A Path Model of the Relationship Between the Self-Assessed and the Perceived Measure: Group Comparison by Wealth
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The results found in the regression models in the previous chapter confound the idea of a simple mediation effect of the model component ‘Psychosocial Symptoms and Consequences’ that would explain the discrepancy between the Self-Assessed Measure (economic strain: difficulties in making ends meet) and the Perceived Measures (economic stress: worry about not having enough money). According to the results of our research so far it seems indeed likely that the effects of a diminished sense of self and role strains are not linear across levels of economic resources. In such a scenario, the relationship between the Self-Assessed and the Perceived Measure is no longer characterized by mechanisms of mediation but by a more complex type of interaction effect referred to as moderation. We will test this moderation hypothesis by estimating a path model based on our theoretical model that allows the path estimates to vary by categories of wealth. The question of interest is which paths are significantly different for different levels of wealth and which paths can be treated as equal across wealth categories.