Xu Qin's research while affiliated with University of Pittsburgh and other places

Publications (13)

Article
In causal mediation studies that decompose an average treatment effect into indirect and direct effects, examples of post‐treatment confounding are abundant. In the presence of treatment‐by‐mediator interactions, past research has generally considered it infeasible to adjust for a post‐treatment confounder of the mediator‐outcome relationship due t...
Preprint
In causal mediation studies that decompose an average treatment effect into a natural indirect effect (NIE) and a natural direct effect (NDE), examples of post-treatment confounding are abundant. Past research has generally considered it infeasible to adjust for a post-treatment confounder of the mediator-outcome relationship due to incomplete info...
Article
The growth mindset or the belief that intelligence is malleable has garnered significant attention for its positive association with academic success. Several recent randomized trials, including the National Study of Learning Mindsets (NSLM), have been conducted to understand why, for whom, and under what contexts a growth mindset intervention can...
Article
This article used self‐regulated learning as a theoretical lens to examine the individual and interactive associations between a growth mindset and metacognition on math engagement for adolescent students from socioeconomically disadvantaged schools. Across three longitudinal studies with 207, 897, and 2,325 11‐ to 15‐year‐old adolescents, students...
Article
Maintaining learning engagement throughout adolescence is critical for long‐term academic success. This research sought to understand the role of metacognition and motivation in predicting adolescents' engagement in math learning over time. In two longitudinal studies with 2,325 and 207 adolescents (ages 11–15), metacognitive skills, interest, and...
Article
This study aims to test the theory underlying Job Corps, one of the largest education and training programs in the U.S. serving disadvantaged youth. Central to the program are vocational training and general education that serve as two concurrent mediators transmitting the program impact on earnings. To distinguish the relative contribution of each...
Article
In non‐experimental research, a sensitivity analysis helps determine whether a causal conclusion could be easily reversed in the presence of hidden bias. A new approach to sensitivity analysis on the basis of weighting extends and supplements propensity score weighting methods for identifying the average treatment effect for the treated (ATT). In i...
Preprint
The growth mindset or the belief that intelligence is malleable has garnered significant attention for its positive association with academic success. Several recent randomized trials, including the National Study of Learning Mindsets (NSLM), have been conducted to understand why, for whom, and under what contexts a growth mindset intervention can...
Article
This study provides a template for multisite causal mediation analysis using a comprehensive weighting‐based analytic procedure that enhances external and internal validity. The template incorporates a sample weight to adjust for complex sample and survey designs, adopts an inverse probability of treatment weight to adjust for differential treatmen...
Article
Through a sensitivity analysis, the analyst attempts to determine whether a conclusion of causal inference could be easily reversed by a plausible violation of an identification assumption. Analytic conclusions that are harder to alter by such a violation are expected to add a higher value to scientific knowledge about causality. This article prese...
Article
This study investigates appropriate estimation of estimator variability in the context of causal mediation analysis that employs propensity score-based weighting. Such an analysis decomposes the total effect of a treatment on the outcome into an indirect effect transmitted through a focal mediator and a direct effect bypassing the mediator. Ratio-o...
Article
When a multisite randomized trial reveals between-site variation in program impact, methods are needed for further investigating heterogeneous mediation mechanisms across the sites. We conceptualize and identify a joint distribution of site-specific direct and indirect effects under the potential outcomes framework. A method-of-moments procedure in...

