Mediators, Moderators, and Tests for Mediation, Journal of Applied Psychology
Discusses mediation relations in causal terms. Influences of an antecedent are transmitted to a consequence through an intervening mediator. Mediation relations may assume a number of functional forms, including nonadditive, nonlinear, and nonrecursive forms. Although mediation and moderation are distinguishable processes, with nonadditive forms (moderated mediation) a particular variable may be both a mediator and a moderator within a single set of functional relations. Current models for testing mediation relations in industrial and organizational psychology often involve an interplay between exploratory (correlational) statistical tests and causal inference. It is suggested that no middle ground exists between exploratory and confirmatory (causal) analysis and that attempts to explain how mediation processes occur require specified causal models.
Lawrence R. James, Jeanne Brett
James, R. Lawrence, and Jeanne Brett. 1984. Mediators, Moderators, and Tests for Mediation. Journal of Applied Psychology. 69(2): 307-321.