Date of Conferral







Dr. Susana Verdinelli


Peer mediation (PM) programs implemented in schools promote resolution of disputes and conflicts among peers. Several benefits have been associated with young children involved in these programs including reductions in physical aggression, as well as learning skills involving communication, problem solving, and decision making. While positive outcomes have been observed, less was known about manager experiences involving coordinating PM programs. The purpose of this phenomenological study was to explore manager thoughts and experiences regarding their roles in PM programs and how they perceived strengths and weaknesses of these programs. The social learning theory was the theoretical framework for this study. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews with five coordinators of PM programs working in high schools. Results of phenomenological analysis indicated that PM programs were perceived as highly useful and a strong positive means of solving conflicts in school settings. Using these program strategies leads to children’s empowerment by creating means to address their conflicts without exacerbating conflicting situations. Participants expressed the need for school support to foster engagement in terms of applying PM initiatives. Results of this study can be used for positive social change and lead to creation, implementation, and refinement of PM programs.