•  

Intervention Summary

Back to Results Start New Search

Peers Making Peace

Peers Making Peace is a school-based peer-mediation program for students in elementary through high school. The program focuses on creating and maintaining a safe school environment by providing students with a mediation process through which they can resolve their differences in a peaceful manner without an escalation to violence. The process also is designed to increase students' self-efficacy and self-esteem and to reduce students' discipline referrals and absences.

Peers Making Peace is anchored within an elementary, middle, or high school by an adult program facilitator (e.g., teacher, counselor, principal, coach, school nurse) and administered by a team of 15-24 students who have been selected as peer mediators. The facilitator must attend a 3-day training, through which he or she learns to train the student mediation team, provide student mediators with support, and oversee the program. Student mediators receive training from the facilitator at three times during the school year, and each training occasion lasts 3, 4, or 5 hours for elementary, middle, or high school students, respectively. During training, the student mediators learn to work as a team, serve as role models, and provide mediation services to peers, who may lack the skills to successfully resolve their own conflicts without the use of violence.

Mediation begins with a referral, and anyone (students or adults on the school campus, as well as parents) who sees or knows about students in conflict can fill out a referral form with the names of the disputants involved and the general category of the conflict; a student also can fill out a referral form for a conflict in which he or she is personally involved. If the referred disputants agree to participate, two trained mediators meet with them at a specified location. Although there is never an adult present during mediation, there is always one nearby in the event that a problem should arise. The student mediators guide the disputants through the mediation process, establishing ground rules and asking each what happened, how they feel about the situation, and what they are willing to do to resolve the situation. If the mediation results in an agreement that is satisfactory to both disputants, an agreement form is filled out, signed by both the disputants and the student mediators, and given to the facilitator, who keeps the agreement on file. The disputants are thanked for their participation, reminded about the confidentiality of the process, and dismissed; however, the student mediators can decide to schedule a follow-up session to ensure that the agreement resolved the problem. If there is no agreement in the initial session, the disputants are encouraged to reengage in the mediation process at a later time.

In the research reviewed for this summary, one study was conducted with students in grades 11 and 12, and the other study was conducted with students in middle and high school.

Descriptive Information

Areas of Interest Mental health promotion
Outcomes Review Date: July 2013
1: Number of discipline referrals
2: Number of absences
3: Number of fights
4: Self-efficacy and self-esteem
5: Perceptions of safety and inappropriate student behaviors on campus
Outcome Categories Education
Mental health
Social functioning
Violence
Ages 6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
Genders Male
Female
Races/Ethnicities American Indian or Alaska Native
Asian
Black or African American
Hispanic or Latino
White
Race/ethnicity unspecified
Settings School
Geographic Locations Urban
Suburban
Rural and/or frontier
Implementation History Peers Making Peace was first implemented in Texas in 1989. Since then, paxUnited has trained 6,421 teachers and 101,793 students, resulting in the establishment of more than 6,390 sites that have used Peers Making Peace. The program has been implemented in 31 States and in Canada, England, Norway, and Sweden. Approximately 5,438 sites have participated in program evaluation.
NIH Funding/CER Studies Partially/fully funded by National Institutes of Health: No
Evaluated in comparative effectiveness research studies: No
Adaptations Spanish-language scripts and flyers are available, and materials have been developed for nonreaders.
Adverse Effects No adverse effects, concerns, or unintended consequences were identified by the developer.
IOM Prevention Categories Universal
Selective

Quality of Research
Review Date: July 2013

Documents Reviewed

The documents below were reviewed for Quality of Research. The research point of contact can provide information regarding the studies reviewed and the availability of additional materials, including those from more recent studies that may have been conducted.

Study 1

Research and Education Services. (2013). Peers Making Peace: An evidence based peer mediation program [Evaluation report]. Houston, TX: Author.

Study 2

Research and Education Services. (2013). Peers Making Peace: An evidence based peer mediation program [Evaluation report]. Houston, TX: Author.

Outcomes

Outcome 1: Number of discipline referrals
Description of Measures The number of discipline referrals was calculated from the records of the number of student referrals to the school office for disciplinary matters. These records were maintained by a centralized school administration office and compiled annually. Records compiled from the school years before and at the end of the study were used at pre- and posttest, respectively.
Key Findings In a 1-year study, 12 school districts that chose to participate were randomly assigned to the intervention condition, in which students in grades 11 and 12 received Peers Making Peace, or the control condition, in which students in grades 11 and 12 received assessments only. From pre- to posttest, students in the intervention group had a reduction in the number of discipline referrals; however, this change was not statistically significant. Also from pre- to posttest, students in the control group had an increase in the number of discipline referrals (p < .001).

