Causal Mediation Analysis

A 2-Day Seminar Taught by Tyler VanderWeele, Ph.D.

Read reviews of this course

To see a sample of the course materials, click here.

This seminar will focus on some of the recent developments in causal mediation analysis and will provide practical tools to implement those techniques. Mediation analysis deals with the mechanisms and pathways by which causal effects operate. The course will discuss the relationship between traditional methods for mediation in the biomedical and social sciences and new methods of causal inference for dichotomous, continuous, and time-to-event outcomes.

We will also consider when standard approaches to mediation analysis are valid and when they are not valid. These approaches will be extended to more complex settings. The no-confounding assumptions needed for these techniques will be discussed in detail. SAS, SPSS and Stata macros to implement mediation methods will be demonstrated and distributed to course participants.

Other topics include the use and implementation of sensitivity analysis (to assess how sensitive conclusions are to violations of assumptions) and extensions to multiple mediators.


In all cases, methods will be illustrated using software, with SAS, Stata, SPSS, and R examples and syntax. This is a hands-on course with at least one hour each day devoted to carefully structured and supervised assignments. 

To do the exercises, you will need to bring your own laptop computer with a recent version of SAS or Stata or SPSS or R. SAS and Stata will be supported by the instructor. Macros in SPSS and R will also be accessible, but SPSS and R will not be directly supported by the instructor.

Who should attend?

Course prerequisites: Familiarity with linear and logistic regression. Some knowledge of counterfactual or potential outcomes notation is helpful, but not necessary.


The class will meet from 9 am to 5 pm each day with a 1-hour lunch break at Temple University Center City, 1515 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103. 

Participants receive a bound manual containing detailed lecture notes (with equations and graphics), examples of computer printout, and many other useful features. This book frees participants from the distracting task of note taking.

Registration and lodging

The fee of $995.00 includes all seminar materials.

Refund Policy

If you cancel your registration at least two weeks before the course is scheduled to begin, you are entitled to a full refund (minus a processing fee of $50). 

Lodging Reservation Instructions

A block of guest rooms has been reserved at the Club Quarters Hotel, 1628 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA at a special rate of $159 per night. This location is about a 5 minute walk to the seminar location. In order to make reservations, call 203-905-2100 during business hours and identify yourself by using group code SH0411 or click here. For guaranteed rate and availability, you must reserve your room no later than Monday, March 12, 2018. 

If you make reservations after the cut-off date, ask for the Statistical Horizons room rate (do not use the code) and they will try to accommodate your request.


1. Concepts and methods for mediation
2. Sensitivity analysis
3. Mediation with time-to-event outcome
4. Multiple mediators
5. Surrogate outcomes
6. A unification of mediation and interaction


“This course was excellent. The material had an appropriate amount of theory to understand underlying concepts, but was applied enough to allow me to understand how to use the methods in my current research. Dr. VanderWeele is clearly an expert, and he was able to respond to our questions, which were across multiple disciplines. The class provided in-depth understanding of methods and provided references for our own use to explore concepts further. I appreciate that example code was provided.”
  Jennifer Emond, Dartmouth College

“Sophisticated approach to assessing mediation in causal models.”
  Arthur Evans, Weill Cornell Medical College

“The course was well thought-out with good examples and project questions to apply the material learned. The instructor did a great job of answering questions and presenting the material clearly. I now have the knowledge and resources to apply the methods to my own research.”
  Heather Munro, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

“Tyler was very didactic, covering different topics on causal mediation modeling. The provided syntax and examples also covered a broad audience (sociology, genetics, psychology), so the communication was incredibly effective regardless of the participant’s background.”
  Hugo Cogo Moreira, Universidade Federal de Sao Paulo

“Dr. Tyler VanderWeele did an excellent job of taking course material intended for a semester-long course and making it comprehensible and thorough for a 2-day seminar. This mediation course is a must-attend event. Even though I had an abundance of mediation statistical experience, this course equipped me with indelible tools for sensitivity analysis and alternative approaches.”
  Justin Moore, Washington University in St. Louis 

“This course is a detailed survey of most of the common situations of mediation. While only a few individual examples are worked through in-depth, you leave the course with the skills and direction necessary to apply methods from the literature.”
  Sharia Ahmed, Oregon State University

“The course clarifies many vague issues in the area of mediation in quantitative methods, and provides exact corresponding references. The course also does a great job in integrating causal inference framework in the mediation methods, and illustrates where and how the framework is helpful in understanding mediation. The course also provides a number of sensitivity analysis for a wide range of models, which is very helpful.”
  Jinok Kim

“The very basic concepts are explained very intuitively. Good and proper examples are very helpful as well. Dr. VanderWeele answers and explains questions precisely and concisely.”
  Xiaoming Du, University of Maryland School of Medicine

“This course introduces a cutting edge theory and methods on causal analysis. The contents and instructor are superb – in fact, at world-class level!”
  Ming-Chang Tsai, Academia Sinica

“Excellent course clearly laid out; very helpful that we received the course materials for note-taking.”
  Aleksandra Zuk, University of Toronto

“I highly recommend this course to researchers who want to increase understanding of current mediation methodology, or those who encounter implementation challenges when applying the techniques. The instructor provides a thorough review on how to implement in SAS and Stata, and offers one-to-one Q and A to address individual questions. The course materials are well-developed and are an excellent guide for practice.”
  Ye Wang, Harvard Medical School

“In 2 days, I learned more about mediation than any of my previous exposures. There is a great mix of theory, applied examples, and practical exercises to build a solid foundation in causal mediation analysis. I feel confident that I have the background and skills to apply these methods to my own research after having attended this amazing course with Dr. VanderWeele.”
  Christopher Tait, University of Toronto

“This is a great course! The instructor is very knowledgeable and organized. I’ve learned a lot from the course.”
  Jing Li, Rice University

“This is a very practical course that is suitable for social sciences researchers. The examples and codes are really helpful for common research problems. It never goes too technical in terms of theory, which makes the course easier to understand. The lecturer is willing to answer all questions asked.”
  Yuan Hong, University of South Carolina

“Dr. VanderWeele is a fantastic instructor for several reasons: the presentation is well-structured with a bunch of references, a lot of real life examples are provided, useful macros are provided, and there were nice suggestions for questions not covered.”
  Pengcheng Xun, Indiana University, Bloomington

“Dr. VanderWeele is a world-renowned expert on this topic. His workshop is highly informative, clear, and thorough. His teaching style is highly interactive and clear. This is a very enjoyable and highly useful workshop for those who are interested in embarking on doing mediation analysis in their careers.”
  Hong Chen, Public Health Ontario

“This course is very good. It covers almost all aspects of the topic. The participant questions are also interesting and help you to think more.”
  Yanan Zhang, University of South Carolina