Commentary: Mediation analysis, causal process, and cross-sectional data

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Maxwell, Cole, and Mitchell (2011) extended the work of Maxwell and Cole (2007), which raised important questions about whether mediation analyses based on cross-sectional data can shed light on longitudinal mediation process. The latest article considers longitudinal processes that can only be partially explained by an intervening variable, and Maxwell et al. showed that the same general conclusions are obtained, namely that analyses of cross-sectional data will not reveal the longitudinal mediation process. While applauding the advances of the target article, this comment encourages the detailed exploration of alternate causal models in psychology beyond the autoregressive model considered by Maxwell et al. When inferences based on cross-sectional analyses are compared to alternate models, different patterns of bias are likely to be observed. I illustrate how different models of the causal process can be derived using examples from research on psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)852-860
Number of pages9
JournalMultivariate Behavioral Research
Volume46
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

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Mediation
Cross-Sectional Studies
Psychopathology
Alternate
Psychology
Causal Model
Autoregressive Model
Research
Likely
Target
Causal Process
Model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

Cite this

Commentary : Mediation analysis, causal process, and cross-sectional data. / Shrout, Patrick.

In: Multivariate Behavioral Research, Vol. 46, No. 5, 2011, p. 852-860.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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