Mediating effects are often tested using hierarchical multiple regression (HMR) procedures. Typical of the HMR-based strategies is the very frequently cited and widely used procedure described by Baron and Kenny (1986). Unfortunately, there are several important problems with it. More specifically, as we demonstrate below, it: (a) is of virtually no value for buttressing claims of mediating effects for data from non-experimental research; (b) produces erroneous inferences about the existence of mediating effects for misspecified mediation models; and (c) is incapable of providing credible evidence of such effects in a large proportion of cases, even for properly specified mediation models. We detail a number of important implications of our analyses.
Stone-Romero, E.F. and Rosopa, P.J. (2004), "INFERENCE PROBLEMS WITH HIERARCHICAL MULTIPLE REGRESSION-BASED TESTS OF MEDIATING EFFECTS", Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 23), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 249-290. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0742-7301(04)23006-7
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