Message/Author 


I have conducted mediation analysis with INDIRECT using bootstrapping and I am interested in whether the significant mediation holds in the subgroups. Can I use INDIRECT in multiple group analysis? I have done the multiple group testing up to the structural level per the UG recommendations. Thanks, Sue 


MODEL INDIRECT can be used with multiple group analysis. 


Thanks Linda. I expect I may be emailing back, but as always I appreciate the rapid response. Sue 


Dear Dr. Muthèn: We are testing mediation models and we would like to see if there are sex differences on the IND pathway (multigroup analyses). When searching on the Mplus forum discussion, we found this solution: 'If you have the estimate of the mediated effect and its SE for each of the 2 groups, you can simply use those numbers to create the approximately normal test variable: (e1  e2)/(se(e1e2)), where the denominator is sqrt(var(e1e2)), where var(e1e2) is var(e1) + var (e2), where var(e) is the square of the SE(e).' Our questions are: (1) Is there another way to conclude about differences between groups on the mediated effect (i.e., Mplus command)? (2) If the formula above is the only way to conclude about differences between groups, is there a reference we could use? Thanks a lot and have a nice day, 


You can use MODEL TEST to compute a Wald test or you can do difference testing of the model where the parameter of interest in free across groups compared to a model where the parameter is held equal across groups. Difference testing is discussed on pages 434435 of the Version 6 Mplus User's Guide. 


Thank you very much for your quick answer, Is it possible to fix: alc89pr1 IND cr567pao know134; to be equal across groups? For example: Model girls: alc89pr1 IND cr567pao know134 (1); Model boys: alc89pr1 IND cr567pao know134 (1); 


No, only parameters in the MODEL command. You could create the indirect effects in MODEL CONSTRAINT and use MODEL TEST to test their difference. 


Thanks again, We tried with this syntax: USEVARIABLES ARE know134 osex567 alc1yn alc89pr1 ant1r struc1yn alc5r; grouping are sexe (1=fille 2=gars); MISSING = all (999); !ANALYSIS: BOOTSTRAP = 5000; MODEL: alc89pr1 ON know134; alc89pr1 ON osex567; alc89pr1 ON alc5r; osex567 ON know134; know134 ON ant1r alc1yn struc1yn; MODEL INDIRECT: alc89pr1 IND osex567 know134; model fille: alc89pr1 ON know134 (c1); alc89pr1 ON osex567 (b1); osex567 ON know134 (a1); model gars: alc89pr1 ON know134 (c2); alc89pr1 ON osex567 (b2); osex567 ON know134 (a2); MODEL constraint: new(f g); f=a1*b1; g=a2*b2; MODEL TEST: f=g; OUTPUT: cinterval sampstat stand tech4; Does it make sense? We were not able to specify bootstrapping with Model test. 


This looks correct. If you want to use bootstrapping, you can run the model twice and do difference testing. You would run it once with the MODEL CONSTRAINT you show and then with MODEL constraint: new(f g); f=a1*b1; g=a2*b2; 0 = f  g; 


I have a question regarding an error I get when i try to run the following model: INPUT INSTRUCTIONS data: File is P.csv; variable: Names are P I M; Usevariables are P I M; Categorical are I M; Analysis: Type=general; bootstrap=5000; Model: I ON M P; M ON P; Model indirect: I IND P; *** ERROR The length of the data field exceeds the 40character limit for freeformatted data. Error at record #: 1, field #: 1 *** ERROR The number of observations is 0. Check your data and format statement. Data file: P.csv Can anyone help me with that?? 


Please send the output, data, and your license number to support@statmodel.com. 