Citations

... Researchers have been developing methods to address this issue most recently. Some researchers proposed to impute values of post-treatment confounders under the counterfactual treatment condition (Daniel et al., 2015;Hong et al., 2021). Others defined causal mediation effects under an interventional framework that does not involve cross-world counterfactuals; thus enabling the identification of the effects in the presence of posttreatment confounders (VanderWeele et al., 2014;Wodtke & Zhou, 2020). ...
... Those with a fixed mindset, on the other hand, showed remarkably little processing of their mistakes. In a classroom, this process might be repeated many times and lead to greater learning and growth for those with more of a growth mindset relative to those with more of a fixed mindset 30,31 . ...
... However, research on growth mindset and students' learning outcomes produced mixed findings (Bostwick, Collie, Martin, & Durksen, 2017;Li & Bates, 2019;O'Rourke, Haimovitz, Ballweber, Dweck, & Popović, 2014). A recent longitudinal study found that students' growth mindset only predicted better mathematics achievement among those who had metacognitive skills that allowed them to reflect on their learning progress (Wang, Zepeda, Qin, Del Toro, & Binning, 2021). We argue that metacognition could be a key to actualize the benefit of the growth mindset. ...
... Teachers' interest in their professional development as a more individual element of deep structures is related to more collaborative work and a higher motivation to collaborate (Pancsofar and Petroff, 2013). Also, SRL research provides evidence that interest is linked to SRL and the use of learning strategies (e.g., Cleary and Kitsantas, 2017), especially for metacognitive and motivational regulation (Wang et al., 2021). Therefore, we assume that a teacher's educational interest is associated with metacognitive and motivational regulation (H3i). ...
... This study is restricted to the former case. Qin, Deutsch, and Hong (2021) propose a sensitivity analysis strategy for causal mediation studies that involve two concurrent mediators that are not conditionally independent. Adjusting for selection bias associated with post-treatment confounders that precede the focal mediator has been a major challenge in causal mediation analysis that decomposes the average treatment effect into NIE and NDE. ...
... There are several benefits to marginal sensitivity models. First, in contrast to alternative approaches in the literature (i.e., Huang (2022); Hartman and Huang (2022); Hong et al. (2021); Shen et al. (2011)), marginal sensitivity models rely only on a single parameter. Second, they allow researchers to simultaneously account for (1) bias to point estimates and (2) changes in inference (i.e., the statistical significance) in an estimated effect from omitting a confounder. ...
... The conventional methods, multilevel path analysis and SEM, rely on strong functional and distributional assumptions, ignore potential confounding bias, and have difficulties in estimating and testing the between-site variance of the mediation effects and especially in evaluating the how the mediation mechanism varied by school characteristics. To overcome the limitations, Qin and colleagues (Qin et al., 2019Qin & Hong, 2017) have recently developed conceptual frameworks and statistical tools for investigating the population average and the between-site variation of causal mediation mechanisms in multisite randomized trials. By extending this approach, the current study explored whether the school achievement level moderated the indirect effect via challenge-seeking in a pattern similar to prior findings concerning the heterogeneity of the total impact. ...
... Sensitivity analysis was performed to determine whether the presence of unmeasured confounders violated the conclusion of inference and the findings. The weighting-based approach introduced by Hong et al. 21 was adopted for conducting the sensitivity analysis. As their method and R package were designed for a single mediator mediation, we have modified it to suit multiple mediation approach by calculating the total mediators' weights and the weight discrepancy between the new weight after omitting an observed confounder and the initial calculated weight. ...
... Their performance does differ, however, with smaller sample sizes or a ratio that is less than 2. A low coverage rate of the weighting method obtained from nonparametric bootstraps with ratios less than 1 is particularly worrisome since it could inflate the type I error rate. An alternative way to calculate correct standard errors, such as that shown in Bein et al. (2018), may be necessary. It is also noteworthy that the single-mediator-imputation method provides a high coverage rate for a continuous mediator when the ratio is less than 2. Given research questions and data, investigators can use this information in choosing an optimal method for their study. ...
... The conventional methods, multilevel path analysis and SEM, rely on strong functional and distributional assumptions, ignore potential confounding bias, and have difficulties in estimating and testing the between-site variance of the mediation effects and especially in evaluating the how the mediation mechanism varied by school characteristics. To overcome the limitations, Qin and colleagues (Qin et al., 2019Qin & Hong, 2017) have recently developed conceptual frameworks and statistical tools for investigating the population average and the between-site variation of causal mediation mechanisms in multisite randomized trials. By extending this approach, the current study explored whether the school achievement level moderated the indirect effect via challenge-seeking in a pattern similar to prior findings concerning the heterogeneity of the total impact. ...