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Investigating School Counselors' Perceived Role and Self-Efficacy in Managing Multiparty Student Conflict

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041840/00001

Material Information

Title: Investigating School Counselors' Perceived Role and Self-Efficacy in Managing Multiparty Student Conflict
Physical Description: 1 online resource (146 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Yacco, Summer
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: conflict, mediation, middle, multiparty, school
Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: School Counseling and Guidance thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine school counselors? perceived role and self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Literature on conflict resolution in the field of education has not addressed conflicts that take place among three or more students, or multiparty student conflict. Therefore, investigated in this study were middle school counselor?s perceptions of the frequency of multiparty student conflict, types of delivery used, theoretical approach, and self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflicts. Participants included 357 members from the American School Counselor Association who were practicing middle school counselors. It was found that school counselors encounter multiparty student conflicts and have a high level of self-efficacy in managing these conflicts. ANOVA testing determined that counseling small groups, teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups, and teaching skills to large groups were types of delivery related to self-efficacy in managing multiparty conflicts. A Spearman correlation was calculated to find a significant relationship between self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict and the use of theoretical approaches.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Summer Yacco.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Clark, Mary Ann.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041840:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0041840/00001

Material Information

Title: Investigating School Counselors' Perceived Role and Self-Efficacy in Managing Multiparty Student Conflict
Physical Description: 1 online resource (146 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Yacco, Summer
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2010

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: conflict, mediation, middle, multiparty, school
Human Development and Organizational Studies in Education -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: School Counseling and Guidance thesis, Ph.D.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine school counselors? perceived role and self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Literature on conflict resolution in the field of education has not addressed conflicts that take place among three or more students, or multiparty student conflict. Therefore, investigated in this study were middle school counselor?s perceptions of the frequency of multiparty student conflict, types of delivery used, theoretical approach, and self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflicts. Participants included 357 members from the American School Counselor Association who were practicing middle school counselors. It was found that school counselors encounter multiparty student conflicts and have a high level of self-efficacy in managing these conflicts. ANOVA testing determined that counseling small groups, teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups, and teaching skills to large groups were types of delivery related to self-efficacy in managing multiparty conflicts. A Spearman correlation was calculated to find a significant relationship between self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict and the use of theoretical approaches.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Summer Yacco.
Thesis: Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Florida, 2010.
Local: Adviser: Clark, Mary Ann.

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2010
System ID: UFE0041840:00001


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INVESTIGATING SCHOOL COUNSELORS' PERCEIVED ROLE AND SELF-
EFFICACY IN MANAGING MULTIPARTY STUDENT CONFLICT




















By

SUMMER YACCO


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2010


































2010 Summer Yacco




























To my mom, who has always believed in me









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I owe thanks to many people who offered me their support and guidance

throughout my studies because it was with their encouragement that I was able to

accomplish the completion of this work. First, I would like to thank my parents, who

helped make my education possible. The emphasis they placed on my education was

an invaluable gift. My father, who is not here with me now, helped me to hone my

writing skills and fostered my interest in technology. I am thankful to my mother for

always thinking of me and being a source of love and stability in my life.

Next, I would like to thank my doctoral committee for helping me to shape my

thoughts and develop as a professional. I am grateful to have had Dr. Mary Ann Clark

as my chair. She has been a role model and mentor to me. By including me in her

work and encouraging me to participate in professional activities, she has enriched my

doctoral studies. I would also like to thank Dr. Stephen Smith for supporting my interest

in multiparty conflict and assisting me with the development of my multiparty conceptual

framework. I am thankful to both Dr. Amatea and Dr. Dixon for preparing me to enter

into academia by giving me their insight into the roles and responsibilities of faculty

members.

I am indebted to William Goodman, for the perspective and wisdom he shared with

me during my internship with him. His devotion to students and the school counseling

profession are qualities that I admire and hope to emulate. I would also like to thank Dr.

Cindy Garvan, who was not a member of my committee, but generously offered her

help with my methodology.

My experience as a graduate student would not have been the same without the

people I have met in Gainesville. I am fortunate to have found a partner, Stephen









Bendfelt, who supports and encourages my dreams even when I question them. Finally,

I am lucky to have friends, both old and new, who are there for me through my times of

weakness and achievement. I am glad to have the memories we created together to

take with me after I leave.









TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W LE D G M E N T S ................................................................................. .. .... 4

LIST O F TA B LES ...................................................................................... 9

LIST OF FIGURES.................................. ......... 10

DEFINITION OF TERM S .................................... .................................... 11

ABSTRACT .................................... ................................... ........... 13

CHAPTER

1 INT R O D U C T IO N ....................................................... .......... .......... 14

R research P problem ............................................................................. ..... 14
Purpose of the Study ................................................................... ...... 19
S significance of the Study ............................................................. .............. 19
R ationa le for the M ethodo logy ........................................................................ ... 20
Research Questions .................................... ........................... ........... 21
H y p o th e se s ...................................................... 2 1
S u m m a ry ...................................................................................................... 2 1

2 REVIEW O F LITERATURE ............................................................ .............. 23

School C counselor Role ....................................................... ........ ... ........ 23
S school C counseling H history ...................................................... ...... ....... .. 23
ASCA National Model............................................................ 24
Conflict Managem ent ................................... .................. .......... .... 26
School Counselor Self-Efficacy....................... ...... ............................ 28
C concept of Self-Efficacy ............................................................. ..... ......... 28
Measures of Counselor Self-Efficacy ...... ......... .................................. 29
Adolescent Developm ent ........................................................................... .. 32
Theories of C conflict ................................................................ .. ........... 33
D ual C concerns Theory ............................................................. ... .......... 34
S social Interdependence T heory............................................... ... .. ............... 36
S ocia l Ide ntity T heo ry ............................................................................... 38
C conflict R solution Education ........................................................ ..... ............ 40
Concepts and Skills ................................... .................................. 41
Program Form ats ................................... .................. .... .......... 42
Training Methods and Application ............................................. ............... 45
School C lim ate .................................... .................... ..... 46
A d u lt R o le s ...................................................... 4 7
O utcom es ............................................................................................... ........ 48
M ultiparty C conflict ...................................................................... 54


6









S tructu re ............................................. 54
Disputant Contributions .......................................... .................... .. ......... 56
P ro c e s s ................................................................................................... 5 9
Multiparty Conflict Resolution Outcomes .... ........... ................................. 62
M u ltipa rty C o nflicts in S cho o ls ........................................................................ ... 6 2
Application of Theory to the Study ...................................... ........... ......... ...... 63
S u m m a ry ...................................................................................................... 6 4

3 METHODOLOGY ............................................. .......... ........ 67

O ve review ............................... .............. ...... 6 7
V ariables..................................... ....... ........ 67
Research Variables ................................................................................................. 68
Descriptive Variables............................. ............... 68
P o p u la tio n ...................................................... 6 9
Sam pling Procedures....................................... ............... 70
D a ta C o lle c tio n ..................................................................................... .......... 7 1
D e s ig n o f th e S tu d y .............................................................................. ...... ........ 7 2
D ata A nalysis............................................... 73
Instrum entation ................................... ............................ 74
Multiparty Conflict Management Self-Efficacy Scale ....................................... 75
V a lid ity a nd R e liab ility ................... .......................... ............... ...76
S u m m a ry ...................................................................................................... 7 7

4 RESULTS ....................................................................... ......... 82

Descriptive Statistics.................... .. ........................... 82
Instrum ent D evelopm ent Results ..................................................................... 84
Data Analysis...................... .. ............................... 85
R research Q question O ne ...................................................................... ............ 85
R research Q question Tw o ...................................................................... ............ 88
Research Question Three .................................... .................................. 88
Research Q question Four ................................................................ ..... 89
R research Q question F ive ...................................................................... ............ 9 1
Research Q question Six....................... ........................ .................... 94
S u m m a ry ...................................................................................................... 9 4

5 D IS C U S S IO N ............................................................................................... 1 0 0

Overview of the Study and Discussion of Findings .............................................. 100
Types of Multiparty Conflict Management Delivery .............. ............... 103
Theoretical Approach to Multiparty Conflict Management .............................. 104
Self-Efficacy in Multiparty Conflict Management ............................................ 106
L im itatio ns .................. ......................................................... 1 12
Im plications for T theory .............................................. .................................. 113
Im p licatio ns fo r P practice .............................................. ............... ............114
Recom mendations for Future Research ............................................................... 117









C o n c lu s io n ................... .... .................................................. 1 2 0

APPENDIX

A PRE-NO TIC E LETTER .. .................. ................................................................ 122

B INVITATION LETTER .. ....... ........................ ......... ........... 123

C INFORMED CONSENT FORM.................................. ............... 124

D SURVEY OF SCHOOL COUNSELOR PERCEPTIONS OF STUDENT
CONFLICT AND COUNSELOR ROLE............................................... 125

REFERENC ES ......................................... ............ 135

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............. .. ........ ................ 146









LIST OF TABLES


Table page

3-1 Relationship among research variables, research questions (R.Q.), and
survey question ns ......................................... ...................... 78

3-2 Relationship of self-efficacy items and theory .............. ..... ............... 80

4-1 Participant descriptive information...... ................. ............... 95

4-2 Self-efficacy item averages .... .. ............................................ .. ............... 96

4-3 Types of delivery used to manage multiparty student conflicts........................ 98

4-4 Average use of theoretical approaches ................................... 99

4-5 Type of delivery and self-efficacy score ANOVA testing results .................... 99









LIST OF FIGURES


Figure page

2-1 Framework for conceptualizing multiparty conflict .............. ..... ........... 66











Arbitration


Cadre approach


Caucus


Coalition


Conflict resolution


Disputant


Distributive approach



Dyadic conflict

Individual counseling


Integrative approach


Large group counseling


Mediation


Multiparty conflict

Multilateral conflict


Negotiation


Party


DEFINITION OF TERMS

A form of conflict resolution in which an outside party makes
the final decision for those involved in the conflict.

A type of conflict resolution where a group of students is
selected for peer mediation training.

A private meeting in a mediation that includes some
disputants and excludes others.

A union between two or more disputants in a multiparty
conflict.

The process by which interpersonal disputes are ended in a
constructive manner.

A party participating in a conflict who has a personal interest
in the outcome.

An approach taken by parties of a conflict that focuses on
increasing personal gains and decreasing concessions to
others.

Conflict taking place between two individuals.

A counselor approach in which the counselor meets privately
with a single student.

An approach taken by parties of a conflict to reach an
agreement that incorporates the interests of all parties.

A counselor approach in which the counselor works with
more than eight students at one time.

A form of conflict resolution in which an outside individual
helps conflicting parties to resolve their problem.

Conflict taking place between three or more individuals.

A conflict that has three or more opposing positions that are
taken by three or more individuals.

A form of conflict resolution in which parties involved in a
conflict work towards solution without outside assistance.

An individual who is personally invested in a conflict.









Peer mediation


Relational aggression


Self-efficacy

Small group counseling


Type of delivery


Whole school approach


A form of conflict resolution in which students are trained to
help other students resolve their problems.

A covert act of aggression used to manipulate or damage
relationships.

A belief in one's ability to successfully complete a task.

A counselor approach in which a counselor meets with two
to eight students at one time.

A selected mode of providing developmental school
counseling services to students.

An approach to conflict resolution where conflict resolution
skills are taught to all students in a school.









Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

INVESTIGATING SCHOOL COUNSELORS' PERCEIVED ROLE AND SELF-
EFFICACY IN MANAGING MULTIPARTY STUDENT CONFLICT

By

Summer Yacco

August 2010

Chair: Mary Ann Clark
Major: School Counseling and Guidance


The purpose of this study was to examine school counselors' perceived role and

self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Literature on conflict resolution in

the field of education has not addressed conflicts that take place among three or more

students, or multiparty student conflict. Therefore, investigated in this study were

middle school counselor's perceptions of the frequency of multiparty student conflict,

types of delivery used, theoretical approach, and self-efficacy in managing multiparty

student conflicts.

Participants included 357 members from the American School Counselor

Association who were practicing middle school counselors. It was found that school

counselors encounter multiparty student conflicts and have a high level of self-efficacy

in managing these conflicts. ANOVA testing determined that counseling small groups,

teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups, and teaching skills to large groups

were types of delivery related to self-efficacy in managing multiparty conflicts. A

Spearman correlation was calculated to find a significant relationship between self-

efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict and the use of theoretical approaches.









CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

Research Problem

Violence in schools threatens student safety as well as the learning environment.

Five percent of students have missed school because their safety was threatened by

another student (Heydenberk, Heydenberk, & Tzenova, 2006). In 2005, 14% of

students in grades 9-12 reported fighting on school property (National Center for

Education Statistics (NCES), 2007). That same year, about 6% of students ages 12-18

were afraid of being harmed or attacked at school (NCES, 2007). Harassment, bullying,

and victimization can lead to poor academic performance, depression, and self-

destructive behavior (Bortner, 2005). In addition to physical violence and overt

aggression, covert behaviors such as gossiping, spreading rumors, and social isolation

are threats to student safety and school climate. This type of covert behavior, called

relational aggression, may not be easily observed, but can still harm social and

psychological development (Gomes, 2007). Increased use of technology has led to the

phenomenon of cyberbullying, which involves the use of electronic devices to inflict

harm on victims. Cyberbullying has negative effects similar to traditional bullying, such

as depression and lower self-esteem (Tokunaga, 2010). Educators look to conflict

resolution programs to help address these issues.

Conflict resolution education (CRE) programs are a solution to issues in schools

including interpersonal conflict, violence, and aggressive behavior. They are an

alternative to negative disciplinary approaches to handling these problems. The

practice of suspension has been questioned because it does not seem to deter students

from fighting and it has negative consequences for students (Breunlin et al., 2002).









Suspensions may also be unfair because certain groups such as males and minority

students receive a disproportionate number of out-of-school suspensions. Often school

policies require teachers and administrators to manage conflicts using punishment, but

this takes time and disrupts the school environment (Johnson & Johnson, 1995).

Conflict resolution education programs empower students, offering training and

experiences that are helpful to students of all age groups, and adolescents in particular,

in resolving their conflicts in a constructive way. Adolescents are at an age where they

are mastering skills for handling conflict and can benefit from developing these skills

further (DuRant, Barkin & Krowchuk, 2001). Smith and Daunic (2002) state that

establishing emotional independence, socially responsible behavior, and values, are the

core tasks during this age. CRE programs have been found to help students in conflict

reach agreements, learn prosocial attitudes, apply skills to real life situations, reduce

discipline referrals, and reduce fights (Carruthers & Sweeney, 1996; Heydenberk &

Heydenberk, 2007; Roberts, Yeomans, & Ferro-Almeida, 2007).

Previous studies on conflict resolution in schools have explored many avenues

for managing conflicts that occur between two students. Approaches used in schools

generally fall within the broader categories of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration

(Johnson & Johnson, 1995). Arbitration takes place when an adult makes a decision for

students, but most approaches are aimed at empowering students to solve their own

problems. Through conflict resolution training, students can learn to negotiate their own

problems or can be trained to mediate problems between others. Ready to use scripts

are available for negotiators and mediators to follow, making it easier for schools to

implement these programs.









Educators may choose a conflict resolution program that aims to teach skills to a

select number of students, called a cadre, or to all students in the school (Garrard &

Lipsey, 2007; Johnson & Johnson, 1995; Smith & Daunic, 2002). Cadre programs

teach a small group of students in conflict resolution and often train these students to

mediate problems between others. When conflict resolution is taught to larger numbers

of students, content may either be delivered through self-contained lesson plans or may

be embedded in existing curriculum in other subject areas.

One area that has not been addressed in this literature is how to best approach

conflicts among three or more students. Literature in the fields of law, international

negotiations, and organizational disputes has identified the complexities of conflicts

between three or more people, which are referred to as multiparty conflicts (Crump &

Glendon, 2003). Researchers in these fields are beginning to lay groundwork for a new

paradigm of multiparty conflict, while researchers of school conflict continue to focus on

dyadic, or two party conflicts.

Complications that are not present in dyadic conflicts, such as coalitions between

two or more parties, make the process of conflict resolution more complex (Susskind,

Mnookin, Rozdeiczer, & Fuller, 2005). Studying the nature of multiparty conflicts can be

used to inform the training of students and faculty who participate in conflict resolution.

The nature of multiparty conflicts between students is different from international or

organizational conflicts and needs further exploration before new approaches can be

developed for use in schools.

Understanding multiparty conflict can help faculty members involved in

implementing conflict resolution programs. CRE programs have been found to reduce









the number of conflicts referred to teachers and administrators, however these

programs place other requirements on faculty (Smith, Daunic, Miller, & Robinson,

2002). For the first year of operation, 30% to 50% of the program coordinator's time

may be spent developing the program (Carruthers & Sweeney, 1996). School faculty

are involved in coordinating programs through scheduling time for conflict resolution

activities, motivating mediators and disputing students to participate, training students,

and evaluating program effectiveness (Bickmore, 2002).

In particular, school counselors play an important role in CRE programs because

of their specialized expertise (Hovland & Peterson, 1996). Assisting students with

learning personal and social skills is one of three domains in the national standards set

forth in the American School Counseling Association's (ASCA) National Model (2005).

Counselors also intervene in crisis situations, such as when student conflict has

escalated or become violent. They may respond to student conflict with direct services

such as individual or small group counseling. Whether dealing with students directly or

through coordinating services, conflict is one of the concerns that counselors manage.

Further research is needed to show how counselors spend their time on various conflict

management related activities.

Given their position in managing conflict, the role of the counselor is central to

conflict resolution in schools. School counselors are leaders in beginning system-wide

change and do so by collaborating with other members of the school team (ASCA,

2005). Therefore they are in a position to promote CRE program use in schools. In

order for school counselors to effectively manage conflict or create a CRE program,

they need to identify other educators who are involved in addressing student conflicts.









Counselors' methods for managing student conflict may vary from one counselor

to another because of differences in their training, type of school they work at, and the

range of approaches offered in the literature. The types of conflicts they encounter may

differ due to the ages of students, school location, student gender, or other variables

(Carruthers & Sweeney, 1996). For example, students in urban schools reported being

twice as afraid of attacks at school in 2005 compared to students in rural and suburban

schools (NCES, 2007). While others have documented different types of conflicts

encountered at schools, they did not explore conflicts that took place between three or

more students (Johnson & Johnson, 1996; Schmitz, 1994).

Furthermore, counselors work within the context of institutions that have different

ways of operating. Schools may have a structured program for training students in

place or rely on punitive or crisis responses to deal with student conflict. Research has

shown the effectiveness of CRE programs, such as the meta-analysis conducted by

Burrell, Zirbel, and Allen (2003), but attention has not been given to which approaches

are most widely used by school counselors across the United States. It has been

estimated that CRE programs have increased over the past two decades, but the exact

number of programs is unknown (Gerrard & Lispsey, 2007).

For counselors to confidently choose approaches for managing dyadic and

multiparty student conflict, a greater understanding is needed of what conflicts

counselors encounter in schools and what their perceived roles are in handling them.

The current literature is insufficient in showing how approaches are being used in

natural school settings and how counselors perceive these approaches to work.

Additionally, it is unknown whether school counselors perceive their approaches to be









effective. School counselors' ability to successfully manage student conflict is mediated

by their perceived self-efficacy, which are their beliefs in their ability to carry out a task

(Bandura, 1965). To contribute to the conflict resolution literature in education, this

study looked at how middle school counselors handle multiparty student conflict and

considered counselor and school variables.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to examine school counselors' perceived role and

self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. This study aims to contribute to the

awareness and knowledge of an unresearched area in the field of education. Currently,

nothing exists in the literature about the nature of multiparty student conflicts, who

manages these conflicts, or how the conflicts are approached. Since school counselors

play a role in managing student conflicts and encouraging students' social development,

they are also likely to be involved in managing multiparty student conflicts.

Significance of the Study

More needs to be known about school counselor perceptions and behaviors

regarding multiparty conflicts in order to assess their need for support and training. This

study seeks to reveal how prevalent multiparty student conflicts are in schools as

perceived by school counselors, the degree school counselors are involved in managing

these conflicts, which methods of delivery school counselors use to manage multiparty

student conflicts, which theories inform school counselors in managing multiparty

student conflicts, and the degree of self-efficacy they have in managing multiparty

student conflicts. Background data about the school and the school counselor was

collected to provide information about the school environments and participants

involved in the study.









This study contributes to the field of education by bringing awareness to a new

issue affecting school counselors and other educators. The results of the study provide

a basis for future research that could take a number of different directions. The

implications discussed in the fifth chapter may be used to develop specialized training

or support for school counselors. A model for approaching multiparty conflicts could be

developed to provide counselors and other educators with guidelines and best practices

for managing these conflicts. School counselors may also need to be informed about

conflict resolution theory and the unique structure of multiparty conflict.

CRE programs that currently address only dyadic student conflicts could be

modified to include approaches for managing multiparty conflicts. Training and

curriculum could be developed to teach students how to deal with personal conflicts

involving three or more individuals. Given the importance of peer relationships and

group memberships, students may need help when conflicts arise within their social

circles or between separate peer groups. An understanding of how to handle multiparty

conflicts gives students and educators greater control over these social issues.

Rationale for the Methodology

To elicit the perceptions and behaviors of middle school counselors at one point

in time, a cross-sectional survey design was employed. Participants were selected from

the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), which has over 21,000 members

across the U.S. who are professional school counselors in various settings. ASCA

offers members access to professional publications and online resources, as well as

opportunities for professional development and peer networking. Thus, school

counselors who choose to belong to ASCA show an interest in their professional

development. Online survey research was selected as a method because the ASCA









member directory provides email addresses for middle school counselors. No other

data bases are known that include contact information for middle school counselors

across the country. Furthermore, online surveys are cost efficient and have a quick

response rate (Dillman, 2007; Van Selm & Jankowksi, 2006).

Research Questions

The following research questions are addressed in this study:

1. What is the degree of school counselor self-efficacy in managing multiparty
conflict?

2. What percent of student conflicts that are encountered by school counselors are
multiparty?

3. What types of delivery do school counselors use to manage multiparty conflicts?

4. What theoretical approaches inform school counselors in mediating multiparty
conflicts?

5. What is the relationship between type of delivery and school counselor self-
efficacy in managing multiparty conflict?

6. What is the relationship between theoretical approach to mediation and school
counselor self-efficacy in managing multiparty conflict?

Hypotheses

Research questions one, two, three, and four are descriptive and did not test any

hypotheses. The following null hypotheses correspond with the fifth, and sixth research

questions:

5. There is no relationship between type of delivery and school counselor self-
efficacy in managing multiparty conflict.

6. There is no relationship between theoretical approach to mediation and school
counselor self-efficacy in managing multiparty conflict.

Summary

This chapter included an introduction to the issue of multiparty student conflicts

and the need to understand how counselors perceive their role and self-efficacy in









managing these conflicts. The second chapter covers literature on school counselor

roles, self efficacy theory, adolescent development, conflict resolution theories, conflict

resolution education, and multiparty conflict. Following the literature review, the third

chapter includes the methodology for the study. In the fourth chapter, data analysis

procedures and results from the study are reported. Lastly, the fifth chapter provides a

discussion of the results, implications, limitations, and directions for future research.










CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF LITERATURE


The purpose of this study was to examine school counselors' perceived role and

self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. In this chapter, literature is covered

on the role of the school counselor, self-efficacy theory, adolescent development,

theories of conflict resolution, conflict resolution education, multiparty conflict, and

application of theory to the study.

School Counselor Role

In order to understand the role of the school counselor in managing conflicts, it is

first necessary to see what the counselor's role is in the school. Literature in the field of

school counseling refers to the ASCA National Model as a guide for how school

counselors should function (Amatea & Clark, 2005; Dimmitt & Carey, 2007; Hernandez

& Seem, 2004; Walsh, Barrett, & DePaul, 2007). Before the development of this model,

school counselors served a variety of roles in schools. Over the years, paradigm shifts

in the field have given rise to the ASCA National Model.

School Counseling History

In the early 1900s, vocational guidance in schools led to the introduction of the

first school counselors (Gysbers, 2004). Throughout the following decades, the role of

the school counselor has gone through a number of changes. As early as the 1920s,

professionals began to question how counselors could make effective contributions. In

1952 the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) was established and school

counseling was recognized as a distinct profession (Bauman et al., 2003). School

counseling began to change conceptually in the 1970s away from a single person









providing services and towards a comprehensive, developmental program (Gysbers &

Henderson, 2001). Comprehensive counseling programs include content, an

organizational framework, and resources. In the 1980s and 1990s, school counselors

began to realize that they needed to redefine themselves as valuable contributors to

student achievement and success (Schwallie-Giddis, ter Maat, & Pak, 2003).

Accountability has become increasingly important in school counseling literature.

Legislation like the No Child Left Behind Act has emphasized accountability for schools

as a whole and for school counselors (Dollarhide & Lemberger, 2006). In response,

ASCA sponsored the development of national standards for school counseling

programs in 1997 (Dahir, 2001). The ASCA national standards were followed by the

development of the ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling

Programs (ASCA, 2003). The model helps to standardize school counseling programs

despite differences in schools and populations (Dimmitt & Carey, 2007).

ASCA National Model

The ASCA National Model provides a framework for the necessary components

of a comprehensive counseling program and it describes the role of the school

counselor in implementing the program (ASCA, 2005). The four elements of the model

are foundation, delivery system, management system, and accountability. These

elements help explain the philosophy behind the model and how it should be carried

out.

The foundation of the ASCA National Model describes how school counseling

programs should be guided by a mission and set of beliefs and assumptions (ASCA,

2005). The foundation also includes standards that counselors should help students

work towards achieving. These standards are grouped into three domains: academic









development, career development, and personal/social development. School

counselors are encouraged to focus on areas that fit with their school's mission and the

needs of the students at their school.

The components of delivering a school counseling program include school

guidance curriculum, individual student planning, responsive services, and system

support (ASCA, 2005). To reach more students, school counselors are shifting from

responding to individual crises to providing developmental services that all students

benefit from and working systemically with other stakeholders such as teachers, nurses,

and administrators (Walsh et al., 2007). Walsh, Barrett and DePaul's 2007 qualitative

study examined the delivery component of newly hired urban school counselors'

programs. They found that the school counselors' activities were spread evenly across

the four components of a delivery system as outlined in the ASCA National Model.

The management system is responsible for how the school counseling program

will operate. Counselors work with administrators and other stakeholders to decide how

to implement the program. School counselors are recognized by the ASCA National

Model as having skills that make them leaders, advocates, collaborators, and agents of

change (ASCA, 2005). These qualities are cited as reasons for school counselors to

be involved implementing programs in conflict resolution and improving school climate

(Hovland, 1996; Hernandez & Seem, 2004).

The final element of the ASCA National Model is evaluation (ASCA, 2005). This

component helps to address the problem of counselor accountability. If counselors are

to be an integral part of school improvement, they must be able to demonstrate their

impact on student achievement (Dahir & Stone, 2003). Counselors do this by using









data: disaggregating data to discover needs of students and collecting data to evaluate

their programs and interventions. Such data may include student achievement data,

achievement indicators, and perceptual data, such as information collected from

surveys (Poynton, 2006). Taking these steps will also help counselors to show key

stakeholders the worth of their activities and help them to define their roles in schools

(Scarborough, 2005).

Conflict Management

Managing conflict and helping students to learn conflict resolution skills are

activities that align with the foundation of the ASCA national model. These tasks are

directly related to two of the three developmental domains in the foundation: personal

and social development and academic development. Conflict resolution programs are

aimed at helping students develop social skills such as communication, empathy, and

perspective taking that will help them to resolve their conflicts (Casserino & Lane-

Garon, 2006). Interpersonal skills such as these are related to the personal and social

development of students. Problems associated with student conflict can also be

harmful to academic development. A lack of social skills is one of the causes of

problematic peer relationships, which can lead to problems in academic achievement

(Poynton, Carlson, Hopper, & Carey, 2006). School violence is reflected in the school

climate and can interfere with the learning process (Hernandez & Seem, 2004).

School counselors following the ASCA National Model may choose one or more

methods of delivery to manage conflict. Guidance curriculum on conflict resolution may

be delivered through small groups or classroom instruction. Responsive services

include individual and small group counseling, crisis counseling, consultation, and peer

facilitation, any of which might be used to deal with conflicts. Counselors may also use









a management approach by collaborating with others. Their skills as leaders,

advocates, collaborators, and agents of change make them well suited for coordinating

programs in conflict resolution and improving school climate (Hovland, 1996; Hernandez

& Seem, 2004).

Literature on conflict resolution focuses primarily on the effectiveness of CRE

programs and best practices for implementing a CRE program. However, not all

schools have CRE programs in place, and school counselors may choose respond to

student conflict using other approaches. Researchers have not yet looked at how

counselors respond to student conflicts and which approaches they choose to employ.

School counselors may play a role in managing conflict through the use of a conflict

resolution program or through other delivery methods in addition to a program or in the

absence of a program. The school counselor's role in managing conflict may be

ambiguous, because professional school counselors are still struggling to clarify their

roles in schools. While the ASCA National Model has helped to standardize the

profession of school counseling, role ambiguity continues to be a problem for

counselors due to a lack of clarity about their roles, objectives, and what is expected of

them (Dimmitt & Carey, 2007; Lambie & Williamson, 2004). Another issue for school

counselors in defining their roles is that others may be in charge of assigning their

duties (Scarborough, 2005). To help clarify the role of school counselors in conflict

management, more information is needed about the prevalence of student conflicts,

how school counselors are involved in the process, and the effectiveness of their

practices.









While exploring the role of the school counselor, it is necessary to take into

account the diversity that is present among schools across the country. The ASCA

National Model is flexible because differences exist between different schools and

populations of students. Students at elementary, middle, and high schools have

different developmental needs that counselors must take into consideration (Aluede et

al., 2007). Thus, the role of the school counselor varies from one organization to

another to fit the developmental needs of students. Counselors at the middle school

level have to consider the growth and transitions that take place during early

adolescence (Scales, 2005).

School Counselor Self-Efficacy

This study sought to identify school counselors' perceived self-efficacy in

managing multiparty student conflicts. By rating the degree of their perceived self-

efficacy, school counselors indicated how successful they are at managing multiparty

conflicts. Self-efficacy literature and existing scales of self-efficacy served as a guide

for developing a scale for measuring school counselor self-efficacy in multiparty conflict

management.

Concept of Self-Efficacy

Self-efficacy is the belief in one's own ability to successfully accomplish a task

(Bandura, 1997). High self-efficacy has positive impacts on cognition, motivation, and

emotion. Those who are confident in their abilities are likely to set and commit to high

goals. Since self-efficacy is closely related to performance, it is of interest to

understand what factors influence the self-efficacy of school counselors. Scales have

been developed to measure the vocational self-efficacy of individuals including









professional counselors (e.g. Bodenhorn & Skaggs, 2005; Larson, Suzuki, Gillespie,

Potenza, Bechtel, & Toulouse, 1992).

Perceived self-efficacy, is a key concept in social cognitive theory (Bandura,

2001). Through self-reflection, people judge their ability to control their environment

and the results of their actions. The belief that control is possible increases the

likelihood that a person will take action (Bandura, 1997). A person high in self-efficacy

is likely to be more committed and motivated to reach challenging goals. Self-efficacy

also impacts how people manage stress, threats, and negative thoughts. Those with

high self-efficacy believe that they will have a positive outcome which makes them more

persistent and better able to cope when faced with barriers. Furthermore, school

counselor self-efficacy may have an impact on students receiving counseling services.

Bodenhorn, Wolfe, and Airen (2010) found that school counselors with higher self-

efficacy were more likely to be aware of achievement gap data and implement the

ASCA National Model than those with lower self-efficacy.

Measures of Counselor Self-Efficacy

Larson and Daniels (1998) define counseling self-efficacy (CSE), as "one's

beliefs or judgments about her or his capabilities to effectively counsel a client in the

near future" (p. 180). The Counseling Self-Estimate Inventory (COSE) measures five

factors of CSE and was developed for use with counseling trainees (Larson et al.,

1992). The instrument was developed and validated over the course of several studies.

The internal reliability for the COSE was a = .93 and the test-retest reliability over a

three week period was r = .74. High CSE, as measured by the COSE, was found to be

correlated with higher self concept, more effective problem solving, and lower state and

trait anxiety. The COSE scores were not significantly correlated with defensiveness or









faking. Level of training, counseling experience, and semesters of training all had

significant effect on COSE scores, but theoretical orientation did not.

The first self-efficacy scale constructed for school counselors was the Counselor

Self-Efficacy Scale (CSS) (Sutton & Fall, 1995). The 33 item scale was adapted from a

teacher self-efficacy scale by replacing the term teacher with school counselor where

appropriate, eliminating irrelevant items, and adding additional items. A draft of the

scale was reviewed by 10 school counselors before making final changes, but no further

steps were taken to test for validity or reliability. A factor analysis revealed underlying

factors within the scale, including efficacy expectancy, individual counseling role

expectancy, and outcome expectancy.

Sutton and Fall (1995) collected data from school counselors using the CSS and

found a relationship between counselor self-efficacy and school climate. School climate

was composed of colleague support, which had the strongest significant relationship

with self-efficacy, and principal support, which was also significantly related to self-

efficacy. Another finding of the study was that school counselors had higher

expectations for outcomes of their services that were within the role of the school

counselor compared to unrelated services.

Citing the need for a valid and reliable instrument for measuring school counselor

self-efficacy, Bodenhorn and Skaggs (2005) constructed and validated the School

Counselor Self-Efficacy Scale (SCSE) for use in the school counseling profession at all

levels of schooling. The SCSE was developed to align with the ASCA national

standards for school counseling. A broad range of school counselor functions are

included in the SCSE, unlike the CSE which considers only counseling clients. The









scale is considered appropriate for different school settings because the focus of self-

efficacy and comprehensive counseling programs are results, not specific strategies

(Aluede et al., 2007; Bodenhorn and Skaggs, 2005).

The SCSE was developed in four studies that involved continual revision

(Bodenhorn & Skaggs, 2005). After being reviewed by experts, the scale was rewritten

and mailed to attendees of the American School Counselor Association conference in

2000. An item analysis was conducted, yielding a reliability of a = .95. An analysis of

variance revealed that group differences were not significant for school setting or race,

but were significant for gender, experience, and training. Females reported higher self-

efficacy than males, school counselors with three or more years of experience had

higher self-efficacy than those with less experience, and individuals who had received

training in the ASCA National Model reported higher self-efficacy than those without

training. The scale was then revised and sent to master's students in counseling

programs along with four other scales to test for construct validity. School counselor

self-efficacy was positively correlated with another self-efficacy estimate and negatively

correlated with state-trait anxiety. There was no significant correlation between school

counselor self-efficacy and social desirability or self-concept. School counselor and

master's student responses were combined for factor analysis and data on validity and

reliability were collected (Bodenhorn & Skaggs).

As Albert Bandura (2006) asserted in his guide for creating self-efficacy scales,

beliefs about self-effiacy are specific to an area of functioning. A self-efficacy scale

should target only factors that impact performance in a particular domain, which is why

a universal measure for self-efficacy does not exist. A scale should accurately









encompass the construct which it measures and differentiate between similar

constructs. For example, the School Counselor Multicultural Self-Efficacy Scale

(SCMES) was developed to measure school counselor's self-efficacy in multicultural

counseling skills (Holcomb-McCoy, Harris, Hines, and Johnston, 2008). The SCSE

addresses cultural competence less broadly and as one of many factors, while the

SCMES focuses exclusively on multicultural counseling skills. Therefore, in order to

measure the perceived self-efficacy of school counselors in managing multiparty

student conflict, a scale must be used that accurately reflects domain of multiparty

student conflict.

Adolescent Development

Students in middle schools are entering a time of significant psychological growth

and physical change and they are in need of support that will help them through their

transition into maturity. The need for intimate friendships and stable relationships is of

particular importance to adolescents, yet maintaining them can be challenging (Daunic,

Smith, Robinson, Miller, & Landry, 2000; Zimmer-Gembeck, Geiger, & Crick, 2005).

Young adolescents receive less adult supervision, are in a larger social environment,

and many are victimized by their peers (Erath & Bierman, 2008). Although negative

interactions can be harmful, positive peer relationships can be a protective factor in

middle school adjustment and academic success.

Group memberships are a vital aspect of adolescent relationships. Peer groups

give adolescents a sense of belonging and serve as models for socially acceptable

behavior (Akos, Hamm, Mack, & Dunaway, 2007). Given the importance of peer

relationships and group memberships, students may need help when conflicts arise

within their social circles or between separate peer groups. According to Scales (2005),









students of middle school age are advanced in some ways while still immature in

others, due to varying individual rates of development and most will need adult

assistance to develop self-control and social skills. Middle school-aged students are

also vulnerable to low self-esteem issues and may perceive themselves as having fewer

assets, such as school engagement, achievement motivation, interpersonal

competence, and bonding to school (Scales, 2005; Wigfield, Lutz, & Wagner, 2005).

Incidences of bullying are highest during the middle school years and fighting is more

prominent than in elementary school. Noakes and Rinaldi (2006) compared peer conflict

between 4th grade and 8th grade students and found that adolescents engage in conflict

more frequently than younger students. The clear need for young adolescents to

develop conflict resolution skills and nurture positive relationships is the reason for

selecting middle school counselors as participants in this study.

Theories of Conflict

Many theories have been used to explain conflict and conflict resolution in

education, but a dominant theory has not been identified in the literature (Sweeney &

Carruthers, 1996). Studies on conflict resolution often fail to connect findings to

theoretical frameworks from conflict resolution literature (Johnson, Johnson, Dudley,

Ward, & Magnuson, 1995). Sweeney and Carruthers suggest that any theory of human

behavior can provide insight into conflict resolution because conflict is a part of

interpersonal relations. Three theories are relevant to this research, two that inform

school conflict resolution programs, and one that is relevant to the social context of

conflict. In school programs, students are taught constructive approaches for dealing

with conflict, such as cooperative problem solving (Bickmore, 2002; Roberts, Yeomans,

Ferro-Almeida, 2007; Uline, Tschannen-Moran, & Perez, 2003). Although not all









researchers tie their conflict resolution approaches to theory, the problem solving and

cooperative approaches are rooted in dual concerns theory and social interdependence

theory (Roberts et al.). Social identity theory was also selected because it takes into

account that disputants may be members of different social groups. This theory may be

useful for conceptualizing aspects of multiparty conflict that dual concerns theory and

interdependence theory do not address.

Dual concerns theory is often used to explain conflicts on the level of the

individual disputant (Sweeney & Carruthers, 1996). While this theory is commonly

used, it does not take into account the interpersonal nature of conflict. Two theories

that explain conflict in terms of relationships are social interdependence theory and

social identity theory. Social interdependence theory explains how relationships within

a group affect conflict (Johnson & Johnson, 1996). Social identity theory can be used to

explain how membership in a group affects conflicts between groups as well as within

groups (Smith & Tyler, 1997).

Dual Concerns Theory

Traditionally, CRE programs emphasize training students how to select a positive

approach for resolving a conflict (Roberts et al., 2007). To explain individual

approaches to conflict, Blake and Morton (1970) constructed a conflict grid, a model that

serves as the basis for dual concerns theory. The model is based on the assumption

that individuals have two motivations in a conflict, concern for production of results, or

meeting one's needs, and concern for people, or the interests of others (Blake &

Morton, 1970; Davis, Capobianco, & Kraus, 2004; Holt & DeVore, 2005; Rhodes &

Carnevale, 1999). Each of the two motivations lies on a continuum of low to high in

strength, and each continuum serves as an axis on the grid. The interaction of these









two motivations results in five conflict styles that Blake and Mouton describe but do not

name. Holt and DeVore call these styles forcing, smoothing, withdrawing

compromising, and problem solving, although others use different terms.

Conflict styles. The logic behind this model is that people will behave in ways

that will enable them to accomplish what is important to them (Holt & Devore, 2005). A

high concern for production, when combined with little concern for others, results in a

forcing approach to conflict. Someone who has a low interest in production but who is

highly concerned with people will use a smoothing approach by sacrificing their needs

to preserve the relationship. Withdrawing, or avoiding conflict, occurs when neither the

relationship nor the outcome is important to the disputant. Compromising occurs when

there is a mid-range concern for both dimensions, but the individual is also willing to

make production and relationship sacrifices. This theory proposes that the most

desirable approach is problem solving, in which the individual is highly motivated in both

aspects (Blake & Mouton, 1970; Holt & Devore, 2005). The goal of a problem solving,

collaborative approach is to meet the needs of both students, which is believed to result

in a productive outcome (Uline et al., 2003).

In a study by Johnson, Johnson, Dudley, and Mitchell (1997), conflict resolution

training led students who started out choosing withdrawing and forcing to choose

problem solving approaches after they were trained. In ratings of management styles,

forcing has been rated as ineffective while problem solving, called initiating negotiation

by Johnson et al. (1997), has been rated as effective. The problem solving approach is

also consistent with the overall goal of improving school climate and creating an

environment that values cooperation.









Measurement. Dual concerns theory recognizes the importance of social

relationships, but is focused on the attributes of the individual rather than the social

system. An individual's style can be tested using instruments such as the Thomas-

Kilmann Instrument, the Negotiating Styles Profile, and Rahim's Organizational Conflict

Inventory (Davis et al., 2004). These instruments measure individuals on five

dimensions based on the dual concerns model. Shell (2001) suggested that styles

reflect social influence and that variance found by the Thomas-Kilmann Instrument is

often a result of the participant's effort to select socially desirable traits instead of their

own. This shows that individuals are not only internally motivated, but that they are also

externally motivated by others.

Social influence. The conflict approaches selected by individuals may also be

influenced by the gender and cultures to which they belong. Holt and Devore (2005)

found females across cultures to use compromising styles more than males. Another

finding was that individuals from collectivist cultures prefer compromising and

withdrawing more often than those from individualistic cultures. Even a person's

position within a group may play a role in how he or she views conflict. Conflict style

seems to be connected to the amount of power one holds in an organization.

Individuals in positions of power were found to use approaches that were more

concerned with production than with relationships, while those in subordinate positions

paid more attention to relationships (Holt & Devore, 2005).

Social Interdependence Theory

Social interdependence theory was conceived by Morton Deutsch, who has

extensively studied cooperation and competition (Deutsch, 1949; Johnson & Johnson,

2003). Social interdependence theory explains conflict as a natural occurrence in social









relationships that can be structured in either a positive or negative way, influencing

outcomes (Roseth, Johnson, & Johnson, 2008). Interdependence refers to the

relationship between the goals of different individuals (Johnson & Johnson, 2005).

When students perceive that their chances of success are dependent on the success of

others, those students are positively interdependent (Abrami, 1994; Johnson & Johson,

2005). Students are negatively interdependent if their success requires others to fail.

Neutral interdependence occurs when student success is perceived as independent of

the success of others. It is also possible for individuals to be positively interdependent

on some goals or an aspect of a goal and negatively interdependent on others

(Deutsch, 1949).

Positive interdependence. Positive interdependence leads to a pattern of

behavior that includes cooperation, helping, and trust, while negative interdependence

causes competitive behavior such as intimidation, coercion, and deception (Deutsch,

1993; Johnson, 2003; Roseth et al., 2008; Uline et al., 2003). In cooperative conflict

resolution, disputants have a mutual goal of resolving a conflict and work together to

reach an agreement. Having a common goal creates positive interdependence

between disputants (Johnson, 2003; Uline, et al.). As a result, disputants are more

likely to work together and trust one another. In this mindset, disputants are more

willing to listen to one another and respect each other, creating a setting in which

conflicts can be resolved constructively. Conflict resolution is best facilitated by an

environment of cooperative learning, which means that cooperation is integrated into

the school and classroom environments (Johnson and Johnson, 2004; Roberts et al.,

2007; Sari, Sari & Otunc, 2008).









In some literature on conflict resolution, the cooperative approach to conflict

resolution is called integrative (Thompson, Peterson, & Brodt, 1996). In an integrative

approach, disputants are able to expand the possible amount of assets through open

discussion and creative problem solving. The integrative approach helps disputants to

discover a common goal that is mutually beneficial and therefore creates positive

interdependence. Integrative conflict resolution is comparable to the problem solving

approach described in dual concerns theory, because the needs of both disputants are

taken into consideration in both approaches.

Negative interdependence. If disputants perceive that their goals are

incompatible, then they are negatively interdependent (Johnson, 2003). Negative

interdependence results in competition instead of cooperation. In competitive conflict

resolution, the disputants perceive that their outcomes are negatively interdependent: in

order for one person to win, the other must lose (Roseth et al., 2008). Competitive

behavior, often referred to as distributive, can be compared to dividing up a fixed

amount of resources, such as dividing a pie (Thompson, Peterson, & Brodt, 1996). In

CRE, the distributive approach is generally discouraged, and the integrative approach is

preferred because the objective is for students to work together cooperatively.

Social Identity Theory

Conflict occurs within a social context; disputants are seen as both individuals

and as members of groups. Social identity theory holds that identity is made up of

individual identity and social identity (Crocker & Luhtanen, 1990; Hornsey & Hogg,

2000). While individual identity consists of beliefs about one's personal attributes,

social identity is constituted of beliefs about one's membership in one or more groups.

In social identity theory, conflict is explained as a power and status struggle between









individuals or groups (Coser, 1957; Tajfel, 1982). Being a member of a commanding

group or having high rank in a group contributes to an individual's positive social

identity, or collective self-esteem. Individuals seek to be members of groups that will

contribute to their social identity positively, and will either leave a group that is

unsatisfactory, learn to justify and accept the group, or try to change the situation

(Tajfel, 1974).

Group strain. Individuals who hold status or power within a group wish to keep

the group structure and their position the same (Coser, 1957). Tension is created

between individuals when those without status or power attempt to acquire these

assets. Similarly, when a group is viewed as having status or power, members of that

group attempt to keep those assets while other groups try to increase their share.

Conflict is viewed as necessary for systems to change and develop, which is in

accordance with traditional school approaches. Strain is present in all groups, but

flexibility prevents explosive conflict that threatens the system. Flexible systems allow

conflict to be expressed openly, and new patterns of behavior emerge that reduce

frustration. A rigid system might be completely broken down by diverging groups.

Group politics are even present in groups of children, who organize themselves around

conflict when it occurs (Maynard, 1985). The organization of the group may change as

the conflict changes.

Identity salience. In the struggle to improve social identity, group members

differentiate themselves from those outside of the group, the out-group. Group

members can improve their collective self image positively through friendly competition,

symbolism, and celebration of the group. If one perceives that social identity is









threatened, then a more negative approach is usually taken. Individuals protect their

identities by stereotyping and discriminating against the out-group. This interferes with

negotiation when one's social identity is salient, because it lessens one's ability to listen

and empathize with the out-group (Smyth, 2002). When a person's individual identity is

more salient than his or her group identity, the group becomes less important.

Importance of social identity theory. Social identity theory suggests that

relationships with others influence decision making and behavior. It also indicates that

the outcomes of conflict resolution impact students' social groups and identity. Kramer,

Pommerenke, and Newton (1993) argue that because disputants are often members of

the same groups including families, cliques, and organizations, negotiation can only be

fully understood if the influences of interpersonal relationships are considered.

Social identity theory helps to explain the tension between individuals and

groups, and provides a framework for conceptualizing conflict. In multiparty conflicts, it

is possible for coalitions of two or more disputants to team up against other disputants.

Members of these coalitions may form group identities and discriminate against other

group members (Polzer, Mannix, & Neale, 1998). Swaab, Postmes, Van Beest, and

Spears (2007) found that increasing shared identity between all the disputants involved

in a multiparty conflict led to more integrative rather than distributive negotiations.

Conflict Resolution Education

Conflict resolution can be defined as a process in which conflicts are resolved

constructively, resulting in improved relationships rather than destructively, resulting in

damaged relationships (Sweeney & Carruthers, 1996). This broad definition includes

many different approaches and spans different types of conflicts, including

organizational and international conflict. This research is focused on conflict resolution









education (CRE), which takes place in a school setting to address conflicts between

students. The focus of CRE is teaching skills and attitudes to students that they can

apply to resolving their conflicts in order to create a positive learning environment

(Casserino & Lane-Garon, 2006; Hydenberk & Hydenberk, 2007; Johnson & Johnson,

2004; Roberts et al., 2007). This overview of CRE covers concepts and skills,

program formats, school climate, and outcomes.

Concepts and Skills

Johnson and Johnson (1995), who have written extensively about CRE, identify

three formats of CRE. Programs may include one or all of these methods as solutions

to conflict. The first way is directly teaching students conflict resolution skills so that

they are able to negotiate their own solutions. Negotiation is a process where two

people in a dispute, called disputants, work through their issues together without outside

help. Students are taught that conflicts can lead to growth and creativity if they are

approached in a positive way. The goal is for students to reach a mutually satisfying

solution, also called an integrative or win-win solution (Johnson & Johnson, 1995; Smith

& Daunic, 2002).

The second way is teaching students to mediate the conflicts of other students

(Garrard & Lipsey, 2007; Johnson & Johnson, 1995). In peer mediation, mediators are

taught procedures to help disputants who may not have any training to listen to each

other, problem solve, and agree to a win-win solution. Mediators do not give advice or

pass judgment; instead they allow disputants to reach their own decisions (Bickmore,

2002). Mediators put their learned skills into practice by intervening in actual conflicts

and are a resource for other students. In addition to helping others with conflict,

mediators serve as role models by demonstrating pro-social behaviors (Lane &









McWhirter, 1992). Planning for mediation is extensive because faculty must decide who

will be trained, convince disputants to seek mediation, find time for mediation to take

place, and provide continuing support for mediators.

The third way to handle conflict is through teacher arbitration, where disputants

tell an adult their sides of the story and the adult acts as a judge. Johnson and Johnson

(1995) recommend that this approach only be offered to students after they have tried

the first two methods so that adult time is not sacrificed and because disputants are

more likely to stick by solutions they come up with on their own. While arbitration is a

well recognized form of dispute resolution in other fields (e.g. Klein & Klein, 2008), most

literature in CRE does not mention arbitration as an option. Instead, CRE literature

focuses on students taking responsibility by learning to negotiate and mediate.

Skill building is an integral part of these programs because without them, good

intentions and other factors are not enough for positive change (Heydenberk,

Heydenberk, and Tzenova, 2006). In one training program, students learned affective

vocabulary, emotional awareness, self regulation, empathy, and conflict resolution

(Heydenberk et al., 2006). Increasing empathy is a common goal of conflict resolution

training. Bullies, according to Heydenberk and others (2006), are high in self-esteem

but lack empathy. Cassinerio and Lane-Garon (2006) paired students with mentors of a

different cultural background to help students take the perspectives of others, which

lead to gains in empathy for all student participants.

Program Formats

Conflict resolution programs in schools differ in how training is offered to

students. The programs are usually categorized by how participants are selected for

training (Garrard & Lipsey, 2007; Johnson & Johnson, 1995; Smith & Daunic, 2002).









Either conflict resolution is embedded in curriculum that is taught to a class or entire

school of students, or a cadre of students is selected for training. DuRant, Barkin, and

Krowchuk (2001) did a study on the former by incorporating conflict resolution and

violence prevention into a health education class curriculum. They were able to train

students while keeping the classroom setting intact. In addition, this approach allowed

for all students to be included in training.

Incorporating conflict resolution into the regular academic curriculum avoids

increasing teacher workload and can help sustain the program (Stevahn, Johnson,

Johnson, Green, & Laginski, 1997). Stevahn and others (1997) used conflict resolution

in Canadian English classes to help students understand a novel and conflict resolution

skills simultaneously. This integrated coursework helped students perform better

academically in recalling and interpreting the novel than students who studied the novel

alone. A factor unaccounted for was that students in the control group did not

participate in group learning, which may be the cause of the differences. Still, in the

experimental group, 85 percent of students showed mastery of the negotiation

procedure.

The Teaching Students To Be Peacemakers (TSP) Program is another example

of a total student body approach (Johnson & Johnson, 2004). The TSP program

includes a 12 year curriculum for students from Elementary to High school that builds

upon previous training each year. Training is ongoing so that negotiation and mediation

procedures and techniques become second nature for students to use. Students first

learn to understand the nature of conflict and different conflict styles. Then, a six step

sequence for negotiation and a four step sequence for mediation are taught.









In Johnson and Johnson's (2004) TSP program, negotiation requires disputants

to take turns describing their goals, feelings, and reasoning. They also take turns

listening to one another and summarizing what they have heard. The next steps involve

problem solving and agreeing to a solution. In mediation, mediators help disputants

cool down emotionally and commit to the process. The mediator then proceeds to help

the disputants go through the steps of negotiation. Most programs include similar

procedures to those in TSP. Nix and Hale (2007) include making introductions and

setting ground rules as a common way to begin mediation. Similarly, the Center for

Conflict Resolution (CCR) includes establishing confidentiality and agreement to

participate as a first step (Bickmore, 2002).

Selecting students for a cadre allows schools to implement the program with

fewer resources (Bickmore, 2002). Cassinerio and Lane-Garon (2006) used a selection

process for their cadre program that welcomed self, peer, teacher, and parent

nominations. Student nominees were evaluated based on written essays, grade point

average, and involvement in extracurricular activities. Peer mediators who were chosen

to participate in a study by Smith, Daunic, Miller, and Robinson (2002) were more

positive about school before training took place and were thought to be successful

students with good communication skills.

Although it is intuitive to choose students who possess skills that might make

them good mediators, peer mediators should be more representative of the student

population to help build trust with potential disputants (Day-Vines & Day-Hairston, 1996;

Smith & Daunic, 2002). Students with a high incidence of conflict might also be good

candidates for training because of the benefits of learning conflict resolution skills.









Cassinerio and Lane-Garon (2006) made exceptions in their selection of mediators for

special cases who might particularly benefit from the training, although no criteria was

given for how the researchers identified such students. Day-Vines and Day-Hairston

assert that students from underrepresented populations should be recruited through

personal invitations and encouragement from trusted teachers, administrators, and

parents.

Training Methods and Application

Common methods for teaching students conflict resolution skills are role plays,

activities, discussion, and instruction. Bandura's concepts of modeling and

observational learning provide the basis for some of these approaches (Bandura, 1965;

Harris, 2005). Student mentors from a university served as models for peer mediators

in Casserino and Lane-Garon's (2006) study mentioned earlier, and Harris (2005) found

that disputants made gains in conflict resolution skills, knowledge, and attitude as a

result of the modeling and reinforcing done by mediators. In the study by DuRant and

others (2001), role play exercises that served as practice were video-taped and the

tapes were used for discussion and to give feedback to participants. Their program for

conflict resolution and violence prevention has its basis in social cognitive theory and is

both didactic and cognitive. By practicing perspective taking in role plays, students'

propensity to consider the thoughts and feelings of others increases (Casserino & Lane-

Garon).

After mediators are trained, they are often recognized with certificates or

identifying clothing which may contribute to the prestige and satisfaction of mediators.

In a study of elementary students by Lane and McWhirter (1992), students were

formally recognized at an assembly and given uniforms to wear on the playground. In









cadre programs and total school programs, students take turns serving as mediators.

Appointed mediators may be visible to students, but do not have the authority to force

mediation or solutions upon other students. Disputants may voluntarily choose peer

mediation to help end a dispute or as an alternative to disciplinary action (Bickmore,

2001). In elementary schools, peer mediators may be assigned to monitor the

playground and attempt to intervene in conflicts (Cunningham et al., 1998).

To ensure that student mediators adhere to conflict resolution models, trainers

provide continuing support and may hand out printed reference sheets with mediation

procedures. Nix and Hale (2007) assert that strict adherence to a script is undesirable

when it leads the mediator to take greater control of the process. Suggesting possible

outcomes or strategies, for example, may limit the disputants' problem solving.

School Climate

Teaching conflict resolution skills and offering peer mediation is part of an overall

effort to improve the climate of the school (Roberts et al. 2007). To complete the effort,

a school-wide cooperative learning environment is desirable. Competitive learning

environments are not conducive to teaching students how to manage conflicts

constructively (Johnson & Johnson, 1995). In cooperative learning, students have

shared goals, work together, and help each other learn. Johnson and Johnson (1995)

name three levels, classroom, school, and district, where cooperation should occur.

They posit that students should work together, as should teachers and schools.

Uline, Tschannen-Moran, & Perez (2003) also stress shared goals and

interdependence as important to team functioning. Cultural norms inform members of

an organization whether conflict, diversity of opinion, and other behaviors are

acceptable (Uline et al.). Uline and others found that teachers preferred working in









isolation to working with their peers and risking conflict. If teachers and other school

community members are uncomfortable with conflict, they are not creating room for

different points of view which allows constructive conflicts to occur. The most

successful environments are those that support both cooperative work and diversity of

thought. Cassinerio and Lane-Garon (2006) started a mediation program at a school

with low ratings of school climate. Improving the climate by reducing destructive

conflicts was one of the goals of administration at the school. A year after

implementation, more students rated the school climate favorably, and peer mediators

had more favorable ratings than other students.

Adult Roles

Faculty members are asked to schedule time for mediation to occur, motivate

mediators and disputants to participate, and coach mediators (Bickmore, 2002). Faculty

involvement is also needed to train mediators, evaluate program effectiveness, and

promote cooperation. It is emphasized that the adult role is to train and support

students, and scarce attention is paid to the adult as a mediator or arbitrator. Bickmore

(2002) found that adult monitoring of mediation detracts from confidentiality and may

cause a loss of student confidence, trust in adults, and interest in mediation. An

alternative to adult trainers is to have youth who graduate from participating schools

serve as trainers for peer mediators.

For special programs to be a success, the support and effort of faculty must be

earned. Not all faculty members are willing or able to contribute to school change in the

same capacity. Some faculty members may be reluctant to divert from traditional

discipline procedures for handling conflict (Matloff & Smith, 1999). It may also be

uncomfortable for faculty to relinquish control to students. Cunningham et al. (1998)









found that teachers were unskilled in detecting playground conflicts, which may limit

their ability to evaluate program effectiveness.

Program plans usually include training for involved teachers so that they have the

skills that they will pass onto students. As the demand for conflict resolution programs

grows, so does the need for faculty training in the area. Beginning teachers see conflict

resolution as one of the most significant areas in their education (Leighfield & Trube,

2005). Leighfield and Trube surveyed students in Ohio teacher education programs to

identify how conflict management education is addressed. Forty-nine percent of

respondents agreed to some degree that their teacher education programs prepared

them for conflict management. Before educators can teach students these skills, they

must receive conflict management education themselves.

Only one of the conflict resolution programs reviewed included a partnership

between school and family. The Alternative to Suspension for Violent Behavior (ASVB)

program is a violence prevention program that teaches conflict resolution skills to

students and parents (Bruenlin et al., 2002). Students can reduce their suspensions by

participating in the program at a nearby facility and families are invited by the school

principal to join in the training. Students who participated in the program had a reduced

rate of detention and none were expelled. Resources from the family institute were

critical to including families in the training; however, few schools may be able to offer

the same level of support.

Outcomes

Literature on conflict resolution programs has been criticized for being mostly

descriptive and not showing efficacy (Cunningham et al., 1998; Johnson et al., 1997;

Smith et al., 2002). Garrard and Lipsey (2007) point out that studies on conflict









resolution are weak due to "a shortage of well-controlled research designs, low

generalizability, poor outcome measures, and indistinct boundaries for what constitutes

a CRE program," (p. 12). Cantrell (2007) notes that research on peer mediation is often

conducted with small subgroups and volunteers. More research is needed that is based

on empirical evidence rather than anecdotal evidence, evaluates long term outcomes,

examines diverse populations, and is tied to theory (Stevahn, Munger, & Kealy, 2005)

Current authors cite these shortcomings as a need for their research on the

effectiveness of conflict resolution programs. According to Burrell, Zirbel, and Allen

(2003), programs are measured on four categories of outcomes: behavioral indicators,

participant perceptions, personality factors, and mediation outcomes. Mediation

outcomes refer to the number of conflicts successfully mediated. Multiple methods for

data collection are used to provide a clearer picture of program effectiveness. For

example, interviews can provide more information about how children make decisions

on how to handle conflict than observations alone (Peterson & Peterson, 1990).

A study by Harris (2005), explored whether disputants participating in peer

mediation learned skills for resolving conflicts. Social cognitive theories suggest that

the modeling of behaviors by peer mediators facilitates observational learning on the

part of the disputants, (Harris). Data was collected from participants at three schools

using ten new and altered instruments from the Comprehensive Peer Mediation

Evaluation Project. The instruments included surveys, interview schedules, an

observation form, and a summary report form. In addition, data were collected from

administrative records. Harris found that disputants made positive changes in conflict

resolution knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Disputants resolved 90 percent of their









conflicts and their discipline referrals were reduced 60 percent after mediation took

place.

A meta-analytic review by Burrell et al. (2003) found that research strongly

supports the effectiveness of peer-mediation programs. Students are able to learn skills

that help others reach win-win solutions and are highly satisfied with the programs.

School records indicated a 68 percent decrease in behavioral problems, which was

greater than what participants perceived the change to be. The implications of the

review are that best practices should be established and that mediation should be

furthered in schools and in the community. Another meta-analysis was conducted by

Garrard and Lipsey in 2007 on the affects of conflict resolution programs on antisocial

behaviors. They found that participants in conflict resolution programs made significant

improvements in problem behaviors. Larger effects were found for older students and

smaller effect sizes were found for children under the age of 10.

Studies using pretest-posttest designs. Several studies have used pretest-

posttest designs. DuRant and colleagues (2001) used a quasi-experimental pretest-

posttest control group design to evaluate a conflict resolution and violence prevention

curriculum. Although the participants were not randomly assigned, the control group

and experimental group were not significantly different on any demographic

characteristic. The measure used was a five item scale assessing frequency of fighting

and weapon carrying, given two weeks prior to the start of the intervention and again

two weeks after it ended. The control group increased its use of violence and intention

to use violence while violent acts decreased for the experimental group.









Roberts, White, and Yeomans (2004) evaluated the program, Project WIN

(Working out Integrated Negotiations), aimed at teaching negotiation to students and

transforming the social climate. Students participate in teambuilding classroom

activities and discussions in order to change the climate from competitive to

cooperative. According to social interdependence theory, cooperative attitudes will lead

to liking, trust, calmness, and reduced hostility that are conducive to problem solving.

Fifth grade participants took the Cooperative Attitudes Toward Classmates and Toward

Conflict Questionnaire as a pre and posttest. The treatment group made greater gains

in cooperative attitude, specifically in terms of liking and teamwork, but there was no

increase in trust. Eighty-five percent of students in the treatment group were found to

achieve a mastery of the subject as measured by a quiz on integrative negotiation skills.

However, the authors note that more research is needed on whether students apply

their skills and knowledge to natural settings.

Cantrell's 2007 study evaluates how school violence is affected by the Peace Pal

elementary school peer mediation program longitudinally. Data was collected from pre

and post-training questionnaires given to peer mediators, as well as from mediation

contracts, and school records. Over a five year period after the implementation of the

Peace Pal program, out-of-school suspensions were reduced.

Heydenberk and others (2006) used a pretest-posttest comparison group design

in their study. Classrooms were kept intact to keep students in their natural setting.

Students were not randomly assigned and the control group did not receive training.

Bullying behaviors were reduced while problem solving and students' sense of safety

increased. The comparison group design controls for maturation, history, testing, and









instrumentation. A drawback of comparing groups of mediators against non-mediators

is that of not providing treatment for the control group, in this case mediation training.

Smith and colleagues (2002) used a delayed treatment design, avoiding this issue.

Unlike most other studies, their assignment of students to be mediators was random.

Researchers studying conflict resolution programs often collect data about

participants and use self reports to learn about the perspectives and decision making

processes of students. Smith and others (2002) argued that programs also need to be

tested for social validity to show that disputants are willing to participate in peer

mediation. They measured the effectiveness of their program by surveying students'

and teachers' attitudes of school climate as well as examining school records of

discipline referrals. Harris (2005) studied participants from three schools using ten new

and altered instruments from the Comprehensive Peer Mediation Evaluation Project.

These instruments were pilot tested multiple times to increase construct validity. The

instruments included surveys, interview schedules, an observation form, and a

summary report form. In addition, data were collected from administrative records. The

study shows that disputants made positive changes in conflict resolution knowledge,

attitudes, and behaviors. An implication may be that peer mediation could be offered to

disputants as a learning opportunity.

In a study of conflict resolution in inner-city elementary schools, Bickmore (2002)

gathered qualitative data from 28 schools and quantitative data from 18 schools. The

study taught cadres of third to fifth grade students peer mediation based on the

Elementary School Initiative of the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) in Cleveland,

Ohio. After one year of the program, student's attitudes, as measured by the Student









Attitudes About Conflict (SAAC) survey, improved in inclination to solve problems

peacefully and to participate in school. Boys' scores were the most improved at the

completion of the program. In addition to surveys, interviews, and observations,

Bickmore used academic indicators to support conflict resolution programs. For schools

participating in the CCR program study, pass rates on the Ohio Proficiency tests

increased significantly more than the district average in the subjects of citizenship and

reading achievement (Bickmore, 2002). Qualitative data indicated that school climate

was most improved in schools that fully implemented the program.

CRE limitations. Some findings have provided insight to limitations of conflict

resolution programs. In programs where mediators act as monitors, presence of

mediators may be responsible for change in behavior. As a result of peer mediators

present on an elementary school playground, observers saw a reduction in physical

aggression of at least 51 percent on the playground. Cunningham et al. (1998) saw that

the number of mediators monitoring the playground contributed to the positive

outcomes. With fewer mediators present, aggressive behavior returned to baseline

levels. For the program to work, a strong force of mediators is needed. Unlike Johnson

and other's (1997) study, McFarland & Culp's (1992) study of student conflict styles did

not show conflict resolution training to have an impact. Conflict resolution programs

teach the belief that problem solving is the most useful approach for resolving conflicts.

Measurement of conflict styles. To assess the impact of conflict resolution

training on conflict styles, McFarland & Culp (1992) selected the Organizational Conflict

Communication Instrument (OCCI). The OCCI defines three conflict styles that are

similar to forcing, avoiding, and problem solving styles described in dual concerns









theory. No significant difference was found in the use of problem solving conflict styles

between trained students and untrained students. A gender difference was shown in

problem solving with females utilizing the style more than males.

Another instrument used to measure conflict styles is CONFLICTALK, which

differentiates between types of messages students use to express themselves on the

subject of conflict (Kimsey & Fuller, 2003; Laca, Alzate, Sanchez, Verdugo, & Guzman,

2006). CONFLICTALK defines only three styles including problem-solving, self-focus,

and other-focus (Kimsey & Fuller, 2003). Self-focus is a forcing type style and other-

focus is a combination of the avoiding and smoothing styles.

Multiparty Conflict

Conflicts with more than two students are absent from the conflict resolution

literature in the field of education. In other fields, such as law, international

negotiations, and organizational disputes, these conflicts are called multiparty conflicts

(Crump & Glendon, 2003). The literature base on multiparty conflict is limited and only

a handful of authors have begun to describe the complex process of resolving conflicts

between more than two people. As shown in Figure 2-1, however, the existing literature

does serve as the basis to form a framework for conceptualizing multiparty conflict. The

conceptual framework shows how two elements, structure of the conflict and disputant

characteristics, influence the CR process, which then leads to either an integrative or

distributive outcome of a multiparty conflict.

Structure

The term structure is used to describe how a conflict is composed, and depends

on the number of participants and sides taken in the conflict. Crump and Glendon

(2003) define the term "party" as a person able to make and communicate decisions in









a negotiation or mediation. A mediator does not qualify as a party because mediators

are neutral and do not have the power to make decisions.

Number of parties and sides. Three or more parties must be involved for a

conflict to be considered multiparty. Multiparty conflicts can also differ in the number of

sides, or positions, that are taken by the disputants. A multiparty conflict is bilateral if

there are more than three parties, but only two sides of a conflict are presented. An

example of a bilateral multiparty conflict is when two people take one side and one

person takes another side in a dispute. A multiparty conflict becomes multilateral when

there are three or more sides to the dispute. Three people each arguing their own side

to a conflict would be considered a multilateral conflict. Multilateral conflicts are always

multiparty, but multiparty conflicts can either be bilateral or multilateral.

Coalitions. When two or more parties cooperate to increase their mutual

outcomes without considering the outcomes for the group as a whole, a coalition is

formed (Crump & Glendon, 2003; Polzer et al., 1998). Coalitions may be stable, or they

may have non-cooperative relations if they disagree on some issues (Crump &

Glendon, 2003). While dyadic conflicts are always balanced with one disputant on each

side of the conflict, multiparty conflicts can be asymmetrical (Beersma & De Dreu,

2002). Asymmetry occurs in negotiations where a majority is formed against a minority

of group members. Beersma and De Dreu set up a study where symmetry was

manipulated in a multiparty negotiation. They found that asymmetrical task structure

was associated with distributive negotiating behaviors, lower joint outcomes, and less

positive group climate.









Polzer, Mannix, and Neale assigned interests to participants in their 1998 study

and found that negotiators formed coalitions to increase their outcomes. Although

minority parties were included in the final agreement to increase the total resources for

the whole group, coalition members did not sacrifice personal gains to increase group

gains. Overall, minority members received fewer resources. Coalitions were found to

be relatively stable and coalition members were more unified in their demands.

Coalitions are likely to benefit members who belong to the coalition at the cost of those

who are excluded. Parties may be members of different coalitions within the same

conflict as it suits their interests (Susskind, Mnookin, Rozdeiczer, & Fuller, 2005).

Disputant Contributions

The various ways that disputants influence the process and the outcome of a

conflict can be defined as disputant contributions. The dynamic process of a conflict is

impacted both by disputants' individual beliefs and experiences as well as their

relationships and interactions with each other. The contributions made by disputants are

relationships, power, entitlement cues, and motivation. These four contributions have

been found to affect whether or not disputants take an integrative or a distributive

approach to resolving conflict (e.g. Kim, 1999; Polzer et al., 1998; Ten Velden,

Beersma, & De Dreu, 2007; Thompson, Peterson, & Brodt, 1996).

Relationships. Relationships include the concepts of shared identity, shared

cognition, and friendship, and are related to the formation of coalitions. As shown in

Figure 2-1, positive and negative relationships between the involved parties are likely to

play a part in how coalitions are formed, and the coalitions are likely to affect the

relationships as well. Peer relationships and group memberships are a noteworthy









concern for adolescents because of their need for intimacy and peer approval (Akos et

al., 2007).

Shared cognition refers to knowledge, mental models, and understanding that

members of a group have in common (Swaab et al. 2007). Shared cognitions arise

from interactions and experiences that group members have related to a task. Social

identity theory maintains that group members identify with and are influenced by group

standards. Group members distinguish between the ingroup and outgroup, leading to

stereotyping. Identification with a group can encourage cooperative, prosocial behavior.

Swaab and others (2007) manipulated shared cognition and shared identity in a series

of three studies by giving participants varying types of opportunities for interaction

before completing negotiations. They used questionnaires with scales for shared

identity and shared cognition to test their manipulations. The researchers found that

shared cognition and shared identity are related and that they both positively influence

integrative negotiation.

Thompson, Peterson, and Brodt (1996) compared negotiations taking place

between teams that were made up of strangers and teams consisting of friends. The

researchers found results that contradicted their hypothesis that teams of friends would

have an advantage because friendship is related to trust and cohesion. Teams that

were made up of strangers were better judges of their opponents' interests and came

up with more integrative solutions than teams of friends. A possible explanation is that

teams of friends could be more concerned with agreeing with each other than exploring

integrative solutions.









Power. The amount of power individuals have is related to the value they add to

possible coalitions and how dependent others are on them (Polzer et al., 1998). Power

can also be defined as the ability to gain outcomes at the expense of others (Sell,

Lovaglia, Mannix, Samuelson, & Wilson, 2004). As shown in Figure 2-1, power plays a

role in how coalitions are formed and can give parties leverage in a negotiation. Parties

with low power may form coalitions to increase their power in negotiating with a more

powerful opponent (Caplow, 1956). Kim (1999) found that excluding low power parties

from the negotiation process led to less integrative outcomes.

Entitlement cues. Power is also related to entitlement cues, which inform

individuals about how resources should be fairly distributed (Polzer et al., 1998).

Power, the contribution of that each party is able to make to the group's outcomes, is

often used as an entitlement cue. Individuals prefer resources to be distributed in ways

that benefit them. Parties with low power are likely to prefer equal distributions while

higher power parties are likely to demand a larger share for those who make greater

contributions. Polzer, Mannix, & Neale (1998) found that entitlement cues played a role

in how parties were able to negotiate for greater resources. When the entitlement cues

were in favor of low power parties, they were able to increase their outcomes.

Motivation. It is obvious that disputants are interested in protecting their own

interests, but researchers have also examined how disputants act in the interest of the

group as a whole (Gillespie, Brett, & Weingart, 2000; Ten Velden, Beersma, & De Dreu,

2007). Prosocially motivated disputants have an interest in increasing group outcomes.

Proself, or egotistically motivated disputants are interested in increasing individual

outcomes. Ten Velden, Beersma, & De Dreu found that when negotiators were









prosocially motivated rather than proself motivated, they were more likely to problem

solve and find an integrative solution. Beersma, & De Dreu (2002) manipulated

disputant motivation by promising rewards for either the highest group outcomes or the

highest individual outcomes. They found that in asymmetrical conflicts when

unanimous agreement was needed for a solution, egotistically motivated disputants

engaged in more distributive behaviors and fewer integrative behaviors.

Gillespie and others (2000) examined a stable form of motivation they termed

Social Value Orientation. They found that negotiators with individualistic motivation were

less satisfied with their outcomes than negotiators who were prosocial. Motivational

orientation was manipulated by instructing negotiators that their goals were either to

focus only on their own outcomes or to try to maximize both individual and group

outcomes. However, this was not found to have a significant impact on satisfaction.

Process

The complexity of multiparty conflicts requires a different process of conflict

resolution than is used with dyadic conflicts. Susskind and others (2005) recommend

creating a checklist of decisions needing to be made about the process when preparing

for a multiparty conflict. Some approaches used in mediating or negotiating dyadic

conflicts may also be used in resolving multiparty conflicts, but decision rule, mediator

style, and meeting structure are different in multiparty conflicts.

Decision rule. Decision rules determine how an agreement will be decided

between parties. Decision rule is not an issue in dyadic conflicts because the rule is

always that both parties must agree to a solution (Beersma & De Dreu, 2002). In

multiparty conflicts, an agreement can be decided by unanimity rule, when all parties

agree, or by majority rule, when most parties agree. When negotiations are









asymmetrical, with an unequal number of parties agreeing on issues, majority rule gives

more power to coalitions (Ten Velden et al., 2007). On the other hand, unanimity rule

gives minority members veto power, or the ability to block an agreement. Either one of

these decision rules creates the risk of one or more parties preventing an integrative

agreement from being reached.

Mediator style and number of mediators. When mediators become involved in

handling multiparty conflicts, they must consider who they will work with, what style they

will use, and how they will structure meetings with the disputants (Crocker, Hampton, &

Aall, 2001; Kim, 1997; Louis, 1999). Mediators may choose to work with one or more

co-mediators in handling a multiparty mediation. A school counselor for example, often

collaborates with others such as administrators, teachers, and other counselors. When

more than one mediator is involved, common understanding of the conflict and a

common sense of a solution is needed to prevent confusion of the parties (Crocker et

al.). Multiple mediators can encounter communication problems while handing off the

stage from one mediator to another. Having multiple mediators also expends greater

resources, which may be wasteful. Mediators working together have the additional task

of sticking to a common script and developing common objectives. They should also

define what role each will play in the process (Louis).

Louis' (1999) Challenges in Multiparty Environmental Mediation shows how three

different mediation styles can fit the complex process of multiparty mediation with

attention given to environmental issues. The doubt and dissonance style challenges

each party's thinking to motivate the party and make room for new options. Using the

interest-based option generation style, the mediator acts as a facilitator and aims to help









parties discuss interests, intentions, options, and possible outcomes. The hypothesis

generation and testing style begins with the negotiators to coming up with their versions

of the fairest possible outcome. The mediator asks questions and actively listens to

make hypotheses successively closer to the best possible solution, incorporating the

interests of both parties. When co-mediators are used, they should agree to which style

to use.

Meeting structure. Mediators have a choice to meet with disputants at the same

time, in joint meetings, or in separate meetings called caucuses. A joint session allows

all parties to be heard and participate in discussion, which can facilitate a mutual

agreement. Caucuses are useful when parties want to meet privately without other

individuals present, or when a mediator finds it difficult to manage the parties because

of heightened emotions or the number of parties present. A potential drawback of

caucuses are that they have been found to increase competitiveness and result in less

inclusive outcomes than joint sessions (Kim, 1997).

Mediators may choose to caucus with parties prior to the mediation to gather

information and make decisions about the mediation process (Max, 1999). This

includes deciding who will represent each side and if they will be unified as a group or

stand as individuals. An added complication of multiparty mediations is that parties on

the same side may have various interests and goals. The mediator must consider how

a group goal relates to each individual's goals. It may be necessary to work with each

person separately to reach everyone's goals.

Caucuses that take place during mediations or negotiations can either be

symmetrical or asymmetrical (Kim, 1997). Symmetrical caucusing gives each party a









chance to meet with each of the other parties, while asymmetrical caucusing occurs

when only some parties are given the chance to meet privately to the exclusion of

others. Kim (1997) investigated how caucusing can affect the outcomes in multilateral

negotiations. The results suggest all parties should be included in meetings so that all

of their resources can be explored and more integrative outcomes can be reached. The

inclusion of parties with low power was found to be especially important in increasing

integrative outcomes. The findings also implicate that negotiators who are excluded

from early negotiation can still improve their outcomes by breaking into the discussion.

Multiparty Conflict Resolution Outcomes

The ultimate goal of CR is to reach an integrative outcome that is mutually

beneficial and positive for all parties as opposed to a distributive and perhaps negative

result. For adolescents, a positive outcome might mean increased ability to understand

different points of view, find creative solutions, and improve friendships (Scott, 2008). A

negative outcome, on the other hand, could result in the loss of friendship, social

isolation, or detachment from school.

Multiparty Conflicts in Schools

Although there are current benefits for administrators, teachers, and students

who establish and participate in dyadic conflict CR programs, most do not consider how

multiparty disputes can be successfully resolved. To a limited extent, studies about

multiparty conflicts from professions other than education may help to inform future

research, however, the structure, disputant contributions, and process of conflicts

among middle school students may be markedly disparate from other populations

studied. Applying adult population multiparty conflict research findings to a school

setting is challenging because it has limited generalizability to middle school students.









Unlike what would take place in a middle school, the studies are generally based on

researcher-constructed scenarios acted out by adult volunteers (e.g. Beersma & De

Dreu, 2002; Kim, 1999; Polzer et al., 1998; Ten Velden et al., 2007). Given what is

currently known about multiparty conflicts, implications for educators may be drawn if

the unique characteristics of middle school students are considered.

For application in a middle school setting, multiparty CR research is needed that

captures the structure, disputant contributions, and process that leads to successful

outcomes of naturally occurring conflicts among middle school students. Student

disputes that arise from gossiping, excluding friends from activities, verbal harassment,

teasing, or arguing over failed responsibility for completing a group assignment in class

are examples that reflect the school setting and situations in which students are

involved. Middle school students may be influenced and motivated by factors that are

specific to their age and situation.

Application of Theory to the Study

Dual concerns theory, social interdependence theory, and social identity theory

provide a theoretical framework for understanding student conflict and the process of

conflict resolution. Dual concerns theory focuses on individual student approaches to

conflict resolution, while social interdependence theory emphasizes cooperative

relationships, and social identity theory considers the influence of group memberships.

Theories of conflict indicate that some approaches to conflict resolution are more

effective than others, which may also be true of school counselor approaches for

managing multiparty student conflicts.

The fourth research question investigates the degree to which school counselors'

approaches for mediating multiparty conflicts are informed by theory. Participants were









asked to rate how likely they are to use approaches based in each of the three theories

of conflict. Their responses show which theories they are informed by and how

frequently they approach multiparty conflicts in a way that aligns with each of the three

theories of conflict.

In addition to theories of conflict, another theory informing this research is self-

efficacy theory. A main variable of interest in this study is school counselor perceived

self-efficacy because of the impact self-efficacy has on behavior. Self-efficacy theory

suggests that school counselors' motivation and persistence in managing multiparty

conflicts is impacted by their beliefs about their ability to succeed. The behaviors that

are involved in managing a multiparty conflict successfully are rooted in the three

theories of conflict resolution as well as the framework for conceptualizing multiparty

conflict.

Summary

Managing student conflicts is in alignment with the counselor's role in improving

student social, personal, and academic development. Defining the counselor's role in

managing student conflict is part of the task of clarifying the role of the school

counselor. To clarify their role in conflict management, information is needed about how

counselors act as leaders, collaborators, advocates, and change agents to help

students resolve conflicts and improve the school climate. School counselors'

perceived self-efficacy is also of importance because it has an impact on their

motivation, persistence, and ability to carry out these functions.

Students in middle school have a developmental need to maintain positive peer

relationships, which is why conflict resolution skills are important to this age group

(Daunic et al., 2000; Zimmer-Gembeck et al., 2005). CRE programs are often used in









schools to manage student conflict, but vary in design and content. CRE may involve

training the entire school or a cadre of selected students. The role of the counselor in

implementing a conflict resolution program may vary depending on the school and

program used. These programs are rooted in dual concerns theory and social

interdependence theory, which promote the use of cooperative or problem solving

approaches to conflict resolution.

Literature in the field of education focuses solely on dyadic conflicts, ignoring the

possibility of multiparty conflicts between students. Social identity theory suggests that

social groups play a role in conflicts. Researchers in the fields of law, international

negotiations, and organizational disputes have begun to define the issues and

processes unique to multiparty conflict (Crump & Glendon, 2003). However, the

applicability of this literature to student conflicts is limited. Much of the research on

multiparty conflict uses researcher constructed scenarios and volunteers who have no

prior relationships with each other (Beersma & De Dreu, 2002; Gillespie et al., 2000;

Swaab et al. 2007). Students and the school environment have their own unique

characteristics that are different from the populations studied by multiparty researchers.

Further research is needed to understand how multiparty conflicts are handled in

schools as well as how school counselors perceive their role and self-efficacy in

managing these conflicts. The following chapter describes the methodology of the

current study.




































Figure 2-1. Framework for conceptualizing multiparty conflict.











CHAPTER 3
METHODOLOGY


Overview

The purpose of this study was to examine school counselors' perceived role and

self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Additionally, this study examined

the prevalence of multiparty conflicts in middle schools, how school counselors manage

multiparty student conflicts and whether their approaches are informed by theory. The

study aims to provide an understanding of how middle school counselors are involved in

managing multiparty student conflicts and whether or not they believe they are

efficacious in this role. Variables, population, sampling procedures, data collection,

design of the study, data analysis, and instrumentation are presented in this chapter.

Variables

The variables of interest can be grouped into research variables and descriptive

variables (see Table 3-1). The research variables included school counselor self-

efficacy, percent of multiparty conflict, type of delivery, and theoretical approach. The

descriptive variables provided further insight into school counselors' perceptions of

multiparty conflicts in various school settings, but were not part of the posed research

questions. The descriptive variables included those that describe the school counselor

and those that describe the school. The variables describing the school counselor were

gender, ethnicity, years of school counseling experience, years of employment at school

of employment, education, and training in conflict resolution. The variables describing

the school were location, size, student-to-counselor ratio, percent of low-income









students, frequency of student conflict, gender composition of the disputants, and

school support in managing multiparty student conflicts.

Research Variables

The research variables were used to test the research hypotheses. The

research variables included school counselor self-efficacy, percent of multiparty

conflicts, type of delivery, and theoretical approach.

School counselors' perceptions of self-efficacy indicated whether or not they

believed they were able to successfully manage multiparty student conflicts. The

degree of perceived self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflicts was measured

by self-reported responses on the Multiparty Conflict Management Self-Efficacy Scale

(MCMSS) that was embedded within the survey. Percent of multiparty conflict was

defined as the percent of all student conflicts brought to a school counselor's attention

that are multiparty. Type of delivery was defined as the method of providing multiparty

conflict services to students and include the following types: mediation, arbitration,

individual counseling, small group counseling, training peer mediators, collaborating

with others, teaching conflict resolution skills to large groups, other types of delivery,

and none of the above. Theoretical approach was defined as the degree of likelihood

that a school counselor uses an approach to mediation informed by one of three

theories: social interdependence theory, dual concerns theory, and social identity

theory.

Descriptive Variables

The descriptive variables provided insight into the background of the participants

and their school environments. Gender was defined as either male or female as self-

reported by respondents. Ethnicity was defined as African American (not of Hispanic









origin), Asian or Pacific Islander, Hispanic, Native American, White, not of Hispanic

origin, Multi-ethnic, or Other as reported by respondents. School counseling experience

was defined as the number of years reported by the respondents. Education was

defined as the highest level of education in school counseling received and was self-

reported by respondents as master's degree in school counseling, specialist's degree in

school counseling, doctorate in school counseling, or no degree in school counseling.

Training in conflict resolution was defined by respondents' self report as college

coursework, seminar or workshop, certificate program, or other.

School location was defined as urban, suburban, or rural as self-reported by

respondents. School size was defined by the total number of students enrolled at the

school, as respondents reported. Student-to-counselor ratio was determined by dividing

the number of students enrolled at the school, by the number of counselors working at

the school. Percent of low-income students was defined as the percentage of students

eligible for free and reduced lunch as reported by the respondents. Frequency of

conflict was reported as the degree of frequency to which student conflicts were brought

to the attention of school counselors. Gender composition of the disputants was

defined as the percentages of multiparty conflicts that took place among all males, all

females, and a mix of males and females. School support was reported by respondents

as the degree to which school counselors, peer mediators/facilitators, teachers, and

administrators were involved in managing student conflicts.

Population

The population of interest was middle school counselors belonging to the

American School Counseling Association (ASCA). ASCA members include school

counselors from across the United States who practice at different levels of schooling in









addition to professionals in related settings, such as community agencies, state

governments, and universities. Members of ASCA receive access to professional

publications and online resources, as well as opportunities for professional development

and peer networking. By belonging to ASCA, members show a concern for staying

informed and connecting with other professionals.

Sampling Procedures

Participants were sampled from the American School Counselor Association

(ASCA) Directory. ASCA members include school counselors from all parts of the

United States who practice at different levels of schooling. The ASCA member directory

was used as a sampling frame. Only members who were identified as working in a

middle school setting and who had listed email addresses were selected, because the

survey was distributed online. In order to collect accurate data about the frequency of

multiparty conflicts in schools, school counselors were excluded if they had been

employed at a school for less than one year as indicated by self-report on the survey.

This additional criterion ensured that participants had adequate experience with their

school's climate and population.

As of December 7, 2009, the total number of members listed in the ASCA

member directory was 22,348. Only members who had email addresses listed under

the category of Midde/Junior High work setting were included in the sample. As of

December 7, 2009, the number of members listed under the Middle/Junior High work

setting category was 2,120. Out of this group of members 1,878 had listed email

addresses. After sending out invitations to the list, some mail was automatically

returned due to errors with the email addresses. In addition, responses were received

from school counselors who were not practicing at the middle school level, disqualifying









them for inclusion in the study. After removing invalid and unqualified email addresses,

the resultant sample was 1,723. The necessary sample size (Ns) for ensuring a 95%

confidence interval, assuming the maximum population heterogeneity of a 50/50 split, is

calculated using the following formula: Ns = ( (1- (Dillman, 2007). After
(,p -l)(!) + (p)(l-p)

(1723) (.&)(1-.5) 31.
substituting, Ns =-(3(( = 315.
(172 3-1) + .)(1-.

A total of 386 responses were received, resulting in a 22% response rate. Of

those responses, 357 met all of the criteria for inclusion in the study. Online surveys

generally have a lower response rate than traditional mail surveys (Granello & Wheaton,

2004). Two similar studies that used online surveys to access school counselors who

were members of ASCA had response rates of 17% (Leibach, 2008) and 44% (Steen,

Bauman, & Smith, 2007).

Data Collection

A pre-notice letter was emailed to respondents three days before sending the

invitation to participate in the research study (see Appendix A). Pre-notice letters do not

require any action to be taken by the recipient and serve to build their interest and

anticipation (Dillman, 2007). The invitation letter was sent to the selected school

counselors by email, informing them of the nature and purpose of the study (see

Appendix B). The letter also invited them to participate in the study by following a link to

an online survey. A third email was sent reminding sample members about the study

14 days after the invitation letter was sent. A final reminder that also thanked

respondents for their participation was emailed 14 days after the previous letter.









Dillman recommends making multiple contacts with participants to maximize the

response to a survey, sending reminders in two to four week increments.

Once participants chose to access the online survey, they first viewed a brief

welcome screen. The purpose of a welcome screen, according to Dillman (2007) is to

inform the respondent that they have reached the correct website and to instruct them

on how to proceed. In order to proceed, respondents entered a password listed in their

email. Without requiring a password to be entered, researchers run the risk of including

respondents who are not part of the desired sample (Dillman, 2007; Van Selm &

Jankowksi, 2006). After the welcome screen, participants viewed a statement of

informed consent and were required to give their informed consent before proceeding to

the survey (see Appendix C). Participants who did not give their consent were

redirected to the end of the survey.

Design of the Study

The method used in this study was a cross-sectional survey design. With this

design, data is collected from participants at one point in time (Creswell, 2008). It is

appropriate to use a cross-sectional survey design for collecting data about attitudes,

beliefs, opinions, or practices. The instrument used was a researcher-designed online

survey. Online surveys allow respondents to respond anonymously and eliminate

interviewer bias (Van Selm & Jankowski, 2006). Using an online survey saved

resources and allowed for a larger number of participants to be contacted for inclusion

in the study. In addition to being cost efficient, online surveys also save time (Granello

& Wheaton, 2004). The response time is minimal and because respondents enter their

own data and results are received instantaneously. In addition, online surveys allow the









researcher greater control over the formatting. The researcher can specify that the

respondent choose only one answer or skip to another section automatically.

In this study, the survey was used to collect data about the beliefs and practices

of middle school counselors. Members of ASCA who were categorized as middle

school counselors were surveyed on their school setting, personal background, degree

of involvement in managing multiparty conflicts, how they approach multiparty conflict,

and the degree of self-efficacy they perceive to have in managing these conflicts.

Data Analysis

For each research question, a specific approach was taken to analyze and

interpret the data. The research questions are listed below, followed by the data

analysis approach that was taken.

1. What is the degree of school counselor self-efficacy in managing multiparty
conflict?

For the first research question, the degree of school counselor self-efficacy in

managing multiparty conflict was estimated by computing a 95% confidence interval for

the average score on the self-efficacy scale for managing multiparty conflicts. A 95%

confidence interval is a range of values that has a 95% probability of containing the

population parameter (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2007).

2. What percent of student conflicts that are encountered by school counselors are
multiparty?

For the second research question, the percent of multiparty student conflicts

encountered by school counselors was estimated by computing a 95% confidence

interval.

3. What types of delivery do school counselors use to manage multiparty conflicts?









For the third research question, the degree to which school counselors use each

type of delivery in managing multiparty conflict was estimated by computing 95%

confidence intervals for the average score for each type of delivery.

4. What theoretical approaches inform school counselors in mediating multiparty
conflicts?

For the fourth research question, the degree to which school counselors are likely

to use an approach based in each theory was estimated by computing 95% confidence

intervals for the average score for each theory.

5. What is the relationship between type of delivery and school counselor self-
efficacy in managing multiparty conflict?

For the fifth research question, to investigate the relationship of categorical

variable type of delivery and school counselor self-efficacy, ANOVA testing was

conducted to determine if the average self-efficacy is the same across groups. Analysis

of variance is used when there are three or more groups, to determine if there is more

variance between groups or within groups (Gall et al.).

6. What is the relationship between theoretical approach to mediation and school
counselor self-efficacy in managing multiparty conflict?

For the sixth question, Spearman correlation testing was used to investigate the

relationship between school counselor self-efficacy and each theoretical approach.

Instrumentation

Past research has not looked at the overall approaches school counselors use to

manage conflict. In addition, researchers have not yet examined school counselor

approaches for handling multiparty conflicts. For the purposes of this study, it was

necessary to create a new instrument to measure the variables of interest. The survey

includes questions about the school setting, school counselor background, school









counselor perspectives, and school counselor behaviors related to multiparty conflicts.

Table 3-1 shows how the survey questions connect to the variables of interest.

The survey is composed of four sections: school demographics, school counselor

background and practices, the Multiparty Conflict Management Self-Efficacy Scale

(MCMSS), and an open-ended question section (see Appendix D). The school

demographics section was used to collect data about the frequency of multiparty conflict

and descriptive variables concerning the school setting. The school counselor

background and practices section includes questions about the type of delivery and

theoretical approach to mediation as well as descriptive variables about the school

counselors. The MCMSS requires counselors to rate their ability to perform tasks

involved in multiparty conflict management. The open-ended question section includes

one question that allows school counselors to write in suggestions for improvement in

counselor education to better prepare school counselors for multiparty student conflict

management. The open ended question gives respondents the opportunity to make

additional comments, but the results were not analyzed for the current study.

Multiparty Conflict Management Self-Efficacy Scale

Self-efficacy was measured by the Multiparty Conflict Management Self-Efficacy

Scale (MCMSS), which was included as part of the survey. The scale consists of 21

items ranging from 0 to 10, where 0 represents a task that school counselors cannot do

at all and 10 represents a task that school counselors are highly certain they can do.

Although self-efficacy scales have been constructed for counselors and school

counselors (i.e. Bodenhorn & Skaggs; Holcomb-McCoy et al., 2008; Larson et al.,

1992), self-efficacy scales are limited to use in the domain for which they were created









(Bandura, 2006). Thus, a new scale was developed to accurately reflect the construct of

multiparty conflict.

The self-efficacy scale was developed following Bandura's (2006) Guidelines for

Constructing Self-Efficacy Scales. The instructions and items are phrased in terms of

what counselors believe they "can do," to reflect their current ability rather than what

they believe they have the potential to do in the future, as recommended by Bandura.

Each item is rated on a 0-10 point scale to ensure a high level of sensitivity and

reliability (Bandura).

Validity and Reliability

Four experts were asked to review the questionnaire and examine the reliability

and validity of each question. These experts included a counselor educator, author of

conflict resolution research, a survey methodologist, and a district supervisor of

counseling and guidance. The experts were asked to determine how well the items

reflect the concepts measured in order to provide evidence of validity from test content

(Gall et al., 2008). The next step in instrument development was to administer the

survey to a middle school counselor and conduct a cognitive interview to gather

information about the clarity of the items and directions.

Lastly, a pilot test was administered to 11 middle school counselors to test for

evidence of construct validity and to detect any problems with the administration

procedures. Middle school counselors from a local school district were contacted by

email and sent a link to the online survey. After two weeks, respondents were emailed

an invitation to retake the survey in order to examine test-retest reliability of the

MCMSS. The scores from each administration were correlated to show stability from

one administration to another over a period of time (Creswell, 2008). Cronbach's Alpha









was calculated to determine the internal reliability of the MCMSS. At the end of the

post-test, the school counselors were asked to answer questions about the survey's

items, instructions, overall clarity, and appearance. Participants did not report any

problems with the directions or concepts and no changes were made to either the

format or the content of the survey.

Summary

In this chapter, relevant variables, population, sampling procedures, data

collection, and design of the study were presented. In addition, the approaches for data

analysis and the instrumentation were described. The fourth chapter will include a

report of the findings of the study. A discussion of the findings, implications, limitations,

and recommendations for future research will follow in the fifth chapter.









Table 3-1. Relationship among research variables, research questions (R.Q.), and
survey questions
Variable Variable R.Q. Survey Question


Type


Constant


Profession


Research Self-efficacy in
managing
multiparty conflict
Percent of
multiparty conflicts

Type of delivery


Theoretical
approach to
mediation

Descriptive Location


Size

Student-to-
counselor ratio

Percent of low-
income students
Frequency of
conflict
Gender
composition


School support



Gender
Ethnicity
Years of school
counseling
experience
Education


N/A Are you a middle school counselor practicing
in Florida?
1, 5, All items in the self-efficacy scale.
6

2 Out of all the student conflicts occurring at
your school, what percent of conflicts occur
among 3 or more students?
3,5 Which types of delivery do you use to
manage conflicts among three or more
students?
4,6 For the following questions, you will be asked
how likely you are to take a specific action
when you, as a school counselor, mediate a
conflict between three or more students.
What is the metropolitan status of your
school's
location?
N/A What is the student enrollment at your
school?
N/A What is the student enrollment at your
school?
How many counselors work at your school?
N/A What percentage of students are on free or
reduced lunch?
N/A How frequently are student conflicts brought
to your attention in an average month?
N/A Out of the conflicts you encounter involving
three or more students, what percent take
place among: all males, all females, and a
mix of males and females?
To what degree are (school counselors,
teachers, administrators, peer facilitators)
involved in managing student conflicts at your
school?
N/A What is your gender?
N/A What is your ethnic background?
N/A How many years of experience have you had
as a school counselor, not including the
current school year?
N/A What is the highest degree you have earned
in the field of school counseling?









Table 3-1.


Continued


Training in conflict N/A What training have you had in conflict
resolution resolution?
Open N/A N/A How might counselor education be changed
Ended to better prepare school counselors to handle
conflicts among three or more students?









Table 3-2. Relationship of self-efficacy items and theory
Self-Efficacy Item Theory
Help students use a problem solving approach when in a Dual Concerns
multiparty conflict (a conflict involving three or more students). Theory
Get students who are involved in multiparty conflicts to use a D
Dual Concerns
conflict resolution approach that does not sacrifice relationships Theory
for personal gain.
Get students who are involved in multiparty conflicts to use an D
Dual Concerns
approach that does not sacrifice important needs in order to Theory
appease others.
Help three or more students involved in conflict build positive Social Identity
beliefs about their position within their social network. Theory
Help three or more students involved in conflict to build positive Social Identity
beliefs about their group memberships. Theory
Help students in a multiparty conflict to reduce their biases Socl
Socialtowards students belonging to different, outside social groupsIdentity
towards students belonging to different, outside social groups.
Theory


Help students build trust while resolving a multiparty conflict.

Help students involved in a multiparty conflict avoid coercion,
intimidation, and deception.

Help three or more students work together cooperatively to
resolve a conflict.
Get students who are involved in a multiparty conflict to consider
the needs of others in addition to their own needs.
Get students who are in a multiparty conflict to think about their
relationships with other disputants instead of just their own
needs.
Get every student who is involved in a multiparty conflict to work
towards a common goal.
Get every student who is involved in a multiparty conflict to
reach an agreement.
Get every student who is involved in a multiparty conflict to
reach an agreement that meets the needs of every disputant.


Work cooperatively with other adults to manage multiparty
student conflicts.

Manage an imbalance of power during a multiparty conflict,
when one or more students is at a disadvantage.


Social
Interdependence
Theory
Social
Interdependence
Theory
Social
Interdependence
Theory
Dual Concerns
Theory
Dual Concerns
Theory

Social
Interdependence
Theory
Multiparty
Framework
Dual Concerns
Theory,
Multiparty
Framework
Multiparty
Conflict
Framework
Multiparty
Conflict
Framework









Table 3-2. Continued
Maintain control over the process of managing a multiparty
conflict.

Decide whether a multiparty conflict should end when the
majority of disputants agree or when all agree.

Decide which students to meet with when there is a conflict
involving three or more students.

Meet privately with individual disputants when there are three or
more disputants.

Meet with all disputants together at one time when there are
three or more disputants.


Multiparty
Conflict
Framework
Multiparty
Conflict
Framework
Multiparty
Conflict
Framework
Multiparty
Conflict
Framework
Multiparty
Conflict
Framework









CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

The purpose of this study was to examine school counselors' perceptions of their

role and self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Middle school counselors

belonging to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) were invited to

complete an online survey at one point in time, which is a cross-sectional survey design.

Participants provided information about their background, school setting, involvement

and approach to managing multiparty student conflict, and self-efficacy in managing

multiparty student conflict. Data analysis and results from the study are presented in

this chapter.

Descriptive Statistics

The current study solicited participation from middle school counselors belonging

to ASCA who had valid email addresses listed under the Middle/Junior High category of

the member directory. After removing invalid email addresses and email addresses of

members stating they were not currently practicing school counselors, 1,723 were

invited to participate in the study. A pre-notice letter and a series of three invitations

were sent out, leading to a total of 386 responses. The resulting response rate was

22%. Responses were only included in the study for participants indicating they were

practicing middle school counselors who were employed at their current school for at

least one year. After excluding individuals not meeting the criteria for inclusion, the

resulting sample was 357. Frequencies were computed for the following descriptive

data: gender, ethnicity, degree earned in school counseling, and training in conflict

resolution. This information is presented in Table 4-1.









The sample was comprised of 297 (83.2%) females and 57 (15%) males. The

ethnic backgrounds of the participants included 299 (82.8%) White, 28 (15%) African

American, 12 (3.4%) Hispanic, 7 (2%) Asian or Pacific Islander, 5 (1.4%) multi-ethnic, 3

(.8%) Native American, and 3 (.8%) other. The average years of experience of school

counselors was 9.21 years (SD = 7.26). Forty two percent of counselors had 1 to 5

years of experience, 23.6% had 6 to 10 years of experience, and 34.6% had more than

10 years of experience. The average years of employment at participants' current

schools was 7.25 years (SD = 7.11). Fifty six percent of participants had 1 to 5 years of

employment at their current schools, 22.1% had 6 to 10 years, and 22.1% had over 10

years of experience. The participants had varying degrees in school counseling,

including 316 (88.5%) with master's degrees, 25 (7%) with specialist's degrees, 6

(1.7%) with doctorates, and 10 (2.8%) individuals with no degree in school counseling.

While 36 (10.1%) participants indicated they had not had any formal training in conflict

resolution, 266 (74.5%) had taken a seminar or workshop on conflict resolution, 224

(62.7%) had college coursework in conflict resolution, 43 (12%) have completed a

certificate program in conflict resolution, and 29 (8.1%) had other training not listed in

the options.

The locations in which participants worked included 139 (38.9%) schools in

suburban locations, 115 (32.2%) schools in rural locations, and 103 (28.9%) schools in

urban locations. An average of 45% of the students in the schools were on free or

reduced lunch (SD = 68.01). There was an average of 728.82 students enrolled at each

school (SD = 681.59) with an average of 2.10 counselors (SD = 1.04) working in each









school. The student-to-counselor ratio ranged from 90-to-1 to 3,100-to-1 and there was

an average of 363.11 students per counselor (SD = 198.235).

Participants were asked how frequency conflict was brought to their attention on

a scale of 1 (very low frequency) to 10 (very high frequency). School counselors

reported that student conflicts were brought to their attention at an average frequency of

7.57 out of 10 (SD= 2.156), indicating that school counselors are often made aware of

student conflicts. The student conflicts encountered by participants were described on

average as 56% (SD= 22.75%) dyadic and 43% multiparty (SD = 22.54%). The gender

composition of multiparty student conflicts was an average of 65% (SD = 22.49%) all

female conflicts, 20% (SD = 15.91%) all male conflicts, and 13% (SD = 15.25%)

conflicts between a mixture of females and males.

School counselors reported their degree of involvement in managing student

conflicts as an average of 8.06 (SD = 1.81) on a scale of ranging from 1 (very infrequent

involvement) to 10 (very frequent involvement), meaning very frequent involvement.

Administrators were perceived as the most involved (M = 8.21, SD = 1.825) followed by

school counselors (M = 8.06, SD = 1.81), teachers (M = 5.82, SD = 2.036), and peer

facilitators (M = 2.31, SD = 2.06). On average, administrators were perceived to be

slightly more involved than were school counselors.

Instrument Development Results

A pilot test was conducted with 11 middle school counselors to evaluate the

administration procedures and reliability of the survey. During pilot testing, participating

school counselors were asked to answer questions about the survey's items,

instructions, overall clarity, and appearance. The appearance of the survey was rated

by participants as an average of 9.18 on a scale of 1 (very poor) to 10 (very good).









Participants scored the overall clarity of the directions an average of 9.27 on a scale of

1 (very unclear) to 10 (very clear). Clarity of the concepts was rated by participants as

an average of 8.67 of 1 (very unclear) to 10 (very clear). Since no problems were

reported during pilot testing, the survey instrument and procedures remained the same

for the primary study.

Pilot testing included a pre-test and a post-test to examine the internal reliability

of the Multiparty Conflict Management Self-Efficacy Scale (MCMSS). The post-test was

completed by participants between two weeks and four weeks after completing the pre-

test. Scores for the MCMSS were created by summing across all of the items in the

MCMSS and dividing by the number of items to calculate a mean score for each person.

Test-retest reliability was calculated using a Pearson correlation. The results indicated

that the test-retest correlation was r = .874. To determine internal reliability for the

MCMSS, Cronbach's Alpha was calculated based on the results from the 357

participants in the primary study. Cronbach's Alpha for the MCMSS was computed at

.961, indicating high internal reliability.

Data Analysis

For each research question, a specific approach was taken to analyze and

interpret the data. The research questions are listed below, followed by the data

analysis approach that was taken and the results of the analysis.

Research Question One

The first research question posed by the study was as follows: "What is the

degree of school counselor self-efficacy in managing multiparty conflict?"

For the first research question, the degree of school counselor self-efficacy in

managing multiparty conflict was estimated by computing a 95% confidence interval for









the average score on the MCMSS. The MCMSS includes 21 items, each ranging from

0, which represents a task that school counselors cannot do at all, to 10, which

indicates tasks that school counselors are highly certain they can do.

The average total self-efficacy score for the MCMSS was 8.182 (SD = 1.144),

which indicates that middle school counselors have a relatively high level of self-efficacy

for managing multiparty student conflicts. The 95% confidence interval ranged from a

low of 8.062 to a high of 8.301. Confidence intervals and average scores for each item

on the MCMSS can be found in Table 4-2. The three items with the lowest average

scores and the three items with the three lowest average scores are reported below.

Participants had the highest level of confidence on the ability to meet privately

with individual disputants when there are three or more disputants (M = 9.07, SD =

1.117). Interestingly, 166 (46.5%) participants rated their self-efficacy as a 10 for this

item and only 4 (1.1%) respondents reported a 5, the lowest reported response for the

item.

School counselors rated themselves second highest on the ability to decide

which students to meet with when there is a conflict involving three or more disputants,

with an average score of 8.86 (SD = 1.22). A total of 143 (40.1 %) participants rated

their self-efficacy as a 10 for this item and only 4 (1.1%) respondents reported a 5 or

lower. The lowest reported score on this item was 3.

The item on the MCMSS with the third highest average score of 8.68 (SD =

1.306) measured self-efficacy for the ability to work cooperatively with other adults to

manage multiparty student conflicts. For this item, 113 (31.7%) school counselors









reported a self-efficacy of 10. There were 7 respondents who rated their self-efficacy as

a 5 or lower, with 2 being the lowest reported score.

The item with the third to lowest average self-efficacy score was the ability to

help students build trust while resolving a multiparty conflict. The average score for this

item was 7.75 (SD = 1.564). A total of 49 (13.7%) participants recorded a 10, while 39

(10.9%) participants reported a score of 5 or lower. The lowest reported score for this

item was 2.

School counselors scored second lowest on average (M = 7.71, SD = 1.685) on

the ability to help three or more students involved in conflict to build positive beliefs

about their group memberships. A total of 57 (16%) participants reported a 10 for the

item and 34 (9.5%) participants reported a 5 or lower, with 2 being the lowest score

reported.

The item on the MCMSS with the lowest average score of 7.28 (SD = 1.786)

measured self-efficacy for the ability to get every student involved in a multiparty conflict

to reach an agreement that meets the needs of every disputant. Only 34 (9.5%) of

participants rated their self-efficacy as a 10 for this item, while 57 (16%) rated their self-

efficacy as a 5 or lower, with 1 being the lowest score reported.

Only two responses of 0, representing a task that cannot be done at all, were

reported. One was reported for the ability to get students who are involved in multiparty

conflicts to use a conflict resolution approach that does not sacrifice relationships for

personal gain. The second was reported for the ability to meet with all disputants

together at one time when there are three or more disputants









Research Question Two

The second research question posed by the study was as follows: "What percent

of student conflicts that are encountered by school counselors are multiparty?"

To address the second research question, the percent of multiparty student

conflicts encountered by school counselors was estimated by computing a 95%

confidence interval. The average percent of multiparty student conflicts that were

encountered by school counselors was 42.71% (SD = 22.538). The confidence interval

was between a low of 40.37% and a high of 45.06%. Although a majority of student

conflicts occur between two students (M = 56.35, SD= 22.753), over one third of student

conflicts involve three or more students.

Research Question Three

The third research question posed by the study was as follows: "What types of

delivery do school counselors use to manage multiparty conflicts?"

For the third research question, confidence intervals were computed for the

average score for each type of delivery in managing multiparty conflict to estimate the

degree to which school counselors use each type of delivery. The degree to which

each type of delivery was measured on a scale ranging from 1 (very unlikely) to 10 (very

likely). The frequency for each type of delivery, the percent of respondents who use

each type of delivery, and the confidence intervals for each type of delivery are reported

in Table 4-3.

The most widely used form of delivery was mediation, which 328 (91.9%) of

respondents reportedly employ. The confidence interval for mediation ranged from a

lower limit of .89 to an upper limit of .95. Individual counseling, which was the second

most commonly used form of delivery, was selected by 312 (88.2%) of respondents.









The confidence interval for individual counseling is a range of .85 to .92. Small group

counseling was used by 272 (76.2%) of participants, with a confidence interval ranging

from .72 to .81. Collaborating with others was reported to be a form of delivery for 265

respondents (74%). The lower limit of the confidence interval was .70 and the upper

limit was.79. Teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups was used by 205

(57.4%) of respondents as a form of delivery. The confidence interval for this delivery

form ranged from .52 to .63. Teaching conflict resolution skills to large groups was used

by 123 (34.5%) participants. The lower limit of the confidence interval was .30 and the

upper limit was .39. Arbitration, where an adult makes the final decision, was the least

preferred form of delivery out of the types listed by name, as it was selected by 92

(25.8%) participants. The lower limit of the confidence interval for arbitration was .21

and the upper limit was .3. The number of participants indicating that they use a form of

delivery other than the listed options was 25 (7%). The lower limit of the confidence

interval for other forms of delivery was .04 and the upper limit was .1. Only one

participant reported not using any forms of delivery, indicating no involvement in

managing multiparty student conflicts in any way. No confident interval was calculated

for this group since only one participant was included.

Research Question Four

The fourth research question posed by the study was as follows: "What

theoretical approaches inform school counselors in mediating multiparty conflicts?"

For the fourth research question, the degree to which school counselors are

likely to use an approach based in each theory was estimated by computing 95%

confidence intervals for the average score for each theory. For each theory of conflict

resolution, a description of the theoretical approach was presented along with an









example of how the approach might be applied to a multiparty student conflict.

Participants rated the likelihood of using each approach on a scale from 1 (very unlikely)

to 10 (very likely). The average scores, standard deviations, and confidence intervals

for each theoretical approach are reported in Table 4-4.

An approach based on dual concerns theory was described as encouraging

students to balance their own needs while considering the needs of others. The

likelihood of using an approach based on dual concerns theory was an average of 8.90

(SD = 1.658), with a confidence interval of 8.73 to 9.07. A likelihood of 10 was reported

by 167 (46.8%) participants for using a dual concerns based approach and only 17

(4.8%) participants believed the likelihood be 5 or below.

Taking an approach based on social identity theory was described as trying to

reduce negative beliefs that students have about others belonging to a different social

group. The likelihood of using an approach based on social identity theory was an

average of 8.60 (SD = 1.812), with a confidence interval of 8.41 to 8.79. The number of

participants who reported a likelihood of 10 for using an approach based on social

identity theory was 151 (42.3%), while the number of participants who reported a

likelihood of 5 or lower was 28 (7.8%).

