[R-meta] Three-level meta-analysis with different sources of dependency

Wilma Charlott Theilig w||m@_ch@r|ott@the|||g @end|ng |rom m@||box@tu-dre@den@de
Tue Feb 7 09:18:24 CET 2023

Dear all,

thank you for adding me to the mailing list! Meta-analysis and R- beginner here.

I plan to conduct a meta-analysis following a systematic review on the topic "Empathy and Theory of Mind - Do they correlate in children?". My data set consists of correlational data. In total, I have identified 80 studies and 204 effect sizes that I could use for the analysis. Since nested effect sizes are available and I do not have any information about the correlations between these nested effect sizes, it is possible to work with either RVE or multi-level analyses.

For my research question, a three-level meta-analysis would make the most sense (I want to do a moderator analysis with meanage and assessment type and add "Study" as an additional level).

The problem I have, however, is that my effect sizes are dependent for various reasons. I have T1 and T2 data from longitudinal studies, the female, male and overall sample of studies, as well as samples where the correlation between empathy and ToM was measured using the same sample but different instruments.

On the metafor website in the example of Konstantopoulos (2011) is stated that "It is important to note that the models used above assume that the sampling errors of the effect size estimates are independent. This is typically an appropriate assumption as long as there is no overlap in the data/individuals used to compute the various estimates. However, when multiple estimates are obtained from the same group of individuals, then this assumption is most certainly violated."

I was planning to use the R-script by Gucciardi (2021)


and was wondering if I could adapt it to account for the different sources of dependency. I read about combining RVE and Multi-level meta-analysis or CHE-models that I could use to solve my problem but I was wondering what the best way (and easiest way) would be?

What would be the consequences of just ignoring the different sources of dependency?

I am really looking forward for your answers.

Best regards

Wilma Theilig

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