In another 1-year study, 26 public and parochial schools that chose to participate were randomly assigned to the intervention condition, in which students in middle and high school received Peers Making Peace, or the control condition, in which students in middle and high school received assessments only; however, the study did not include data from the control group. From pre- to posttest, students in the intervention group had a reduction in the number of discipline referrals (p = .041).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1, Study 2
Study Designs Experimental, Preexperimental
Quality of Research Rating 1.6 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 2: Number of absences
Description of Measures The number of absences was calculated from the records of the number of days missed by each student, including both excused and unexcused absences. These records were maintained by a centralized school administration office and compiled annually. Records compiled from the school years before and at the end of the study were used at pre- and posttest, respectively.
Key Findings In a 1-year study, 12 school districts that chose to participate were randomly assigned to the intervention condition, in which students in grades 11 and 12 received Peers Making Peace, or the control condition, in which students in grades 11 and 12 received assessments only. From pre- to posttest, students in the intervention group had a reduction in the number of absences (p = .008), whereas students in the control group had an increase (p < .001).

In another 1-year study, 26 public and parochial schools that chose to participate were randomly assigned to the intervention condition, in which students in middle and high school received Peers Making Peace, or the control condition, in which students in middle and high school received assessments only; however, the study did not include data from the control group. From pre- to posttest, students in the intervention group had a reduction in the number of absences (p = .041).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1, Study 2
Study Designs Experimental, Preexperimental
Quality of Research Rating 2.0 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 3: Number of fights
Description of Measures The number of fights was measured using 9 items from the Texas Prevention Impact Index, a self-report instrument that assesses risk and protective factors associated with the student environment. Students responded to each item regarding fights in various situations (e.g., "How many times in the past year have you been in a physical fight on school property during the school day?" and "How many times in the past year have you been in a physical fight on school property at a time other than school hours?").
Key Findings Twelve school districts that chose to participate in the 1-year study were randomly assigned to the intervention condition, in which students in grades 11 and 12 received Peers Making Peace, or the control condition, in which students in grades 11 and 12 received assessments only. Students were assessed at the beginning (pretest) and end (posttest) of the school year. At pretest, there was no statistically significant difference between students in the intervention and control groups in the number of fights. At posttest, however, students in the intervention group had fewer fights than those in the control group (p = .04).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 1.5 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 4: Self-efficacy and self-esteem
Description of Measures Self-efficacy and self-esteem were assessed using 11 items from the Texas Prevention Impact Index, a self-report instrument that assesses risk and protective factors associated with the student environment. Students responded to the following items regarding self-efficacy and self-esteem:

  • "I feel I am a person of equal worth and equal to others."
  • "I enjoy life as much as anyone."
  • "There are a lot of things I would change about myself if I could."
  • "Other people like me."
  • "I am a positive role model."
  • "I take a positive attitude toward myself."
  • "I am able to do things as well as most people."
  • "On the whole, I am satisfied with myself."
  • "It feels good to be alive."
  • "I care what happens to me."
  • "I like the way I look."
Key Findings Twelve school districts that chose to participate in the 1-year study were randomly assigned to the intervention condition, in which students in grades 11 and 12 received Peers Making Peace, or the control condition, in which students in grades 11 and 12 received assessments only. Students were assessed at the beginning (pretest) and end (posttest) of the school year. From pre- to posttest, students in the intervention group had an improvement in 4 of the 11 items regarding self-efficacy and self-esteem, compared with students in the control group:

  • I feel I am a person of equal worth and equal to others (p = .043).
  • I enjoy life as much as anyone (p = .047).
  • There are a lot of things I would change about myself if I could (p = .001).
  • Other people like me (p = .040).
There were no significant differences between groups for the rest of the self-efficacy and self-esteem items.
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 1
Study Designs Experimental
Quality of Research Rating 1.6 (0.0-4.0 scale)
Outcome 5: Perceptions of safety and inappropriate student behaviors on campus
Description of Measures Perceptions of safety and inappropriate student behaviors on campus were assessed using the PAX Student Survey, which consists of 15 items related to the respondent's perception of the school environment. Sample survey items include the following: "Rank your sense of personal safety at school (I feel very safe, I feel somewhat safe, I do not feel safe at all, I feel generally safe, I do not feel very safe)" and "Rank your sense of student misbehavior at after school or school related activities (Severe, Serious, Somewhat serious, Somewhat a problem, Hardly or not a problem)."
Key Findings Twenty-six public and parochial schools that chose to participate in the 1-year study were randomly assigned to the intervention condition, in which students in middle and high school received Peers Making Peace, or the control condition, in which students in middle and high school received assessments only. Students were assessed at the beginning (pretest) and end (posttest) of the school year; however, the study did not include data from the control group. From pre- to posttest, students in the intervention group had an increase in their perception of safety on campus (p < .001) and a reduction in their perception of inappropriate student behaviors on campus (p = .001).
Studies Measuring Outcome Study 2
Study Designs Preexperimental
Quality of Research Rating 1.8 (0.0-4.0 scale)

Study Populations

The following populations were identified in the studies reviewed for Quality of Research.

Study Age Gender Race/Ethnicity
Study 1 13-17 (Adolescent) 72.8% Female
26.3% Male
42.3% Black or African American
37.3% Hispanic or Latino
13.6% White
3.6% Race/ethnicity unspecified
2.7% Asian
0.5% American Indian or Alaska Native
Study 2 6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)
Data not reported/available 47% White
32% Hispanic or Latino
17% Black or African American
4% Asian

Quality of Research Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the Quality of Research for an intervention's reported results using six criteria:

  1. Reliability of measures
  2. Validity of measures
  3. Intervention fidelity
  4. Missing data and attrition
  5. Potential confounding variables
  6. Appropriateness of analysis

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Quality of Research.

Outcome Reliability
of Measures
Validity
of Measures
Fidelity Missing
Data/Attrition
Confounding
Variables
Data
Analysis
Overall
Rating
1: Number of discipline referrals 2.0 2.0 2.1 1.5 1.0 1.1 1.6
2: Number of absences 3.0 3.0 2.1 1.5 1.0 1.1 2.0
3: Number of fights 1.8 2.3 1.8 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.5
4: Self-efficacy and self-esteem 1.8 3.0 1.8 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.6
5: Perceptions of safety and inappropriate student behaviors on campus 2.0 2.3 2.5 2.0 1.0 1.3 1.8

Study Strengths

School records used to measure the number of discipline referrals and the number of absences have acceptable psychometrics. The Texas Prevention Impact Index and the PAX Student Survey have acceptable reliability and validity, as reported by the developers. A fidelity instrument was developed for use in the study, and standardized training manuals and materials also were used. One study had low attrition.

Study Weaknesses

No data were provided on the results of intervention fidelity efforts. In one study, few details were provided on possible confounding variables, such as gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, academic performance, youth protective factors, or changes in school disciplinary policies or procedures. One study had a high level of attrition, and the other study, which started out with a control group, did not include data from this group. In the study with high attrition, the starting sample size was small, and by the end of the study, it was even smaller; this inadequate sample size limited confidence in the analyses of the data and their results.

Readiness for Dissemination
Review Date: July 2013

Materials Reviewed

The materials below were reviewed for Readiness for Dissemination. The implementation point of contact can provide information regarding implementation of the intervention and the availability of additional, updated, or new materials.

paxUnited. (2007). Peers Making Peace [Promotional DVD]. Carrollton, TX: Author.

paxUnited. (2008). Peers Making Peace training video I [DVD]. Carrollton, TX: Author.

paxUnited. (n.d.). Peers Making Peace high school mediation facilitator manual. Carrollton, TX: Author.

paxUnited. (n.d.). Peers Making Peace high school mediator workbook. Carrollton, TX: Author.

paxUnited. (n.d.). Peers Making Peace middle school mediation facilitator manual. Carrollton, TX: Author.

paxUnited. (n.d.). Peers Making Peace middle school mediation mediator workbook. Carrollton, TX: Author.