Dear Linda, thanks a lot for your fast response, I figured it out and Mplus is now working like a dream ;) Please, can you advice me how to report the results below (A mediationanalysis with one dichotomous variable) And I need to report confidence intervals for the bootstrap analysis. I am a bit in a doubt how to report it. I haves search APA, but without luck. Can you help me??? CONFIDENCE INTERVALS OF TOTAL, TOTAL INDIRECT, SPECIFIC INDIRECT, AND DIRECT EFFECTS Lower .5% Lower 2.5% Lower 5% Estimate Upper 5% Upper 2.5% Upper .5% Effects from PCL to IPAS via MAS Sum of indirect 0.192 0.151 0.136 0.082 0.034 0.024 0.000 Specific indirect IPAS MAS PCL 0.192 0.151 0.136 0.082 0.034 0.024 0.000 Thanks again Very best, Sune 


You report the estimate and the 95% confidence interval which is the value for the Lower 2.5% and the Upper 2.5%. If PCL is the dichotomous variable you mention, you might also want to report the corresponding STDY values, so not stand'ng wrt to the binary x (PCL). 


Thanks a lot, so to get it clear (sorry, but I am new in the realm of mediationanalysis ;) My mediator is the MASvariable (dichotomous), so I report the point estimate 0.082 and 95% CI [0.151, 0.024], right (see above). And then the S.E. Est./S.E. as well for the MAS variable? and that will be it? Thanks a lot for your helpful comments! 


To report mediation results you want to also report the slope of MAS on PCL and the slopes of IPAS on MAS and PCL. With a binary mediator, you may want to use the WLSMV estimator. To learn about mediation, you may want to get the 2008 MacKinnon book. And if you want to get serious about binary mediators, you should read my paper at http://www.statmodel.com/download/causalmediation.pdf 


Dear Bengt, I am wondering whether it is possible to do mediation analysis in Mplus with a categorical variable consisting of 4 subcategories? I have done it with a dichotomous variable, but would be very excited if it is possible with a 4category mediator variable as well???? Thanks a lot, Best Sune 


In the past we would have said an unordered categorical variable could not be a mediator. See the following paper on the website where a new method is shown: Muthén, B. (2011). Applications of causally defined direct and indirect effects in mediation analysis using SEM in Mplus. Submitted for publication. 


Dear Linda, Thanks a lot, it sure looks very interesting and promising for future research possibilities... I have looked into the article and the appendix as well, and I can see that there is syntax for a 3categorical mediator, but can you in anyway help me with a syntax, if my mediator consist of 4 categories? I would be very grateful since I have some very interesting psychological data where it would be superb with this opportunity. Thanks a lot, Best Sune 


Please send your input, output, and license number to support@statmodel.com. 


Dear Linda, thanks a lot I have mailed support@statmodel.com, with my questions and license number... Have a great day, Best Sune 


I'm using all observed variables in a path analysis with multiple groups (2 groups). I have the following in the model: m1 m2 on x; y1 y2 on m1 m2 x; model indirect: y1 ind x; y2 ind x; model lowses: y1 on x (a1); m1 on x (b1); y1 on m1 (c1); y1 on x (a3); m2 on x (b3); y1 on m2 (c3); model highses: y1 on x (a2); m1 on x (b2); y1 on m1 (c2); y1 on x (a4); m2 on x (b4); y1 on m2 (c4); model constraint: new (f g); f=(b1*c1)+(b3*c3); g=(b2*c2)+(b4*c4); model test: 0=fg; However, y1 and m1 are based on similar measures (across time) and y2 and m2 are based on similar measures (across time). Should I run 2 models (one for y1 and m1 and one for y2 and m2) or keep the analysis as one (as above)? If I run it as above, I need to run one model constraint for predicting the indirect effects for y1 across the 2 groups and another for predicting the indirect effects for y2, right? Thanks! 


I would think using one model as you show would be fine. Yes, you would need specify both indirect effects in MODEL CONSTRAINT. 


Thanks so much for your response! These boards as well as the manual help so much. I was trying to rerun my model using Bootstrapping and CINTERVAL in the output. I know you said that MODEL TEST cannot be used and so 0 = f  g needs to be brought into the MODEL CONSTRAINT field. However, when I do this, I get an error of convergence: NO CONVERGENCE. SERIOUS PROBLEMS IN ITERATIONS. ESTIMATED COVARIANCE MATRIX NONINVERTIBLE. CHECK YOUR STARTING VALUES. Do you have any advice? 


