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Positive Impact of Divorce Mediation on Children's Behavior

NCJ Number
Mediation Quarterly Issue: 18 Dated: (Winter 1987) Pages: 53-59
D E Stull; N M Kaplan
Date Published
7 pages
This study assessed the impact of divorce mediation on children of the couples involved compared with the impact of divorce on children whose parents did not participate in mediation.
Forty-five people whose names were obtained from court divorce records in two Washington State counties agreed to participate in the study. Some of these had participated in divorce mediation. An additional 13 subjects were obtained from a private mediation service. Sixty-two percent of the sample of 58 had participated in some form of mediation. Interviews with the subjects covered their backgrounds, interpersonal relationships before and after the divorce, their experience with mediation, and their children's behavior before and after the divorce. Findings support the hypothesis that divorce mediation helps prevent children of divorce from engaging in delinquent behaviors. There were no educational differences between the mediation and nonmediation groups. Differences in income between the two groups were primarily a function of the clients of the private mediation service. The two groups showed no apparent differences regarding the relationship between spouses or between parents and children prior to the divorce. Children's predivorce behavior was the same for the mediation and nonmediation groups. Study limitations and future research are discussed. 8 references.