Contributing to Theory: Independent, Mediating, Moderating and Dependent Variables

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It is important for a researcher to determine the mediators, moderators, and confounds that may affect a study before beginning an experiment. A mediator is a contributing variable which may have an effect on the pathway between the treatment/intervention and the outcome (Bauman, Sallis, Dzewaltowski, & Owen, 2002). Examples of mediators are strategies, support groups, or specific knowledge of a subject that may affect the outcome of the study. Moderators or modifiers can strengthen the relationship between a program and outcome; however, that strength depends on the presence of a third variable (Bauman, Sallis, Dzewaltowski, & Owen, 2002). In other words, a program or treatment may be beneficial to one group over another depending on the characteristics of the individuals in the group. A treatment that is more beneficial to women than men, and having a different overall and gender specific effect size is an example of a moderator. A confound allows the researcher to analyze the experiment and predict how the confound may affect the outcome of the study (Bauman, Sallis, Dzewaltowski, & Owen, 2002). Confounds tend to distort true degrees of an effect and influences the observed relationship between the treatment/program and the outcome (Bauman, Sallis, Dzewaltowski, & Owen, 2002). Gender can also be considered a cofounder. For example, males may be able to do certain physical activities easier than women; thus, making it less likely that some women will participate in a program that is physically too demanding. The topic area of my research deals with knowledge of the emergency management cycle and how understanding of the cycle can help campus police officers, university officials, and emergency management managers better pre... ... middle of paper ... characteristics as predictors of aggressive behavioral tendencies of university students. College Student Journal, 47(1), 41-52. Lau, K. L., Marsee, M. A., Kunimatsu, M. M., & Fassnacht, G. M. (2011). Examining associations between narcissism, behavior problems, and anxiety in non-referred adolescents. Child & Youth Care Forum, 40(3), 163-176. doi:10.1007/s10566-010-9135-1 Stuewig, J., Tangney, J. P., Heigel, C., Harty, L., & McCloskey, L. (2010). Shaming, blaming, and maiming: Functional links among the moral emotions, externalization of blame, and aggression. Journal Of Research In Personality, 44(1), 91-102. doi:10.1016/j.jrp.2009.12.005 Woessner, G., & Schneider, S. (2013). The role of self‐control and self‐esteem and the impact of early risk factors among violent offenders. Criminal Behaviour And Mental Health, 23(2), 99-112. doi:10.1002/cbm.1863

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