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