An approach based on social interdependence theory was described as helping

students work cooperatively toward a common goal. The likelihood of using an

approach based on social interdependence theory was an average of 8.49 (SD =

1.860), with a confidence interval of 8.30 to 8.69. A total of 134 (37.5%) participants

rated their likelihood of using an approach based on social interdependence theory as a

10, while only 27 (7.6%) respondents reported a likelihood of 5 or lower.









Based on the findings, the theoretical based approach most likely to be used by

school counselors was dual concerns theory, followed by approaches based in social

identity theory and social interdependence theory. The results also indicate that middle

school counselors have a relatively high likelihood of employing approaches based in

these theories when approaching multiparty student conflicts.

Research Question Five

The fifth research question posed by the study was as follows: "What is the

relationship between type of delivery and school counselor self-efficacy in managing

multiparty conflict?"

For the fifth research question, to investigate the relationship of categorical

variable type of delivery and school counselor self-efficacy, ANOVA testing was

conducted to determine if the average self-efficacy was the same across groups. For

each type of delivery, a Levene Statistic was calculated to determine homogeneity of

variance, which is an assumption of ANOVA testing. The homogeneity of variances for

each type of delivery was at an acceptable level to complete ANOVA testing. The

findings from the test of homogeneity of variances, ANOVA testing, and the average

self-efficacy scores for each type of delivery are reported in Table 4-5.

Collaborating with others. Based on ANOVA testing, the null hypothesis failed

to be rejected for collaborating with others (F (1, 355) = .439, p = .508). The average

self-efficacy score for respondents who collaborate with others was 8.205 (SD = 1.183)

and 8.113 (SD = 1.0279) for respondents who do not. This indicates that school

counselors who collaborate with others to address multiparty conflict and those who do

not collaborate show no significant difference in self-efficacy in multiparty conflict

management.









Teaching small groups. For the teaching conflict resolution skills to small

groups type of delivery, the null hypothesis was rejected, based on significant findings

(F (1, 355) = 3.862, p = .05). The average self-efficacy scores for teaching conflict

resolution skills to small groups and not using this form of delivery were 8.284 (SD =

1.099) and 8.044 (SD = 1.192) respectively. This finding indicates that school

counselors who teach conflict resolution skills to small groups have significantly higher

self-efficacy in multiparty conflict management than those who do not.

Teaching large groups. The null hypothesis was also rejected for teaching

conflict resolution skills to large groups, due to the significant result (F (1, 355) = 18.884,

p = .0). The average self-efficacy scores for teaching conflict resolution skills to large

groups and not using this form of delivery were 8.536 (SD = .887) and 7.995 (SD =

1.22) respectively. The result of ANOVA testing shows that school counselors who

teach conflict resolution skills to large groups have significantly higher self-efficacy in

multiparty conflict management than those who do not.

Mediation. The null hypothesis for mediation was not rejected, as the finding

was not significant (F (1, 355) = .101, p = .750). The average self-efficacy scores for

using and not using mediation were 8.187 (SD = 1.156) and 8.117 (SD = 1.024)

respectively. This finding indicates that self-efficacy in multiparty conflict management is

not significantly different for school counselors who use mediation and those who do

not.

Arbitration. The null hypothesis was not rejected for arbitration, where the adult

makes the final decision, since the result was not significant (F (1, 355) = .186, p =

.667). The average self-efficacy scores for individuals using and not using arbitration









were 8.137 (SD = 1.242) and 8.197 (SD = 1.111) respectively. This finding indicates

that self-efficacy in multiparty conflict management is not significantly different for

school counselors who use arbitration and those who do not.

Individual Counseling. For individual counseling, the null hypothesis was not

rejected, as the result was not significant (F (1, 355) = 2.230, p = .136). The average

self-efficacy scores for using and not using individual counseling were 8.215 (SD =

1.147) and 7.934 (SD = 1.106) respectively. This indicates that school counselors who

use individual counseling to address multiparty student conflict and those who do not

use individual counseling show no significant difference in self-efficacy in multiparty

conflict management.

Small group counseling. The null hypothesis was rejected for small group

counseling, given the significant result of ANOVA testing (F (1, 355) = 3.892, p = .049).

The average self-efficacy score for using and not using small group counseling were

8.248 (SD = 1.135) and 7.969 (SD = 1.157) respectively. This finding shows that school

counselors who use small group counseling to address multiparty conflict have

significantly higher self-efficacy in multiparty conflict management than those who do

not.

Other types of delivery. For types of delivery other than those previously listed,

the null hypothesis was not rejected because the result was not significant (F (1, 355) =

1.856, p = .174). The average self-efficacy scores for respondents using and not using

other delivery types were 8.482 (SD = .938) and 8.159 (SD = 1.157) respectively. This

result indicates that self-efficacy in multiparty conflict management is not significantly

different for school counselors who use other types of delivery and those who do not.









No delivery type. Since only one respondent selected no delivery type, ANOVA

testing was not conducted for that group.

Research Question Six

The sixth research question posed by the study was as follows: "What is the

relationship between theoretical approach to mediation and school counselor self-

efficacy in managing multiparty conflict?"

For the sixth question, Spearman correlation testing was used to investigate the

relationship between school counselor self-efficacy and three theory based approaches,

including social interdependence theory (r = .457), dual concerns theory (r = .472), and

social identity theory (r = .415). These results suggest that use of each theory based

approach is significantly related to self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict

at the .01 level. School counselors who perceived themselves as likely to use

theoretical approaches to multiparty conflict resolution had significantly higher self-

efficacy in multiparty conflict management than those who did not. Thus the null

hypothesis was rejected.

Summary

In this chapter, the results of the study were presented. Descriptive statistics and

data analyses including confidence intervals, ANOVA testing, and Spearman correlation

testing were explained. Also included were results from the pilot testing phase of the

survey development and reliability data for the Multiparty Conflict Management Self-

Efficacy Scale. In the final chapter, discussion of the results, implications, limitations,

and recommendations will be presented.









Table 4-1. Participant descriptive information
Variable Response n Percent
Gender Female 297 83.2%
Male 57 15%
Ethnicity African American 28 7.8%
Asian or Pacific Islander 7 2%
Hispanic 12 3.4%
Native American 3 .8%
White 299 83.8%
Multi-ethnic 5 1.4%
Other 3 .8%
Degree in school counseling Master's Degree 316 88.5%
Specialist Degree 25 7%
Doctorate 6 1.7%
No Degree in school 10 2.8%
counseling
Training in conflict resolution College coursework 224 62.7%
Seminar or workshop 266 74.5%
Certificate program 43 12%
No training in conflict resolution 36 10.1%









Table 4-2. Self-efficacy item averages
Std. Confidence Int.
Item Mean Dev. Lower Upper


Help students use a problem solving approach when
in a multiparty conflict (a conflict involving three or
more students).
Get students who are involved in multiparty conflicts
to use a conflict resolution approach that does not
sacrifice relationships for personal gain.
Get students who are involved in multiparty conflicts
to use an approach that does not sacrifice important
needs in order to appease others.
Help three or more students involved in conflict build
positive beliefs about their position within their social
network.
Help three or more students involved in conflict to
build positive beliefs about their group memberships.
Help students in a multiparty conflict to reduce their
biases towards students belonging to social groups
(i.e. friendship, cultural, community) different from
their own.
Help students build trust while resolving a multiparty
conflict.
Help students involved in a multiparty conflict avoid
coercion, intimidation, and deception.
Help three or more students work together
cooperatively to resolve a conflict.
Get students involved in a multiparty conflict to
consider the needs of others in addition to their own
needs.
Get students in a multiparty conflict to think about
their relationships with the other disputants instead
of just their own needs.
Get every student involved in a multiparty conflict to
work towards a common goal.
Get every student involved in a multiparty conflict to
reach an agreement.
Get every student involved in a multiparty conflict to
reach an agreement that meets the needs of every
disputant.
Work cooperatively with other adults to manage
multiparty student conflicts.
Manage an imbalance of power during a multiparty
conflict, when one or more students is at a
disadvantage.


8.62


8.07


1.422


8.48 8.77


1675 7.90 8.24


7.99 1.473 7.83 8.14


7.71


1.685 7.54 7.89


7.76 1.633 7.59 7.93

7.68 1.609 7.51 7.85



7.75 1.564 7.59 7.92

7.96 1.574 7.79 8.12

8.67 1.373 8.53 8.81

8.34 1.442 8.19 8.49


8.19 1.514 8.04 8.35


7.94 1.610 7.77 8.11

7.84 1.708 7.66 8.02

7.28 1.786 7.09 7.47


8.68 1.306 8.55 8.82

8.04 1.557 7.87 8.20









Table 4-2. Continued
Maintain control over the process of managing a
multiparty conflict.
Decide whether a multiparty conflict should end
when the majority of disputants agree or when all
agree.
Decide which students to meet with when there is a
conflict involving three or more disputants.
Meet privately with individual disputants when there
are three or more disputants.
Meet with all disputants together at one time when
there are three or more disputants.


8.59 1.326 8.46


8.73


8.39 1.477 8.23 8.54


8.86 1.220 8.74 8.99

9.07 1.117 8.95 9.18


8.38 1.794 8.19


8.57









Table 4-3. Types of delivery used to manage multiparty student conflicts
Confidence
Int.
Type of Delivery n % Lower Upper
Collaborating with others 265 74.2% 70% 79%
Teaching Conflict Resolution Skills to Small Groups 205 57.4% 52% 63%
Teaching Conflict Resolution Skills to Large Groups 123 34.5% 30% 39%
Mediation 328 91.9% 89% 95%
Arbitration (Adult makes final decision) 92 25.8% 21% 30%
Individual Counseling 315 88.2% 85% 92%
Small Group Counseling 272 76.2% 72% 81%
Other 25 7% 4% 10%
None of the above (You are not involved in 1 <1%
managing conflicts among three or more students)









Table 4-4. Average use of theoretical approaches
Confidence Intervals
Theoretical Approach Mean Std. Dev. Lower Upper
Social interdependence theory 8.49 1.860 8.30 8.69
Dual concerns theory 8.90 1.658 8.73 9.07
Social identity theory 8.60 1.812 8.41 8.79





Table 4-5. Type of delivery and self-efficacy score ANOVA testing results
Type of Homogeneity df F p- Response Mean Std.
Delivery of Variances value self- Dev.
efficacy


Collaborating
with others
Teaching
conflict
resolution
skills to small
groups
Teaching
conflict
resolution
skills to large
groups
Mediation


Arbitration

Individual
counseling

Small group
counseling


Other


2.174 1,355 .439 .508 Yes 8.205
No 8.113


.315


1,355 3.862 .05 Yes
No


8.783




.607


1.172

.151


1, 355 18.884 .0 Yes
No


1, 355 .101


1,355 .186

1,355 2.23


.116


.383


.750 Yes
No

.667 Yes
No
.136 Yes
No


1,355 3.892 .049 Yes
No

1,355 1.856 .174 Yes
No


8.284
8.044



8.536
7.995



8.187
8.117

8.137
8.197
8.215
7.934


1.183
1.028
1.099
1.192



.887
1.22



1.156
1.024

1.242
1.111
1.147
1.106


8.248 1.135
7.969 1.157

8.482 .938
8.159 1.157









CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION

Physical violence, overt aggression, and covert aggression can be damaging to

student academic performance and social well being. Conflict resolution education

provides a constructive solution for approaching student conflicts, but does not include

the issue of multiparty student conflicts. School counselors, who are directly involved in

supporting students' personal, social, and academic development, offer an important

perspective on the management of multiparty student conflict in middle schools. Thus,

the purpose of this study was to examine school counselors' perceived role and self-

efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Presented in this chapter are the

discussion of findings, implications, limitations, and recommendations for future

research.

Overview of the Study and Discussion of Findings

An online survey was used to collect participant perspectives of their

background, school setting, their involvement and approach to managing multiparty

student conflict, and their self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Data was

collected from a sample of 357 middle school counselors drawn from the Middle/Junior

High work category under the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) member

directory.

Participants in the study were predominately White (82.8%) and female (83.2%).

The participants were similar in background to participants in a national study of school

counselors belonging to ASCA by Bodenhorn, Wolfe, and Airen (2010) who were 89%

European American and 85% female. The gender and ethnicity of participating school

counselors were also similar to teacher backgrounds at the national level. During the


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2007-2008 school year, teachers were 83.5% White and 75.6% female (NCES).

However this finding shows a disparity between the diversity of the participating school

counselors and the national averages for student gender and ethnicity. According to the

National Center for Education Statistics, or NCES (2009a), during the 2007-2008 school

year, 59.3% of students were White and 49.8% female.

The average years of experience of participants was 9.21 and the average years

employment at their current schools was 7.25. The majority of participants (97.2%) had

earned at least a master's degree in school counseling. Most school counselors had

received some form of training in conflict resolution, with only 10.1% indicating that they

had no formal training in conflict resolution.

Participants were employed at schools that were located in suburban (38.9%),

rural (32.2%), and urban (28.9%) settings. They indicated that 45% of students were

receiving free or reduced lunch, which reflects the national average (43%) of eligible

students (NCES, 2009b). The average student-to-counselor ratio at participants'

schools of employment was 363-to-1. This ratio is higher than the ASCA recommended

guidelines of 250-to-1, but lower than the 2007-2008 national average of 460-to-1

(ASCA, n.d.).

Frequency of Multiparty Conflict

School counselors reported that student conflicts were brought to their attention

at relatively high frequency with a mean frequency of 7.57 on a scale of 1 (very low

frequency) to 10 (very high frequency). Participants described student conflicts as 56%

dyadic and 43% multiparty. School counselors reported a high degree of involvement in

managing student conflicts with a mean rating of 8.06 on a scale of ranging from 1 (very


101









infrequent involvement) to 10 (very frequent involvement). Administrators were

perceived as the most involved (M = 8.21) followed by school counselors (M = 8.06),

teachers (M = 5.82), and peer facilitators (M = 2.31). Thus administrators were

perceived to be slightly more involved than were school counselors, followed by

teachers, and finally, peer facilitators who were the least involved. The findings indicate

that middle school counselors are very likely to encounter student conflicts, and are

involved in managing both dyadic as well as multiparty student conflicts

Interestingly, the majority of multiparty student conflicts were composed of all

females (65%), followed by all male (20%), and a combination of both genders (13%).

Noakes and Rinaldi's (2006) study of 4th and 8th grade students found there to be no

significant gender difference in frequency of conflict, but did not address the issue of

multiparty conflict. Perhaps the gender disparity in multiparty conflict in this study is due

to differences in male and female relationships at the middle school level, the way each

gender approaches conflict, and/or differences in their willingness to seek help for

conflicts with their peers. It is possible that male students are less likely to report

multiparty conflicts to an adult at school. Williams and Cornell (2006) found that student

willingness to seek help for bullying and for threats of violence declined during the

middle school years, and was lower for boys than for girls. Further, some studies

investigating gender differences in help seeking suggest that boys are more likely to

associate help seeking with personal weakness (Eiser, Havermans & Eiser, 1995;

Steinfeld, Steinfeld, & Speight, 2009). Noakes and Rinaldi found female conflicts to be

over relational issues while conflicts between males were over status and dominance.

Since a large majority of the school counselor participants in the study were female,


102









their gender may have affected how often male or female multiparty conflicts were

brought to their attention.

Types of Multiparty Conflict Management Delivery

School counseling services, as described in the ASCA National Model (2005), fall

into different types of delivery including school guidance curriculum, individual student

planning, responsive services, and system support. The guidance curriculum refers to

lessons that aid students in reaching developmentally appropriate competencies and

includes teaching skills to small groups and large groups. The second type, individual

planning, involves helping individual students set and works toward personal goals.

Responsive services are appropriate for attending to students' immediate needs

through counseling, consultation, referral, peer mediation, and information giving.

Finally, systems support consists of activities that help maintain and enhance the

counseling program, including administration, collaboration, and consultation.

In this study, school counselors reported using several types of conflict

management delivery of services. It was determined that mediation, used by 91.9% of

respondents, is the most common type of delivery employed by school counselors to

manage multiparty student conflicts, followed by individual counseling (88.2%), and

small group counseling (76.2%). It is interesting to note that all three types of delivery

that school counselors are most inclined to use to manage multiparty conflicts are

responsive services.

However, many school counselors use other forms of delivery in addition to these

responsive types. Collaborating with others, which was used by 74% of participants,

falls under the category of system support. Collaboration among administrators, school

counselors, and teachers, who were all found to be involved in managing student


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conflict, may increase educators' ability to manage multiparty conflicts and reach more

students. Teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups and large groups, which fall

under guidance curriculum, were used by 57.4% and 34.5% of school counselors

respectively. These findings suggest that more school counselors target select

students for training than instruct large groups, which may include integrating skills into

the curriculum for a class or the whole school.

Arbitration, another responsive service, was used by only 25.8% of participants.

Additional forms of delivery that were not listed were used by 7% of respondents.

Overall, the vast majority of school counselors participating in this study provide at least

one service that is related to managing multiparty student conflict; only one respondent

reported using no types of delivery to address multiparty student conflict.

Theoretical Approach to Multiparty Conflict Management

School counselors were asked to rate the likelihood of using theory based

approaches to mediate multiparty student conflicts. Participants scored each theory on

a scale of 1 (very unlikely) to 10 (very likely) for each theoretical approach. School

counselors had the highest likelihood of using an approach based on dual concerns

theory (M = 8.90). Nearly half (46.8%) of participants indicated a likelihood of 10,

meaning they are very likely to mediate a multiparty conflict using an approach based

on dual concerns theory. This approach was described as encouraging students to

balance their own needs while considering the needs of others. Dual concerns theory

proposes that individuals who are highly concerned about meeting their own needs, and

highly concerned about the interests of other disputants, approach conflict the most

effectively, using problem solving (Blake & Mouton, 1970; Holt & Devore, 2005).


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Participants reported a likelihood of 8.60 for using an approach based on social

identity theory, which was described as trying to reduce negative beliefs that students

have about others belonging to a different social group. From the social identity

perspective, individuals who perceive a threat to the status of their social groups are

likely to protect their social identity by discriminating against individuals belonging to

other social groups (Hornsey & Hogg, 2000). Bias against individuals belonging to

outside social groups interferes with the ability to listen and empathize with them

(Smyth, 2002). A total of 42% of participants reported a likelihood of 10 for using an

approach based on social identity theory, which indicates a very high likelihood of

mediating a conflict using this approach for this group.

The likelihood of participants using an approach based on social

interdependence theory was 8.49. A score of 10, meaning very high likelihood, was

reported by 37.5% of participants for using an approach based on social

interdependence theory. This approach was described in the survey as helping

students work cooperatively toward a common goal. Social interdependence theory

proposes that disputants who are positively interdependent share a mutual goal and

work together to resolve a conflict. Positive interdependence leads to a pattern of

behavior that includes cooperation, helping, and trust, while negative interdependence

causes competitive behavior such as intimidation, coercion, and deception (Deutsch,

1993; Johnson, 2003; Roseth et al., 2008; Uline et al., 2003).

Based on the findings, the theoretical based approach most likely to be used by

school counselors was dual concerns theory, followed by social identity theory and

social interdependence theory. Middle school counselors were found to have a


105









relatively high likelihood of employing one or more of these theoretical approaches

when mediating multiparty student conflicts.

Self-Efficacy in Multiparty Conflict Management

School counselor self-efficacy for managing multiparty student conflicts was

measured by the Multiparty Conflict Management Self-Efficacy Scale (MCMSS), which

consisted of 21 Likert scale items. Each item ranged from a 0 (Cannot do at all) to 10

(Highly certain can do). The average self-efficacy score on the MCMSS was found to

be 8.182, which indicates that school counselors have relatively high self-efficacy for

managing multiparty conflicts. Since 89.9% of participants reported receiving training in

conflict resolution, training may partially account for their high self-efficacy. Another

possible contributing factor was the gender and level of experience of the participants in

the study, who were mostly female and had an average of 9.21 years of experience.

Bodenhorn and Skaggs (2005) found that females and school counselors with three or

more years of experience had higher self-efficacy in school counseling than males and

those with less experience.

Given the relevance of multiparty conflict management to the personal and social

domains of the ASCA National Model (2005) and the high ratings of self-efficacy on the

MCMSS, it is highly likely that school counselors perceive managing multiparty conflicts

as relevant to their role as a school counselor. Studies have shown that school

counselors have a higher level of self-efficacy for tasks that are related to the role of the

school counselor than for unrelated tasks (Baggerly & Osborn, 2006; Sutton & Fall,

1995).

The 21 items on the MCMSS each addressed a separate aspect of managing

multiparty student conflicts. Each item was based on dual concerns theory, social


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interdependence theory, social identity theory, or the framework for conceptualizing

multiparty student conflicts. The relationship between the items and theory can be seen

in Table 3-2. School counselors reported high self-efficacy on average for every item,

but some abilities were rated higher than others. To provide further insight into school

counselor self-efficacy in multiparty conflict management, the three highest scoring

items and three lowest scoring items are examined in further detail.

High scoring items. The individual item with the highest self-efficacy score (M =

9.07) described the ability to meet privately with individual disputants when there are

three or more disputants. The average self-efficacy score for meeting with all

disputants in a multiparty conflict together was slightly lower, at 8.38. It may be that

including multiple students in the conflict resolution process makes the situation more

complex, or difficult to manage. One of the advantages of a joint session, is that all

parties are able to participate and listen to each other. This strategy can facilitate the

reaching of a mutual agreement among parties, whereas caucuses, or meetings that do

not include all involved parties, have been found to have the opposite effect of

increasing competitiveness, resulting in less integrative outcomes (Kim, 1997).

However, in cases where disputant emotions are heightened or safety is in question,

caucuses are a safe alternative (Welton, Pruitt, & McGillicuddy, 1988). School

counselors may also choose to meet privately with students in order to gather

information and make decisions about the mediation process.

On average, school counselors rated their self-efficacy as second highest (M =

8.86) on the ability to decide which students to meet with when there is a conflict

involving three or more disputants. To decide which disputants to meet with, school


107









counselors must have an awareness of which students have a personal interest in the

outcome and which can be excluded. Being able to identify which students need to be

involved in mediation is an important step, since excluded disputants are left out of the

discussion and therefore the creation of a solution that meets their needs.

The item on the MCMSS with the third highest average score (M = 8.68)

measured the ability to work cooperatively with other adults to manage multiparty

student conflicts. The complex nature of multiparty student conflict may require

separate meetings with individual or small groups of students that may be carried out by

more than one adult. Literature on multiparty conflict resolution suggests that

successfully co-mediating a multiparty conflict requires co-mediators to develop a

common understanding of the problem and solution to avoid confusion (Crocker,

Hampton, & Aall, 2001). Based on the findings of this study, school counselors

perceive themselves to be efficacious in collaborating with other adults in multiparty

conflict management. Collaboration with other faculty allows school counselors to help

a greater number of students than working alone and is a form of delivery for guidance

services recommended by the ASCA National Model (2005). Administrators may be

ideal partners for school counselors managing multiparty student conflicts since

administrators were perceived to have the highest involvement in the management of

student conflicts. Other partners may include other school counselors as well as

teachers, who were also found to be involved in managing student conflict.

Lowest scoring items. School counselor self-efficacy was third lowest (M =

7.75) for the item describing the ability to help students build trust while resolving a

multiparty conflict. Deutsch (1993) suggests that one of the functions of mediators or


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third party facilitators is to reduce mistrust and hostility between parties. According to

social interdependence theory, disputants who are positively interdependent are more

likely to display helping behaviors and trust because they view their goals to be

compatible with the goals of other disputants. While the average school counselor self-

efficacy rating on the ability to build trust between students was fairly high, 10.9%

respondents reported self-efficacy level of 5 or below.

Participant responses indicated that their self-efficacy was second lowest on

average (M = 7.71) for the ability to help three or more students involved in conflict to

build positive beliefs about their group memberships. According to social identity

theory, identity is made up of both an individual component and a social component that

is based on beliefs about one's group memberships (Crocker & Luhtanen, 1990;

Hornsey & Hogg, 2000). When an individual's social identity is threatened, they may

respond with prejudice and negatively stereotype individuals from groups outside of

their own (Hornsey & Hogg). A total of 9.5% of participants reported having a self-

efficacy score of 5 or lower on a scale of 0 to 10, indicating that a small minority of

school counselors believe with only moderate certainty or are uncertain that they can

help students build positive beliefs about their group memberships.

The item on the MCMSS with the lowest average score of 7.28 measured self-

efficacy for the ability to get every student involved in a multiparty conflict to reach an

agreement that meets the needs of every disputant. The primary goal of conflict

resolution is for students to reach a mutually satisfying solution, also called an

integrative or win-win solution (Johnson & Johnson, 1995; Smith & Daunic, 2002). In

multiparty conflicts, there are more individual needs to consider, which may make


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reaching an integrative solution more difficult. A number of school counselors (16%)

rated their self-efficacy as a 5 or lower, meaning they are moderately certain or

uncertain that they can assist students in reaching an integrative solution. However

school counselors on average had a relatively high level of self-efficacy for performing

this task, which reflected their overall high self-efficacy in managing multiparty student

conflicts.

Relationship between self-efficacy and other variables. This study looked at

the relationship between self-efficacy in multiparty conflict management and other

variables including types of delivery and theoretical approach. School counselors were

asked which of the following types of delivery they use to provide multiparty conflict

management: mediation, arbitration, individual counseling, small group counseling,

training peer mediators, collaborating with others, teaching conflict resolution skills to

large groups, other types of delivery, and none of the above.

The types of delivery significantly related to self-efficacy in managing multiparty

conflict were counseling small groups of students, teaching skills to small groups of

students, and teaching skills to large groups of students. Counseling small groups of

students was the third most frequently used type of delivery, used by 76.2% of

participants. Teaching conflict resolution skills to large groups and teaching skills to

small groups were used by 57.4% and 34.5% of school counselors correspondingly.

While teaching skills to small groups and large groups are both related to higher levels

of self-efficacy, they are only the fifth and sixth ranked types of delivery in terms of

frequency of use. Teaching students conflict resolution skills is a form of developmental

guidance, which is preventative in nature and reaches more students than reactive


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types of delivery. The guidelines in the ASCA National Model (2005) recommend that

middle school counselors devote 25% to 35% of their time to delivering the guidance

curriculum. Geltner and Clark (2005) point out that school counselors may not be

comfortable with classroom management techniques, which may account for the low

frequency of teaching skills to large groups. No differences in self-efficacy were found

between individuals who use or do not use other delivery types.

The findings signify that school counselors who teach skills to small or large

groups or use small group counseling have higher self-efficacy in managing multiparty

student conflict than individuals who do not. It may be that the practice of working with

groups of students leads to a greater understanding of group dynamics and confidence

in managing multiparty conflict. Perhaps school counselors who have lower self-

efficacy in managing multiparty student conflicts feel less comfortable working with

groups of students.

Spearman correlation testing showed a significant relationship between self-

efficacy in managing multiparty conflict and three theoretical approaches used by school

counselors to mediate multiparty student conflicts. Relationships were found between

self-efficacy and dual concerns theory (r = .472), social interdependence theory (r =

.457), and social identity theory (r = .415). School counselors who perceived

themselves as likely to use theoretical approaches to multiparty conflict resolution had

significantly higher self-efficacy in multiparty conflict management than those who did

not. The likelihood of school counselors using an approach based on theory was found

to be relatively high for each theory, which may account for the high level of self-efficacy

school counselors reported in managing multiparty student conflict. Using an approach


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based in theory is positively correlated with degree of self efficacy in managing

multiparty conflict for school counselors in this study. Although participants were not

asked to demonstrate knowledge or understanding of the theories, they did perceive

themselves as using approaches that are grounded in theory. The findings suggest that

it is important for school counselors to operate from a theoretical framework when

managing multiparty student conflicts.

Limitations

A limitation of using a cross-sectional design is that the data does not reflect

changes that may occur in the population over time (Gall et al., 2007). The

generalizability of this study is limited due to the sampling procedures used to select

participants. Only members of ASCA with valid email addresses listed in the member

directory were asked to take the survey, which resulted in a non-probability sample (Van

Selm & Jankowski, 2006). Middle school counselors who are not members of ASCA

may have differing views from counselors who are a part of the professional

organization. Furthermore, the response rate for online surveys is often lower than that

of mail surveys (Granello & Wheaton, 2004).

Since the data in this study was collected by self-report, the responses could

have a self-reporting bias. School counselors completed the survey voluntarily, which

could have biased the results to reflect the perceptions of counselors most willing and

interested in completing the survey. They may have also responded in a way that they

believed to be socially desirable. The accuracy of the data depended on the

perceptions of those surveyed, and each person had their own way of interpreting the

questions and measuring their own behaviors and beliefs. These biases could have


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threatened internal validity and the ability to find a strong relationship between

variables.

Implications for Theory

School counselors were asked to indicate the likelihood of using theoretical

approaches to mediation based on dual concerns theory, social identity theory, and

social interdependence theory. The results of the study show that school counselors

are likely to use an approach based in one or more theories of conflict when mediating

multiparty student conflicts. Furthermore, using theory based approaches was found to

be significantly related to self-efficacy in managing multiparty conflicts.

Although multiparty conflicts are structurally different from dyadic conflicts,

theories of conflict resolution are still applicable. The goals of the mediation are the

same for both types of conflict, which means that mediators can use their understanding

of conflict to facilitate an integrative solution for either dyadic or multiparty conflicts.

School counselors who mediate multiparty student conflicts may want to consider

encouraging students to consider the needs of other disputants in addition to their own

needs, as suggested by dual concerns theory. They may also encourage disputants to

work cooperatively towards the common goals of resolution, as recommended by social

interdependence theory. Finally, school counselors can help students lower their biases

towards individuals belonging to different social groups, an implied suggestion of social

identity theory. While social identity theory is not mentioned in most conflict resolution

education literature, it was found to be relevant to multiparty student conflicts. School

counselors may use a combined theoretical approach by considering how individual

students approach conflicts, how they cooperate, and how their perceptions of group

memberships.


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Though school counselors were asked to rate their likelihood of using

approaches based in theories of conflict resolution, their understanding and knowledge

of these theories were not explored. School counselors who use approaches based in

theory may or may not be operating from a theoretical framework. The findings suggest

that it may be beneficial for school counselors to consider theories of conflict when

selecting approaches for mediation.

Implications for Practice

School counselors showed a high level of involvement in managing student

conflicts, which include both dyadic (56%) and multiparty (43%) conflicts. The finding

suggests that multiparty student conflicts are an issue in middle schools that school

counselors are partially responsible for managing. School counselors should partner

with Administrators to address this issue, since administrators were perceived to be the

most involved in managing student conflicts. Specifically, principals can be an

important source of support and school counselors should include them in creating a

conflict resolution component in their developmental counseling program. Principals are

key decision makers in schools and have been found to have different views of what

roles school counselors should fulfill (Amatea & Clark, 2005; Chata & Loesch, 2007;

Clemens, Milsom, & Cashwell, 2009). By working closely with principals, school

counselors can develop a program that aligns with principal expectations as well as

professional standards for school counselors. Partnerships may also be formed with

teachers, who were perceived to be moderately involved in managing student conflicts.

Given their training in conflict resolution and their high self-efficacy in managing

multiparty student conflicts, school counselors may help educate other faculty members


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about the nature of multiparty conflicts and theoretical approaches for mediating

multiparty conflicts.

School counselors can also integrate conflict resolution training into their

developmental guidance curriculum. Teaching small and large groups of students skills

in conflict management were two forms of delivery found to be significantly related to

self-efficacy in managing multiparty conflict. By empowering students to constructively

resolve their conflicts, school counselors can reduce the number of student conflicts

requiring adult intervention. Skills for understanding the process of resolving conflict

include teaching a problem solving approach to negotiation and encouraging

cooperation among students, which are strategies based on dual concerns theory and

social interdependence theory respectively. Conflict resolution education also includes

teaching social skills such as communication, empathy, and perspective taking

(Casserino & Lane-Garon, 2006). Students may also benefit from learning how to build

a positive social identity and discover common group memberships with others because

multiparty conflicts take place within rich social contexts. Teaching conflict resolution

skills to small groups and teaching skills to large groups ranked fifth and sixth in the

frequency of types of delivery used. Perhaps more school counselors should integrate

these skills into their guidance curriculum. Those who are uncomfortable with

classroom management can learn useful techniques from teachers, such as how to set

rules and use humor to improve the atmosphere (Geltner & Clark, 2005). School

counselors can gain support for delivering their guidance curriculum by discussing with

the school principal how it fits with the principal's objectives and plan for the school.


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Most school counselors reported using mediation to manage multiparty student

conflicts, but mediation was not related to self-efficacy in managing multiparty student

conflict. However, school counselors who reported using a theory based approach for

mediating multiparty student conflicts had higher self-efficacy than those who did not.

Thus, school counselors should seek to gain an understanding of theory and operate

from a theoretical framework when mediating student conflicts.

Peer mediators were reported to have the least involvement in managing student

conflicts and it may be inappropriate to have them independently manage multiparty

student conflicts. Peer mediators are trained in the process of mediating dyadic

conflicts including a basic script or set of steps. Peer mediators may have difficulty with

the dynamic and complex structure of multiparty conflicts. Another limitation of peer

mediators is their limited neutrality. In a study of dyadic mediations, student mediators

sometimes deviated from their script and had lapses in their neutrality when trying to

gain control of the process (Nix & Hale, 2007). A multiparty conflict may be more

difficult to control because of additional disputants, possible coalitions, and other

variables which may further detract from peer mediator neutrality. Perhaps a more

appropriate role for peer mediators who have been trained in mediating dyadic conflicts

is to assist school counselors in teaching other students skills in managing multiparty

conflicts. For example, peer mediators could lead or participate in a role play of a

multiparty student conflict.

School counselors felt most confident about their ability to meet with students

involved in multiparty conflicts individually, but individual counseling as a type of

delivery was not significantly related to self-efficacy in managing multiparty student


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conflicts. Alternatively, school counselors who counseled small groups of students had

higher self-efficacy than those who did not. These findings suggest that small group

counseling may be the most effective way to respond to a multiparty student conflict in

most cases. Small group counseling allows all involved disputants to be present in a

joint session. Joint sessions give disputants an opportunity to listen, empathize, and

contribute to the creation of a solution. Meeting individually with students can be used

to gather information and may be necessary in emotionally heightened situations.

The ability that was found to be the greatest area of weakness for participants on

average was helping all students in a multiparty conflict reach a mutually beneficial

agreement. The primary goal of conflict resolution is to reach an agreement that meets

the needs of all involved parties. With multiparty conflict, there are more individual

needs to consider. If a mutual agreement cannot be reached, school counselors need

to consider how the conflict will be resolved. One solution that students sometimes

reach is to avoid each other, which may lead to improved social relationships but can

still prevent aggressive behavior from continuing (Smith, Daunic, Miller, & Robinson,

2002).

Recommendations for Future Research

The current study found that multiparty student conflicts are an issue in middle

schools and that school counselors apply a variety of approaches to manage these

conflicts. This knowledge could be expanded by examining the occurrence of multiparty

student conflict at the elementary and high school levels. Research could also be

conducted to investigate the perceptions and practices of administrators and teachers,

who were also found to be involved in managing multiparty student conflicts. Additional

research needs to be conducted to gather information about the nature of multiparty


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student conflicts and how they differ from dyadic conflicts. Observational data and

student perceptions would provide greater understanding of the structure, disputant

contributions, and process of multiparty student conflicts. This information could be

used to improve the framework for multiparty conflict (Figure 2-1) to better fit student

conflicts.

Although gender was not a research variable in the current study, an interesting

finding was that the majority of multiparty student conflicts take place among all

females. The gender composition of multiparty student conflicts could be further

investigated to explain the gender disparity. Possible factors to consider are male and

female relationships, approaches for conflict resolution, and likelihood of reporting

multiparty conflicts to an adult. It would be interesting to know whether multiparty

conflicts are self-referred or adult referred to school counselors, because it may be that

males are less likely to refer their conflicts to an adult.

School counselors reported teaching student skills in conflict resolution, but the

survey did not ask what skills were taught or whether students were able to apply what

they learned. It would be useful to know which skills are the most useful for students in

resolving multiparty student conflicts. Students may also benefit from learning skills that

are specific to managing conflicts that take place among a group.

The goal of conflict resolution is to reach an integrative agreement that meets the

needs of all disputants. School counselor self-efficacy for the ability to facilitate such an

agreement was relatively high, but still lower than other tasks related to multiparty

conflict management. An important follow-up to this finding would be to research the

outcomes of multiparty student conflicts and determine how often an integrative


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agreement is reached. A longitudinal design study could track disputants in multiparty

conflicts to see if solutions are successful long term.

Conflict resolution programs are meant to reduce negative impacts from poorly

managed student conflicts. When students approach conflict aggressively, the result

can be physical, psychological, or social harm. Aggression can also take the form of

cyberbullying, where bullies use technology as a means to attack their victims.

Cyberbullying has similar negative effects on victims as traditional bullying, including

depression and lower self-esteem (Tokunaga, 2010). It is not known whether multiparty

conflict is more or less likely than dyadic conflict to result in aggression. It is also

unknown whether multiparty conflicts typically take place among friends belonging to

the same social group or students belonging to different social groups. Gang disputes,

which are a form of multiparty conflict, may differ from other forms of student conflict as

well.

Since school counselors were shown to be involved in managing multiparty

student conflict, it would be beneficial to learn more about how school counselors are

trained in managing student conflicts. Future research could explore how conflict

resolution is addressed in counselor education programs as well as workshops and

continuing education. It would be essential to look at the theories of conflict presented

in these programs, since theoretical approach was related to higher self-efficacy in

managing multiparty student conflict. Through further investigation of student multiparty

conflicts, school counselor training, and school counselor practices, recommendations

for school counselor best practices and counselor education could be developed.


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In the current study, school counselors were found to apply approaches based in

theories of conflict, however it is unknown whether participants operate from a

theoretical framework. Future research could investigate school counselors' knowledge

and understanding of theory and how their knowledge informs their approaches to

mediation. A comparison of the effectiveness of each theory based approach could

also be conducted, which could be used to improve school counselor training and

practices.

The MCMSS was developed for this study to measure school counselor self-

efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Additional testing of the instrument

could be done to ensure validity and reliability. Testing could also be done with other

educators, such as administrators or teachers, to determine whether the scale could be

used with these populations. Since administrators and teachers were perceived to be

involved with managing multiparty student conflicts, it is important to know how

confident they are in this role.

Conclusion

The results of the study showed that multiparty student conflict is an issue that

middle school counselors are involved in managing. Therefore it is worthwhile for

school counselors to learn more about multiparty student conflicts and best practices for

multiparty student conflict management. Administrators were perceived to be the most

involved in the management of student conflicts, making them ideal partners for school

counselors in managing multiparty student conflicts. School counselors were found to

have high self-efficacy in managing multiparty student conflicts, possibly due to their

experience and training. This finding shows that school counselors are well equipped to


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manage multiparty student conflicts and may be able to provide training for other faculty

members.

Higher levels of self-efficacy were related to using an approach to mediation

based in theory. This implies that school counselors should have an understanding of

conflict resolution theories and apply them to the management of multiparty student

conflict. The types of delivery for managing multiparty student conflict that were related

to high self-efficacy were counseling small groups of students, teaching conflict

resolution skills to small groups, and teaching skills to large groups. Small group

counseling allows school counselors to meet with all of the disputants involved in a

multiparty conflict together in a joint session, which is facilitative of reaching a mutually

beneficial agreement. Teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups and large

groups helps students to constructively approach conflicts, including multiparty, on their

own. The results of the study can also be used by counselor educators, who can apply

this information to teach future school counselors how to manage multiparty student

conflicts.


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APPENDIX A
PRE-NOTICE LETTER


Dear School Counselor,

I am a doctoral student at the University of Florida, and am conducting a study on the
role of the school counselor in managing student conflicts. A few days from now you
will receive an E-mail requesting your participation in research I am conducting for my
dissertation.

I am writing in advance because many people like to know ahead of time when they will
be contacted for surveys. You were selected to participate because you are a middle
school counselor and a member of ASCA. Your survey invitation will include a hyperlink
and password. You may click on the link or copy and paste it into your browser, then
type in the password provided in the email when prompted. You will then be directed to
the online survey.

Your participation is very important to the study and will contribute to understanding
counselor perceptions about the management of student conflicts. Your responses are
confidential and participation in the survey is voluntary.

If you have questions or comments regarding this study, please contact me or my
faculty supervisor, Dr. Mary Ann Clark.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I appreciate it very much.

Sincerely,
Summer Yacco, Ed.S., NCC
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Counselor Education
University of Florida
(XXX) XXX-XXXX
XXXXX@ufl.edu

Mary Ann Clark, Ph.D., NCC
Associate Professor
Department of Counselor Education
University of Florida
(XXX) XXX-XXXX
XXXXX@coe.ufl.edu


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APPENDIX B
INVITATION LETTER


Dear School Counselor,

You have been selected to participate in a survey of middle school counselors being
conducted as part of my dissertation. The purpose of this study is to investigate the
perceptions of middle school counselors. An understanding of how counselors perceive
and manage student conflicts could facilitate the development of more effective
intervention strategies for working with young adolescents.

Your participation in this survey is voluntary and you are free to skip any questions that
you prefer not to answer. Your answers are completely confidential and will be released
only as summaries in which no individual's answers can be identified. It will take
approximately 10 minutes of your time.

Please access the survey by clicking on the following internet link and entering the
password "counselor" when prompted:
http://qtrial.qualtrics.com/SE?SID=SV_8AOTRyjv03szVsM&SVID=Prod

After following the link, please type the password "counselor" to continue to the survey.

If you have questions or comments regarding this study, please contact me or my
faculty supervisor, Dr. Mary Ann Clark. I greatly appreciate your time and effort. It is
only with the help of practicing counselors like you that current practices can be
improved.

Sincerely,
Summer Yacco, Ed.S., NCC
Doctoral Candidate
Department of Counselor Education
University of Florida
(XXX) XXX-XXXX
XXXXX@ufl.edu

Mary Ann Clark, Ph.D., NCC
Associate Professor
Department of Counselor Education
University of Florida
(XXX) XXX-XXXX
XXXXX@coe.ufl.edu


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APPENDIX C
INFORMED CONSENT FORM

Dear School Counselor:

I am a doctoral student at the University of Florida. For my dissertation I am conducting
a survey, the purpose of which is to learn about how school counselors perceive their
role and self-efficacy in managing conflicts involving three or more students. I am asking
you to participate in this survey because you have been identified as a middle school
counselor. Your views will help to develop an understanding of counselor perceptions
and approaches to managing conflict.

Participants will be asked to complete a survey that should take approximately 10
minutes. If you agree to participate, you will not have to answer any question you do not
wish to answer. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law and
your identity will not be revealed in the final manuscript.

There are no anticipated risks, compensation or other direct benefits to you as a
participant in this survey. You are free to withdraw your consent to participate and may
discontinue your participation in the interview at any time without consequence.

If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact me at 352-505-
8292 or my faculty supervisor, Dr. Mary Ann Clark at (352) 392-0731 ex. 295. Questions
or concerns about your rights as a research participant rights may be directed to the
IRB02 office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611; (352) 392-0433.

To give your consent, please check "I give my consent" below. With your consent, you
give me permission to report your responses anonymously in the final manuscript to be
submitted to my faculty supervisor as part of my course work.

Sincerely,

Summer Yacco


I have read the procedure described above for the Investigating School Counselors'
Perceived Role and Self-Efficacy in Managing Multiparty Student Conflicts study and I
voluntarily agree to participate in the survey.

SYes, I give my consent.

SNo, I do not consent.


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APPENDIX D
SURVEY OF SCHOOL COUNSELOR PERCEPTIONS OF STUDENT CONFLICT AND
COUNSELOR ROLE


School Demographics

1. Are you a middle school counselor practicing in Florida?

Yes No

If Yes is checked, please continue with the rest of the survey.

If you checked No, you are now finished with the survey. Thank you for your time.

2. What is the metropolitan status of your school's location?

SUrban (50,000 or more inhabitants in the area)

SSuburban (At least 10,000 inhabitants and fewer than 50,000 inhabitants

in the area)

Rural (Fewer than 10,000 inhabitants in the area)

3. What is the approximate student enrollment at your school? (Fill in the blank)

The approximate number of students enrolled is

4. How many school counselors work at your school? (Fill in the blank)

There are __ counselors, including myself.

5. Approximately what percentage of students are on free or reduced lunch?
(Fill in the blank)

% of students are on free or reduced lunch.


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For the following questions, indicate the frequency that each item occurs at your school
from 1 = Very Infrequent to 10 = Very Frequent.

6. How frequently are student conflicts brought to your attention in an average month?


1 2
Very
Infrequent


3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Moderately V
Frequent Fr


ery
frequent


7. To what degree are school counselors involved in managing student conflicts at your
school?


3 4 5 6
Moderately
Frequent


7 8 9 10
Very
Frequent


8. To what degree are teachers involved in managing student conflicts at your school?


1 2
Very
Infrequent


3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Moderately Very
Frequent Frequent


9. To what degree are administrators (i.e. principals, deans, assistant principals)
involved in managing student conflicts at your school?


1 2
Very
Infrequent


3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Moderately V
Frequent Fr


ery
frequent


10. To what degree are peer facilitators/mediators involved in managing student
conflicts at your school?


3 4 5 6
Moderately
Frequent


7 8 9 10
Very
Frequent


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1 2
Very
Infrequent


1 2
Very
Infrequent









For each of the following questions, fill in the blanks.


11. Out of all the student conflicts brought to your attention, approximately what percent
of conflicts occur: (Answers should add up to 100% of conflicts brought to your
attention)

between just 2 students %

among 3 or more students %

12. Out of the conflicts brought to your attention involving three or more students,
approximately what percent take place among: (Answers should add up to 100% of
conflicts brought to your attention involving three or more students)

all females %

all males %

a mix of males and females %


Counselor Background

13. What is your gender?


Male


Female


14. What is your ethnic background?


African American, not of Hispanic origin

Asian or Pacific Islander

SHispanic

Native American

SWhite, not of Hispanic origin

Multi-ethnic

Other


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15. How many years of experience have you had as a practicing school counselor, not
including the 2009-2010 school year?

__ years of experience

16. How many years have you been employed at your current school, not including the
2009-2010 school year?

__ years at current school

17. What is the highest degree you have earned in the field of school counseling?

SMasters degree (M.A. or M.S.) in school counseling

SSpecialist in Education degree (Ed.S.) in school counseling

SDoctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in school counseling

SNo degree earned in school counseling

18. What training have you had in conflict resolution? (Check all that apply)

College coursework Seminar or workshop

Certificate program No formal training

SOther (Please specify)


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19. Which types of delivery do you use to manage conflicts among three or more
students?
(Check all that apply)

SCollaborating with others

STeaching Conflict Resolution Skills to Small Groups

STeaching Conflict Resolution Skills to Large Groups

Mediation

SArbitration (Adult makes final decision)

SIndividual Counseling

SSmall Group Counseling

SOther (Please specify)

SNone of the above (You are not involved in managing conflicts among three or
more students)


129









Directions: For the following questions, you will be asked how likely you are to take a
specific action when you, as a school counselor, mediate a conflict between three or
more students. Examples will be given to help clarify each question. After reading the
question and example, indicate how likely you are to take each action from Very
Unlikely to Very Likely.


20. When you mediate a student conflict involving three or more students, how likely are
you to help them work cooperatively toward a common goal?

Example: If three students were arguing because each one wants to be a group
leader for a class project, how likely is it that you would help them to work cooperatively
toward a common goal so that they can all help the group be successful on the
assignment?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Very Moderately Very
Unlikely Likely Likely



21. When you mediate a student conflict involving three or more students, how likely are
you to encourage them to balance their own needs while considering the needs of
others when working toward a solution?

Example: If four students are in a conflict over who is to blame for starting a rumor,
how likely are you to help them think about each others feelings instead of just their own
point of view?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Very Moderately Very
Unlikely Likely Likely


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22. When you mediate a student conflict involving three or more students, how likely are
you to try to reduce negative beliefs that students have about others belonging to a
different social group?

Example: Two students from social group A are in a conflict with two students from
social group B. Students from group A seem to have stereotypes about students
belonging to group B and vice versa. How likely are you to help the students to learn
more about each other and see that they are more similar than different?

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Very Moderately Very
Unlikely Likely Likely


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Self-Efficacy Scale
The following items list activities related to resolving conflicts between students of three
or more. These conflicts are defined as Multiparty Conflicts.

In the column labeled Confidence, rate how confident you are that you can do them as
of now, regardless of whether you have performed the task before. Rate your degree of
confidence by recording a number from 0 to 10 using the scale given below:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Cannot Moderately Highly
do at all certain can do certain can do

Confidence
(0-10)

1. Help students use a problem solving approach when in a multiparty
conflict (a conflict involving three or more students).

2. Get students who are involved in multiparty conflicts to use a conflict
resolution approach that does not sacrifice relationships for personal gain.

3. Get students who are involved in multiparty conflicts to use an approach
that does not sacrifice important needs in order to appease others.

4. Help three or more students involved in conflict build positive beliefs about
their position within their social network.

5. Help three or more students involved in conflict to build positive beliefs
about their group memberships.

6. Help students in a multiparty conflict to reduce their biases towards
students belonging to social groups (i.e. friendship, cultural, community)
different from their own.

7. Help students build trust with one another while resolving a multiparty
conflict.

8. Help students involved in a multiparty conflict avoid coercion, intimidation,
and deception.

9. Help three or more students work together cooperatively to resolve a
conflict.

Confidence
(0-10)


132









10. Get students who are involved in a multiparty conflict to consider the
needs of others in addition to their own needs.

11. Get students who are in a multiparty conflict to think about their
relationships with other disputants instead of just their own needs.

12. Get every student who is involved in a multiparty conflict to work towards
a common goal.

13. Get every student who is involved in a multiparty conflict to reach an
agreement.

14. Get every student who is involved in a multiparty conflict to reach an
agreement that meets the needs of every disputant.

15. Work cooperatively with other adults to manage multiparty student
conflicts.

16. Manage an imbalance of power during a multiparty conflict, when one or
more students is at a disadvantage.

17. Maintain control over the process of managing a multiparty conflict.


18. Decide whether a multiparty conflict should end when the majority of
disputants agree or when all agree.

19. Decide which students to meet with when there is a conflict involving
three or more students.

20. Meet privately with individual disputants when there are three or more
disputants.

21. Meet with all disputants together at one time when there are three or
more disputants.


133









Open-ended Question
How might counselor education and/or in-service training be changed to better prepare

school counselors to handle conflicts among three or more students? (Write in the

space below)


134









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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Summer Yacco was born in 1982 and raised in Burbank, California. She majored

in psychology and graduated with her bachelor's degree from California State

University, Northridge in 2004. The same year, Summer moved to Florida to begin her

graduate studies in school counseling as an Alumni Fellow at the University of Florida.

As a graduate student, she gained school counseling experience at the elementary,

middle, and high school levels in Alachua County schools. Summer conducted her

doctoral internship as an intern to the Supervisor of Guidance and Student Services in

Alachua County. Her graduate assistant work included teaching undergraduate level

courses and participating in scholarly research. Summer received her Master of Arts

and Specialist degrees in 2006 and continued her education at the University of Florida

pursuing a doctorate in counselor education. Upon graduation, Summer is beginning

her career as a counselor educator in a university position.


146





PAGE 1

1 EFFICACY IN MANAGING MULTIPARTY STUDENT CONFLICT By SUMMER YACCO A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2010

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2 2010 Summer Yacco

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3 To my mom who has always believed in me

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I owe thanks to many people who offered me their support and guidance thr oughout my studies because it was with their encouragement that I was able to accomplish the completion of this work. First, I would like to thank my parents, who helped make my education possible. The emphasis they placed on my education was an invaluab le gift. My father, who is not here with me now, helped me to hone my writing skills and fostered my interest in technology. I am thankful to my mother for always thinking of me and being a source of love and stability in my life. Next I would like to thank my doctoral committee for helping me to shape my thoughts and develop as a professional. I am grateful to have had Dr. Mary Ann Clark as my chair. She has been a role model and mentor to me. By including me in her work and encouraging me to parti cipate in professional activities, she has enriched my doctoral studies. I would also like to thank Dr. Stephen Smith for supporting my interest in multiparty conflict and assisting me with the development of my multiparty conceptual framework. I am than kful to both Dr. Amatea and Dr. Dixon for preparing me to enter into academia by giving me their insight into the roles and responsibilities of faculty members. I am indebted to William Goodman, for the perspective and wisdom he shared with me during my internship with him. His devotion to students and the school counseling profession are qualities that I admire and hope to emulate. I would also like to thank Dr. Cindy Garvan, who was not a member of my committee, but generously offered her help with my methodology. My experience as a graduate student would not have been the same without the people I have met in Gainesville. I am fortunate to have found a partner, Stephen

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5 Bendfelt, who supports and encourages my dreams even when I question them. Final ly, I am lucky to have friends, both old and new, who are there for me through my times of weakness and achievement. I am glad to have the memories we created together to take with me after I leave.

