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date: 08 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines methods for identifying the mediating mechanisms by which treatments achieve effects and moderators of these effects. Mediating variables are variables that transmit a treatment effect to an outcome variable. Moderating variables are variables that identify the subgroups, conditions, or factors for which the treatment effect on the outcome differs. Reasons for conducting mediation and moderation analyses in treatment research are provided along with simple examples of mediation and moderation models. More detailed mediation models are described that incorporate multiple mediators, longitudinal measurement, experimental designs, and alternative approaches to causal inference for mediation. A research design for an exemplar treatment study that includes investigation of mediating and moderating processes is described. However, we acknowledge that the search for mediating and moderating variables in treatment research must be a multifaceted approach that includes information from a variety of sources in addition to ideal experimental design and careful measurement of constructs. The chapter concludes with future directions in mediation and moderation methodology in treatment research.

Keywords: mediation, moderation, indirect effect, mechanisms of treatment

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