On the Efficacy of Peer Mediation / Education Programs
Peer mediation is considered research-based by the U.S. Department of Education, and DOE monies have funded peer mediation efforts for
some time. Research and scholarship on the efficacy of mediation program are extensive, as illustrated by representative articles cited and briefly
annotated below. Website addresses for representative resources and organizations and publications are also listed below.
1. J. Lawrence Aber, Joshua L. Brown, and Christopher C. Henrich, Teaching Conflict Resolution: An Effective
School-Based Approach to Violence Prevention. Research Brief. New York: NCCP Publications, 1999. Full Text:
On conflict, conflict resolution: elementary, secondary education, interpersonal communication, prevention, problem solving, program
effectiveness, program evaluation, school activities, violence.
Abstract: “This report describes one of the largest and longest running school-based
violence prevention programs in the country, the Resolving Conflict Creatively Program (RCCP), and discusses the results of a rigorous evaluation of the
program's effectiveness conducted by the National Center for Children in Poverty (NCCP) at Columbia University's Joseph L. Mailman School of Public
Health. The report is designed to inform policymakers, program developers and managers at the local level, and other opinion leaders and decision makers
of effective strategy for directly addressing the problem of violence among children and youth…These skills are learned through a curriculum taught by
teachers receiving both initial training and ongoing follow-up and support from RCCP staff developers.”
2. Stephen W. Smith, Ann P. Daunic, M. David Miler, and T. Rowand Robinson, “Conflict Resolution and Peer Mediation
in Middle Schools: extending the Process and Outcome Knowledge Base.” Journal of Social Psychology, Vol. 142, No. 5, 2002, pp. 567-586.
On attitudinal change, conflict resolution, middle school students, peer mediation.
Abstract: The authors conducted research on conflict resolution /peer mediation in three middle schools. Specifically, they surveyed teachers and
students, tracked disciplinary incidents across school years, collected mediation data, and compared mediators with a matched sample to determine
attitudinal change as a result of peer mediation training and experience.
3. Laurie Stevahn, David W. Johnson, Roger T. Johnson, and Ray Schultz. “Effects of Conflict Resolution Training
Integrated Into a High Schools Social Studies Curriculum. Journal of Social Psychology. Vol. 142. No. 3, 2002, 305-51.
On academic achievement, conflict resolution, peer mediation, retention of learning, social studies, transfer of learning.
Abstract: “the authors examined the effectiveness of conflict resolution and peer mediation training among California high school students; they randomly
assigned 1 t 4 classes to receive 5 weeks of conflict resolution and peer mediation training integrated into the required social studies
curriculum…Integrating conflict resolution and peer mediation training into an academic course prompted higher achievement, greater long-term retention
of the academic learning, and greater transfer of academic training in social studies and language arts….Thinking and talking about conflict and
alternative ways to resolve it do not substitute for actually practicing the procedures and skills that make constructive conflict resolution a reality
. Through the constructive management of conflicts, schools can become places where destructive conflicts are prevented and the quality of student life
Relevant chapters from The Handbook of Conflict Resolution: Theory and Practice, ed. Morton Deutsch and Peter.
T. Coleman. San Francisco: Jossey-Bess Publishers, 2000. 649 pp. Well-indexed, with notes and bibliography.
4. “Sandra V. Sandy, and Kathleen M. Cochran, “The Development of Conflict resolution Skills in Children: Preschool
to Adolescence,” The Handbook of Conflict Resolution, pp. 316-42.
Abstract: “As many theorists and practioners have said, it is extremely important that conflict resolution skills be taught as early as
possible…Development in conflict resolution and social-emotional learning skills is so critical to the education of our children that we must actively
support infusions of this instruction throughout each child’s educational experience, both in school and at home.”
5. Kenneth Kressel, “Mediation,” The Handbook of Conflict Resolution, pp. 522-45.
Abstract: “Our knowledge of mediation as a social psychological process has three major sources: extrapolation from theories of conflict (i.e.,
Deutsch, 1973; Fisher, Ury, and Patton, 1981); empirical research (i.e., Kressel and Pruitt, 1989); and the in-depth case wisdom practitioners (Kolb and
Associates, 1993; Moore, 1996)….On the order of 70-90 percent of disputing parties who have tried mediation say they were pleased with the process,
would recommend it to a friend, think it should be available to others in similar circumstances…Even for those who fail to reach agreement in mediation,
the satisfaction rate is typically about 75 percent...."
Toronto researcher found benefit to peer mediation programs, 2001. www.eschoolnews.com/
Excellent resource on research on a variety of intervention/education programs in schools
School Mediator Newsletter shares some news regarding funding peer mediation for the 2002-2003 year.
Children’s Creative Response to Conflict (CRC), Fellowship of Reconciliation
Box 271, Nyack, New York 10960.
According to Sandra V. Sandy and Kethleen M. Cochran (cited above) “a well-respected conflict resolution program widely used with children in middle
Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR)
23 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138
Online Teachers Center
Association for Conflict Resolution
5151 Wisconsin Ave., NW, Suite 500, Washington, DC 20016
School Mediation Associates
"Helping educators, students and parents resolve conflict and appreciate differences since 1984"
Richard Cohen, Director,