Does peer mediation work? (7 reasons)

This blog post aims to answer the question, “Does peer mediation work?”, explores the concept of peer mediation and studies its benefits to help understand if this form of mediation is actually effective. 

Does peer mediation work?

Yes, peer mediation does work because of the following 7 reasons –

  • Peer mediation resolves disagreements and conflicts.
  • Peer mediation creates a peaceful environment to learn.
  • Peer mediators develop a lot of the same abilities as conventional mediators. 
  • Approximately 90% of all mediation sessions result in a peaceful settlement.
  • Peer mediation encourages students to work together.
  • Self-esteem is boosted through peer mediation. 
  • Peer mediation serves as a preventative measure. 

What are these 7 reasons why peer mediation works?

Peer mediation resolves disagreements and conflicts.

Peer mediation is a procedure in which schoolchildren and young people assist their classmates in resolving disagreements and conflicts. These confrontations might vary from the propagation of rumours to playground brawls. 

Peer mediation is simply students assisting their peers in resolving conflict in a safe and productive manner, and peer mediation training is the process of equipping students with the information, tools, and skills necessary to serve as peer mediators. 

Peer mediation sessions are always co-mediated, which means that two students will sit down together to resolve a conflict or disagreement between two peers.

Peer mediation is a private method of settling disputes. Participants can work through their conflicts with the assistance of qualified student mediators. Peer mediators take no sides or assign blame to anybody. They pay attention to all participants and assist them in developing their own dispute resolution strategy.

Peer mediation can be used to resolve the following types of conflicts –

  • “Teasing,
  • Disagreements,
  • Name-calling Relationships,
  • Rumour and Gossip Harassment,
  • Cheating and Stealing Fights,
  • Vandalism”

Peer mediation creates a peaceful environment to learn.

Peer Mediators are students who are dedicated to making their school a more peaceful environment in which to learn. Mediators come from a variety of backgrounds and have a wide range of experiences. 

They acquire extensive training in communication, problem-solving, and conflict resolution, as well as mediation abilities, before they may mediate.

Formal peer mediation systems give training to selected persons (‘peer mediators’) to assist them in intervening in arguments and assisting the parties in reaching a consensus.

Peer mediators, in general, hold an official and recognised status. Anyone, however, may learn to mediate in social situations, and the abilities are equally important for adults and children.

Disagreements can happen between coworkers or members of a social group, such as a volunteer committee. Being able to employ mediation skills to defuse situations can assist to prevent conflicts from spiralling out of control.

Peer mediation occurs in schools and colleges when youngsters of the same age group assist in the resolution of conflicts between groups or individuals.

Peer mediators develop a lot of the same abilities as conventional mediators. 

Peer mediators need a lot of the same abilities as conventional mediators. They must be able to listen well. For youngsters who are still developing their abilities, this may be difficult, and they may have to attempt to listen without passing judgement. 

They must comprehend the necessity of clarifying and questioning in order to ensure that they, as well as all those concerned, are aware of the issue. Establishing ‘facts’ may be less essential than laying out the participants’ points of view and ensuring that both sides understand each other’s viewpoints.

To grasp what is going on under the surface, peer mediators must have a reasonable level of Emotional Intelligence. Strong empathy is especially beneficial since it allows them to put themselves in the shoes of both individuals and assist others involved in doing the same. 

Nobody expects young children to be able to accomplish this right away, but when asked what qualities a peer mediator must possess, a group of nine to ten-year-olds stated that they must be nice and understand feelings, which does not seem unrealistic.

It is critical for persons working as peer mediators to have a decent sense of fairness and justice, especially for younger children. Peer mediators must be careful not to take sides, which necessitates an understanding of fairness and impartiality.

Peer mediators should be able to communicate effectively. Their Verbal Communication Skills must allow them to paraphrase and convey feelings in less emotional terms, as well as assist participants in seeing the event from a new perspective. They must also be aware of nonverbal communication in order to recognise what is not being stated.

Approximately 90% of all mediation sessions result in a peaceful settlement.

The effects of Conflict Resolution and Peer Mediation (CRPM) training on high school students’ interpersonal problems was investigated in a study. The research was carried out in a high school in Izmir, Turkey, in a low-income neighbourhood. 

A total of 830 students from 28 classrooms were trained during the course of the two-year research. Following the mediation sessions, data was collected using peer mediation forms filled out by the mediator students. 

Physical, verbal, and nonverbal aggression, interpersonal and communication issues, and conflicts of interest were the most common disputes referred to in mediation. 94.9 per cent of the 253 mediation sessions ended in a resolution, while 5.1 per cent resulted in no resolution. 

This finding suggests that peer mediation was helpful in resolving high school student problems in a productive and peaceful manner.

Student problems are resolved via peer mediation. Approximately 90% of all mediation sessions result in a settlement that is acceptable to both parties, as well as instructors, administrators, and parents. When students select mediation to terminate a problem, it is permanently resolved. 

This is because mediators urge their peers to talk about all aspects of the conflict, not just the triggering events. Peer mediation instils important life skills in pupils. Conflict resolution skills are just as important as reading and writing for leading a prosperous life.

Young people must be able to communicate effectively, understand the repercussions of their actions, produce and assess alternative problem-solving options, and coexist with those with whom they disagree. Both mediators and parties learn these core skills and attitudes through peer mediation. 

Peer mediation encourages students to work together.

Peer mediation encourages students to work together to settle disagreements. Peer mediation encourages students to communicate rather than fight over their disagreements. The kids’ process is mediation. There is a lot to gain and very little to lose in these processes, which are kept private.

