Methods for integrating moderation and mediation: a general analytical framework using moderated path analysis

Psychol Methods. 2007 Mar;12(1):1-22. doi: 10.1037/1082-989X.12.1.1.

Abstract

Studies that combine moderation and mediation are prevalent in basic and applied psychology research. Typically, these studies are framed in terms of moderated mediation or mediated moderation, both of which involve similar analytical approaches. Unfortunately, these approaches have important shortcomings that conceal the nature of the moderated and the mediated effects under investigation. This article presents a general analytical framework for combining moderation and mediation that integrates moderated regression analysis and path analysis. This framework clarifies how moderator variables influence the paths that constitute the direct, indirect, and total effects of mediated models. The authors empirically illustrate this framework and give step-by-step instructions for estimation and interpretation. They summarize the advantages of their framework over current approaches, explain how it subsumes moderated mediation and mediated moderation, and describe how it can accommodate additional moderator and mediator variables, curvilinear relationships, and structural equation models with latent variables.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological*
  • Negotiating
  • Psychology, Applied / methods*
  • Psychology, Applied / statistics & numerical data