The effectiveness of peer mediation in a low-ses rural elementary school


Thirty 6th-8th-grade students were trained to serve as mediators for peers in conflict. Student mediators were taught conflict resolution and mediation techniques from the Conflict Resolution Unlimited (1995) manual. Mediation was available to students school-wide (N = 798); disputants were given the option to go to mediation or to the principal for resolutions. Mediators' responses to written tests indicated increased knowledge of mediation skills after training, which was maintained at 6-week follow-up. During the 6 weeks following training, 32 of 34 mediations resulted in satisfactory conflict resolution. School-wide suspensions decreased during the intervention year, as compared to 3 years of baseline data. In addition, mediators' own office referrals were lower than a randomly selected matched control group. Further, mediators' current referrals were lower than in the previous year, while there was no such change for the control group. Results and process variables of the implementation are discussed. © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Publication Title

Psychology in the Schools