• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Mediation

Mediation is a type of a relation among three variables (moderation is another such three-variable association). The term mediator describes one of the variables in such an association. Three-variable associations are important in understanding how a complex system, such as a treatment for a mental health disorder, might operate.

Conceptual Definition

Conceptually, a variable (M) mediates the effect of a target variable (T) on an outcome (O) if M suggests how or why T is associated with O. For example, suppose a randomized controlled trial (RCT) is conducted to determine whether cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or supportive therapy (ST; treatment choice, T) is more effective at reducing depressive symptoms (outcome, O). The question then arises of how or why it works better. Researchers might suspect that ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles