Elizabeth Stuart et al. (2021) reviewed 206 articles using mediation analysis “in top academic psychiatry or psychology journals” from 2013-2018, to determine how many satisfied assumptions of mediation analysis.
Here are the headline results (% of papers):
(The assumption of no interaction of exposure and mediator is as a percentage of the 97% of studies that used the Baron and Kenny approach.)
Although 42% of studies discussed mediation assumptions, “in most cases this discussion was simply an acknowledgement that the data were cross sectional and thus results should be interpreted with caution.”
Stuart, E. A., Schmid, I., Nguyen, T., Sarker, E., Pittman, A., Benke, K., Rudolph, K., Badillo-Goicoechea, E., & Leoutsakos, J.-M. (2021). Assumptions not often assessed or satisfied in published mediation analyses in psychology and psychiatry. Epidemiologic Reviews, In Press.