Mediation and Moderation: Conceptual Foundations and Analytical Applications

Jared R. Anderson, Jared A. Durtschi, Kristy L. Soloski, Matthew D. Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Imagine that a colleague asks you to define what a mediator variable and a moderator variable are. Would you know what to say? Now imagine that this same person asks you to provide a detailed explanation of how to test both mediation and moderation models in a way that is in keeping with the most current and advanced recommendations by experts on the topic. Would you feel comfortable answering the question, or would you attempt to somehow defer? It is clear that there is quite a bit of confusion about tests of mediation and moderation among researchers (Baron & Kenny, 1986; Frazier, Tix, & Barron, 2004; Holmbeck, 1997; Whisman & McClelland, 2005), including those studying couples and families. It is unfortunate that mediation and moderation continue to remain so obscure because these tests have so much to offer in advancing current knowledge, theory, intervention, and policy. Our purpose in writing this chapter is to clarify conceptually what these tests are, provide examples of their use, and provide detailed information on how to conduct these tests.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Methods in Family Therapy Research
Subtitle of host publicationA Focus on Validity and Change
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9781136192203
ISBN (Print)9780415637503
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


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