CRE Assessments (Gary's Page)

Conflict Resolution Assessment Instruments


Hoffman, A., Field, S. & Sawilowsky, S. (1996). Steps to Self-Determination: A Curriculum To Help Adolescents Learn To Achieve Their Goals.
Self-Determination Knowledge Scale.
The "Self-Determination Knowledge Scale" (SDKS) Form A and Form B are designed as a pretest and posttest for the "Steps to Self-Determination" curriculum. The program is meant to assist students, with and without disabilities, to learn more about themselves and develop skills to achieve their goals, get support from family and friends, and learn from each experience to become more self-determined every day. These scales contain structured response items to assess the student's cognitive knowledge of self-determination as taught in the curriculum. The reading level is at approximately the fifth-grade. The Cronbach alpha internal consistency reliability estimate for the SDKS is approximately .85. Content validity was based on the blueprint approach to test construction and on expertise provided by multiple state and national review panels consisting of individuals with disabilities, parents of persons with disabilities, educators in special education, adult service providers, researchers, and employers. SDKS Form A begins with 20 true/false questions relating to self-determination, followed by 17 questions on presented student scenarios. SDKS Form B also has 37 questions and combines true/false questions with questions on student scenarios. This packet of materials includes 20 copies of Form A and 20 copies of Form B.

Watt, W. (1994). Conflict Management: Using the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument To Assess Levels of Learning in the Classroom.
No publication indicated - found as part of an ERIC search for conflict resolution.
A study determined if an individual's approach to conflict management could be altered by completing a college conflict resolution class. Subjects enrolled in a 3-hour, 16-week college conflict resolution course at a medium-sized, midwestern university. The pretest condition consisted of 15 females and 13 males, of whom 10 were undergraduate and 18 were graduate students. The posttest condition consisted of 14 females and 11 males, of whom 10 were undergraduate and 15 were graduate students. The Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Assessment form was used as pre- and post-test measure of subjects' perceived response to conflict situations. Results indicated that: (1) subjects shifted toward a preference in using a collaborative management style but still continued to use competing and compromising management styles; (2) an overall gender effect existed in the shift of perceived management style; and (3) more educated group placed less reliance on avoidance than the less educated group.

Openshaw, K. (1992). Conflict Resolution in Parent-Adolescent Dyads: The Influence of Social Skills Training.
Adolescent Social Skills Effectiveness Training; ASSET

A pretest and posttest experimental and control group study was completed, assessing the effectiveness of a commercially available social skills training program (Adolescent Social Skills Effectiveness Training; ASSET) for improving social skills and reducing family conflict in parent-adolescent dyads. The final sample included 18 experimental and 7 control parent-adolescent dyads with perceived conflict. All subjects were assessed on self-perceived and behavioral social skills indicators. Parents and adolescents in the training group manifested improved social skills. Parents attributed this improvement to the increased ability to accept and give negative feedback Adolescents perceived this improvement to be due to increased ability to accept and give negative feedback improved problem solving, and enhanced negotiation skills. Only parents perceived changes in warmth and hostility in the parent-adolescent relationship. The results partially confirm the effectiveness of ASSET to enhance social skills. Findings are qualified due to limitations of the study.


Higher Education Studies


Lane-Garon, P., Ybarra-Merlo, M., Zajac, J., & Vierra, T. (2005). Mediators and Mentors: Partners in Conflict Resolution and Peace Education.
Journal of Peace Education, v2 n2 p183-193 Sep 2005

It is the view of these authors that children learn to be peace builders in the context of relationships where, if fortunate, they experience guided practice in interpersonal skill development around conflict. "Mediator Mentors", the program described in this article, is a school-university partnership in which Teacher-Education Candidates, Peace and Conflict Studies interns and classroom teachers had as their overall objective improvement of the learning climate through peer mediation program implementation. Social-emotional variables like empathy and perspective-taking were considered measurable outcomes, Analysis of pre-to-post change scores revealed that mediators demonstrated significantly higher gains on measures of social-cognitive development F (3,67) = 19.26, p. less than 0.000 when compared to non-mediators. Although mediators and non-mediators (N = 70) scored no differently at pretest, the difference was highly significant at posttest. Students serving their school in the mediator role also reported more positive perceptions of school safety than did non mediators. Being a mediator was also significantly associated with higher language arts scores as measured by standardized testing (r = 0.60, p less than 0.000). And finally, mediators described their home-lives as more peaceful (at post-test, though not at pretest), than did non mediators.

Morris, C. (1970). Communication and Conflict Resolution: A Prototype Course for Undergraduates.
No publication indicated - found as part of an ERIC search for conflict resolution.
To provide students with experience in conflict resolution, 44 undergraduates were trained in theories and practical methods of resolving conflicts and of communicating in their relationships with family, friends of the opposite sex, roommates, and peer groups. During five sessions of 3 hours each, the experimental sections explored by means of contrived situations (1) the importance of not putting one's ego "on the line," (2) destructive and constructive conflicts, (3) the problem of prejudice when seen as part of one's own psychological makeup, (4) consequences of revealing one's self to others in group discussion, and (5) the importance of labeling experiences to put them in proper context. Course evaluations were obtained from students through a 26-item evaluation form which identified the course's strengths and weaknesses, and from a pretest and post-test questionnaire which measured changes in their dogmatism, trust, and attitudes toward communication and conflict. An analysis of these tests indicated that, although no changes occurred in the students' dogmatism scores, the group changed positively in their attitudes toward conflict, in their self awareness and insight, and in their trust of each other. Appendices include a bibliography of suggested readings on conflict resolution, materials for role playing, and evaluation forms.


High School Studies


Harris, M., & Franklin, C. (2009) Helping Adolescent Mothers to Achieve in School: An Evaluation of the Taking Charge Group Intervention.
Children & Schools, v31 n1 p27-34 Jan 2009

A school social worker and three social work interns in a semirural alternative high school with a predominant Hispanic student enrollment evaluated the Taking Charge group intervention. The group is an evidence-based life skills intervention for adolescent mothers, and it was evaluated on its efficacy for improving participants' school achievement which included teaching conflict resolution skills. The evaluation used a quasi-experimental design with pretest and posttest. Nineteen young mothers participated in the Taking Charge group or the comparison group. Seventeen participants self-identified as Hispanic and two self-identified as white. Data from school records measured outcomes of school attendance and grade average. At posttest, the group that participated in the Taking Charge group had significantly better attendance and grade averages than did those in the comparison group. The Taking Charge group shows promise as an effective intervention for helping adolescent mothers achieve academically in this predominantly Hispanic school.

Epp, K. (2008). Outcome-Based Evaluation of a Social Skills Program Using Art Therapy and Group Therapy for Children on the Autism Spectrum.
Children & Schools, 30(1), 27-36
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There is a paucity of literature on social skills therapy for students on the autism spectrum, revealing an urgent need for additional research. Past research has focused on the use of small groups or single-case study designs. The present study examines the effectiveness of a social skills therapy program for school-age children ages 11 through 18. The program uses art therapy and cognitive-behavioral techniques in a group therapy format to broaden and deepen the state-of-the-art techniques used in helping children with social developmental disorders to improve their social skills. Pre- and posttest instruments were distributed to parents and teachers in October and May of the 2004-2005 school year. Scores revealed a significant improvement in assertion scores, coupled with decreased internalizing behaviors, hyperactivity scores, and problem behavior scores in the students. Implications for social work and policy are discussed.

Merrell, K. , Juskelis, M. , Tran, O. , Buchanan, R. , Juskelis, M. , et al. (2008). Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom: Evaluation of Strong Kids and Strong Teens on Students' Social-Emotional Knowledge and Symptoms.
Journal of Applied School Psychology, 24(2), 209-224.

This article describes the results of three pilot studies that were conducted to evaluate the recently developed Strong Kids and Strong Teens social-emotional learning programs in increasing students' knowledge of healthy social-emotional behavior and decreasing their symptoms of negative affect and emotional distress. The first study included 120 middle school students (in grade 5) from a general education student population. The second study included 65 general education students in grades 7-8. The third study included 14 high school students (grades 9-12) from a regional special education high school, who were identified as having emotional disturbance. The three groups participated in either the Strong Kids (groups 1 and 2) or Strong Teens (group 3) programs, receiving one-hour lessons and associated assignments once a week for 12 weeks. Social-emotional knowledge and negative emotional symptoms of participants were assessed using brief self-report measures, in pretest-posttest intervention designs. All three studies showed that, following participation in the respective programs, students evidenced statistically significant and clinically meaningful changes in desired directions on the target variables. Implications for future research are discussed, as is the importance of social and emotional learning as a prevention and intervention strategy to promote mental health among students in schools.

Nakkula, M. & Nikitopoulos, C. (2005). Negotiation Training and Interpersonal Development: An Exploratory Study of Early Adolescents in Argentina.
Adolescence, v36 n141 p1-20 Spr 2001
Reports on an exploratory outcome study of the Program for Young Negotiators training model with adolescents in Buenos Aires, Argentina. An increase in overall negotiation attitudes and behavior was found on the Five Factor Negotiation Scale.

Durbin, S. (2003). School-based Peer Mediation Program Implementation: An Exploration of Student Mediators' Attitudes and Perceptions Before and During Program Participation.
Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 63(8), 2789.

A nonprofit agency and a school district located along the Texas Gulf Coast collaboratively implemented a school-based conflict resolution program entitled the Peer Mediation Program during a two-year period. Only secondary schools (i.e., one high school and three middle schools) within the school district participated in the study. To examine the effects of the peer mediation program (PMP) on student mediators before and during program operation, a mixed method pretest/posttest research design was employed. Research questions were concerned with differences in student mediators' self-esteem after participation in a PMP, changes in student mediators' perceptions of conflict as a result of participating in a PMP, and the relationship between program functioning level of the PMP and student mediators' perceptions of conflict. Data were collected on 59 student mediators who were trained and voluntarily participated in the peer mediation program. Data were analyzed using descriptive and ^inferential statistics and focus group interviews. The findings indicated that there were differences in student mediators' self-esteem after participating in the PMP when examining the interaction between time (i.e., pre and post testing) on the Coopersmith Self-Esteem Inventory (CSI) Home-Parents scale and school level (i.e., middle school and high school), and the interaction between time on the School-Academic scale and school level. In addition, medium and small effect size scores were obtained. Based on the Evaluation of the Peer Mediation in the Schools Program findings, it appears that mediators' perceptions of conflict did change over the two-year period that the program was implemented. However, no statistically significant relationship between the degree of program implementation of the PMP and student mediators' perceptions of conflict was found. Caution is warranted when interpreting these results since the degree of implementation data was incomplete, possibly not reflec ting each school's actual degree of program implementation. The focus group interviews (FGIs) were conducted at the posttesting phase of the study and were limited to two middle schools and included a sample of students and teachers trained in the PMP. As a result, FGI findings offer limited generalizability. Implications of the findings are discussed and recommendations for practice and future research are provided.

Bush, S. (2001). Does the Infusion of Conflict Resolution Intervention Strategies into a School's Curriculum Effectively Reduce or Extinguish Violent or Aggressive Behavior in At-risk Students as Indicated by a 30 Percent Decline in Documented Occurrences.
Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 61(11), 4272.

This research study addresses: (1) the increase in child and student violence in schools, and (2) the conflict resolution strategies used to determine if a change in a school's curriculum can be an effective intervention program. In this study, two schools were chosen for infusion of conflict resolution programs into the curricula. Baseline data was collected before the study began and used as a pretest situation. After the infusion of conflict resolution into the curricula, data was collected and used as a post-test situation. The two scores were compared and analyzed for the results. The data collected involved reports of violence in both the pretest and the post-test situations. This study was predicated upon pre-existing data officially reported by the schools. The populations involved in the study were primarily African-American, Hispanic-American, and Haitian-American students. Interviews were conducted of school personnel involved in the conflict resolution program, which focus ed on the effects of peer mediation. Students were not allowed to resolve conflicts, using peer mediation, when acts of violence included serious offenses such as weapons possession, sexual assault, or physical altercations that resulted in physical injury. The two schools involved in this study were a middle school and a high school. Researching the background of conflict resolution through peer mediation, it was found that in the middle school the program was introduced during the 1994-1995 school year. The program continued into the 1998-1999 school year. Data from this accumulated time was subsequently used in this study. The high school began its conflict resolution program, using peer mediation, in 1993-1994. Subsequently, this program was continued into the 1998-1999 school year, the data of which was used in this study. Teachers and students were given training each year in conflict resolution and peer mediation. It was reported that both schools had decreased levels of violence over a five (middle school) and six year (high school) period, with the middle school showing a decline of 19.3%, and the high school showing a decline of 16%. Raw scores indicated that there was a drop of violent and aggressive incidents from 574 reported incidents in the middle school's 1993-1994 school year to 463 incidents in the 1998-1999 school year. The high school showed a similar drop of violent/aggressive incidents from 431 in the 1992-1993 school year to 362 incidents in the 1998-1999 school year. However, a closer look at the causality linking infusion of the conflict resolution, specifically peer mediation, strategies infused in both schools' curricula was not studied. Therefore, this learner examined the various components of each school's conflict resolution program and used a 30% reduction level as a benchmark to determine the effectiveness of the strategies infused throughout the curricula. The resultant data indicates that although neither school was able to reach the 30% benchmark, there are statistical indications that with the continuance of the conflict resolution program, using peer mediation, teacher, student, and staff training, it is possible that both schools in this study will be able to reach a 30% reduction rate or higher.

Lupton-Smith, H. (1996). The Effects of a Peer Mediation Training Program on High School and Elementary School Students.
Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 57(2), 0589.

The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of a peer mediation training program on high school students serving as trainers and elementary students who received the training. The training program was a deliberate psychological education intervention with a cognitive developmental theoretical foundation. The objective of the intervention was to provide a growth enhancing experience for the high school student trainers as well as instill the elementary students with mediation skills. The independent variable of the investigation included the mediation training curriculum for both the high school and elementary school groups. The dependent variables for the high school students were: (1) moral reasoning as measured by the Defining Issues Test and (2) ego development as measured by the Washington Sentence Completion Test. The Social Skills Rating System, a self-report measure of cooperation, assertiveness, empathy, and self-control, served as the dependent variable for ^the elementary students. The study included a primary and secondary research design. A variation of the nonequivalent control group design was used to compare the high school trainer experimental group with two comparison groups of high school students involved in peer helping activities. The experimental group was predicted to demonstrate more positive results on moral and ego development measures than the two comparison groups as a result of the intervention. The second design includes the group of elementary student mediators who were administered the Social Skills Rating System on a pre and post basis. This one group pretest-posttest design with its limitations will be addressed further in the dissertation. These students were expected to show pre to post-test improvement. Statistical analysis (T-Tests and an ANOVA) on the high school groups did not indicate any significant differences between groups on the moral or ego development instruments.