Program documents:

  • Adult Attendance Checklist
  • Adult Facilitator Training Agenda (Sample)
  • Adult Sign-in Sheet
  • Adult Training Tally Sheet
  • Annual Report
  • Coordinator Job Description
  • Curriculum Survey
  • Family Satisfaction Survey
  • Feelings Chart A
  • Feelings Chart B
  • Flowchart for paxUnited Trainings
  • High School Peer Mediator Information (Rev. 9/03)
  • High School Peer Mediator Training Evaluation (Rev. 9/03)
  • High School Peer Mediator Training Pre- and Post-Test (Rev. 9/03)
  • Implementation Guide
  • Implementation Guide [PowerPoint slides]
  • Linking Peers Making Peace to the Principles of Effectiveness
  • Mediation Script in Spanish
  • Middle School Peer Mediator Information (Rev. 9/03)
  • Middle School Peer Mediator Training Evaluation (Rev. 9/03)
  • Middle School Peer Mediator Training Pre- and Post-Test (Rev. 9/03)
  • Monthly Activity Report
  • Partnership Agreement [Form]
  • Peer Mediation: Resolving Conflict Without Violence (Student Body Orientation) [PowerPoint slides]
  • Peers Making Peace/PeaceKeepers Course Survey
  • Program Coordinator Evaluation
  • Quality Assurance Statements
  • Recommended Standards for PMP Programs (Rev. 2011)
  • Report on Program Fidelity and Adaptation
  • Resolving Conflict Without Violence (Faculty Orientation) [PowerPoint slides]
  • Sponsor Contact Information (Rev. 9/03)
  • Student Training Sponsor Evaluation (Rev. 9/03)
  • Student Training Tally Sheet (Rev. 9/09)
  • Technical Support and Needs Assessment
  • The Mediation Process: Steps for Problem Solving (Non-Readers Script)
  • Trainer Checklist
  • Training Participant Evaluation (Adult)
  • Training Participant Information (Rev. 11/03)
  • Training Pre- and Post-Test (Rev. 11/03)
  • Training Pre- and Post-Test Key (Rev. 11/03)
  • Training Room Diagram
  • Training Sponsor Sign-in Sheets (Rev. 9/10)
  • Welcome to PeacePartners
  • Youth Satisfaction Survey

Program Web site, http://www.paxunited.org/school-based.aspx

Readiness for Dissemination Ratings by Criteria (0.0-4.0 scale)

External reviewers independently evaluate the intervention's Readiness for Dissemination using three criteria:

  1. Availability of implementation materials
  2. Availability of training and support resources
  3. Availability of quality assurance procedures

For more information about these criteria and the meaning of the ratings, see Readiness for Dissemination.

Implementation
Materials
Training and Support
Resources
Quality Assurance
Procedures
Overall
Rating
3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

Dissemination Strengths

The implementation materials are comprehensive and easy to use. The program Web site is informative and easy to navigate. Training materials are well planned and interactive, and they provide step-by-step guidance for implementation. The developer provides facilitator training and support. Evaluation forms are available for collecting data on program use and outcomes, and guidance is provided for improving program delivery.

Dissemination Weaknesses

Mediation scripts and workbooks have not been sufficiently modified to address the range of participant ages. Monthly activity reports, annual surveys, and peer mediator training evaluations do not collect qualitative data to support quality assurance.

Costs

The cost information below was provided by the developer. Although this cost information may have been updated by the developer since the time of review, it may not reflect the current costs or availability of items (including newly developed or discontinued items). The implementation point of contact can provide current information and discuss implementation requirements.

Item Description Cost Required by Developer
Peers Making Peace implementation kit (includes age-appropriate facilitator manual, promotional DVD, training DVD, program documents, and site license) $350 per kit Yes
Peers Making Peace site license renewal $175 per year Yes, after first year of program implementation
Additional promotional DVDs $50 each No
Implementation guide Free No
Implementation guide PowerPoint slides Free No
3-day, on-site adult facilitator training $1,000 per person (minimum of 12 participants), plus travel expenses Yes, one adult facilitator training option is required
3-day, off-site adult facilitator training $1,000 per person Yes, one adult facilitator training option is required
On-site advanced program training/booster sessions $1,500 per day for up to 40 participants, plus travel expenses No
Additional training DVDs $50 each No
Flowchart for trainings Free No
Technical assistance by phone or email Free No
On-site technical assistance/consultation $1,000 per day, plus travel expenses No
1-day, on-site pretraining needs assessment/implementation planning session $1,500, plus travel expenses No
Forms for conducting pretraining needs assessment (for use by implementer) Free No
Membership in PeacePartners Network Free No
Quality assurance statements Free No
Recommended standards document Free No
Report on fidelity and adaptations Free No
Partnership agreements Free No
Replications

No replications were identified by the developer.

Contact Information

To learn more about implementation or research, contact:
Robert M. Gonzales, M.R.E., M.Div.
(210) 573-6435
bob.gonzales@paxunited.org

Consider these Questions to Ask (PDF, 54KB) as you explore the possible use of this intervention.

Web Site(s):