In social sciences, an input variable often affects an outcome variable via a third variable, or mediator. Mediation analysis is used to answer the question of “how”/ “why” the input variable affects the outcome. This workshop will introduce the principles and methods (e.g., multivariate regression, path analysis, multilevel models, etc.) for mediation analyses. Emphasis will be on data analysis and interpretation. After the workshop, attendants should be able to propose research questions related to mediation analyses, use advanced methods such as bootstrap to test mediation effects, decide which type of model is appropriate for mediation, interpret and display empirical findings, and understand some other important issues of mediation research such as longitudinal designs for assessing mediation and missing data problems.
Dr. Laura Lu is an associate professor in the Quantitative Methodologies (QM) program at the University of Georgia (UGA). In general, she has expertise in structural equation modeling (SEM), longitudinal data analysis, hierarchical linear modeling (HLM), and computational statistics such as Bayesian. During her professional career at UGA, her research has focused on developing innovative statistical approaches to address perennial challenges in statistical modeling such as mixture structure, reliabilities, model selection, missing data, outliers, topic modeling, and also promoting statistical models to applied research areas through collaborating, mentoring, and classroom teaching.
Dr. Qian (Jackie) Zhang is an associate professor in the Department of Educational Psychology and Learning Systems at Florida State University. Her research interests focus on causal inferences, longitudinal data analysis, and effect size synthesis using multilevel models and multilevel structural equation models. She is also interested in handling sub-optimal data conditions with missing data, measurement error, and/or confounding variables in statistical analyses. She collaborates with substantive researchers in the areas of early childhood development, sports psychology, and educational research. Her work has been published in prestigious journals such as Psychological Methods, Multivariate Behavioral Research, Structural Equation Modeling, British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, and Behavioral Research Methods.