PSY520 SNHU Race Education Criminal Thinking and Recidivism Discussion

Use the article listed here (ATTACHED):

  • Relationships Among Race, Education, Criminal Thinking, and Recidivism: Moderator and Mediator Effects

Describe the nature of the relationship that the mediator or moderator has to the independent and dependent variable.

Does the general way that the author describes the mediator or moderator seem to fit with the process outlined by Baron and Kenny? Try not to get too bogged down with the statistics of the mediator and moderator tests, focus on the general principles.

When responding to your classmates, provide your perspective on whether the mediator or moderator is being interpreted and explained correctly.

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.



A moderator effect is a quantitative or qualitative variable that affects the strength or direction of the relationship between a dependent variable and an independent variable (Baron & Kenny, 1986). In simpler terms it could be said that in certain instances of data analysis, without the moderator variable there would be no causal relationship between two variables, the reverse is also true. A mediator effect will demonstrate how or why an independent variable leads to an outcome variable (Baron & Kenny, 1986). Mediator effects show how external physical effects take on internal psychological effects (Baron & Kenny, 1986).

Reading over the article related to functional impairment in adults with obsessive-compulsive disorder, it would appear that the authors followed, generally, the principles that Baron and Kenny laid out. Specifically, when talking about mediator effects they described how a physical reaction, raising anxiety sensitivity, created a psychological effect, the increase of OCD symptoms (Storch et al., 2014). They also went on to demonstrate that certain third variables did not moderate the final relationship that they were attempting to measure in this study (Storch et al., 2014).


Baron, R., & Kenny, D. (1986). The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173-1182. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.51.6.1173

Storch, E., Wu, M., Small, B., Crawford, E., Lewin, A., Horng, B., & Murphy, T. (2014). Mediators and moderators of functional impairment in adults with obsessive–compulsive disorder. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 55(3), 489-496. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2013.10.014


A study was conducted recently at Montclair State University that related stress in college-aged students between genders. These researchers looked at the moderating effect gender had to see if stress was effected differently between men and women. The results of this study showed differences between the genders and showed the gender differences were moderated relationships.

While I won’t pretend to completely understand the statistics involved in this study, I will say the moderator and mediator definitions fit the same definitions used by Kenny and Baron (1986). I think the publication of this document, and perhaps more like it, educated the psychological community to how definitions of moderator and mediator should be differentiated. The Montclair article clearly states their moderator and mediator separately and references both throughout their paper.


Baron, R. M. & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator-mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173-1182.

Lee, C.Y.S, Goldstein, S.E., Dik, B.J., & Rodas, J.M (2019). Sources of social support and gender in perceived stress and individual adjustment among latina/o college-attending emerging adults. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology.

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