Pupils learn from older students who show how to overcome difficulties by talking them out. Students also learn that resolving disagreements peacefully works from their peers who are mediators or have gone through mediation. 

The majority of mediations at Bishop Dwenger High School are currently referred by students. Peer mediation enhances the school’s instructional impact. Peer mediation is a teaching strategy that exploits a basically extracurricular distraction—students’ interpersonal disputes. 

Student parties practise settling their disputes using criteria of fairness and mutual benefit rather than raw power, intimidation, or character assassination, while mediators demonstrate pro-social approaches to resolving conflicts.

Peer mediation gives kids more authority, thereby enabling them to take responsibility for their conduct. 

Mediation helps students to assume responsibility for their conduct because it is a non-punitive venue. Peer mediation gives kids more authority. 

Adults do not educate young people to settle conflicts by solving issues for them, just as teachers do not teach children mathematics by solving problems for them. 

Peer mediation teaches students how to settle disagreements and then encourages them to do so in a supervised context. It also provides a place for students to resolve disputes that could otherwise go unnoticed by adults. 

Mediation, although allowing students to handle their own issues, does not absolve them of responsibility for their actions. The school discipline system has not been tampered with.

Self-esteem is boosted through peer mediation. 

Mediators are aware of their capacity to make a significant impact in other people’s lives. Parties engage in a process that empowers them to take control of their life and leaves them feeling accomplished rather than defeated. 

Students gain more understanding through peer mediation. Students learn that many confrontations are caused by misconception, misunderstanding, and truly divergent needs, rather than right vs. wrong or us vs. them. Peer mediation helps kids respect diversity and grasp diverse points of view. 

Students are expected to do their best in peer mediation. Students are encouraged to comprehend the perspectives of others, to think imaginatively about solutions, to forgive and apologise, and to deliberately modify conduct during mediation. 

Mediation pushes students to be their best selves, and they generally rise to the occasion. Peer mediation allows for extra learning time. Students are less distracted and can concentrate better when problems are settled. 

Suspension rates decrease when students can resolve problems before they escalate. Teachers do not have to waste their important teaching time as referees when they have the means to report problems for a peaceful settlement.

Peer mediation serves as a preventative measure. 

Conflict resolution skills are developed in both mediators and students in general, allowing them to settle more of their own issues on their own. 

Students learn to listen to the other person’s point of view and attempt to settle conflicts and wounded feelings before they turn into rage and dangerous behaviour. Peer mediation enhances the environment in the classroom. 

Students feel safer when they have a method for resolving problems peacefully and the ability to do so on their own. They are aware that they will not be physically or verbally harmed. 

This develops a sense of belonging and ownership in the classroom. It enhances student-to-student communication.

It keeps existing connections alive while also fostering new ones. All of this contributes to a more effective learning environment at school. Both students and instructors benefit from peer mediation. 

Teenagers are more desirous of having control over their life. At the same time, their inexperience and immaturity may cause them to make errors, act carelessly, and cause harm to one another. 

Peer mediation satisfies these opposing requirements by establishing a framework in which students are free to make their own decisions. Students have influence over their own destinies as long as they follow the mediation guidelines.

Conclusion – 

This blog post attempted to answer the question, “Does peer mediation work?” and reviewed the concept of peer mediation and studies its benefits to help determine if peer mediation works. Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or comments you may have.

References –

Turnuklu, A. et al. Does peer-mediation really work? effects of conflict resolution and peer-mediation training on high school students’ conflicts. (2009). Retrieved from  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1877042809001141#:~:text=Of%20the%20253%20mediation%20sessions,of%20high%20school%20student%20conflicts.

Burke, C. Don’t Rely on Peer Mediation to Resolve Bullying in Schools. (2019, December). Retrieved from  https://www.mediate.com/articles/burke-peer-mediation-bullying.cfm

Peer Mediation. SkillsYouNeed.com. (n.d.). Retrieved from  https://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/peer-mediation.html

Turnuklu, Abbas & Kaçmaz, Tarkan & Sunbul, Dilara & Ergul, Hatice. (2009). Does peer-mediation really work? effects of conflict resolution and peer-mediation training on high school students’ conflicts. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences. 1. 630-638. 10.1016/j.sbspro.2009.01.112.   Retrieved from  https://www.researchgate.net/publication/248606758_Does_peer-mediation_really_work_effects_of_conflict_resolution_and_peer-mediation_training_on_high_school_students’_conflicts

Turnuklu, A. , Kacmaz, T. , Sunbul, D. , & Ergul, H. (2009). Does peer-mediation really work? effects of conflict resolution and peer-mediation training on high school students’ conflicts. Procedia – Social and Behavioral Sciences, 1 (1). doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2009.01.112. Retrieved from https://cyberleninka.org/article/n/1103031

Peer Meditation. (n.d.). Retrieved from  https://www.scottishmediation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/Research-on-Peer-Mediation-Overview-2015.pdf

Peer Mediation. The Mediation Center of The Coastal Empire. (n.d.). Retrieved from  https://mediationsavannah.com/peer-mediation/

Peer Mediation. (2014, December). Retrieved from  https://k12engagement.unl.edu/strategy-briefs/Peer%20Mediation_0.pdf

The Benefits of Peer Mediation. (n.d.). Retrieved from  https://www.brightonk12.com/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=653&dataid=3236&FileName=benefits_of_peer_mediation.pdf

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