Exact F Statistics for the Hypothesis of No Overall READ Effect
H = Type III SSCP Matrix for READ
E = Error SSCP Matrix

S=1    M=0.5    N=295

Statistic                        Value    F Value    Num DF    Den DF    Pr > F

Wilks' Lambda               0.97642519       4.76         3       592    0.0027
Pillai's Trace              0.02357481       4.76         3       592    0.0027
Hotelling-Lawley Trace      0.02414400       4.76         3       592    0.0027
Roy's Greatest Root         0.02414400       4.76         3       592    0.0027
• The second table shown above gives the tests for the overall effect of read. These results indicate that read is statistically significant regardless of what type of multivariate criteria is used (i.e., all of the p-values are less than 0.01).

SAS prints similar output for each of the predictor variables in the model (in this case write, science, and prog), this output is shown below, but we will not discuss it further. Instead we will move on to additional tests.

                    Characteristic Roots and Vectors of: E Inverse * H, where
H = Type III SSCP Matrix for WRITE
E = Error SSCP Matrix

Characteristic               Characteristic Vector  V'EV=1
Root    Percent    LOCUS_OF_CONTROL    SELF_CONCEPT      MOTIVATION

0.05552705     100.00          0.03976623     -0.02762931      0.04077279
0.00000000       0.00          0.00235865      0.05460081      0.01173502
0.00000000       0.00          0.05583890      0.00907776     -0.03645138

MANOVA Test Criteria and Exact F Statistics for the Hypothesis of No Overall WRITE Effect
H = Type III SSCP Matrix for WRITE
E = Error SSCP Matrix

S=1    M=0.5    N=295

Statistic                        Value    F Value    Num DF    Den DF    Pr > F

Wilks' Lambda               0.94739400      10.96         3       592    <.0001
Pillai's Trace              0.05260600      10.96         3       592    <.0001
Hotelling-Lawley Trace      0.05552705      10.96         3       592    <.0001
Roy's Greatest Root         0.05552705      10.96         3       592    <.0001

Multivariate Analysis of Variance

Characteristic Roots and Vectors of: E Inverse * H, where
H = Type III SSCP Matrix for SCIENCE
E = Error SSCP Matrix

Characteristic               Characteristic Vector  V'EV=1
Root    Percent    LOCUS_OF_CONTROL    SELF_CONCEPT      MOTIVATION

0.01687455     100.00          0.03609681      0.03206920     -0.04456052
0.00000000       0.00         -0.02316137      0.05234944      0.01603289
0.00000000       0.00          0.05353009     -0.00762467      0.02976812

MANOVA Test Criteria and Exact F Statistics for the Hypothesis of No Overall SCIENCE Effect
H = Type III SSCP Matrix for SCIENCE
E = Error SSCP Matrix

S=1    M=0.5    N=295

Statistic                        Value    F Value    Num DF    Den DF    Pr > F

Wilks' Lambda               0.98340548       3.33         3       592    0.0193
Pillai's Trace              0.01659452       3.33         3       592    0.0193
Hotelling-Lawley Trace      0.01687455       3.33         3       592    0.0193
Roy's Greatest Root         0.01687455       3.33         3       592    0.0193

Characteristic Roots and Vectors of: E Inverse * H, where
H = Type III SSCP Matrix for PROG
E = Error SSCP Matrix

Characteristic               Characteristic Vector  V'EV=1
Root    Percent    LOCUS_OF_CONTROL    SELF_CONCEPT      MOTIVATION

0.12087752      99.34          0.01903925      0.02549291      0.03813193
0.00080748       0.66          0.04668032     -0.04866125      0.01435613
0.00000000       0.00          0.04651187      0.02844692     -0.03832351

Multivariate Analysis of Variance

MANOVA Test Criteria and F Approximations for the Hypothesis of No Overall PROG Effect
H = Type III SSCP Matrix for PROG
E = Error SSCP Matrix

S=2    M=0    N=295

Statistic                        Value    F Value    Num DF    Den DF    Pr > F

Wilks' Lambda               0.89143832      11.67         6      1184    <.0001
Pillai's Trace              0.10864869      11.35         6      1186    <.0001
Hotelling-Lawley Trace      0.12168500      12.00         6    787.56    <.0001
Roy's Greatest Root         0.12087752      23.89         3       593    <.0001

NOTE: F Statistic for Roy's Greatest Root is an upper bound.
NOTE: F Statistic for Wilks' Lambda is exact.