Stevahn, L. , Johnson, D. , Johnson, R. , & Laginski, A. (1996). Effects on High School Students of Intergrating Conflict Resolution and Peer Mediation Training into an Academic Unit.
Mediation Quarterly, 14(1), 21-36.

The effectiveness of a conflict resolution and peer mediation program in a suburban Canadian secondary school was examined. A pretest-posttest control-group experimental design was employed. Students randomly assigned to the experimental condition spent 10 hrs studying a literature unit into which conflict resolution training had been integrated. Students randomly assigned to the control condition studied the identical literature unit for 10 hrs without conflict resolution and peer mediation training. Significant differences between treatment groups occurred in academic achievement and retention of academic learning, knowledge and retention of the conflict resolution procedure, application of the procedure in a conflict situation, and attitudes toward conflict.

Tepavac, Lela (1991). The Effects of Conflict Resolution and Cooperative Learning Interventions upon Adolescent Vocational Readiness.
ERIC search - International Center for Cooperation and Conflict Resolution, Teachers College, Columbia University

A study that examined the effects of educational interventions of conflict resolution and cooperative learning on adolescent vocational readiness at three inner-city alternative public high schools in New York City. The study used a combination of correlation design and pre-post design. Associations among study variables were explored using pretest data, and effects of training were estimated using a pre-post design and multiple regression analysis. There were 558 pretest participants, although only 85 of those students were post-tested due to high turnover and absenteeism. Of those completing the pretest, 90 percent were either Hispanic American or Afro-American. The results of the study provide general support to the hypotheses that cooperative learning and conflict resolution would positively affect vocational readiness. Among the specific findings are the following: (1) pretest results demonstrated a sparse knowledge of the world of work; (2) males reported greater work-related information than did females; (3) post-test results indicate an increase in the amount of work-related information, an increase in work-related knowledge, and a decrease in scores pertaining to work values.

Intermediate School Studies


Lefler, E., Hartung, C., Scambler, D., Page, M., Sullivan, M., Armendariz, M., Isenberg, J. & Warner, C. (2009). Effects of a Social Skills Intervention Administered in Mixed Diagnostic Groups for Children with Peer Relationship Problems.
NHSA Dialog: A Research-to-Practice Journal for the Early Intervention Field, v12 n1 p18-32 Jan 2009
Research on social skills interventions has been mixed. This study evaluates a group-administered, manualized social skills intervention program. Twenty-three boys and 9 girls between the ages of 7 and 13 participated. Participants were included in the groups based on peer relationship difficulties rather than diagnostic status, resulting in a diagnostically heterogeneous sample. As a group, children who were symptomatic at pretest made statistically significant and, in some cases, clinically significant improvements on socially relevant constructs. The results provide modest support for this intervention.


Dykeman, B. (2003). The Effects of Family Conflict Resolution on Children's Classroom Behavior.
Journal of Instructional Psychology, 30(1), 41-46.

Examined the effects of a pre-referral tertiary-intervention program in reducing acting-out behaviors of students referred for special education assessment due to behavioral difficulties and whose parents were recently divorced or separated. 15 7th or 8th grade children (mean age 13.1 yrs) of recently separated or divorced parents completed a family systems intervention with their custodial parent for purposes of reducing family conflict and improving classroom behavior. Before treatment and approximately 6 mo post-treatment, children completed the Conflict Tactics Scale, a measurement of the use of reasoning, verbal aggression, and violence to resolve conflict between family members. A paired-samples t-test indicated significantly improved use of verbal reasoning and significantly reduced use of verbal aggression from pretest to 6-mo follow-up when resolving family conflicts as reported by participating students. No significant reduction in physical aggression was noted. Teacher observations indicated significant improvement in classroom behavior from the time of the initial referral to completion of intervention.

Fast, J., Fanelli, F. & Salen, L. (2003). How Becoming Mediators Affects Aggressive Students.
Children & Schools, v25 n3 p161-71 Jul 2003
Describes a nine-month study conducted in an urban middle school to attempt to reduce the level of aggression of a small group of seventh graders by assigning them a positive role as mediators to fifth- and sixth-grade disputants. Pretest and posttest measures of self-concept and teacher's perception of problem behavior showed dramatic improvements. However, impulsivity scores and the rate of disciplinary referrals remained constant.

Ngwe, J. (2000). Peer Mediation in Elementary Schools: Toward a Comprehensive Framework.
Dissertation Abstracts International: Section B: The Sciences and Engineering, 60(8), 3889.

This study was designed to test the efficacy of a peer mediation program as a tool for conflict resolution in elementary schools. Specifically, this study was intended to identify some of the salient psychological and social constructs that may influence adolescents' behavioral intentions to avoid fighting in provocative situations. A 2 x 2 Pretest-Posttest Control Design method was used to determine whether participation in a structured peer mediation training would significantly change the participants' behavioral intentions to avoid fighting, whether these changes would differ between the experimental and control groups and between the two levels of community involvement, and whether these changes would be mediated by changes in attitudes, beliefs, social skills acquisitions, perceived norms, and self-efficacy. Fifty-seven students in 7th grade from four elementary schools in Chicago participated in the study. Schools were randomly assigned to experimental or control groups and p articipants were nominated by their peer. The results of the multivariate analysis of variance indicated a significant change in behavioral intentions and other mediating processes between the treatment and the control groups and between the two levels of community involvement. The results of the multiple regression analysis also showed that the intervention significantly predicted all the dependent variables in the study, and that change in a combination of attitudes, perceived norms, and self-efficacy predicted the same amount of variance in the change in behavioral intentions as did all five predictors put together. This study tentatively concluded that (1) perceived norms, or concerns about what peers and significant others think, is the most powerful determinant of whether adolescents in this study will fight or avoid fighting in a given provocative situation; and (2) peer mediation training programs, intended to change youngster' behavioral intentions toward fighting, must addres s issues related to attitudes towards fighting, beliefs about fighting, social skills to resolve conflict, and self-efficacy or confidence in one's ability to avoid fighting. Several recommendations have been made to improve future mediation interventions.

Stewart, J. (2000). A Formative Evaluation of a Conflict Resolution Program Utilizing Peer Mediation Training on the Knowledge and Attitudes of Middle School Students at a Hillsborough County, Florida, Middle School.
Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 60(12), 4374.

This study reviewed existing literature and research on school conflict resolution programs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a conflict resolution program utilizing peer mediation in a Hillsborough County, Florida middle school and determine if participation in mediation training brings about changes in students' knowledge and attitudes concerning conflict and the approaches to conflict resolution. Employing a customized assessment instrument, specifically the study concentrated on the influence of peer mediation on four underlying factors affecting the knowledge and attitude measured by The Revised Student Attitudes About Conflict Scale. These factors include the students' attachment and/or commitment to their school, the students' self-concept and their relationship to their peers, the students' knowledge of approaches to conflict and problem solving, and the students' perception of their skills and social relations abilities. The Pretest-Posttest Control Group Design was utilized in the in evaluation. Data for this evaluation was secured at a middle school in Hillsborough County, Florida. The target population for this evaluation consisted of 70 sixth, seventh, and eighth grade students who were randomly placed in the experimental group or control group. The coordinator of the peer mediation program conducted the peer mediation training with the experimental group using the Peace By Peace mediation packet. Results indicated that middle school students who received peer mediation training and those who did not receive peer mediation training had similar school attachment and commitment scores. However, peer mediation training did produce a significant effect on middle school students knowledge of problem solving and conflict resolution skills as well as social skills and interpersonal relations scores. This evaluation concludes that conflict resolution-peer mediation programs should continue to be implemented by middle schools. Conflict resolution pro grams utilizing peer mediation do produce positive effects on middle school students' knowledge of problem solving and conflict resolution skills and also similar positive effects were noted in social skills and interpersonal relations. Additionally, research findings of this study suggest that conflict resolution-peer mediation programs offer viable opportunities for students to learn skills that have wider applications.


Bosworth K., Espelage D., DuBay T., Dahlberg L. & Daytner G.(1996). Using multimedia to teach conflict-resolution skills to young adolescents.
American Journal of Preventative Medicine. 1996 Sep-Oct;12(5 Suppl):65-74.

SMART Talk is a multimedia, computer-based violence-prevention intervention that employs games, simulations, graphics, cartoons, and interactive interviews to engage young adolescents in learning new skills to resolve conflicts without violence. Eight modules cover anger management, dispute resolution, and perspective taking. SMART Talk was pilot-tested in a small-city middle school during a three-week period. After the pilot testing, SMART Talk was implemented in a middle school (sixth, seventh, and eighth grades) with a diverse socioeconomic population, located within 10 miles of a major Midwestern metropolis. The 16-week intervention began in January. Students had access to SMART Talk during the school day and could use the computer alone or with a partner. Subjects for whom parental permission (n = 558) was granted were given a preintervention and postintervention survey. The survey measured demographic, psychosocial, and environmental factors as well as aggressive and other violence-related behaviors. After the pretest, two teams from each grade were randomly assigned to the intervention group and one team to the control group. Only students in the intervention group had access to SMART Talk during the 16-week intervention period. After the posttest, control subjects had access to SMART Talk. Additional data for the evaluation were collected through archival records of grades and school disciplinary actions. All variables indicated comparability between intervention and control groups. As a population, 84% of the students were Caucasian and 9% were African American. Psychosocial variables indicated 30-day frequently angry (64%), 30-day depression (15%), and impulsivity (28%). Environmental variables indicated that 68% reported they could get a gun easily, 59% feel unsafe in their neighborhood, and 24% were personally affected by violence. Violence-related variables indicated 30-day threatened to hit (45%), 30-day hit someone (56%), bullying behavior (29%), and fighting (38%). Overall, a significant percentage of the sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders in this study have engaged in aggressive or risky behaviors such as fighting and bullying other students. Because many of these students frequently are angry, feel unsafe in their neighborhood, and have been personally affected by violence, violence-prevention programs are warranted in this school. SMART Talk gave the students an avenue to explore anger-management strategies and conflict-resolution and perspective-taking skills.

Durant R., Treiber F., Getts A., McCloud K., Linder C. & Woods E. (1996). Comparison of two violence prevention curricula for middle school adolescents.
Journal of adolescent health 1996, vol. 19, pp. 111-117
Objective: To compare the effectiveness of the Violence Prevention Curriculum for Adolescents to the Conflict Resolution: A Curriculum for Youth Providers among middle school students. Methods: A sample (N = 225) of adolescents (males = 48%) representing 20% of the student population in two middle schools were administered a pretest questionnaire. Of these students, 89% were African-American, 10% were white, and 1% were Native-American and lived in public housing (40%) or in neighborhoods adjacent to public housing (60%). Each school was randomly assigned to one of the curricula. Each curriculum was administered during 10 50-min sessions held twice a week over 5 weeks. One week later, 209 students who completed the 10 sessions were tested with the same questionnaire. The data were analyzed with a repeated-measures analysis of variance. Results: Students who received either curriculum reported significant decreases in their self-reported use of violence in hypothetical conflict situations, frequency of use of violence in the previous 30 days, and frequency of physical fights in the previous 30 days. The conflict resolution curriculum was more effective in reducing the frequency of fights resulting in an injury requiring medical treatment in the previous 30 days. Conclusions: Both curricula were successful in reducing three indicators of violence. However, the conflict resolution approach was more successful in reducing the frequency of more severe physical fights requiring medical treatment. The latter finding is of particular importance, because that physical fighting is the form of violence behavior in which young adolescents most often engage.


Elementary School Studies


Cardno, C. & Reynolds, B. (2009). Resolving Leadership Dilemmas in New Zealand Kindergartens: An Action Research Study.
Journal of Educational Administration, v47 p206-226, 2009
The purpose of this paper is to examine dilemmas encountered by kindergarten head teachers with the further aim of developing their capability to recognise and resolve "leadership dilemmas". Design/methodology/approach: Action research was used to conduct a three-phase study involving 16 kindergarten head teachers and six system managers (within the Auckland region). A reconnaissance phase investigated the nature of perceived dilemmas and typical responses. In the second phase, an intervention that provided participants with both the theory and practice skills was implemented. A third phase of research evaluated the extent to which change had occurred. Findings: The reconnaissance phase findings (pre-learning questionnaire) confirm the incidence of dilemmas in kindergarten settings. The data show that, while leaders could identify issues that signalled the presence of dilemmas, they were unable to articulate leadership dilemmas clearly or confront them successfully. A professional development intervention was evaluated using a post-learning questionnaire. There is evidence that these leaders were better able to recognise and articulate the leadership dilemmas they encountered in performance management settings. The findings show that participants are able to analyse their responses to these dilemmas by relating these to the theory base and indicating where they believe there is need for further learning. In summary, the intervention did change participants' practice but the study is limited by its inability to gauge internalisation of learning and study its implementation. For this to occur another cycle of action research is required. Originality/value: The paper is original in that it studies the practices of leaders in relation to resolving dilemmas which arise when leaders manage the performance of staff. If leaders have an understanding of the theory and skills they need to address these tension-laden problems, they could positively influence the quality of teaching and learning through leadership practices.

Hecht, M., Elek, E., Wagstaff, D., Kam, J., Marsiglia, F., Dustman, P., Reeves, L. & Harthun, M. (2009). Immediate and Short-Term Effects of the 5th Grade Version of the "keepin' it REAL" Substance Use Prevention Intervention.
Journal of Drug Education, v38 n3 p225-251 2008-2009
This study assessed the immediate and short-term outcomes of adapting a culturally-grounded middle school program, "keepin' it REAL", for elementary school students. After curriculum adaptation, 10 schools were randomly assigned to the intervention in 5th grade with follow-up boosters in 6th grade; 13 schools were randomly assigned to the control condition, implementing the school's pre-existing substance use prevention programming. Students (n = 1,566) completed a questionnaire prior to curriculum implementation and follow-up questionnaires toward the end of 5th and 6th grade. The 5th grade "kiR" curriculum generally appeared no more effective than the control schools' programming in changing students' resistance or decision-making skills; substance use intentions, expectancies, or normative beliefs; or lifetime and recent substance use. Such findings have implications for the age appropriateness of school-based programs.

