ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2014, Vol. 22 ›› Issue (3): 530-539.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2014.00530

• Research Methods • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Analyzing Multilevel Mediation Using Multilevel Structural Equation Models

FANG Jie;WEN Zhonglin;ZHANG Minqiang;REN Hao   

  1. (1 School of Humanities and Communication, Guangdong University of Finance & Economics, Guangzhou 510320, China) (2 Center for Studies of Psychological Application & School of Psychology, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China)
  • Received:2013-06-05 Online:2014-03-15 Published:2014-03-15
  • Contact: FANG Jie


In recent years, multilevel models (MLM) have been frequently used for studying multilevel mediation in social sciences. However, there still exist sampling errors and measurement errors even after separating the between-group effects from the within-group ones of multilevel mediation. To solve this problem, a new method has been developed abroad by integrating MLM with structural equation models (SEM) under the framework of multilevel structural equation models (MSEM) to set latent variables and multiple indicators. That method has proved to rectify sampling errors and measurement errors effectively and obtain more accurate mediating effect values. And it is applicable to a larger variety of multilevel mediation analysis and able to provide fit indices of the models. After introducing the new method, we proposed a procedure for analyzing multilevel mediation by using MSEM, with an example illustrating how to execute it with the software MPLUS. Directions for future study on multilevel mediation and MSEM were discussed at the end of the paper.

Key words: structural equation, multilevel model, mediation, sampling error, measurement error