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6 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 4 LIST OF TABLES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 9 LIST OF FIGURES ................................ ................................ ................................ ........ 10 DEFIN ITION OF TERMS ................................ ................................ .............................. 11 ABSTRACT ................................ ................................ ................................ ................... 13 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION ................................ ................................ ................................ .... 14 Research Problem ................................ ................................ ................................ .. 14 Purpose of the Study ................................ ................................ .............................. 19 Significance of the Study ................................ ................................ ........................ 19 Rationale for the Methodology ................................ ................................ ................ 20 Research Questions ................................ ................................ ............................... 21 Hypotheses ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 21 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 21 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE ................................ ................................ .................... 23 School Counselor Role ................................ ................................ ........................... 23 School Counseling History ................................ ................................ ............... 23 ASCA National Model ................................ ................................ ....................... 24 Conflict Management ................................ ................................ ....................... 26 School Counselor Self Efficacy ................................ ................................ ............... 28 Concept of Self Efficacy ................................ ................................ ................... 28 Measures of Counselor Self Efficacy ................................ ............................... 29 Adolescent Development ................................ ................................ ........................ 32 Theories of Conflict ................................ ................................ ................................ 33 Dual Concerns Theory ................................ ................................ ..................... 34 Social Interdependence Theory ................................ ................................ ........ 36 Social Identity Theory ................................ ................................ ....................... 38 Conflic t Resolution Education ................................ ................................ ................. 40 Concepts and Skills ................................ ................................ .......................... 41 Program Formats ................................ ................................ ............................. 42 Training Methods and Application ................................ ................................ .... 45 School Climate ................................ ................................ ................................ 46 Adult Roles ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 47 Outcomes ................................ ................................ ................................ ......... 48 Multiparty Conflict ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 54

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7 Structure ................................ ................................ ................................ ........... 54 Disputa nt Contributions ................................ ................................ .................... 56 Process ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 59 Multiparty Conflict Resolution Outcomes ................................ ................................ 62 Multiparty Conflicts in Schools ................................ ................................ ................ 62 Application of Theory to the Study ................................ ................................ .......... 63 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 64 3 METHODOLOGY ................................ ................................ ................................ ... 67 Overview ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 67 Variables ................................ ................................ ................................ ................. 67 Research Variables ................................ ................................ .......................... 68 Descriptive Variables ................................ ................................ ........................ 68 Population ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 69 Sampling Procedures ................................ ................................ .............................. 70 Data Collection ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 71 Design of the Study ................................ ................................ ................................ 72 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 73 Instrumentation ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 74 Multiparty Conflict Management Self Efficacy Scale ................................ ........ 75 Validity and Reliability ................................ ................................ ...................... 76 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 77 4 RESULTS ................................ ................................ ................................ ............... 82 Descriptive Statistics ................................ ................................ ............................... 82 Instrument Development Results ................................ ................................ ............ 84 Data Analysis ................................ ................................ ................................ .......... 85 Research Question One ................................ ................................ ................... 85 Research Question Two ................................ ................................ ................... 88 Research Question Three ................................ ................................ ................ 88 Research Question Four ................................ ................................ .................. 89 Research Question Five ................................ ................................ ................... 91 Research Question Six ................................ ................................ ..................... 94 Summary ................................ ................................ ................................ ................ 94 5 DISCUSSION ................................ ................................ ................................ ....... 100 Overview of the Study and Discussion of F indings ................................ ............... 100 Types of Multiparty Conflict Management Delivery ................................ ........ 103 Theoretical Approach to Multiparty Conflict Management .............................. 104 Self Efficacy in Multiparty Conflict Management ................................ ............ 106 Limitations ................................ ................................ ................................ ............. 112 Implications for Theory ................................ ................................ ................... 113 Implications for Practice ................................ ................................ ................. 114 Recommendations for Future Research ................................ ............................... 117

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8 Conclusion ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 120 APPENDIX A PRE NOTICE LETTER ................................ ................................ ......................... 122 B INVITATION LETTER ................................ ................................ ........................... 123 C INFORMED CONSENT FORM ................................ ................................ ............. 124 D SURVEY OF SCHOOL COUNSELOR PERCEPTIONS OF STUDENT CONFLICT AND COUNSELOR ROLE ................................ ................................ 125 REFERENCES ................................ ................................ ................................ ............ 135 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................ ................................ .......................... 146

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9 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3 1 Relationship among research variables, research questions (R.Q.), and survey questions ................................ ................................ ................................ 78 3 2 Relationship of self efficacy items and theory ................................ .................... 80 4 1 Participant descriptive information ................................ ................................ ...... 95 4 2 Self efficacy item averages ................................ ................................ ................ 96 4 3 Types of deliv ery used to manage multiparty student conflicts ........................... 98 4 4 Average use of theoretical approaches ................................ .............................. 99 4 5 Type of delivery and self efficacy score ANOVA testing results. ........................ 99

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10 LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 2 1 Framework for conceptualizing multiparty conflict. ................................ ............. 66

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11 DEFINITION OF TERMS Arbitration A form of conflict resolution in which an outside party makes the final decision for those involved in the conflict. Cadre approach A type of conflict resolution where a group of students is selected for pee r mediation training. Caucus A private meeting in a mediation that includes some disputants and excludes others. Coalition A union between two or more disputants in a multiparty conflict. Conflict resolution The process by which interpersonal dispute s are ended in a constructive manner. Disputant A party participating in a conflict who has a personal interest in the outcome. Distributive approach An approach taken by parties of a conflict that focuses on increasing personal gains and decreasing co ncessions to others. Dyadic conflict Conflict taking place between two individuals. Individual counseling A counselor approach in which the counselor meets privately with a single student. Integrative approach An approach taken by parties of a conflict to reach an agreement that incorporates the interests of all parties. Large group counseling A counselor approach in which the counselor works with more than eight students at one time. Mediation A form of conflict resolution in which an outside indiv idual helps conflicting parties to resolve their problem. Multiparty conflict Conflict taking place between three or more individuals. Multilateral conflict A conflict that has three or more opposing positions that are taken by three or more individual s. Negotiation A form of conflict resolution in which parties involved in a conflict work towards solution without outside assistance. Party An individual who is personally invested in a conflict.

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12 Peer mediation A form of conflict resolution in wh ich students are trained to help other students resolve their problems. Relational aggression A covert act of aggression used to manipulate or damage relationships. Self efficacy Small group c ounseling A counselor approach in which a counselor meets with two to eight students at one time. Type of delivery A selected mode of providing developmental school counseling services to students. Whole school approach An approach to conflict resolutio n where conflict resolution skills are taught to all students in a school.

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13 Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Phi losophy EFFICACY IN MANAGING MULTIPARTY STUDENT CONFLICT By Summer Yacco August 2010 Chair: Mary Ann Clark Major: School Counseling and Guidance The purpose of this study was to examine schoo self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Literature on conflict resolution in the field of education has not addressed conflicts that take place among three or more students, or multiparty student conflict. Therefore, investigated in this study were types of delivery used, theoretical approach, and self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflicts. Participants inclu ded 357 members from the American School Counselor Association who were practicing middle school counselors. It was found that school counselors encounter multiparty student conflicts and have a high level of self efficacy in managing these conflicts. AN OVA testing determined that counseling small groups, teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups, and teaching skills to large groups were types of delivery related to self efficacy in managing multiparty conflicts. A Spearman correlation was calc ulated to find a significant relationship between self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict and the use of theoretical approaches.

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14 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Research Problem Violence in schools threatens student safety as well as the learning envi ronment. Five percent of students have missed school because their safety was threatened by another student (Heydenberk, Heydenberk, & Tzenova, 2006). In 2005, 14% of students in grades 9 12 reported fighting on school property (National Center for Educa tion Statistics (NCES), 2007). That same year, about 6% of students ages 12 18 were afraid of being harmed or attacked at school (NCES, 2007). Harassment, bullying, and victimization can lead to poor academic performance, depression, and self destructive behavior (Bortner, 2005). In addition to physical violence and overt aggression, covert behaviors such as gossiping, spreading rumors, and social isolation are threats to student safety and school climate. This type of covert behavior, called relational aggression, may not be easily observed, but can still harm social and psychological development (Gomes, 2007). Increased use of technology has led to the phenomenon of cyberbullying, which involves the use of electronic devices to inflict harm on victims Cyberbullying has negative effects similar to traditional bullying, such as depression and lower self esteem (Tokunaga, 2010). Educators look to conflict resolution programs to help address these issues. Conflict resolution education (CRE) programs are a solution to issues in schools including interpersonal conflict, violence, and aggressive behavior. They are an alternative to negative disciplinary approaches to handling these problems. The practice of suspension has been questioned because it doe s not seem to deter students from fighting and it has negative consequences for students (Breunlin et al., 2002).

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15 Suspensions may also be unfair because certain groups such as males and minority students receive a disproportionate number of out of school suspensions. Often school policies require teachers and administrators to manage conflicts using punishment, but this takes time and disrupts the school environment (Johnson & Johnson, 1995). Conflict resolution education programs empower students, offe ring training and experiences that are helpful to students of all age groups, and adolescents in particular, in resolving their conflicts in a constructive way. Adolescents are at an age where they are mastering skills for handling conflict and can benefi t from developing these skills further (DuRant, Barkin & Krowchuk, 2001). Smith and Daunic (2002) state that establishing emotional independence, socially responsible behavior, and values, are the core tasks during this age. CRE programs have been found to help students in conflict reach agreements, learn prosocial attitudes, apply skills to real life situations, reduce discipline referrals, and reduce fights (Carruthers & Sweeney, 1996; Heydenberk & Heydenberk, 2007; Roberts, Yeomans, & Ferro Almeida, 20 07). Previous studies on conflict resolution in schools have explored many avenues for managing conflicts that occur between two students. Approaches used in schools generally fall within the broader categories of negotiation, mediation, and arbitration ( Johnson & Johnson, 1995). Arbitration takes place when an adult makes a decision for students, but most approaches are aimed at empowering students to solve their own problems. Through conflict resolution training, students can learn to negotiate their o wn problems or can be trained to mediate problems between others. Ready to use scripts are available for negotiators and mediators to follow, making it easier for schools to implement these programs.

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16 Educators may choose a conflict resolution program t hat aims to teach skills to a select number of students, called a cadre, or to all students in the school (Garrard & Lipsey, 2007; Johnson & Johnson, 1995; Smith & Daunic, 2002). Cadre programs teach a small group of students in conflict resolution and of ten train these students to mediate problems between others. When conflict resolution is taught to larger numbers of students, content may either be delivered through self contained lesson plans or may be embedded in existing curriculum in other subject a reas. One area that has not been addressed in this literature is how to best approach conflicts among three or more students. Literature in the fields of law, international negotiations, and organizational disputes has identified the complexities of con flicts between three or more people, which are referred to as multiparty conflicts (Crump & Glendon, 2003). Researchers in these fields are beginning to lay groundwork for a new paradigm of multiparty conflict, while researchers of school conflict continu e to focus on dyadic, or two party conflicts. Complications that are not present in dyadic conflicts, such as coalitions between two or more parties, make the process of conflict resolution more complex (Susskind, Mnookin, Rozdeiczer, & Fuller, 2005). S tudying the nature of multiparty conflicts can be used to inform the training of students and faculty who participate in conflict resolution. The nature of multiparty conflicts between students is different from international or organizational conflicts a nd needs further exploration before new approaches can be developed for use in schools. Understanding multiparty conflict can help faculty members involved in implementing conflict resolution programs. CRE programs have been found to reduce

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17 the number o f conflicts referred to teachers and administrators, however these programs place other requirements on faculty (Smith, Daunic, Miller, & Robinson, may be spent developin g the program (Carruthers & Sweeney, 1996). School faculty are involved in coordinating programs through scheduling time for conflict resolution activities, motivating mediators and disputing students to participate, training students, and evaluating prog ram effectiveness (Bickmore, 2002). In particular, school counselors play an important role in CRE programs because of their specialized expertise (Hovland & Peterson, 1996). Assisting students with learning personal and social skills is one of three do mains in the national standards set Counselors also intervene in crisis situations, such as when student conflict has escalated or become violent. They may respond to stu dent conflict with direct services such as individual or small group counseling. Whether dealing with students directly or through coordinating services, conflict is one of the concerns that counselors manage. Further research is needed to show how couns elors spend their time on various conflict management related activities. Given their position in managing conflict, the role of the counselor is central to conflict resolution in schools. School counselors are leaders in beginning system wide change an d do so by collaborating with other members of the school team (ASCA, 2005). Therefore they are in a position to promote CRE program use in schools. In order for school counselors to effectively manage conflict or create a CRE program, they need to ident ify other educators who are involved in addressing student conflicts.

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18 to another because of differences in their training, type of school they work at, and the range of approac hes offered in the literature. The types of conflicts they encounter may differ due to the ages of students, school location, student gender, or other variables (Carruthers & Sweeney, 1996). For example, students in urban schools reported being twice as afraid of attacks at school in 2005 compared to students in rural and suburban schools (NCES, 2007). While others have documented different types of conflicts encountered at schools, they did not explore conflicts that took place between three or more stud ents (Johnson & Johnson, 1996; Schmitz, 1994 ). Furthermore, counselors work within the context of institutions that have different ways of operating. Schools may have a structured program for training students in place or rely on punitive or crisis resp onses to deal with student conflict. Research has shown the effectiveness of CRE programs, such as the meta analysis conducted by Burrell, Zirbel, and Allen (2003), but attention has not been given to which approaches are most widely used by school counse lors across the United States. It has been estimated that CRE programs have increased over the past two decades, but the exact number of programs is unknown (Gerrard & Lispsey, 2007). For counselors to confidently choose approaches for managing dyadic a nd multiparty student conflict, a greater understanding is needed of what conflicts counselors encounter in schools and what their perceived roles are in handling them. The current literature is insufficient in showing how approaches are being used in nat ural school settings and how counselors perceive these approaches to work. Additionally, it is unknown whether school counselors perceive their approaches to be

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19 by their perceived self efficacy, which are their beliefs in their ability to carry out a task (Bandura, 1965). To contribute to the conflict resolution literature in education, this study looked at how middle school counselors handle multiparty student conf lict and considered counselor and school variables. Purpose of the Study self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. This study aims to contribute to the awareness and knowledge of an unresearched area in the field of education. Currently, nothing exists in the literature about the nature of multiparty student conflicts, who manages these conflicts, or how the conflicts are approached. Since school counselors play a they are also likely to be involved in managing multiparty student conflicts. Significance of the Study More needs to be known about school counselor perceptions and behavior s regarding multiparty conflicts in order to assess their need for support and training. This study seeks to reveal how prevalent multiparty student conflicts are in schools as perceived by school counselors, the degree school counselors are involved in m anaging these conflicts, which methods of delivery school counselors use to manage multiparty student conflicts, which theories inform school counselors in managing multiparty student conflicts, and the degree of self efficacy they have in managing multipa rty student conflicts. Background data about the school and the school counselor was collected to provide information about the school environments and participants involved in the study.

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20 This study contributes to the field of education by bringing aw areness to a new issue affecting school counselors and other educators. The results of the study provide a basis for future research that could take a number of different directions. The implications discussed in the fifth chapter may be used to develop s pecialized training or support for school counselors. A model for approaching multiparty conflicts could be developed to provide counselors and other educators with guidelines and best practices for managing these conflicts. School counselors may also need to be informed about conflict resolution theory and the unique structure of multiparty conflict. CRE programs that currently address only dyadic student conflicts could be modified to include approaches for managing multiparty conflicts. Training and cur riculum could be developed to teach students how to deal with personal conflicts involving three or more individuals. Given the importance of peer relationships and group memberships, students may need help when conflicts arise within their social circles or between separate peer groups. An understanding of how to handle multiparty conflicts gives students and educators greater control over these social issues. Rationale for the Methodology To elicit the perceptions and behaviors of middle school counselo rs at one point in time, a cross sectional survey design was employed. Participants were selected from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), which has over 21,000 members across the U.S. who are professional school counselors in various settin gs. ASCA offers members access to professional publications and online resources, as well as opportunities for professional development and peer networking. Thus, school counselors who choose to belong to ASCA show an interest in their professional devel opment. Online survey research was selected as a method because the ASCA

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21 member directory provides email addresses for middle school counselors. No other data bases are known that include contact information for middle school counselors across the countr y. Furthermore, online surveys are cost efficient and have a quick response rate (Dillman, 2007; Van Selm & Jankowksi, 2006). Research Questions The following research questions are addressed in this study: 1. What is the degree of school counselor self e fficacy in managing multiparty conflict? 2. What percent of student conflicts that are encountered by school counselors are multiparty? 3. What types of delivery do school counselors use to manage multiparty conflicts? 4. What theoretical approaches inform school counselors in mediating multiparty conflicts? 5. What is the relationship between type of delivery and school counselor self efficacy in managing multiparty conflict? 6. What is the relationship between theoretical approach to mediation and school counselor self efficacy in managing multiparty conflict? Hypotheses Research questions one, two, three, and four are descriptive and did not test any hypotheses. The following null hypotheses correspond with the fifth, and sixth research questions: 5. There is no relatio nship between type of delivery and school counselor self efficacy in managing multiparty conflict. 6. There is no relationship between theoretical approach to mediation and school counselor self efficacy in managing multiparty conflict. Summary This chapt er included an introduction to the issue of multiparty student conflicts and the need to understand how counselors perceive their role and self efficacy in

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22 managing these conflicts. The second chapter covers literature on school counselor roles, self effi cacy theory, adolescent development, conflict resolution theories, conflict resolution education, and multiparty conflict. Following the literature review, the third chapter includes the methodology for the study. In the fourth chapter, data analysis pro cedures and results from the study are reported. Lastly, the fifth chapter provides a discussion of the results, implications, limitations, and directions for future research.

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23 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF LITERATURE The purpose of this study was to examine sc self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. In this chapter, literature is covered on the role of the school counselor, self efficacy theory, adolescent development, theories of conflict resolution, conflict resolution education, multiparty conflict, and application of theory to the study. School Counselor Role In order to understand the role of the school counselor in managing conflicts, it is l. Literature in the field of school counseling refers to the ASCA National Model as a guide for how school counselors should function (Amatea & Clark, 2005; Dimmitt & Carey, 2007; Hernandez & Seem, 2004; Walsh, Barrett, & DePaul, 2007). Before the devel opment of this model, school counselors served a variety of roles in schools. Over the years, paradigm shifts in the field have given rise to the ASCA National Model. School Counseling History In the early 1900s, vocational guidance in schools led to the introduction of the first school counselors (Gysbers, 2004). Throughout the following decades, the role of the school counselor has gone through a number of changes. As early as the 1920s, professionals began to question how counselors could make eff ective contributions. In 1952 the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) was established and school counseling was recognized as a distinct profession (Bauman et al., 2003). School counseling began to change conceptually in the 1970s away from a si ngle person

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24 providing services and towards a comprehensive, developmental program (Gysbers & Henderson, 2001). Comprehensive counseling programs include content, an organizational framework, and resources. In the 1980s and 1990s, school counselors began t o realize that they needed to redefine themselves as valuable contributors to student achievement and success (Schwallie Giddis, ter Maat, & Pak, 2003). Accountability has become increasingly important in school counseling literature. Legislation like t he No Child Left Behind Act has emphasized accountability for schools as a whole and for school counselors (Dollarhide & Lemberger, 2006). In response, ASCA sponsored the development of national standards for school counseling programs in 1997 (Dahir, 200 1). The ASCA national standards were followed by the development of the ASCA National Model: A Framework for School Counseling Programs (ASCA, 2003). The model helps to standardize school counseling programs despite differences in schools and populations (Dimmitt & Carey, 2007). ASCA National Model The ASCA National Model provides a framework for the necessary components of a comprehensive counseling program and it describes the role of the school counselor in implementing the program (ASCA, 2005). The f our elements of the model are foundation, delivery system, management system, and accountability. These elements help explain the philosophy behind the model and how it should be carried out. The foundation of the ASCA National Model describes how schoo l counseling programs should be guided by a mission and set of beliefs and assumptions (ASCA, 2005). The foundation also includes standards that counselors should help students work towards achieving. These standards are grouped into three domains: acade mic

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25 development, career development, and personal/social development. School needs of the students at their school. The components of delivering a school counselin g program include school guidance curriculum, individual student planning, responsive services, and system support (ASCA, 2005). To reach more students, school counselors are shifting from responding to individual crises to providing developmental service s that all students benefit from and working systemically with other stakeholders such as teachers, nurses, study examined the delivery component of newly hired urban sc the four components of a delivery system as outlined in the ASCA National Model. The management system is responsible for how the school counseling pr ogram will operate. Counselors work with administrators and other stakeholders to decide how to implement the program. School counselors are recognized by the ASCA National Model as having skills that make them leaders, advocates, collaborators, and agen ts of change (ASCA, 2005). These qualities are cited as reasons for school counselors to be involved implementing programs in conflict resolution and improving school climate (Hovland, 1996; Hernandez & Seem, 2004). The final element of the ASCA Nationa l Model is evaluation (ASCA, 2005). This component helps to address the problem of counselor accountability. If counselors are to be an integral part of school improvement, they must be able to demonstrate their impact on student achievement (Dahir & Sto ne, 2003). Counselors do this by using

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26 data: disaggregating data to discover needs of students and collecting data to evaluate their programs and interventions. Such data may include student achievement data, achievement indicators, and perceptual data, such as information collected from surveys (Poynton, 2006). Taking these steps will also help counselors to show key stakeholders the worth of their activities and help them to define their roles in schools (Scarborough, 2005). Conflict Management Manag ing conflict and helping students to learn conflict resolution skills are activities that align with the foundation of the ASCA national model. These tasks are directly related to two of the three developmental domains in the foundation: personal and soci al development and academic development. Conflict resolution programs are aimed at helping students develop social skills such as communication, empathy, and perspective taking that will help them to resolve their conflicts (Casserino & Lane Garon, 2006). Interpersonal skills such as these are related to the personal and social development of students. Problems associated with student conflict can also be harmful to academic development. A lack of social skills is one of the causes of problematic peer relationships, which can lead to problems in academic achievement (Poynton, Carlson, Hopper, & Carey, 2006). School violence is reflected in the school climate and can interfere with the learning process (Hernandez & Seem, 2004). School counselors follo wing the ASCA National Model may choose one or more methods of delivery to manage conflict. Guidance curriculum on conflict resolution may be delivered through small groups or classroom instruction. Responsive services include individual and small group counseling, crisis counseling, consultation, and peer facilitation, any of which might be used to deal with conflicts. Counselors may also use

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27 a management approach by collaborating with others. Their skills as leaders, advocates, collaborators, and agen ts of change make them well suited for coordinating programs in conflict resolution and improving school climate (Hovland, 1996; Hernandez & Seem, 2004). Literature on conflict resolution focuses primarily on the effectiveness of CRE programs and best prac tices for implementing a CRE program. However, not all schools have CRE programs in place, and school counselors may choose respond to student conflict using other approaches. Researchers have not yet looked at how counselors respond to student conflicts and which approaches they choose to employ. School counselors may play a role in managing conflict through the use of a conflict resolution program or through other delivery methods in addition to a program or in the absence of a program. The school cou ambiguous, because professional school counselors are still struggling to clarify their roles in schools. While the ASCA National Model has helped to standardize the profession of school counseling, role ambiguity continues to be a problem for counselors due to a lack of clarity about their roles, objectives, and what is expected of them (Dimmitt & Carey, 2007; Lambie & Williamson, 2004). Another issue for school counselors in defining their roles is that others m ay be in charge of assigning their duties (Scarborough, 2005). To help clarify the role of school counselors in conflict management, more information is needed about the prevalence of student conflicts, how school counselors are involved in the process, a nd the effectiveness of their practices.

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28 While exploring the role of the school counselor, it is necessary to take into account the diversity that is present among schools across the country. The ASCA National Model is flexible because differences exis t between different schools and populations of students. Students at elementary, middle, and high schools have different developmental needs that counselors must take into consideration (Aluede et al., 2007). Thus, the role of the school counselor varies from one organization to another to fit the developmental needs of students. Counselors at the middle school level have to consider the growth and transitions that take place during early adolescence (Scales, 2005). School Counselor Self Efficacy This s efficacy in managing multiparty student conflicts. By rating the degree of their perceived self efficacy, school counselors indicated how successful they are at managing multiparty conflicts. Self efficacy literature and existing scales of self efficacy served as a guide for developing a scale for measuring school counselor self efficacy in multiparty conflict management. Concept of Self Efficacy Self to successfully accomplish a task (Bandura, 1997). High self efficacy has positive impacts on cognition, motivation, and emotion. Those who are confident in their abilities are likely to set and commit to high goals. Since self efficacy is closely relate d to performance, it is of interest to understand what factors influence the self efficacy of school counselors. Scales have been developed to measure the vocational self efficacy of individuals including

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29 professional counselors (e.g. Bodenhorn & Skaggs, 2005; Larson, Suzuki, Gillespie, Potenza, Bechtel, & Toulouse, 1992). Perceived self efficacy, is a key concept in social cognitive theory (Bandura, 2001). Through self reflection, people judge their ability to control their environment and the results of their actions. The belief that control is possible increases the likelihood that a person will take action (Bandura, 1997). A person high in self efficacy is likely to be more committed and motivated to reach challenging goals. Self efficacy also imp acts how people manage stress, threats, and negative thoughts. Those with high self efficacy believe that they will have a positive outcome which makes them more persistent and better able to cope when faced with barriers. Furthermore, school counselor s elf efficacy may have an impact on students receiving counseling services. Bodenhorn, Wolfe, and Airen (2010) found that school counselors with higher self efficacy were more likely to be aware of achievement gap data and implement the ASCA National Model than those with lower self efficacy. Measures of Counselor Self Efficacy Larson and Daniels (1998) define counseling self beliefs or judgments about her or his capabilities to effectively counsel a client in the 180). The Counseling Self Estimate Inventory (COSE) measures five factors of CSE and was developed for use with counseling trainees (Larson et al., 1992). The instrument was developed and validated over the course of several studies. The internal reli retest reliability over a three week period was r = .74. High CSE, as measured by the COSE, was found to be correlated with higher self concept, more effective problem solving, and lower state and trait anxiet y. The COSE scores were not significantly correlated with defensiveness or

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30 faking. Level of training, counseling experience, and semesters of training all had significant effect on COSE scores, but theoretical orientation did not. The first self effica cy scale constructed for school counselors was the Counselor Self Efficacy Scale (CSS) (Sutton & Fall, 1995). The 33 item scale was adapted from a teacher self efficacy scale by replacing the term teacher with school counselor where appropriate, eliminati ng irrelevant items, and adding additional items. A draft of the scale was reviewed by 10 school counselors before making final changes, but no further steps were taken to test for validity or reliability. A factor analysis revealed underlying factors wi thin the scale, including efficacy expectancy, individual counseling role expectancy, and outcome expectancy. Sutton and Fall (1995) collected data from school counselors using the CSS and found a relationship between counselor self efficacy and school c limate. School climate was composed of colleague support, which had the strongest significant relationship with self efficacy, and principal support, which was also significantly related to self efficacy. Another finding of the study was that school coun selors had higher expectations for outcomes of their services that were within the role of the school counselor compared to unrelated services. Citing the need for a valid and reliable instrument for measuring school counselor self efficacy, Bodenhorn an d Skaggs (2005) constructed and validated the School Counselor Self Efficacy Scale (SCSE) for use in the school counseling profession at all levels of schooling. The SCSE was developed to align with the ASCA national standards for school counseling. A bro ad range of school counselor functions are included in the SCSE, unlike the CSE which considers only counseling clients. The

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31 scale is considered appropriate for different school settings because the focus of self efficacy and comprehensive counseling prog rams are results, not specific strategies (Aluede et al., 2007; Bodenhorn and Skaggs, 2005). The SCSE was developed in four studies that involved continual revision (Bodenhorn & Skaggs, 2005). After being reviewed by experts, the scale was rewritten and mailed to attendees of the American School Counselor Association conference in variance revealed that group differences were not significant for school setting or ra ce, but were significant for gender, experience, and training. Females reported higher self efficacy than males, school counselors with three or more years of experience had higher self efficacy than those with less experience, and individuals who had rec eived training in the ASCA National Model reported higher self efficacy than those without programs along with four other scales to test for construct validity. School couns elor self efficacy was positively correlated with another self efficacy estimate and negatively correlated with state trait anxiety. There was no significant correlation between school counselor self efficacy and social desirability or self concept. Scho ol counselor and reliability were collected (Bodenhorn & Skaggs). As Albert Bandura (2006) asserted in his guide for creating self efficacy scales, beliefs about self e ffiacy are specific to an area of functioning. A self efficacy scale should target only factors that impact performance in a particular domain, which is why a universal measure for self efficacy does not exist. A scale should accurately

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32 encompass the con struct which it measures and differentiate between similar constructs. For example, the School Counselor Multicultural Self Efficacy Scale efficacy in multicultural counseling skills ( Holcomb McCoy, Harris, Hines, and Johnston, 2008). The SCSE addresses cultural competence less broadly and as one of many factors, while the SCMES focuses exclusively on multicultural counseling skills. Therefore, in order to measure the perceived self efficacy of sch ool counselors in managing multiparty student conflict, a scale must be used that accurately reflects domain of multiparty student conflict. Adolescent Development Students in middle schools are entering a time of significant psychological growth and phy sical change and they are in need of support that will help them through their transition into maturity. The need for intimate friendships and stable relationships is of particular importance to adolescents, yet maintaining them can be challenging (Daunic, Smith, Robinson, Miller, & Landry, 2000; Zimmer Gembeck, Geiger, & Crick, 2005). Young adolescents receive less adult supervision, are in a larger social environment, and many are victimized by their peers (Erath & Bierman, 2008). Although negative intera ctions can be harmful, positive peer relationships can be a protective factor in middle school adjustment and academic success. Group memberships are a vital aspect of adolescent relationships. Peer groups give adolescents a sense of belonging and serve as models for socially acceptable behavior (Akos, Hamm, Mack, & Dunaway, 2007). Given the importance of peer relationships and group memberships, students may need help when conflicts arise within their social circles or between separate peer groups. Accor ding to Scales (2005),

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33 students of middle school age are advanced in some ways while still immature in others, due to varying individual rates of development and most will need adult assistance to develop self control and social skills. Middle school aged students are also vulnerable to low self esteem issues and may perceive themselves as having fewer assets, such as school engagement, achievement motivation, interpersonal competence, and bonding to school (Scales, 2005; Wigfield, Lutz, & Wagner, 2005). In cidences of bullying are highest during the middle school years and fighting is more prominent than in elementary school. Noakes and Rinaldi (2006) compared peer conflict between 4 th grade and 8 th grade students and found that adolescents engage in conflic t more frequently than younger students. The clear need for young adolescents to develop conflict resolution skills and nurture positive relationships is the reason for selecting middle school counselors as participants in this study. Theories of Conflic t Many theories have been used to explain conflict and conflict resolution in education, but a dominant theory has not been identified in the literature (Sweeney & Carruthers, 1996). Studies on conflict resolution often fail to connect findings to theoret ical frameworks from conflict resolution literature (Johnson, Johnson, Dudley, Ward, & Magnuson, 1995). Sweeney and Carruthers suggest that any theory of human behavior can provide insight into conflict resolution because conflict is a part of interpersona l relations. Three theories are relevant to this research, two that inform school conflict resolution programs, and one that is relevant to the social context of conflict. In school programs, students are taught constructive approaches for dealing with c onflict, such as cooperative problem solving (Bickmore, 2002; Roberts, Yeomans, Ferro Almeida, 2007; Uline, Tschannen Moran, & Perez, 2003). Although not all

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34 researchers tie their conflict resolution approaches to theory, the problem solving and cooperati ve approaches are rooted in dual concerns theory and social interdependence theory (Roberts et al.). Social identity theory was also selected because it takes into account that disputants may be members of different social groups. This theory may be usef ul for conceptualizing aspects of multiparty conflict that dual concerns theory and interdependence theory do not address. Dual concerns theory is often used to explain conflicts on the level of the individual disputant (Sweeney & Carruthers, 1996). Whi le this theory is commonly used, it does not take into account the interpersonal nature of conflict. Two theories that explain conflict in terms of relationships are social interdependence theory and social identity theory. Social interdependence theory explains how relationships within a group affect conflict (Johnson & Johnson, 1996). Social identity theory can be used to explain how membership in a group affects conflicts between groups as well as within groups (Smith & Tyler, 1997). Dual Concerns T heory Traditionally, CRE programs emphasize training students how to select a positive approach for resolving a conflict (Roberts et al., 2007). To explain individual approaches to conflict, Blake and Morton (1970) constructed a conflict grid, a model tha t serves as the basis for dual concerns theory. The model is based on the assumption that individuals have two motivations in a conflict, concern for production of results, or & Morton, 1970; Davis, Capobianco, & Kraus, 2004; Holt & DeVore, 2005; Rhodes & Carnevale, 1999). Each of the two motivations lies on a continuum of low to high in strength, and each continuum serves as an axis on the grid. The interaction of these

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35 two m otivations results in five conflict styles that Blake and Mouton describe but do not name. Holt and DeVore call these styles forcing, smoothing, withdrawing compromising, and problem solving, although others use different terms. Conflict styles. The log ic behind this model is that people will behave in ways that will enable them to accomplish what is important to them (Holt & Devore, 2005). A high concern for production, when combined with little concern for others, results in a forcing approach to confl ict. Someone who has a low interest in production but who is highly concerned with people will use a smoothing approach by sacrificing their needs to preserve the relationship. Withdrawing, or avoiding conflict, occurs when neither the relationship nor t he outcome is important to the disputant. Compromising occurs when there is a mid range concern for both dimensions, but the individual is also willing to make production and relationship sacrifices. This theory proposes that the most desirable approach is problem solving, in which the individual is highly motivated in both aspects (Blake & Mouton, 1970; Holt & Devore, 2005). The goal of a problem solving, collaborative approach is to meet the needs of both students, which is believed to result in a prod uctive outcome (Uline et al., 2003). In a study by Johnson, Johnson, Dudley, and Mitchell (1997), conflict resolution training led students who started out choosing withdrawing and forcing to choose problem solving approaches after they were trained. I n ratings of management styles, forcing has been rated as ineffective while problem solving, called initiating negotiation by Johnson et al. (1997), has been rated as effective. The problem solving approach is also consistent with the overall goal of impr oving school climate and creating an environment that values cooperation.

