Open Access Dissertation
The purpose of this study was to examine self-esteem, communication skills, and approaches to conflict resolution of trained student mediators in a conflict resolution program. This study also assessed the perceived transferability of conflict management information and skills from the school to the home environment. Indicators were the frequency, duration, and intensity of sibling conflicts reported by conflict managers and their parents. The subjects in this study consisted of 60 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders at two different middle schools in the state of Iowa. Thirty were trained as conflict managers and assigned to the experimental group, and thirty to the control group. Data were gathered and analyzed in two parts: (a) a pretest-posttest experimental design which investigated differences in the experimental and control group on the dependent variables of pre-post change scores in self-esteem, communication skills, and approaches to conflict resolution, and (b) a pretest-posttest single group design which investigated differences in the experimental group on the dependent variables of pre-post change scores in frequency, duration, intensity of conflict, and amount of positive conflict resolution skills as perceived by the conflict managers and their parents. This second method utilizes the procedures in a study by Gentry and Benenson (1993). The results of the first part of the data analysis indicated that students demonstrated a statistically significant increase in constructive approaches to resolving conflict at one school. The results further indicated a tendency to use less destructive approaches to resolving conflict and an increase in communication skills; however, it was not statistically significant. Self-esteem was an unchanged variable. The second part of the data analysis indicated statistical significance in the decrease in number of conflicts as perceived by parents, a decrease in the amount of time it took to settle conflicts as perceived by students, a decrease in blameful behavior toward siblings as perceived by students and parents, and a decrease in how much the conflict managers tried to win when engaged in conflict as perceived by students and parents.
Year of Submission
Doctor of Education
Department of Educational Psychology and Foundations
Radhi Al-Mabuk, Co-Chair
1 PDF file (vii, 153 pages)
©1997 Thomas J. Keller
Keller, Thomas J., "A middle school student-centered conflict management program: Impact on student managers' self-esteem, communication skills, and approaches to conflict resolution" (1997). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 776.