Mediating Variable

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Scopus citations


A mediating variable is intermediate in the causal sequence relating an independent variable to a dependent variable, such that the independent variable causes the mediating variable that causes the dependent variable. Theoretical mediating variables are common in the social and behavioral sciences and several examples are given in this articles. The major approaches to investigating mediation with statistical methods and experimental designs are outlined. New methods to investigate the role of confounding variables and approaches to improve causal inference from mediation studies are described. A program of experimental, statistical, and qualitative research for the investigation of mediating variables is emphasized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015


  • Causal mediation effect
  • Confounding
  • Indirect effect
  • Intervening variable
  • Mediated effect
  • Moderation
  • Natural indirect effect
  • Potential outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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