As mentioned above, if you ran a separate regression for each outcome variable, you would get exactly the same coefficients, standard errors, t- and p-values, and confidence intervals as shown above. So why conduct a multivariate regression? One of the advantages is that you can conduct tests of the coefficients across the different models. Below we show a few of the hypothesis tests you can perform.

For the first test, the null hypothesis is that the coefficient for prog=1 is equal to the coefficient for prog=2 for each dependent variable separately. An alternative way to state this hypothesis is that the difference  between the two coefficients (i.e., prog=1 - prog=2) is equal to 0. The estimate statement can be used to perform this test. The text between the apostrophes (i.e., ' ) is a label for the output. Next we list the variable name (prog) followed by a series of numbers, one for each level of prog in order, these are the values by which the coefficients will be multiplied to perform the test. To estimate the difference between the coefficient for prog=1 and prog=2 we multiply the coefficient for prog=1 by 1, and the coefficient for prog=2 by -1, prog=3 is not involved in this test, so we multiply it by 0.

proc glm data = data.mvreg;
class prog;
model locus_of_control self_concept motivation
= read write science prog / solution ss3;
manova h= _ALL_ ;
estimate 'prog 1 vs. prog 2' prog 1 -1 0;
run;
quit;

The output produced by this model is similar to the output for the previous model, except that it contains additional output associated with the use of the estimate statement. To save space, we will only show the additional output.

Dependent Variable: LOCUS_OF_CONTROL

Standard
Parameter                   Estimate           Error    t Value    Pr > |t|

prog 1 vs. prog 2        -0.12779508      0.06395501      -2.00      0.0462

Dependent Variable: SELF_CONCEPT
Standard
Parameter                   Estimate           Error    t Value    Pr > |t|

prog 1 vs. prog 2        -0.27648339      0.07260235      -3.81      0.0002

Dependent Variable: MOTIVATION
Standard
Parameter                   Estimate           Error    t Value    Pr > |t|

prog 1 vs. prog 2        -0.36032939      0.08022363      -4.49      <.0001

There is separate output for each of the outcome variables. Each of the tables in the output gives the estimate (in this case the difference between the coefficients), the standard error of this estimate, the t-value and associated p-value. The output indicates that the coefficient for prog=1 is significantly different from the coefficient for prog=2 for each of the outcomes.

The next example tests the null hypothesis that the coefficient for the variable write in the equation with locus_of_control as the outcome is equal to the coefficient for write in the equation with self_concept as the outcome. We request this test by adding a second manova statement, where h gives the predictor variable or variables to be tested (i.e., h=write) and m gives the combination of outcome variables to test (i.e., m=locus_of_control - self_concept).

proc glm data = data.mvreg;
class prog  ;
model locus_of_control self_concept motivation
= read write science prog / solution ss3;
manova h= _ALL_ ;
manova h=write m=locus_of_control - self_concept;
run;
quit;

Again, we will only show the portion of the output associated with the new manova statement. The first table (shown below) gives the matrix for the outcome variables.  In this case, we want to subtract the coefficients for self_concept (multiplied by -1) from the values of the coefficients for locus_of_control (multiplied by 1).  Because motivation isn't involved in the test, it is multiplied by zero.

