A peer mediation program in a midwestern, suburban school was evaluated to determine the types of conflicts that occurred, the strategies students used to resolve their conflicts, the types of resolutions in both school and home settings, the impact of the peer mediation program on the strategies used to manage conflicts, and the resolutions of conflicts.
Six classes (one combination second/third grade, one third grade, two fourth grades, and two fifth grades) with 144 students received 9 hours of training in how to negotiate integrative agreements in their conflicts and how to mediate the conflicts of their classmates. A random sample of 83 students was selected from the untrained students in the third, fourth, and fifth grades as a control group. A peer mediation program was implemented. The role of mediator was rotated equally among all class members. Data were collected over a 9-week period before, during, and after the peer mediation training. A total of 783 conflicts were reported (209 at school, 574 at home). A significant difference between the types of conflict occurring in the school and in the home was found. The training had a significant impact on the strategies students used and the resulting conflict resolutions. (publisher abstract modified)