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st: advice re: "intervening" variable


From   David Airey <david.airey@Vanderbilt.Edu>
To   richgold@ix.netcom.com, statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   st: advice re: "intervening" variable
Date   Mon, 5 Mar 2007 20:05:02 -0600

Hi Richard,

The discussion on structural equation models is conceptually relevant, but probably not appropriate if you have one variable measured per node: blood pressure -> diameter of blood vessel -> heart rate. A strong opinion on causality in SEM models can be read in Shipley's text, Cause and Correlation in Biology. But SEM often uses multiple measures per node. So maybe simple path analysis is more appropriate to your case, which SEM generalizes from (e.g., see http://www.ats.ucla.edu/stat/Stata/faq/pathreg.htm). Also, see section 4.5 in Vittinghoff's text in the Stata book store; it briefly covers the topic of mediating variables in regression models.

-Dave
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