M Matrix Describing Transformed Variables

LOCUS_OF_
CONTROL      SELF_CONCEPT        MOTIVATION

MVAR1                 1                -1                 0

The GLM Procedure
Multivariate Analysis of Variance

Characteristic Roots and Vectors of: E Inverse * H, where
H = Type III SSCP Matrix for WRITE
E = Error SSCP Matrix

Variables have been transformed by the M Matrix

Characteristic               Characteristic Vector  V'EV=1
Root    Percent           MVAR1

0.02001074     100.00      0.04807919

MANOVA Test Criteria and Exact F Statistics for the Hypothesis of No Overall WRITE Effect
on the Variables Defined by the M Matrix Transformation
H = Type III SSCP Matrix for WRITE
E = Error SSCP Matrix

S=1    M=-0.5    N=296

Statistic                        Value    F Value    Num DF    Den DF    Pr > F

Wilks' Lambda               0.98038183      11.89         1       594    0.0006
Pillai's Trace              0.01961817      11.89         1       594    0.0006
Hotelling-Lawley Trace      0.02001074      11.89         1       594    0.0006
Roy's Greatest Root         0.02001074      11.89         1       594    0.0006

The last table in the output shows that regardless of which multivariate statistic is used, the coefficient for write with locus_of_control as the outcome and the coefficient for write with self_concept as the outcome are significantly different.

For the final example, we test the null hypothesis that the coefficient for science in the equation for locus_of_control is equal to the coefficient for science in the equation for self_concept, and that the coefficient for the variable write in the equation for locus_of_control is equal to the coefficient for write in the equation for self_concept. To perform this test we need to use both the contrast statement and the manova statement. In the contrast statement, we specify the predictor variables we wish to test, in this case, we want to multiply the coefficients for write and science by 1. In the manova statement, we specify the portions of the test specific to the outcome variables, in this case, we want to compare the coefficients for locus_of_control and self_concept, by subtracting one set of coefficients from the other.

proc glm data = data.mvreg;
class prog;
model locus_of_control self_concept motivation
= read write science prog / solution ss3;
contrast 'write & science' write 1,
science 1 /e;
manova m=locus_of_control - self_concept;
run;
quit;

As before, we will only show the portions of output associated with the test we are performing. Towards the beginning of the output (just after the class level information section) we see the table of contrasts for the coefficients. The matrix has two columns, one for each of the effects we wish to test.

Coefficients for Contrast write & science

Row 1           Row 2

Intercept                 0               0

WRITE                     1               0

SCIENCE                   0               1

PROG      1               0               0
PROG      2               0               0
PROG      3               0               0

The output shown below is generated by the manova statement, and as before it appears towards the end of the output.

M Matrix Describing Transformed Variables

LOCUS_OF_
CONTROL      SELF_CONCEPT        MOTIVATION

MVAR1                 1                -1                 0

Multivariate Analysis of Variance

Characteristic Roots and Vectors of: E Inverse * H, where
H = Contrast SSCP Matrix for write & science
E = Error SSCP Matrix

Variables have been transformed by the M Matrix

Characteristic               Characteristic Vector  V'EV=1
Root    Percent           MVAR1

0.02150343     100.00      0.04807919

MANOVA Test Criteria and Exact F Statistics for the
Hypothesis of No Overall write & science Effect
on the Variables Defined by the M Matrix Transformation
H = Contrast SSCP Matrix for write & science
E = Error SSCP Matrix

S=1    M=0    N=296

Statistic                        Value    F Value    Num DF    Den DF    Pr > F

Wilks' Lambda               0.97894924       6.39         2       594    0.0018
Pillai's Trace              0.02105076       6.39         2       594    0.0018
Hotelling-Lawley Trace      0.02150343       6.39         2       594    0.0018
Roy's Greatest Root         0.02150343       6.39         2       594    0.0018

The last table in the above output shows that regardless of which multivariate statistic is used, taken together, the two sets of  coefficients are significantly different.

Things to consider

• The residuals from multivariate regression models are assumed to be multivariate normal. This is analogous to the assumption of normally distributed errors in univariate linear regression (i.e., OLS regression).
• Multivariate regression analysis is not recommended for small samples.
• The outcome variables should be at least moderately correlated for the multivariate regression analysis to make sense.

References

Afifi, A., Clark, V. and May, S. 2004. Computer-Aided Multivariate Analysis. 4th ed. Boca Raton, Fl: Chapman & Hall/CRC.

SAS Library: Multivariate regression in SAS

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