Didelez, V.; Pigeot, Iris; Dean, K.; Wister, A. (2000): A comparative analysis of graphical interaction and logistic regression modelling: self-care and coping with a chronic illness in later life. Sonderforschungsbereich 386, Discussion Paper 186




Quantitative research especially in the social, but also in the biological sciences has been limited by the availability and applicability of analytic techniques that elaborate interactions among behaviours, treatment effects, and mediating variables. This gap has been filled by a newly developed statistical technique, known as graphical interaction modelling. The merit of graphical models for analyzing highly structured data is explored in this paper by an empirical study on coping with a chronic condition as a function of interrelationships between three sets of factors. These include background factors, illness context factors and four self--care practices. Based on a graphical chain model, the direct and indirect dependencies are revealed and discussed in comparison to the results obtained from a simple logistic regression model ignoring possible interaction effects. Both techniques are introduced from a more tutorial point of view instead of going far into technical details.