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      Testing mediational models with longitudinal data: questions and tips in the use of structural equation modeling.

      1 ,
      Journal of abnormal psychology
      American Psychological Association (APA)

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          Abstract

          R. M. Baron and D. A. Kenny (1986; see record 1987-13085-001) provided clarion conceptual and methodological guidelines for testing mediational models with cross-sectional data. Graduating from cross-sectional to longitudinal designs enables researchers to make more rigorous inferences about the causal relations implied by such models. In this transition, misconceptions and erroneous assumptions are the norm. First, we describe some of the questions that arise (and misconceptions that sometimes emerge) in longitudinal tests of mediational models. We also provide a collection of tips for structural equation modeling (SEM) of mediational processes. Finally, we suggest a series of 5 steps when using SEM to test mediational processes in longitudinal designs: testing the measurement model, testing for added components, testing for omitted paths, testing the stationarity assumption, and estimating the mediational effects.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          J Abnorm Psychol
          Journal of abnormal psychology
          American Psychological Association (APA)
          0021-843X
          0021-843X
          Nov 2003
          : 112
          : 4
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Psychology and Human Development, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37203, USA. david.cole@vanderbilt.edu
          Article
          2003-10098-004
          10.1037/0021-843X.112.4.558
          14674869
          56daf1d1-dd51-4745-9d0b-06099ec13ffb
          ((c) 2003 APA, all rights reserved)

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