Please send the output and your license number to support@statmodel.com. 


Hi, I was wondering if it is computionally right to test with MODEL INDIRECT a model in which a latent dimension has an effect on a DV via a second latent dimension of which the DV is one of the observed variable. From a tehoretical perspective it make sense, but I am not sure if I cant translate it into SEM, that is: f1 BY x1 x2 x3; f2 BY z1 z2 dv1; f2 on f1 (7); dv1 on f1 (8); MODEL INDIRECT: dv1 on f2 f1; In addition I wanted to test with a multigroup approche whether the mediation model holds in different group. Thus I constrained the relation between variables to be equal across groups. Thank you! 


Yes, this is correct. Your MODEL and MODEL INDIRECT commands are not correct according to MODEL INDIRECT. It should be: MODEL: f1 BY x1 x2 x3; f2 BY z1 z2 dv1; f1 on f2 (7); dv1 on f1 (8); MODEL INDIRECT: dv1 IND f2 f1; 


Greetings  I'm curious as to whether a solution was discovered for the problem reported here Friday, January 20, 2012  8:55 am. I have a model of multiple group mediation, and when the testing statement is brought into the model constraint statement, I get the NO CONVERGENCE. SERIOUS PROBLEMS IN ITERATIONS. ESTIMATED COVARIANCE MATRIX NONINVERTIBLE.CHECK YOUR STARTING VALUES. error messages. 


This message can mean different things. We would need to see your output and license number at support@statmodel.com to say more. 

Yan Liu posted on Friday, August 29, 2014  2:30 am



Dear Dr. Muthen, I am trying multilevel multigroup mediational analysis and got an error message. The labels %BETWEEN% or %WITHIN% must be specified. Is the code wrong? USEVARIABLES ARE group x m y1 y2 tchid; GROUPING = group (0=g1 1=g2); CLUSTER = tchid; ANALYSIS: TYPE = TWOLEVEL RANDOM; MODEL: %WITHIN% m ON x; y1 ON x m; y2 ON x m; MODEL g1: m ON x (aw1); y1 ON x m (b1w1); y2 ON x m (b2w1); MODEL g2: m ON x (aw2); y1 ON x m (b1w2); y2 ON x m (b2w2); %BETWEEN% m ON x; y1 ON x m; y2 ON x m; MODEL g1: m ON x (ab1); y1 ON x m (b1b1); y2 ON x m (b2b1); MODEL g2: m ON x (ab2); y1 ON x m (b1b2); y2 ON x m (b2b2); MODEL CONSTRAINT: NEW(ind1w1 ind1w2 ind1b1 ind1b2 ind2w1 ind2w2 ind2b1 ind2b2); ind1w1=aw1*b1w1; ind2w1=aw1*b2w1; ind1b1=ab1*b1b1; ind2b1=ab1*b2b1; ind1w2=aw2*b1w2; ind2w2=aw2*b2w2; ind1b2=ab2*b1b2; ind2b2=ab2*b2b2; 


The structure should be MODEL: %WITHIN% #BETWEEN% MODEL g1; %WITHIN% %BETWEEN% MODEL g2; %WITHIN% %BETWEEN% The basic model should be specified under MODEL. Differences between groupspecific models and this model should be specified under MODEL g1 and MODEL g2. 

Yan Liu posted on Sunday, August 31, 2014  12:17 am



Dear Linda, Thank you so much! The code works now. However, when I added more under the MODEL CONSTRAINT to test the difference on indirect effects between two groups. 0=ind1w1ind1w2; 0=ind2w1ind2w2; 0=ind1b1ind1b2; 0=ind2b1ind2b2; The model doesn't work and gives me error message as follows. THE MODEL ESTIMATION DID NOT TERMINATE NORMALLY DUE TO AN ERROR IN THE COMPUTATION.CHANGE YOUR MODEL AND/OR STARTING VALUES. Is this because I have zero degrees of freedom, which doesn't allow more tests, or my model doesn't fit the data? Thanks! Yan 


Please send the output and your license number to support@statmodel.com. 

Back to top 