Moderator analysis in developmental research is concerned with the conditionals of development. When conditionals are known, developmental trajectories can be predicted, and the conditionals can be interpreted as moderators of development. In this article, we start from a standard definition of the term moderator, and present configural models that allow researchers to test hypotheses that are compatible with moderation. The methods that are discussed enable researchers to take person- as well as variable-oriented perspectives by using configural frequency analysis or logit models, respectively. We then proceed and propose a hierarchy of moderator models for configural analysis. The three levels of this hierarchy differ in the roles played by the variables under study and type as well as amount of information that decisions about moderation are based on. At the highest level, moderation hypotheses are analysed in the Baron and Kenny sense. Application examples use data from a study on the development of aggression in adolescence. Bases of interpretation of moderator models are discussed.
- Aggression development
- Configural frequency analysis
- Hierarchy of moderation analysis
- Logit modelling