Mediation analysis

Annu Rev Psychol. 2007:58:593-614. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.58.110405.085542.


Mediating variables are prominent in psychological theory and research. A mediating variable transmits the effect of an independent variable on a dependent variable. Differences between mediating variables and confounders, moderators, and covariates are outlined. Statistical methods to assess mediation and modern comprehensive approaches are described. Future directions for mediation analysis are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Analysis of Variance
  • Biomedical Research
  • Causality
  • Effect Modifier, Epidemiologic*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Mathematical Computing
  • Models, Psychological
  • Models, Statistical
  • Psychological Theory*
  • Treatment Outcome