Aram, D., & Shlak, M. (2008). The Safe Kindergarten: Promotion of Communication and Social Skills among Kindergartners.
Early Education and Development, v19 n6 p865-884 Nov 2008
Research Findings: The study evaluated the "safe kindergarten" program designed to promote kindergartners' communication and social skills based on principles of Imago marital and family counseling (H. Hendrix, 1990). Participants were 92 kindergartners from 4 kindergartens (intervention = 46; comparison = 46). Teachers in intervention kindergartens led 20 weekly small-group preplanned sessions on communication issues and practicing children's intentional dialogues. Pre- and post-program group comparisons utilized (a) children's audio-recorded role-played dialogue between friends in conflict, (b) an interview to map social processing, and (c) sociometric testing. Practice or Policy: At post-test, the intervention group surpassed the comparison group regarding engagement in longer dialogues, more awareness of others' inner worlds, larger variety of conflict resolutions in dialogues, higher degree of mutual choice of friends, and better understanding of social processes during conflict.

Burnes, C. (2008). The Effectiveness of a Conflict Resolution Curriculum, Too Good for Violence, for Fourth Graders.
Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 68(7), 2824.

The researcher evaluated the effectiveness of the curriculum Too Good for Violence (TGFV) with fourth graders within an elementary school in central Mississippi. The TGFV curriculum was designed to teach students essential life skills such as (a) how to assert themselves positively and (b) how to de-escalate violent situations. Therefore, the researcher, an elementary school counselor, implemented TGFV and analyzed the curriculum's effectiveness on measures of student behavior/knowledge and the number of behavioral referrals. Forty-eight (48) students participated in the treatment group (TG) and twenty-two (22) students participated in the control group (CG). The researcher utilized the analysis of covariance with pretest scores and classroom as covariates, to account for possible pre-existing differences between the treatment and the control groups. The researcher determined that there was no statistically significant difference in the adjusted posttest measures of student skills a nd behavior. However, the researcher noted consistent gains in observed measures of student skills and behavior with members of the treatment group. The researcher found distinct changes in behavior when examining the number of office referrals. Prior to the beginning of the TGFV curriculum, TG teachers referred more students for inappropriate behavior, whereas the CG teacher referred fewer students for inappropriate behavior. Following implementation of the TGFV curriculum, the teachers of the TG referred many fewer students for inappropriate behavior, whereas the CG teacher drastically increased the number of referrals for inappropriate behavior. The teachers did not know to which group their students had been assigned. Hence, the researcher concluded, from the changes in behavior as evidenced in office referrals, that the intervention curriculum Too Good for Violence had a positive impact on the behavior of students. Key words. conflict resolution, elementary, violence prevention, education, fourth-grade, and counseling.

Hall, J. , Jones, C. , Claxton, A. , Jones, C. , & Claxton, A. (2008). Evaluation of the Stop & Think Social Skills Program with Kindergarten Students.
Journal of Applied School Psychology, 24(2), 265-283.

The Stop & Think Social Skills Program was implemented as a stand-alone primary prevention program using a sequential cohort design with two cohorts of kindergarten students. Cohorts were assessed at pretest and post-test using the Social Skills Rating System Teacher Questionnaire. Students in Cohort 1 showed improvement in Social Skills, Academic Competence. and Problem Behaviors. Comparison of post-test scores in this cohort with pretest scores collected at the same time for Cohort 2 indicated that these changes were unlikely to be caused by maturation. Cohort 2 also showed improvement in Social Skills and Problem Behaviors following implementation of the program but did not show a statistically significant change in Academic Competence. In addition, changes in specific academic skills were lint consistent across cohorts. Measures of treatment integrity indicated the program was implemented as designed. Social validity ratings by teachers revealed that they believed the intervention enhanced students' social skills, but teachers were concerned about the length of the program and students' understanding of program content. Limitations of the study and the implications of these findings for school psychology are discussed.

Petermann, F. & Natzke, H. (2008). Preliminary Results of a Comprehensive Approach to Prevent Antisocial Behaviour in Preschool and Primary School Pupils in Luxembourg.
School Psychology International, v29 n5 p606-626 2008
This pilot study evaluated the preliminary short- and middle-term impact of a nation-wide, school-based prevention initiative on antisocial behaviour of preschool and primary school pupils in Luxembourg. Seventeen preschool and reception classes (n = 183) were assigned to intervention and comparison conditions. The intervention included social-emotional skills training for both preschool and reception class pupils together with teacher workshops. Three waves of data (pre-test, post-test and 12-month-follow up) were analysed. Univariate analyses of variances with repeated measurements, together with analyses of covariance, for this 2 x 3 design show significant intervention effects: a reduction in oppositional defiant and aggressive behaviour as well as an increase in social and emotional competencies for reception class pupils after a 12-month follow-up period. Preschool pupils displayed an improvement in their social and emotional competencies at post-test, but these effects were lost one year after the intervention was completed.

Cantrell, R. , Parks-Savage, A. , Rehfuss, M. , Parks-Savage, A. , & Rehfuss, M. (2007). Reducing Levels of Elementary School Violence with Peer Mediation.
Professional School Counseling, 10(5), 475-481.

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of the Peace Pal elementary school peer mediation program in its fifth year of operation. This study answered the following five evaluation questions, which were derived from the goal and objectives of the program: Does student knowledge pertaining to conflict, conflict resolution, and mediation increase as a result of Peace Pal training? Do peer mediation sessions result in the successful resolution of student conflict? Do the number of school-wide out-of-school suspensions decrease with the implementation of the Peace Pal program? Do disputing students who participate in peer mediation sessions view the sessions as valuable? Do peer mediators perceive the Peace Pal program as valuable?

Heydenberk, W. & Heydenberk, R. (2007). More than Manners: Conflict Resolution in Primary Level Classrooms.
Early Childhood Education Journal, v35 p119-126 Oct 2007.

A diverse sample of kindergarten and 1st grade students participated in a social-emotional literacy and problem solving program. Students and their teachers participated in seven one-hour training sessions which included concrete activities designed to increase affective vocabulary and social problem-solving. Effective communication strategies such as I-messages and paraphrasing were also introduced and practiced. Pretest data and responses to the activities revealed that students could easily articulate inappropriate and disrespectful behaviors prior to training; however they were unable to articulate behaviors that would be helpful in resolving conflict. Although students had been extensively exposed to manners curricula which emphasized respectful behavior, the posttest results indicate that the social-emotional problem solving curricula offers a distinct set of skills which enable students to constructively manage conflict, manifested through statistically significant decreases in verbal and physical aggression. Teacher and staff posttest surveys corroborated the student findings.

Warner, S. (2006). The Effects of Peer Mediation on Conflict Resolution in Elementary School Students.
Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 66(12), 4311.

The effectiveness of peer mediation training on the acquisition and utilization of conflict resolution strategies was studied using a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest design. In addition, there was a comparison of a 6-week versus a 10-week training program. Instructional content of the 6- and 10-week programs were identical; the 10-week program provided additional time for students to practice peer mediation techniques. These results indicate that both training groups did learn and recall the peer mediation steps while the control group did not. Additional opportunities for the 10-week training group to practice the peer mediation process did not lead to better results than the 6-week training group. An evaluation of the application of conflict resolution strategies found the same pattern of results: Both training groups differed significantly from the control group, indicating that the students who received training differed in their responses to the conflict scenarios following training. In addition, there was a change in the responses representing more constructive conflict resolution strategies following training in both the 6- and 10-week training groups.

Heydenberk, R., & Heydenberk, W. (2005). Increasing Meta-Cognitive Competence through Conflict Resolution
Education and Urban Society, v37 n4 p431-452 Aug 2005
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of conflict resolution and related social skill development on students' meta-cognitive competencies. The investigation was conducted throughout a 5-year period in elementary schools in the Philadelphia School District and in a neighboring urban school district. Sample subjects were fourth-and fifth-grade students. Each of the student samples (10 treatment groups and 8 comparison groups) were assessed for significant pretest to posttest differences using a one-tailed "t" test with an alpha level of .05. One-tailed "t" tests with an alpha level of .05 established that treatment group students demonstrated significant improvement in meta-cognitive skills. The research hypothesis was accepted. Consequently, the veracity of integrating conflict resolution and social skills training into curricula was affirmed.

Stevahn, L., Munger, L. & Kealey, K. (2005). Conflict Resolution in a French Immersion Elementary School.
Journal of Educational Research, v99 n1 p3 Sept-Oct 2005

Purpose: This study aims to provide substantive data on the effectiveness of the total-student-body approach to school-based conflict resolution training. The authors investigated the effectiveness of the Peacemakers (D. W. Johnson & Johnson, 1995) program, a total-student-body conflict training program taught bilingually to all students in a K-6 French immersion elementary school in Quebec, Canada. Methodology: A total of 302 Grade K-6 children in a suburban French immersion public elementary school in Quebec, Canada received a conflict resolution training. The training was conducted in French and English. The authors used a correlation design to examine the relation between classroom conflict training and student outcomes, a qualitative data analysis method to determine factors that facilitated or impeded classroom conflict training, and a pretest-posttest comparative design to examine various aspects of student and school impact. Results: The results of the study indicate that, although teachers can reach a moderate level of classroom implementation of conflict training with limited staff development during the first year of adoption, not all teachers will do so. Findings indicate that educators should design teacher professional development on conflict resolution to foster (a) ongoing collaboration for classroom implementation of conflict training, (b) ongoing interaction with those most knowledgeable about conflict resolution, (c) attention to connections between conflict resolution and curriculum content or classroom routines, and (d) ongoing training for deep understanding of conflict resolution. Studies that provide observational-behavioral data on teacher classroom implementations of conflict resolution training are needed to further support (or refute) those program recommendations. Conclusions: The results of the study support the claim that students who are not taught how to manage conflict constructively may never learn to do so. If educators adopt a conflict resolution or peer mediation program as the foundation for a comprehensive school discipline and classroom management system, their challenge will be to teach all students in the school the procedures and skills necessary for resolving their own conflicts constructively, as well as for mediating the conflicts of peers. It is unlikely that cadre approaches to conflict resolution will ever be able to meet that challenge.


Durant R., Barkin S. & Krowchuk D. (2001).
Evaluation of a peaceful conflict resolution and violence prevention curriculum for sixth-grade students.
PURPOSE: To evaluate a Social Cognitive Theory-based violence prevention curriculum among sixth-grade students. METHODS: The evaluation was conducted using a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest control group design. Students were pretested 2 weeks before the intervention started and were post-tested 2 weeks after it ended. The study was conducted in four middle schools serving children and adolescents living in or around public housing in a southeastern city. The participants included all sixth-grade students who were predominantly African-American (88.7%), 41% lived in public housing, and 80% lived in homes with an employed head of household. The intervention schools had 292 students, and the control schools 412 students. The Peaceful Conflict Resolution and Violence Prevention Curriculum is a 13-module skills-building curriculum based on Social Cognitive Theory. It taught identification of situations that could result in violence; avoidance, confrontation, problem-solving, and communication skills; conflict resolution skills; the conflict cycle; the dynamics of a fight; and how to express anger without fighting. MAIN MEASURES: The primary outcome variable was a five-item scale assessing the frequency of fighting and weapon carrying behaviors (alpha =.72) and a scale measuring intentions to use violence in 11 hypothetical situations (alpha = .81). Levels of exposure to violence and victimization (alpha = .82) and depression (alpha = .86) were also assessed. The data were analyzed with general linear modeling with repeated measures. RESULTS: At pretest, the intervention and control groups did not differ in gender, age, depression, exposure to violence, or any other demographic variable. A group x time interaction effect (p = .029) was found in the use of violence scale. From pretest to posttest there was a decrease in the use of violence by students in the intervention group and an increase in the use of violence in the control group. Most of the changes were accounted for by changes in the frequencies of carrying concealed guns and fighting resulting in injuries requiring medical treatment. A group x time interaction effect (p = .002) was also found for the intention to use violence scale. Students in the intervention group did not change their mean scores from pretest to posttest, whereas students in the control group increased in their mean intention to use violence scale scores. Neither interaction effect was influenced by gender, exposure to violence, or level of depression. CONCLUSION: The Peaceful Conflict Resolution and Violence Prevention curriculum appears to have positive short-term effects on self-reported use of violence and intentions to use violence by these middle-school students.

Farrell, A. , Meyer, A. , & White, K. (2001). Evaluation of Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP): A School-based Prevention Program for Reducing Violence Among Urban Adolescents.
Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 30(4), 451-463.

Evaluated Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RIPP)--a 6th-grade universal violence prevention program that combines the use of a social-cognitive problem solving model and specific skills for violence prevention implements within a school-wide mediation program. Classes of 6th graders at 3 urban middle schools serving predominantly African American youth (aged 10.2-15.3 yrs) were randomized to intervention (N = 321) and control groups (N = 305). Intervention effects were found on a knowledge test but not on other mediating variables. RIPP participants had fewer disciplinary violations for violent offenses and in-school suspensions at posttest compared with the control group. The reduction in suspensions was maintained at 12-mo follow-up for boys but not for girls. RIPP participants also reported more frequent use of peer mediation and reductions in fight-related injuries at post-test. Intervention effects on several measures approached significance at 6-mo and 12-mo follow-up. The program's impact on violent behavior was more evident among those with high pretest levels of problem behavior.

Eisenbarth, J. & Spets, D. (1999). Improving Student Behavior through Social Skills Instruction.
Dissertation/Thesis: ERIC Search
This action research project examined the effectiveness of an intervention to improve social skills in order to improve student behavior, reduce off-task behavior, and reduce loss of instructional time. The targeted population was a sixth grade class with 25 students in an elementary school in a rural setting. The problem of student behavior, off-task behavior, and loss of teaching time was documented through anecdotal records, teacher and student surveys, and teacher observations. The 15-week intervention focused on conflict resolution and off-task behavior and was provided in lessons 3 times weekly for 20 minutes. Specific social skills lessons dealt with talking out of turn, disturbing others, leaving seat without permission, talking back to teacher, lying, stealing from others, and staying on task. The effectiveness of the social skills instruction was determined through pretest/post-test comparisons on: (1) a student survey assessing how well the student got along with family and classmates, their behavior at school, and whether they liked school, their teachers, and themselves; and (2) observations of student behavior in different classroom settings. Findings indicated that the intervention improved student behavior. Many students were positively influenced by the strategies and their social skills improved. Decreases were found in talking out of turn, off-task behavior, disturbing others, and talking back to teacher. However, there were increases from the pretest to the posttest on lying, leaving seat without permission, and stealing from others.

Cochrane, L. & Saroyan, A. (1997). Finding Evidence To Support Violence Prevention Programs.
No publication indicated - found as part of an ERIC search for conflict resolution.
The effects of a conflict resolution program on school climate, student self-image, and the use of conflict resolution skills were studied in urban schools in Canada. Benefits and limitations of conflict resolution in comparison with other types of violence prevention programs and methods of evaluating violence prevention programs were also studied. The context was grade-5 classrooms of 3 French and 4 English elementary schools in 2 urban areas of a large Canadian city, for a total of 140 students and their teachers. The evaluation design was based on the Key Features Model of J. S. Renzulli (1975) using a quasi-experimental pretest-posttest control group design. Data sources included student and teacher questionnaires and structured interviews with students and teachers. The conflict resolution program, which featured accepting and respecting difference and skills for self-control and communication, was delivered over 10 weeks. Observations supported the positive effects of the program on school climate. Students reported increased self-confidence and an increase in the use of skills specific to conflict resolution. Teachers reported a decrease in interference with teaching, but the value perceived by teachers for the program did not change with the intervention. Implications for future evaluations of violence prevention programs are discussed.

