Advances in mediation analysis: a survey and synthesis of new developments

Annu Rev Psychol. 2015 Jan 3;66:825-52. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-010814-015258. Epub 2014 Aug 21.


Mediation processes are fundamental to many classic and emerging theoretical paradigms within psychology. Innovative methods continue to be developed to address the diverse needs of researchers studying such indirect effects. This review provides a survey and synthesis of four areas of active methodological research: (a) mediation analysis for longitudinal data, (b) causal inference for indirect effects, (c) mediation analysis for discrete and nonnormal variables, and (d) mediation assessment in multilevel designs. The aim of this review is to aid in the dissemination of developments in these four areas and suggest directions for future research.

Keywords: causal inference; discrete variables; indirect effect; longitudinal mediation; multilevel modeling.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Data Interpretation, Statistical*
  • Models, Statistical*
  • Research Design*