Multilevel mediation model 2-1-1 PreviousNext
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 Lu Dong posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 12:52 pm
Dear Dr. Muthén

I'm trying to run a mediation model for a RCT in Mplus: randomized treatment group --> pre-post changes in mediator --> pre-post changes in outcome

I consider randomized treatment group level 2, and changes in pre-post mediator and outcome level 1. So I think this would be a 2-1-1 model and was trying to implement the 2-1-1 sample script from Preacher et al. example E: http://quantpsy.org/pubs/syntax_appendix_081311.pdf

Here is the syntax I used:

TITLE: 2-1-1 mediation (MSEM)

DATA: FILE IS mydata.csv; ! mydata is in long format

VARIABLE: NAMES ARE ID timepoint Tx mediator outcome;
USEVARIABLES ARE ID Tx mediator outcome;
BETWEEN IS Tx;
CLUSTER IS ID;

ANALYSIS: TYPE IS TWOLEVEL RANDOM;

MODEL:
%WITHIN%
mediator outcome;
outcome ON mediator;

%BETWEEN%
Tx mediator outcome;
mediator ON Tx(a);
outcome ON mediator(b);
outcome ON Tx;

MODEL CONSTRAINT:
NEW(indb);
indb=a*b;

OUTPUT: TECH1 TECH8 CINTERVAL;

--to be continued in the next post---
 Lu Dong posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 12:53 pm
--continued from the above post--

And I have two questions:

1. Is this the correct model for the research question I have? The reason I ask is that in the regular MLM/HLM model I created a Tx by timepoint interaction to capture the pre-post change in the mediator, but this is not present in the Mplus syntax. Should I add this Tx by timepoint to the Mplus model, and if so, could you let me know how to do that or if there is an example available?

2. This model (as written above) did run, but I got this error message. Could you let me know how to interpret this message and what changes should be made accordingly?

THE STANDARD ERRORS OF THE MODEL PARAMETER ESTIMATES MAY NOT BE
TRUSTWORTHY FOR SOME PARAMETERS DUE TO A NON-POSITIVE DEFINITE
FIRST-ORDER DERIVATIVE PRODUCT MATRIX. THIS MAY BE DUE TO THE STARTING
VALUES BUT MAY ALSO BE AN INDICATION OF MODEL NONIDENTIFICATION. THE
CONDITION NUMBER IS -0.183D-19. PROBLEM INVOLVING THE FOLLOWING PARAMETER:
Parameter 10, %BETWEEN%: TX


Thank you so much in advance!
 Bengt O. Muthen posted on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 5:22 pm
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 Tino Nsenene posted on Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 7:17 am
Dear all,

I use Mplus to estimate a 1-1-1 twolevel mediation. Both the slope for the a-path (effect from x -> m) and the slope for the b-path (effect from m -> y) vary significantly between groups. The covariance of the a and b slope, however, is not significant. My question is if one should add the covariance to the a*b-product (as recommend in the Handbook of advanced multilevel modeling by Hox) when calculating the indirect effect although, in this case, it is estimated as non-significant?

Many thanks for your response -
Tno
 Tino Nsenene posted on Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 10:33 am
A further question relates to part 3 of ex9.2.

The UG writes:

"When a random slope is estimated, the observed covariate x is used on the within level and the latent variable covariate xbj is used on the between level."

Just to be sure what happens at the within-group level:

The description above means that when a random slope for x is used, there is no decomposition of x into a latent within-part (labelled xwij in the second part of the example in the UG); instead, the observed, uncentred x is used within groups?

Many thanks for your response!
 Bengt O. Muthen posted on Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 6:51 pm
Tino's first post:

I would add it - because what you really want to see is the significance of the indirect effect.
 Bengt O. Muthen posted on Thursday, August 24, 2017 - 6:51 pm
Tino's second post:

Right - just like in regular multilevel modeling (with other software).
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