Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Dr. Deanna Boddie


Urban high school students in the United States are often involved in conflicts related to bullying, physical fighting, and drug abuse. These conflicts create a hostile learning environment; interventions such as conflict resolution programs are implemented to reduce these disruptions to learning. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore how an urban high school conflict resolution program impacts trained peer mediators. The conceptual framework was based on Erikson's psychosocial theory of human development and Freire's critical theory about pedagogy of the oppressed. Participants included 4 high school students who participated as trained peer mediators in an urban high school conflict resolution program in a southern state. Data were collected from multiple sources, including individual interviews with students, reflective journals maintained by these students, and archival records and documents related to this program. At the first level of data analysis, line-by-line initial coding and categorization was used to analyze each data source. A content analysis was used for archival records and documents. At the second level, categorized data across all sources of data was examined to determine themes and discrepant data. The key finding was that this conflict resolution program positively impacted peer mediators because they learned cultural competency skills such as active listening and maintaining neutrality; these skills helped participants fulfill their desire to help peers resolve conflicts and to resolve personal altercations with friends and family. This study will help educators and policymakers develop a deeper understanding about how conflict resolution programs and peer mediators improve the learning environment in urban high schools.