Explanation in Causal Inference: Methods for Mediation and Interaction

ISBN : 9780199325870

Tyler VanderWeele
728 Pages
164 x 242 mm
Pub date
Apr 2015
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The book provides an accessible but comprehensive overview of methods for mediation and interaction. There has been considerable and rapid methodological development on mediation and moderation/interaction analysis within the causal-inference literature over the last ten years. Much of this material appears in a variety of specialized journals, and some of the papers are quite technical. There has also been considerable interest in these developments from empirical researchers in the social and biomedical sciences. However, much of the material is not currently in a format that is accessible to them. The book closes these gaps by providing an accessible, comprehensive, book-length coverage of mediation. The book begins with a comprehensive introduction to mediation analysis, including chapters on concepts for mediation, regression-based methods, sensitivity analysis, time-to-event outcomes, methods for multiple mediators, methods for time-varying mediation and longitudinal data, and relations between mediation and other concepts involving intermediates such as surrogates, principal stratification, instrumental variables, and Mendelian randomization. The second part of the book concerns interaction or "moderation," including concepts for interaction, statistical interaction, confounding and interaction, mechanistic interaction, bias analysis for interaction, interaction in genetic studies, and power and sample-size calculation for interaction. The final part of the book provides comprehensive discussion about the relationships between mediation and interaction and unites these concepts within a single framework. This final part also provides an introduction to spillover effects or social interaction, concluding with a discussion of social-network analyses. The book is written to be accessible to anyone with a basic knowledge of statistics. Comprehensive appendices provide more technical details for the interested reader. Applied empirical examples from a variety of fields are given throughout. Software implementation in SAS, Stata, SPSS, and R is provided. The book should be accessible to students and researchers who have completed a first-year graduate sequence in quantitative methods in one of the social- or biomedical-sciences. The book will only presuppose familiarity with linear and logistic regression, and could potentially be used as an advanced undergraduate book as well.


Chapter 1. Explanation and Mechanism
Chapter 2. Mediation: Introduction and Regression-Based Approaches
Chapter 3. Sensitivity Analysis for Mediation
Chapter 4. Mediation Analysis with Survival Data
Chapter 5. Multiple Mediators
Chapter 6. Mediation Analysis with Time-Varying Exposures and Mediators
Chapter 7. Selected Topics in Mediation Analysis
Chapter 8. Other Topics Related to Intermediates
Chapter 9. An Introduction to Interaction Analysis
Chapter 10. Mechanistic Interaction
Chapter 11. Bias Analysis for Interactions
Chapter 12. Interaction in Genetics: Independence and Boosting Power
Chapter 13. Power and Sample-Size Calculations for Interaction Analysis
Chapter 14. A Unification of Mediation and Interaction
Chapter 15. Social Interactions and Spillover Effects
Chapter 16. Mediation and Interaction: Future and Context
Appendix. Technical Details and Proofs

About the author: 

Tyler VanderWeele is an associate professor in the Harvard School of Public Health, Harvard University.

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