PublicationsTopic index of systematic reviewsKnowledge pagesConflict resolution
Conflict resolution
This page contains the findings of systematic reviews undertaken by review groups linked to the EPPI Centre

One review [1] investigated interventions in schools to promote peer mediation, negotiation and conflict resolution skills.  The studies concluded that interventions do, on the whole, produce some positive effects which may endure beyond the end of the intervention, including the retention of knowledge and skills pertaining to conflict resolution, peer mediation and negotiation, and some lasting effects on discipline and behaviour.  Few negative findings were reported.  Three strategies were reported:

  • Students for Peace, a large-scale evaluation involving eight schools.  The researchers found that this intervention had no impact on self-reported aggressive behaviour, fights at school, injuries due to fighting, missing classes because of feeling unsafe at school, or being threatened with harm.
  • The programme Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways.  This study found few significant differences in self-reported aggressive behaviour or that reported by others at six and twelve months.  However, students who participated reported more frequent use of a peer mediation programme and reductions in fight-related injuries immediately after the intervention.  Participants were also less likely to have disciplinary code violations and in-school suspensions than those in the control group; this effect appeared to persist for up to twelve months, but the twelve-month differences did not reach statistical significance, except for the suspension rates of boys. Intervention effects on violent behaviour benefited mainly those students with the highest levels.
  • Three related studies looked at the impact of conflict resolution training when integrated into an academic unit in a high school. These reported positive effects on all outcomes measured; for example, participants knew many more steps of an integrative negotiation procedure than those in the control class. Skills in analysing conflict were transferred to another academic area after the intervention finished. 

The review was not able to assess the impact of peer-mediation programmes from the studies available.


1. Conflict resolution, peer mediation and young people's relationships  (2006)

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