Meyer, R. (1996). The Effect of Participation in a Peer Mediation Program on the Self-perceptions and Conflict Style of At-risk Elementary Students.
Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 56(9), 3457.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of participation in a peer mediation program on the self-perceptions and conflict style of behaviorally at-risk elementary students. A pretest/post-test control group design with matching was utilized with a total of 98 fourth, fifth and sixth grade subjects. Nine research questions were examined. Instrumentation consisted of the Self-Perception Profile for Children, the Social Support Scale for Children, an adapted version of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument, a Mediator Questionnaire, and School Principal Interview. The resulting data were analyzed using descriptive statistics, analysis of variance for repeated measures, and chi-square. Findings of the study revealed that at pretest time, both control and treatment groups had moderately high scores on the global self-worth subscale and moderate scores on the behavioral conduct subscale of the Self-Perception Profile for Children. Scores were moderately high on the So cial Support Scale for Children. No significant differences between control and treatment groups were found on global self-worth, behavioral conduct or social support subscales at post-test time. The mediators reported improved behavior on the Mediator Questionnaire at a higher rate than on the Self-Perception Profile for Children--69 percent and 43 percent respectively. No significant differences in conflict style between the treatment and control groups were found on the adapted version of the Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument. However, over 60 percent of both groups reduced the number of visits to the principal's office for the discussion of inappropriate behavior, raising the question of how much the alternative method of resolving conflict through the peer mediation program contributed to changing conflict style. The study found that subjects who placed importance on behavior had greater success in improving behavior regardless of their affiliation with the treatment or control.

Simun, P. (1996). Project Support Evaluation. Los Angeles Unified School District, Report #3 - Final Evaluation.
No publication indicated - found as part of an ERIC search for conflict resolution.
Project Support, a 3-year project funded by the federal government, was designed as a demonstration of the impact of a comprehensive school-based drug and gang prevention program for high-risk students in six elementary schools in Los Angeles (California). In addition to providing some programs for entire grade levels, the program planned to identify 250 to 300 students on which to concentrate services. This report is the final evaluation report of the 3 years. Major strategies involved in this project were: (1) drug and gang policy awareness; (2) drug and gang prevention education; (3) multiracial and multicultural sensitivity development; (4) conflict resolution; (5) after school alternative programming; (6) tutoring and mentoring services; (7) community service; (8) career awareness; (9) early intervention counseling; and (10) relevant parent education. Crimes against person and property at project schools decreased 41% during the project period, and attendance improved by 4.6% for the targeted group. Reading achievement scores increased by 12.3% for the targeted group, and mathematics and language arts improved by 12.1% and 9.5% respectively. Pretest and posttest data on 974 students showed that the project produced gains in self-esteem and pro-school attitudes. Administrators and teachers saw merit in the program and advocated its continuation. An appendix presents four survey instruments from the study.

Johnson D., Johnson R., Dudley B. & Magnuson D. (1995). Training elementary school students to manage conflict.
The Journal of social psychology 1995, vol. 135, pp. 673-686
The effectiveness of a peer mediation program in a midwestern, suburban school in the United States was examined. Six classes (one combination second/third grade, one third grade, two fourth grades, and two fifth grades) containing 144 students received 9 hr of training in negotiating integrative agreements to their conflicts and mediating their classmates' conflicts. Eighty-three untrained third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders served as a control group. A peer mediation program was implemented. The role of mediator was rotated equally among all class members. A pretest/posttest, experimental/control group design was used. The results indicate that students successfully learned the negotiation and mediation procedures, were able to apply the procedures in actual conflict situations, and maintained this knowledge throughout the academic year.

Miller, P. (1995). The Relative Effectiveness of Peer Mediation: Children Helping Each Other to Solve Conflicts.
Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences, 55(7), 1880.

School peer mediation programs have been implicated as a contributing factor in the development of positive self-concept, decreasing school behavior problems, and decreasing home behavior problems while causing a decrease in the number of interventions in interpersonal conflicts required by teachers. Research indicates that these programs have a positive influence on the school climate while teaching students conflict management skills which transfer to other settings. This study investigated the effects of a peer mediation program on self-concept, school behavior, and home behavior during a twelve week period. It also investigated the effects of the program on the number of conflicts that required adult intervention. Specifically, this study examined the effectiveness of these psychological and behavioral constructs of students specially trained to serve as peer mediators and of students having their conflicts mediated by peer mediators. One hundred forty fourth grade students, along with their parents and teachers, participated in this study. Subjects completed the Piers-Harris Children's Self-Concept Scale (PHCSCS) for the assessment of self-concept, and both teachers and parents completed the Behavior Dimensions Rating Scale (BDRS) for the school and home behavioral assessments. Classrooms of subjects were randomly assigned to either participate in the peer mediation program or not to participate. In those classrooms participating, two males and two females were chosen to be trained and serve as peer mediators. The remaining subjects in each classroom participated by having their minor interpersonal conflicts mediated by the peer mediators. Analyses of covariance (ANCOVAs) with the pretest assessment scores as the covariates were performed. The dependent measures consisted of the scores obtained on the PHCSCS, the school ratings obtained on the BDRS, and the home ratings obtained on the BDRS. No significant effect was found to exist on any of the total scores.

Ensley, M. (1993). Making Our School a Peaceful Community: A Curriculum Guide on Conflict Resolution for Classroom Guidance in Grades K-5.
No publication indicated - found as part of an ERIC search for conflict resolution.
This curriculum guide contains six units designed for use by counselors in elementary classrooms to teach children skills in conflicted outcomes; (2) a list of supplies needed; (3) an explanation of a pretest session; (4) five lessons on conflict management and related skills; (5) an explanation of a post-test session; and (6) a list of resources and references. Each unit also includes letters to parents describing the lessons and containing suggestions to use at home to strengthen development of the skills.

Trepanier, M. & Romatowski, J. (1981). Classroom Use of Selected Children's Books to Facilitate Prosocial Development in Young Children.
No publication indicated - found as part of an ERIC search for conflict resolution.
The purpose of this study was to determine if prosocial development could be positively influenced through a classroom intervention strategy using selected children's books and critical questioning techniques. In order to determine ability to share and to take different perspectives, 99 subjects from kindergarten and first grade classes were given a pretest in which they were asked to answer questions about pictures and stories depicting conflict. Treatments were then administered by specially trained teachers to 31 experimental and 33 control subjects who did not initially give sharing responses to the pretest tasks. In the experimental condition, nine readily accessible children's books focusing on sharing, were read at a rate of three per week to the subjects. The feelings of story characters, the causes of characters' feelings and behaviors, solutions to the conflict situations in the stories, and the role that sharing played in resolving the conflict were emphasized. Nine books not focusing on sharing were similarly read to the control group and the teacher simply discussed story events. Subjects were post-tested with the same materials and questions used in the pretest. Results suggest that children's prosocial development, with respect to sharing and perspective taking, can be facilitated through a classroom-oriented intervention technique. Experimental subjects gave more sharing responses and more appropriate explanations of the type of information they used to identify a character's feelings (e.g., the character's facial expressions and body gestures).

