Partial Correlation

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Partialcorrelation involves a situation where two variables correlate witheach other and are controlling for another variable. Therefore, thethird variable, in this case, seems to be partially in correlationwith the two (Ellett &amp Ericson, 1986). An example of the partialcorrelation involves a case of the big toe. The correlation betweenthe age, language skills, as well as the magnitude of the big toeindicates this partial connection. For example, taking X as an amountof language skills, Y as the magnitude of the big toe, as well as Zas the kid`s age. Assume r(X, Y) = 0.40, r(X, Z) = 0.55, as well asr(Y, Z) = 0.65. It follows that r(X,Y|Z) = 0.07. This implies thatthe correlation concerning X and the variable Y is adjacent to zeroonce Z is presented as a go-between. Age, therefore, serves toexpound the relationship that exists between language and the big toe(The University of North Carolina, n.d).

Accordingto the set of data above, the size of the big toe is the independentvariable. The toe size does not rely on anything. It is independenton its own. The language skill is the dependent variable since itdepends on the size of the big toe, which implies that the larger thesize of the big toe, the higher the language skill. The age is theconfounding variable. The confounding variable serves to relate boththe dependent and the independent factors. In the example above, ageacts as a confounding variable joining the independent and dependentfactor (Pallant, 2010).

Partialcorrelation is crucial for nursing studies given that in the humanbody, no single parameter has a sole correlation. Different factorsaffect the being of an individual component of the body.Understanding this enables better management of the disease conditionsince all the factors that may influence the body are analyzed andappropriate measures taken. A good example regards the height,weight, and age of an individual. They have a partial correlationwhich is essential in medical approaches involving a case ofabnormality in one of these variables. This clearly shows thesignificance of partial correlation in the medical and nursing field(Powers &amp Knapp, 2011).


Ellett,F., &amp Ericson, D. (1986). Correlation, partial correlation, andcausation. Synthese,67(2),157-173.

Powers,B. &amp Knapp, T. (2011). Dictionaryof nursing theory and research.New York, N.Y.: Springer Pub. Co.

Pallant,J. (2010). SPSSsurvival manual.Maidenhead: Open University Press/McGraw-Hill.

TheUniversity of North Carolina.(n.d). Mediating variables and partial correlation.Retrievedfrom

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