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Title page for ETD etd-08272018-092022

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Lachowicz, Mark Joseph
Author's Email Address mark.j.lachowicz@vanderbilt.edu
URN etd-08272018-092022
Title A General Measure of Effect Size for Mediation Analysis
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kristopher Preacher Committee Chair
Andrew Tomarken Committee Member
Sonya Sterba Committee Member
Sun-Joo Cho Committee Member
  • mediation analysis
  • effect size
Date of Defense 2018-08-20
Availability unrestricted
Mediation analysis is an increasingly popular statistical method in the social sciences. However, currently available effect size measures for mediation have substantial limitations. In particular, complex mediation models (e.g, multiple mediators, moderators, and latent variables) have no established effect size measures. In this dissertation I will develop an effect size measure that will address these limitations. This work will have several components: 1) derive a generalizable expression of the effect size using a structural equation modeling framework, 2) evaluate the measure in terms of established criteria for good effect sizes, 3) derive a general expression for the sample bias of the effect size estimator, and propose a bias-adjusted estimator, 4) evaluate the sampling properties of the effect size estimators using Monte Carlo simulation studies, and 5) demonstrate the use and interpretation of the effect size in empirical examples. The work proposed in this dissertation will fill a substantial gap in the methodological literature, and provide researchers with a flexible method for communicating the practical importance of mediation results.
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