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Department of Statistics

2017 Spring ASA Chapter Meeting

The spring meeting of the Kansas-Western Missouri chapter of the American Statistical Association was held in Manhattan on April 6.  In addition to inducting new members into the Mu Sigma Rho Honor Society, we had a lovely dinner and keynote presentation by Professor Jeffrey M. Albert from the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Case Western Reserve University.

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Keynote Presentation

Dr. Jeffrey M. Albert
Causal Mediation Analysis: Recent Trends and Controversies    

Causal mediation analysis uses a potential outcomes framework to decompose an overall exposure or treatment effect into a direct effect and indirect effects through one or more mediators. While a parametric mediation formula approach, usually targeting ‘natural’ direct and indirect effects, has become popular, it has also received recent criticism. An alternative natural effects model approach has been offered, while ‘interventional’ effects have been proposed to replace natural effects. We provide counter-arguments to the criticisms and present extensions of the mediation formula approach that remedy some its shortcomings. Practical use and clinically meaningful interpretations are emphasized, and data from a dental caries study used in an illustrative example.