LeCapitaine, H. (1975). Creating an Awareness of Alternatives to Psycho-Social Situations in Elementary School Children.
Dissertation/Thesis: ERIC Search
This study was designed to determine the effectiveness of 18 selected lessons from Dupont's Toward Affective Development (TAD) program for creating an awareness in students of alternatives to psycho-social situations. Using a sample of 60 subjects randomly selected from 111 sixth-grade students in northwest Wisconsin, two experimental and two control groups were formed. The experimental groups were presented with lessons from the TAD program. A Solomon Four-Group design was used. Pre- and posttesting involved presenting three discussion pictures which depict different psycho-social conflict situations involving dependency and aggression. Individual responses to the pictures were scored. Post-test data showed a positive effect of treatment upon the ability of students participating in the TAD program to generate alternatives to psycho-social situations. Thus, the hypothesis that the experimental groups would make positive gains over the control groups in developing alternatives to psycho-social situations proved true. Analysis of variance indicated that some of the participants minimized the use of responses already given in the pretest situation. Limitations of the study include the location and characteristics of the community, sample size and description, and the newness of the materials. A review of related literature and research and the implications of the findings are included in the document.


Pre-School Studies


Amodei, N., Taylor, E., Hoffman, T., Madrigal, A., Biever, J. & Cardenas, F. (1998). Professional Development of Head Start Teachers in Hispanic Communities: Effects of a Violence Prevention Curriculum.
No publication indicated - found as part of an ERIC search for conflict resolution.
Noting that early childhood education is one tool for violence prevention, this study examined the effectiveness of a preschool violence prevention program in influencing the knowledge and attitudes of Head Start teachers in a rural, heavily Hispanic, southern Texas community. Head Start teachers were non-randomly assigned to a control group, a Long Intervention group, or a Brief Intervention group. The Long Intervention group received a 6-hour training session conducted over one day. The Brief Intervention group received two 3-hour training sessions held 2 months apart. Training in the two intervention groups was identical and included training in the following areas: effects of violence over the lifespan, teaching young children to resolve conflict peacefully, handling teacher-parent conflicts, using positive discipline, and commitment to change. Data were collected on teachers' knowledge regarding violence prevention and attitudes related to violence prevention competency, violence prevention attributes, role efficacy, and remediation competency. Eighty-four teachers completed both pre- and posttests. The results indicated that knowledge and attitudes were influenced by the training and by having had prior exposure to violence. Posttest scores in remediation competence and violence prevention attributes improved over pretest scores, with the increase greater for those in the Brief Intervention group than in other groups. Knowledge score increases were greatest for those in the Long Intervention group and for those who had previous experience with violence. Higher final knowledge scores were associated with higher final remediation competence scores.


Teacher/Parent Studies


McNaughton, D., Hamlin, D., McCarthy, J., Head-Reeves, D. & Schreiner, M. (2008). Learning to Listen: Teaching an Active Listening Strategy to Preservice Education Professionals.
Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, v27 n4 p223-231 2008
The importance of parent-teacher communication has been widely recognized; however, there is only limited research on teaching effective listening skills to education professionals. In this study, a pretest-posttest control group design was used to examine the effect of instruction on the active listening skills of preservice education professionals. Instruction resulted in statistically significant improvement for targeted active listening skills. As a measure of social validity, parents of preschool and school-age children viewed pre- and post-instruction videotapes of preservice education professionals in role-play conversations. The parents judged the post-instruction performances of the preservice education professionals to be better examples of effective communication than the preinstruction performances of the preservice education professionals.

Gary, K. (1991). Enhancing Effective Communication between Teachers and Parents through Interactive Inservice Training.
Dissertation/Thesis: ERIC Search
Teachers often feel intimidated or defenseless when dealing with issues of concern and conflict during parent-teacher conferences. Teachers have indicated a need for: (1) training in effective conferencing skills; and (2) learning to approach parents as cooperative individuals willing to participate in the total educational process of their children. To fulfill a practicum requirement, a series of inservice workshops were conducted for the purpose of improving parent-teacher communication. Interactive inservice sessions were developed and implemented which emphasized both conflicting and nonconflicting educational situations. Teachers participated in role-playing exercises, discussions, and consultations; they were rated on behavior checklists and formally evaluated upon completion of training. Results suggest that significant growth in effective parent-conferencing communication skills emerged for the target sample population; and evaluations demonstrated 50-100 percent growth in competency frequency measures.



Parent/Child Studies


Granic, I., O'Hara, A. Pepler, D. & Lewis, M. (2007). A Dynamic Systems Analysis of Parent-Child Changes Associated with Successful "Real-World" Interventions for Aggressive Children.
Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, v35 n5 p845-857 Oct 2007
Studies have shown that improved parenting mediates treatment outcomes for aggressive children, but we lack fine-grained descriptions of how parent-child interactions change with treatment. The current study addresses this gap by applying new dynamic systems methods to study parent-child emotional behavior patterns. These methods tap moment-to-moment changes in interaction processes within and across sessions and quantify previously unmeasured processes of change related to treatment success. Aggressive children and their parents were recruited from combined Parent Management Training and Cognitive-behavioral programs in "real world" clinical settings. Behavioral outcomes were assessed by reports from parents and clinicians. At pre- and post-treatment, home visits were videotaped while parents and children discussed consecutively: a positive topic, a mutually unresolved problem, and another positive topic. Results showed that significant improvements in children's externalizing behavior were associated with increases in parent-child emotional flexibility during the problem-solving discussion. Also, dyads who improved still expressed negative emotions, but they acquired the skills to repair conflicts, shifting out of their negative interactions to mutually positive patterns.

Dykeman, B. (2003). The effects of family conflict resolution on children's classroom behavior.

Journal of Instructional Psychology, Vol. 30, 2003
Fifteen children of recently separated or divorced parents completed a family systems intervention with their custodial parent for purposes of reducing family conflict and improving classroom behavior. A paired-samples t-test indicated significantly improved use of verbal reasoning (p < .01) and significantly reduced use of verbal aggression (p < .01) from pretest to 6-months follow-up when resolving family conflicts as reported by participating students. No significant reduction in physical aggression was noted. Teacher observations indicated significant improvement in classroom behavior from the time of initial referral to completion of intervention (p < .05).

Jaffe, P., Wilson, S. & Wolfe, D. (1986). Promoting Changes in Attitudes and Understanding of Conflict Resolution among Child Witnesses of Family Violence.
Canadian Journal of Behavioural Sciences Volume:18 Issue:4 Dated:(1986) Pages:356-366
The 18 boys and girls, ranging in age from 8 to 13 years and recent residents of shelters for battered women, participated in group counseling sessions designed to stimulate the children's expression of their feelings and experiences. The initial impact of this early intervention group was evaluated by interviewing the children and their mothers separately. Overall, the mothers felt positively about their children's participation, but only one-third indicated that the group had led to any significant behavior change. The children responded to a structured interview both prior to the group counseling and subsequently. More children could identify appropriate strategies for handling emergency sessions following the group sessions, 73 percent at posttest versus 44 percent at pretest. In terms of individual attitude change and self-perceptions, 85 percent of the children could identify two or more positive things about themselves in contrast to 53 percent at pretest. The group counseling was associated with a decrease in the extent of violence that the child condoned within the family.