10. Barron and Kenny (1986) Criteria for Mediation

Barron & Kenny criteria for mediation

This slide summarizes Barron & Kenny's (1986) causal steps for establishing mediation, which we have just discussed.

However, do all of the steps have to be met for there to be mediation?  Certainly, Step 4 does not have to be met unless the expectation is for complete mediation.  Moreover, Step 1 is not required, but a path from the initial variable to the outcome is implied if Steps 2 and 3 are met.  

However, if c' is opposite in sign to ab, then it could be the case that Step 1 is not met, but there is still mediation.  In this case the mediator acts like a suppressor variable.  

Barron and Kenny essential criteria


Statistics Training: Introduction to Path Analysis

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