A Novel Measure of Effect Size for Mediation Analysis

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Abstract

Mediation analysis has become one of the most popular statistical methods in the social sciences. However, many currently available effect size measures for mediation have limitations that restrict their use to specific mediation models. In this article, we develop a measure of effect size that addresses these limitations. We show how modification of a currently existing effect size measure results in a novel effect size measure with many desirable properties. We also derive an expression for the bias of the sample estimator for the proposed effect size measure and propose an adjusted version of the estimator. We present a Monte Carlo simulation study conducted to examine the finite sampling properties of the adjusted and unadjusted estimators, which shows that the adjusted estimator is effective at recovering the true value it estimates. Finally, we demonstrate the use of the effect size measure with an empirical example. We provide freely available software so that researchers can immediately implement the methods we discuss. Our developments here extend the existing literature on effect sizes and mediation by developing a potentially useful method of communicating the magnitude of mediation.

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