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ERIC Number: EJ1020333
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Apr
Pages: 27
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1076-9986
A State Space Modeling Approach to Mediation Analysis
Gu, Fei; Preacher, Kristopher J.; Ferrer, Emilio
Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, v39 n2 p117-143 Apr 2014
Mediation is a causal process that evolves over time. Thus, a study of mediation requires data collected throughout the process. However, most applications of mediation analysis use cross-sectional rather than longitudinal data. Another implicit assumption commonly made in longitudinal designs for mediation analysis is that the same mediation process universally applies to all members of the population under investigation. This assumption ignores the important issue of ergodicity before aggregating the data across subjects. We first argue that there exists a discrepancy between the concept of mediation and the research designs that are typically used to investigate it. Second, based on the concept of ergodicity, we argue that a given mediation process probably is not equally valid for all individuals in a population. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to propose a two-faceted solution. The first facet of the solution is that we advocate a single-subject time-series design that aligns data collection with researchers' conceptual understanding of mediation. The second facet is to introduce a flexible statistical method--the state space model--as an ideal technique to analyze single-subject time series data in mediation studies. We provide an overview of the state space method and illustrative applications using both simulated and real time series data. Finally, we discuss additional issues related to research design and modeling.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A