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Research Supporting the Efficacy of Peer Conflict Mediation Training

Conflict Resolution Education: The Field, the Findings, and the Future (PDF | 168 KB)

Tricia S. Jones, Conflict Resolution Quarterly, vol. 22, no. 1–2, Fall-Winter 2004

Over the past two decades, Conflict Resolution Education (CRE) programs have educated children about constructive approaches to managing conflict in their schools and communities. To sustain program development and funding of CRE, questions of efficacy are paramount. To what extent does CRE make the differences so hoped for by educators and parents? To what extent are CRE programs meeting the standards set under No Child Left Behind, and therefore worthy of federal support dollars?

Evaluation of an Innovative Approach to Improving Middle School Students' Academic Achievement

Poynton, T.A., Carlson, M.W., Hopper, J.A., & Carey, J.C.
Professional School Counseling, February 2006.

This article presents the results of an evaluation conducted by two middle school counselors, in collaboration with university researchers, to assess the effectiveness of a classroom intervention designed to impact academic achievement. The intervention utilized was a standardized conflict resolution curriculum, which then was linked to problem-solving strategies across core academic areas.

Respect, Responsibility, Resolution (PDF | 866 KB)

Nancy M. Kaplan, Executive Director, CRU Institute
ASCA School Counselor Magazine, November-December 2002

Through schoolwide conflict mediation training, one school takes positive steps to reduce school violence and teach student respect and responsibility.

Sealth High School Evaluations (PDF | 675 KB)

Sealth High School 1998-1999 Training Project Evaluation Outcomes

This study involves 149 ninth-grade students who were trained in conflict mediation and given pre- and post-test questionnaires. They were compared with a control group of students who were given the same pre- and post-tests without intervention of conflict mediation training. The results indicate that conflict mediation training has a significant positive effect upon the students' knowledge of conflict resolution skills and upon their understanding of people who are different from them.

Number of fights and assaults

1997-1998 school year (ninth graders not trained)
September-January 8
February-June 25
1998-1999 school year (ninth graders trained Dec. 1998 - Jan. 1999)
September-January 18
February-June 5

Total number of suspensions and expulsions

1997-1998 school year (ninth graders not trained)
September-January 70
February-June 101
1998-1999 school year (ninth graders trained Dec. 1998 - Jan. 1999)
September-January 78
February-June 71

The Effectiveness of Peer Mediation in a Low-SES Rural Elementary School (PDF | 41 KB)

Stephen K. Bell, Jennifer K. Coleman, Adam Anderson, and James P. Whelan – University of Memphis; Cherie Wilder – Fayette County Schools
Psychology in the Schools, Vol. 37(6), 2000

Thirty sixth- to eighth-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; 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.


"I've taught for almost 30 years; I've taken a lot of classes. It takes an incredibly organized, thoughtful, specific, and creative program to get my attention. This training does just that. It's effective, relevant, clearly taught in manageable pieces. I would recommend it to anyone."

— Sharon Holt
Kenmore Junior High
Kenmore, Washington