Improving Our Ability to Evaluate Underlying Mechanisms of Behavioral Onset and Other Event Occurrence Outcomes: A Discrete-Time Survival Mediation Model

Amanda J. Fairchild, Winston E. Abara, Amanda C. Gottschall, Jenn-Yun Tein, Ronald J. Prinz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to introduce and describe a statistical model that researchers can use to evaluate underlying mechanisms of behavioral onset and other event occurrence outcomes. Specifically, the article develops a framework for estimating mediation effects with outcomes measured in discrete-time epochs by integrating the statistical mediation model with discrete-time survival analysis. The methodology has the potential to help strengthen health research by targeting prevention and intervention work more effectively as well as by improving our understanding of discretized periods of risk. The model is applied to an existing longitudinal data set to demonstrate its use, and programming code is provided to facilitate its implementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-342
Number of pages28
JournalEvaluation and the Health Professions
Volume38
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 18 2015

Keywords

  • discrete time
  • mediation
  • onset
  • substance use
  • survival analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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