A general model for testing mediation and moderation effects

Prev Sci. 2009 Jun;10(2):87-99. doi: 10.1007/s11121-008-0109-6.


This paper describes methods for testing mediation and moderation effects in a dataset, both together and separately. Investigations of this kind are especially valuable in prevention research to obtain information on the process by which a program achieves its effects and whether the program is effective for subgroups of individuals. A general model that simultaneously estimates mediation and moderation effects is presented, and the utility of combining the effects into a single model is described. Possible effects of interest in the model are explained, as are statistical methods to assess these effects. The methods are further illustrated in a hypothetical prevention program example.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Models, Theoretical*
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Research