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J Fam Psychol. 2009 Oct;23(5):661-70. doi: 10.1037/a0016197.

Mediation in dyadic data at the level of the dyads: a Structural Equation Modeling approach.

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Department of Psychology, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.


An extended version of the Common Fate Model (CFM) is presented to estimate and test mediation in dyadic data. The model can be used for distinguishable dyad members (e.g., heterosexual couples) or indistinguishable dyad members (e.g., homosexual couples) if (a) the variables measure characteristics of the dyadic relationship or shared external influences that affect both partners; if (b) the causal associations between the variables should be analyzed at the dyadic level; and if (c) the measured variables are reliable indicators of the latent variables. To assess mediation using Structural Equation Modeling, a general three-step procedure is suggested. The first is a selection of a good fitting model, the second a test of the direct effects, and the third a test of the mediating effect by means of bootstrapping. The application of the model along with the procedure for assessing mediation is illustrated using data from 184 couples on marital problems, communication, and marital quality. Differences with the Actor-Partner Interdependence Model and the analysis of longitudinal mediation by using the CFM are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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