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PARENTAL INVOLVMENT, FAMILY STRUCTURE, AND ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT - page 49 / 102

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Kenny, “Specifically within a correlational analysis framework, a moderator is a third

variable that affects the zero-order correlation between two other variables” (1986:1174).

However, as with the other attempts to sort out the complicated relationship in the current

study, SES does not fit exactly within the Baron and Kenney’s definition of a moderator

variable. In their section dedicated to testing moderator variables, the authors point out

that, “…it is desirable that the moderator variable be uncorrelated with both the predictor

and the criterion (the dependent variable) to provide a clearly interpretable interaction

term” (1986:1174, italics mine). Although it is not true in every case, it is quite likely that

SES, parental involvement, and academic achievement are all correlated with one

another. According to Jaccard and Turrisi (2003) “An interaction effect is said to exist

when the effect of the independent variable on the dependent variable differs depending

on the value of a third variable, called the moderator” (p.3). While some studies test for

an interaction effect, this replication will not, because there was no test for an interaction

effect in the original study.

In the current research, parental involvement is a mediator of SES, yet it appears that

a preliminary analysis of the variables is necessary to make that determination.

According to their study (Baron and Kenney 1986) “to demonstrate mediation, one must

establish strong relations between (a) the predictor and the mediating variable and (b) the

mediating variable and some distal endogenous or criterion variable” (1178). In the

present study, this could be accomplished by testing (a) the relationship between parental

involvement (predictor) and SES (mediator), and (b) SES and academic achievement

(distal) variable. This evaluation takes on even more significance if we also apply the

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