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Conceptual issues concerning mediation, interventions and composition

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Organization
Abstract
Concepts concerning mediation in the causal inference literature are reviewed. Notions of direct and indirect effects from a counterfactual approach to mediation are compared with those arising from the standard regression approach to mediation of Baron and Kenny (1986), commonly utilized in the social science literature. It is shown that concepts of direct and indirect effect from causal inference generalize those described by Baron and Kenny and that under appropriate identification assumptions these more general direct and indirect effects from causal inference can be estimated using regression even when there are interactions between the primary exposure of interest and the mediator. A number of conceptual issues are discussed concerning the interpretation of identification conditions for mediation, the notion of counterfactuals based on hypothetical interventions and the so called consistency and composition assumptions.
Keywords
Intervention, Mediation, Direct and indirect effects, Causal inference, Counterfactuals

Citation

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MLA
VanderWeele, Tyler, and Stijn Vansteelandt. “Conceptual Issues Concerning Mediation, Interventions and Composition.” Statistics and Its Interface 2 (2009): 457–468. Print.
APA
VanderWeele, T., & Vansteelandt, S. (2009). Conceptual issues concerning mediation, interventions and composition. Statistics and Its Interface, 2, 457–468.
Chicago author-date
VanderWeele, Tyler, and Stijn Vansteelandt. 2009. “Conceptual Issues Concerning Mediation, Interventions and Composition.” Statistics and Its Interface 2: 457–468.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
VanderWeele, Tyler, and Stijn Vansteelandt. 2009. “Conceptual Issues Concerning Mediation, Interventions and Composition.” Statistics and Its Interface 2: 457–468.
Vancouver
1.
VanderWeele T, Vansteelandt S. Conceptual issues concerning mediation, interventions and composition. Statistics and Its Interface. Somerville, MA: International Press; 2009;2:457–68.
IEEE
[1]
T. VanderWeele and S. Vansteelandt, “Conceptual issues concerning mediation, interventions and composition,” Statistics and Its Interface, vol. 2, pp. 457–468, 2009.
@article{954554,
  abstract     = {Concepts concerning mediation in the causal inference literature are reviewed. Notions of direct and indirect effects from a counterfactual approach to mediation are compared with those arising from the standard regression approach to mediation of Baron and Kenny (1986), commonly utilized in the social science literature. It is shown that concepts of direct and indirect effect from causal inference generalize those described by Baron and Kenny and that under appropriate identification assumptions these more general direct and indirect effects from causal inference can be estimated using regression even when there are interactions between the primary exposure of interest and the mediator. A number of conceptual issues are discussed concerning the interpretation of identification conditions for mediation, the notion of counterfactuals based on hypothetical interventions and the so called consistency and composition assumptions.},
  author       = {VanderWeele, Tyler and Vansteelandt, Stijn},
  issn         = {1938-7989},
  journal      = {Statistics and Its Interface},
  keywords     = {Intervention,Mediation,Direct and indirect effects,Causal inference,Counterfactuals},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {457--468},
  publisher    = {International Press},
  title        = {Conceptual issues concerning mediation, interventions and composition},
  volume       = {2},
  year         = {2009},
}