Bias, Type I Error Rates, and Statistical Power of a Latent Mediation Model in the Presence of Violations of Invariance

Margarita Olivera-Aguilar, Samuel H. Rikoon, Oscar Gonzalez, Yasemin Kisbu-Sakarya, David Mackinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

When testing a statistical mediation model, it is assumed that factorial measurement invariance holds for the mediating construct across levels of the independent variable X. The consequences of failing to address the violations of measurement invariance in mediation models are largely unknown. The purpose of the present study was to systematically examine the impact of mediator noninvariance on the Type I error rates, statistical power, and relative bias in parameter estimates of the mediated effect in the single mediator model. The results of a large simulation study indicated that, in general, the mediated effect was robust to violations of invariance in loadings. In contrast, most conditions with violations of intercept invariance exhibited severely positively biased mediated effects, Type I error rates above acceptable levels, and statistical power larger than in the invariant conditions. The implications of these results are discussed and recommendations are offered.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)460-481
Number of pages22
JournalEducational and Psychological Measurement
Volume78
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Keywords

  • latent variables
  • measurement invariance
  • statistical mediation model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Applied Mathematics

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