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J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2004 Feb;25(1):58-67.

Mediator and moderator effects in developmental and behavioral pediatric research.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, Illinois 60626, USA.


The terms mediation and moderation are defined and clarified with particular emphasis on the role of mediational and moderational analyses in developmental and behavioral pediatric research. The article highlights the applicability of mediational and moderational analyses to longitudinal, intervention, and risk and protective factor research, and it provides basic information about how these analyses might be conducted. Also included is a discussion of various ways that both mediator and moderator variables can be incorporated into a single model. The article concludes with extended examples of both types of analyses using a longitudinal pediatric study for illustration. The article provides recommendations for applying mediational and moderational research in clinical practice.

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