When moderation is mediated and mediation is moderated

J Pers Soc Psychol. 2005 Dec;89(6):852-63. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.89.6.852.


Procedures for examining whether treatment effects on an outcome are mediated and/or moderated have been well developed and are routinely applied. The mediation question focuses on the intervening mechanism that produces the treatment effect. The moderation question focuses on factors that affect the magnitude of the treatment effect. It is important to note that these two processes may be combined in informative ways, such that moderation is mediated or mediation is moderated. Although some prior literature has discussed these possibilities, their exact definitions and analytic procedures have not been completely articulated. The purpose of this article is to define precisely both mediated moderation and moderated mediation and provide analytic strategies for assessing each.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Psychology, Social / methods*