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36 Measurement. Dual concerns theory recognizes the importance of social relationships, but is focused on the attributes of the individual rather than the social system. An individua Inventory (Davis et al., 2004). These instruments measure individuals on five dimensions based on the dual concerns model. Shell (2001) suggested that styles reflect social influence and that variance found by the Thomas Kilmann Instrument is own. This shows that i ndividuals are not only internally motivated, but that they are also externally motivated by others. Social influence. The conflict approaches selected by individuals may also be influenced by the gender and cultures to which they belong. Holt and Devor e (2005) found females across cultures to use compromising styles more than males. Another finding was that individuals from collectivist cultures prefer compromising and p osition within a group may play a role in how he or she views conflict. Conflict style seems to be connected to the amount of power one holds in an organization. Individuals in positions of power were found to use approaches that were more concerned with production than with relationships, while those in subordinate positions paid more attention to relationships (Holt & Devore, 2005). Social Interdependence Theory Social interdependence theory was conceived by Morton Deutsch, who has extensively studied cooperation and competition (Deutsch, 1949; Johnson & Johnson, 2003). Social interdependence theory explains conflict as a natural occurrence in social

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37 relationships that can be structured in either a positive or negative way, influencing outcomes (Roseth Johnson, & Johnson, 2008). Interdependence refers to the relationship between the goals of different individuals (Johnson & Johnson, 2005). When students perceive that their chances of success are dependent on the success of others, those students are positively interdependent (Abrami, 1994; Johnson & Johson, 2005). Students are negatively interdependent if their success requires others to fail. Neutral interdependence occurs when student success is perceived as independent of the success of others. It is also possible for individuals to be positively interdependent on some goals or an aspect of a goal and negatively interdependent on others (Deutsch, 1949). Positive interdependence. Positive interdependence leads to a pattern of behavior that inclu des cooperation, helping, and trust, while negative interdependence causes competitive behavior such as intimidation, coercion, and deception (Deutsch, 1993; Johnson, 2003; Roseth et al., 2008; Uline et al., 2003). In cooperative conflict resolution, disp utants have a mutual goal of resolving a conflict and work together to reach an agreement. Having a common goal creates positive interdependence between disputants (Johnson, 2003; Uline, et al.). As a result, disputants are more likely to work together a nd trust one another. In this mindset, disputants are more willing to listen to one another and respect each other, creating a setting in which conflicts can be resolved constructively. Conflict resolution is best facilitated by an environment of coopera tive learning, which means that cooperation is integrated into the school and classroom environments (Johnson and Johnson, 2004; Roberts et al., 2007; Sari, Sari & Otunc, 2008).

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38 In some literature on conflict resolution, the cooperative approach to confl ict resolution is called integrative (Thompson, Peterson, & Brodt, 1996). In an integrative approach, disputants are able to expand the possible amount of assets through open discussion and creative problem solving. The integrative approach helps disputa nts to discover a common goal that is mutually beneficial and therefore creates positive interdependence. Integrative conflict resolution is comparable to the problem solving approach described in dual concerns theory, because the needs of both disputants are taken into consideration in both approaches. Negative interdependence. If disputants perceive that their goals are incompatible, then they are negatively interdependent (Johnson, 2003). Negative interdependence results in competition instead of co operation. In competitive conflict resolution, the disputants perceive that their outcomes are negatively interdependent: in order for one person to win, the other must lose (Roseth et al., 2008). Competitive behavior, often referred to as distributive, can be compared to dividing up a fixed amount of resources, such as dividing a pie (Thompson, Peterson, & Brodt, 1996). In CRE, the distributive approach is generally discouraged, and the integrative approach is preferred because the objective is for stud ents to work together cooperatively. Social Identity Theory Conflict occurs within a social context; disputants are seen as both individuals and as members of groups. Social identity theory holds that identity is made up of individual identity and socia l identity (Crocker & Luhtanen, 1990; Hornsey & Hogg, In social identity theory conflict is explained as a power and status struggle between

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39 individuals or groups (Coser, 1957; Tajfel, 1982). Being a member of a commanding identity, or collective se lf esteem. Individuals seek to be members of groups that will contribute to their social identity positively, and will either leave a group that is unsatisfactory, learn to justify and accept the group, or try to change the situation (Tajfel, 1974). Gro up strain. Individuals who hold status or power within a group wish to keep the group structure and their position the same (Coser, 1957). Tension is created between individuals when those without status or power attempt to acquire these assets. Similarl y, when a group is viewed as having status or power, members of that group attempt to keep those assets while other groups try to increase their share. Conflict is viewed as necessary for systems to change and develop, which is in accordance with traditio nal school approaches. Strain is present in all groups, but flexibility prevents explosive conflict that threatens the system. Flexible systems allow conflict to be expressed openly, and new patterns of behavior emerge that reduce frustration. A rigid s ystem might be completely broken down by diverging groups. Group politics are even present in groups of children, who organize themselves around conflict when it occurs (Maynard, 1985). The organization of the group may change as the conflict changes. Identity salience. In the struggle to improve social identity, group members differentiate themselves from those outside of the group, the out group. Group members can improve their collective self image positively through friendly competition, symbolism and celebration of the group. If one perceives that social identity is

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40 threatened, then a more negative approach is usually taken. Individuals protect their identities by stereotyping and discriminating against the out group. This interferes with nego and empathize with the out more salient than his or her group identity, the group becomes less important. Importance of social identity theory. Social identity theory suggests that relationships with others influence decision making and behavior. It also indicates that Pommerenke, and Newton (1993) argue that because disputants are often members of the same groups including families, cliques, and organizations, negotiation can only be fully understood if the influences of interpersonal relationships are considered. S ocial identity theory helps to explain the tension between individuals and groups, and provides a framework for conceptualizing conflict. In multiparty conflicts, it is possible for coalitions of two or more disputants to team up against other disputants. Members of these coalitions may form group identities and discriminate against other group members (Polzer, Mannix, & Neale, 1998). Swaab, Postmes, Van Beest, and Spears (2007) found that increasing shared identity between all the disputants involved in a multiparty conflict led to more integrative rather than distributive negotiations. Conflict Resolution Education Conflict resolution can be defined as a process in which conflicts are resolved constructively, resulting in improved relationships rather than destructively, resulting in damaged relationships (Sweeney & Carruthers, 1996). This broad definition includes many different approaches and spans different types of conflicts, including organizational and international conflict. This research is f ocused on conflict resolution

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41 education (CRE), which takes place in a school setting to address conflicts between students. The focus of CRE is teaching skills and attitudes to students that they can apply to resolving their conflicts in order to create a positive learning environment (Casserino & Lane Garon, 2006; Hydenberk & Hydenberk, 2007; Johnson & Johnson, 2004; Roberts et al., 2007). This overview of CRE covers concepts and skills, program formats, school climate, and outcomes. Concepts and Ski lls Johnson and Johnson (1995), who have written extensively about CRE, identify three formats of CRE. Programs may include one or all of these methods as solutions to conflict. The first way is directly teaching students conflict resolution skills so t hat they are able to negotiate their own solutions. Negotiation is a process where two people in a dispute, called disputants, work through their issues together without outside help. Students are taught that conflicts can lead to growth and creativity i f they are approached in a positive way. The goal is for students to reach a mutually satisfying solution, also called an integrative or win win solution (Johnson & Johnson, 1995; Smith & Daunic, 2002). The second way is teaching students to mediate th e conflicts of other students (Garrard & Lipsey, 2007; Johnson & Johnson, 1995). In peer mediation, mediators are taught procedures to help disputants who may not have any training to listen to each other, problem solve, and agree to a win win solution. Mediators do not give advice or pass judgment; instead they allow disputants to reach their own decisions (Bickmore, 2002). Mediators put their learned skills into practice by intervening in actual conflicts and are a resource for other students. In addit ion to helping others with conflict, mediators serve as role models by demonstrating pro social behaviors (Lane &

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42 McWhirter, 1992). Planning for mediation is extensive because faculty must decide who will be trained, convince disputants to seek mediation, find time for mediation to take place, and provide continuing support for mediators. The third way to handle conflict is through teacher arbitration, where disputants tell an adult their sides of the story and the adult acts as a judge. Johnson and Joh nson (1995) recommend that this approach only be offered to students after they have tried the first two methods so that adult time is not sacrificed and because disputants are more likely to stick by solutions they come up with on their own. While arbitr ation is a well recognized form of dispute resolution in other fields (e.g. Klein & Klein, 2008), most literature in CRE does not mention arbitration as an option. Instead, CRE literature focuses on students taking responsibility by learning to negotiate and mediate. Skill building is an integral part of these programs because without them, good intentions and other factors are not enough for positive change (Heydenberk, Heydenberk, and Tzenova, 2006). In one training program, students learned affectiv e vocabulary, emotional awareness, self regulation, empathy, and conflict resolution (Heydenberk et al., 2006). Increasing empathy is a common goal of conflict resolution training. Bullies, according to Heydenberk and others (2006), are high in self este em but lack empathy. Cassinerio and Lane Garon (2006) paired students with mentors of a different cultural background to help students take the perspectives of others, which lead to gains in empathy for all student participants. Program Formats Conf lict resolution programs in schools differ in how training is offered to students. The programs are usually categorized by how participants are selected for training (Garrard & Lipsey, 2007; Johnson & Johnson, 1995; Smith & Daunic, 2002).

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43 Either conflict resolution is embedded in curriculum that is taught to a class or entire school of students, or a cadre of students is selected for training. DuRant, Barkin, and Krowchuk (2001) did a study on the former by incorporating conflict resolution and violence prevention into a health education class curriculum. They were able to train students while keeping the classroom setting intact. In addition, this approach allowed for all students to be included in training. Incorporating conflict resolution into th e regular academic curriculum avoids increasing teacher workload and can help sustain the program (Stevahn, Johnson, Johnson, Green, & Laginski, 1997). Stevahn and others (1997) used conflict resolution in Canadian English classes to help students unders tand a novel and conflict resolution skills simultaneously. This integrated coursework helped students perform better academically in recalling and interpreting the novel than students who studied the novel alone. A factor unaccounted for was that studen ts in the control group did not participate in group learning, which may be the cause of the differences. Still, in the experimental group, 85 percent of students showed mastery of the negotiation procedure. The Teaching Students To Be Peacemakers (TSP ) Program is another example of a total student body approach (Johnson & Johnson, 2004). The TSP program includes a 12 year curriculum for students from Elementary to High school that builds upon previous training each year. Training is ongoing so that n egotiation and mediation procedures and techniques become second nature for students to use. Students first learn to understand the nature of conflict and different conflict styles. Then, a six step sequence for negotiation and a four step sequence for m ediation are taught.

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44 to take turns describing their goals, feelings, and reasoning. They also take turns listening to one another and summarizing what they have heard. The nex t steps involve problem solving and agreeing to a solution. In mediation, mediators help disputants cool down emotionally and commit to the process. The mediator then proceeds to help the disputants go through the steps of negotiation. Most programs in clude similar procedures to those in TSP. Nix and Hale (2007) include making introductions and setting ground rules as a common way to begin mediation. Similarly, the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) includes establishing confidentiality and agreemen t to participate as a first step (Bickmore, 2002). Selecting students for a cadre allows schools to implement the program with fewer resources (Bickmore, 2002). Cassinerio and Lane Garon (2006) used a selection process for their cadre program that welc omed self, peer, teacher, and parent nominations. Student nominees were evaluated based on written essays, grade point average, and involvement in extracurricular activities. Peer mediators who were chosen to participate in a study by Smith, Daunic, Mill er, and Robinson (2002) were more positive about school before training took place and were thought to be successful students with good communication skills. Although it is intuitive to choose students who possess skills that might make them good mediat ors, peer mediators should be more representative of the student population to help build trust with potential disputants (Day Vines & Day Hairston, 1996; Smith & Daunic, 2002). Students with a high incidence of conflict might also be good candidates for training because of the benefits of learning conflict resolution skills.

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45 Cassinerio and Lane Garon (2006) made exceptions in their selection of mediators for special cases who might particularly benefit from the training, although no criteria was given fo r how the researchers identified such students. Day Vines and Day Hairston assert that students from underrepresented populations should be recruited through personal invitations and encouragement from trusted teachers, administrators, and parents. Trai ning Methods and Application Common methods for teaching students conflict resolution skills are role plays, observational learning provide the basis for some of these approaches (Bandura, 1965; Harris, 2005). Student mentors from a university served as models for peer mediators in Casserino and Lane that disputants made gains in conflict resolution skills, knowledge, and attitude as a result of the modeling and reinforcing done by mediators. In the study by DuRant and others (2001), role play exercises that served as practice were video taped and the tapes were used for discussion and to give feedback to participants Their program for conflict resolution and violence prevention has its basis in social cognitive theory and is propensity to consider the thoughts and feelings of ot hers increases (Casserino & Lane Garon). After mediators are trained, they are often recognized with certificates or identifying clothing which may contribute to the prestige and satisfaction of mediators. In a study of elementary students by Lane and M cWhirter (1992), students were formally recognized at an assembly and given uniforms to wear on the playground. In

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46 cadre programs and total school programs, students take turns serving as mediators. Appointed mediators may be visible to students, but do not have the authority to force mediation or solutions upon other students. Disputants may voluntarily choose peer mediation to help end a dispute or as an alternative to disciplinary action (Bickmore, 2001). In elementary schools, peer mediators may be assigned to monitor the playground and attempt to intervene in conflicts (Cunningham et al., 1998). To ensure that student mediators adhere to conflict resolution models, trainers provide continuing support and may hand out printed reference sheets with mediation procedures. Nix and Hale (2007) assert that strict adherence to a script is undesirable when it leads the mediator to take greater control of the process. Suggesting possible m solving. School Climate Teaching conflict resolution skills and offering peer mediation is part of an overall effort to improve the climate of the school (Roberts et al. 2007). To complete the effort, a school wide cooperative learning environment is desirable. Competitive learning environments are not conducive to teaching students how to manage conflicts constructively (Johnson & Johnson, 1995). In cooperative learning, students have shared goals, work together, and help each other learn. Johnson and Johnson (1995) name three levels, classroom, school, and district, where cooperation should occur. They posit that students should work together, as should teachers and schools. Uline, Tschannen Moran, & Perez (2003) also stress shared goals and in terdependence as important to team functioning. Cultural norms inform members of an organization whether conflict, diversity of opinion, and other behaviors are acceptable (Uline et al.). Uline and others found that teachers preferred working in

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47 isolatio n to working with their peers and risking conflict. If teachers and other school community members are uncomfortable with conflict, they are not creating room for different points of view which allows constructive conflicts to occur. The most successful environments are those that support both cooperative work and diversity of thought. Cassinerio and Lane Garon (2006) started a mediation program at a school with low ratings of school climate. Improving the climate by reducing destructive conflicts was one of the goals of administration at the school. A year after implementation, more students rated the school climate favorably, and peer mediators had more favorable ratings than other students. Adult Roles Faculty members are asked to schedule time f or mediation to occur, motivate mediators and disputants to participate, and coach mediators (Bickmore, 2002). Faculty involvement is also needed to train mediators, evaluate program effectiveness, and promote cooperation. It is emphasized that the adult role is to train and support students, and scarce attention is paid to the adult as a mediator or arbitrator. Bickmore (2002) found that adult monitoring of mediation detracts from confidentiality and may cause a loss of student confidence, trust in adul ts, and interest in mediation. An alternative to adult trainers is to have youth who graduate from participating schools serve as trainers for peer mediators. For special programs to be a success, the support and effort of faculty must be earned. Not a ll faculty members are willing or able to contribute to school change in the same capacity. Some faculty members may be reluctant to divert from traditional discipline procedures for handling conflict (Matloff & Smith, 1999). It may also be uncomfortable for faculty to relinquish control to students. Cunningham et al. (1998)

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48 found that teachers were unskilled in detecting playground conflicts, which may limit their ability to evaluate program effectiveness. Program plans usually include training for i nvolved teachers so that they have the skills that they will pass onto students. As the demand for conflict resolution programs grows, so does the need for faculty training in the area. Beginning teachers see conflict resolution as one of the most signif icant areas in their education (Leighfield & Trube, 2005). Leighfield and Trube surveyed students in Ohio teacher education programs to identify how conflict management education is addressed. Forty nine percent of respondents agreed to some degree that their teacher education programs prepared them for conflict management. Before educators can teach students these skills, they must receive conflict management education themselves. Only one of the conflict resolution programs reviewed included a partne rship between school and family. The Alternative to Suspension for Violent Behavior (ASVB) program is a violence prevention program that teaches conflict resolution skills to students and parents (Bruenlin et al., 2002). Students can reduce their suspens ions by participating in the program at a nearby facility and families are invited by the school principal to join in the training. Students who participated in the program had a reduced rate of detention and none were expelled. Resources from the family institute were critical to including families in the training; however, few schools may be able to offer the same level of support. Outcomes Literature on conflict resolution programs has been criticized for being mostly descriptive and not showing effi cacy (Cunningham et al., 1998; Johnson et al., 1997; Smith et al., 2002). Garrard and Lipsey (2007) point out that studies on conflict

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49 controlled research designs, low generalizability, poor outcome measures, and indistinct boundaries for what constitutes conducted with small subgroups and volunteers. More research is needed that is based on empirical evidence rather than anecdotal evidence, evaluates long term outcomes, examines diverse populations, and is tied to theory (Stevahn, Munger, & Kealy, 2005) Current authors cite these shortcomings as a need for their research on the effectiveness of conflict resolution progra ms. According to Burrell, Zirbel, and Allen (2003), programs are measured on four categories of outcomes: behavioral indicators, participant perceptions, personality factors, and mediation outcomes. Mediation outcomes refer to the number of conflicts su ccessfully mediated. Multiple methods for data collection are used to provide a clearer picture of program effectiveness. For example, interviews can provide more information about how children make decisions on how to handle conflict than observations a lone (Peterson & Peterson, 1990). A study by Harris (2005), explored whether disputants participating in peer mediation learned skills for resolving conflicts. Social cognitive theories suggest that the modeling of behaviors by peer mediators facilitate s observational learning on the part of the disputants, (Harris). Data was collected from participants at three schools using ten new and altered instruments from the Comprehensive Peer Mediation Evaluation Project. The instruments included surveys, inte rview schedules, an observation form, and a summary report form. In addition, data were collected from administrative records. Harris found that disputants made positive changes in conflict resolution knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. Disputants reso lved 90 percent of their

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50 conflicts and their discipline referrals were reduced 60 percent after mediation took place. A meta analytic review by Burrell et al. (2003) found that research strongly supports the effectiveness of peer mediation programs. Stu dents are able to learn skills that help others reach win win solutions and are highly satisfied with the programs. School records indicated a 68 percent decrease in behavioral problems, which was greater than what participants perceived the change to be. The implications of the review are that best practices should be established and that mediation should be furthered in schools and in the community. Another meta analysis was conducted by Garrard and Lipsey in 2007 on the affects of conflict resolution p rograms on antisocial behaviors. They found that participants in conflict resolution programs made significant improvements in problem behaviors. Larger effects were found for older students and smaller effect sizes were found for children under the age of 10. Studies using pretest posttest designs. Several studies have used pretest posttest designs. DuRant and colleagues (2001) used a quasi experimental pretest posttest control group design to evaluate a conflict resolution and violence prevention cur riculum. Although the participants were not randomly assigned, the control group and experimental group were not significantly different on any demographic characteristic. The measure used was a five item scale assessing frequency of fighting and weapon carrying, given two weeks prior to the start of the intervention and again two weeks after it ended. The control group increased its use of violence and intention to use violence while violent acts decreased for the experimental group.

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51 Roberts, White, a nd Yeomans (2004) evaluated the program, Project WIN (Working out Integrated Negotiations), aimed at teaching negotiation to students and transforming the social climate. Students participate in teambuilding classroom activities and discussions in order t o change the climate from competitive to cooperative. According to social interdependence theory, cooperative attitudes will lead to liking, trust, calmness, and reduced hostility that are conducive to problem solving. Fifth grade participants took the Cooperative Attitudes Toward Classmates and Toward Conflict Questionnaire as a pre and posttest. The treatment group made greater gains in cooperative attitude, specifically in terms of liking and teamwork, but there was no increase in trust. Eighty five percent of students in the treatment group were found to achieve a mastery of the subject as measured by a quiz on integrative negotiation skills. However, the authors note that more research is needed on whether students apply their skills and knowledge to natural settings. elementary school peer mediation program longitudinally. Data was collected from pre and post training questionnaires given to peer mediators, as well as from mediation contracts, and school records. Over a five year period after the implementation of the Peace Pal program, out of school suspensions were reduced. Heydenberk and others (2006) used a pretest posttest comparison group design in their stu dy. Classrooms were kept intact to keep students in their natural setting. Students were not randomly assigned and the control group did not receive training. increased. The comparison group design controls for maturation, history, testing, and

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52 instrumentation. A drawback of comparing groups of mediators against non mediators is that of not providing treatment for the control group, in this case mediation training. Smi th and colleagues (2002) used a delayed treatment design, avoiding this issue. Unlike most other studies, their assignment of students to be mediators was random. Researchers studying conflict resolution programs often collect data about participants an d use self reports to learn about the perspectives and decision making processes of students. Smith and others (2002) argued that programs also need to be tested for social validity to show that disputants are willing to participate in peer mediation. Th discipline referrals. Harris (2005) studied participants from three schools using ten new and altered in struments from the Comprehensive Peer Mediation Evaluation Project. These instruments were pilot tested multiple times to increase construct validity. The instruments included surveys, interview schedules, an observation form, and a summary report form. In addition, data were collected from administrative records. The study shows that disputants made positive changes in conflict resolution knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. An implication may be that peer mediation could be offered to disputants as a learning opportunity. In a study of conflict resolution in inner city elementary schools, Bickmore (2002) gathered qualitative data from 28 schools and quantitative data from 18 schools. The study taught cadres of third to fifth grade students peer medi ation based on the Elementary School Initiative of the Center for Conflict Resolution (CCR) in Cleveland,

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53 Attitudes About Conflict (SAAC) survey, improved in inclination to solve problems completion of the program. In addition to surveys, interviews, and observations, Bickmore used academic indicators to support conflict resolution progra ms. For schools participating in the CCR program study, pass rates on the Ohio Proficiency tests increased significantly more than the district average in the subjects of citizenship and reading achievement (Bickmore, 2002). Qualitative data indicated th at school climate was most improved in schools that fully implemented the program. CRE limitations. Some findings have provided insight to limitations of conflict resolution programs. In programs where mediators act as monitors, presence of mediators m ay be responsible for change in behavior. As a result of peer mediators present on an elementary school playground, observers saw a reduction in physical aggression of at least 51 percent on the playground. Cunningham et al. (1998) saw that the number of mediators monitoring the playground contributed to the positive outcomes. With fewer mediators present, aggressive behavior returned to baseline levels. For the program to work, a strong force of mediators is needed. Unlike Johnson not show conflict resolution training to have an impact. Conflict resolution programs teach the belief that problem solving is the most useful approach for resolving conflicts. Measureme nt of conflict styles. To assess the impact of conflict resolution training on conflict styles, McFarland & Culp (1992) selected the Organizational Conflict Communication Instrument (OCCI). The OCCI defines three conflict styles that are similar to forci ng, avoiding, and problem solving styles described in dual concerns

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54 theory. No significant difference was found in the use of problem solving conflict styles between trained students and untrained students. A gender difference was shown in problem solvin g with females utilizing the style more than males. Another instrument used to measure conflict styles is CONFLICTALK, which differentiates between types of messages students use to express themselves on the subject of conflict (Kimsey & Fuller, 2003; La ca, Alzate, Sanchez, Verdugo, & Guzman, 2006). CONFLICTALK defines only three styles including problem solving, self focus, and other focus (Kimsey & Fuller, 2003). Self focus is a forcing type style and other focus is a combination of the avoiding and smoothing styles. Multiparty Conflict Conflicts with more than two students are absent from the conflict resolution literature in the field of education. In other fields, such as law, international negotiations, and organizational disputes, these confli cts are called multiparty conflicts (Crump & Glendon, 2003). The literature base on multiparty conflict is limited and only a handful of authors have begun to describe the complex process of resolving conflicts between more than two people. As shown in Fi gure 2 1, however, the existing literature does serve as the basis to form a framework for conceptualizing multiparty conflict. The conceptual framework shows how two elements, structure of the conflict and disputant characteristics, influence the CR proce ss, which then leads to either an integrative or distributive outcome of a multiparty conflict. Structure The term structure is used to describe how a conflict is composed, and depends on the number of participants and sides taken in the conflict. Crump a nd Glendon

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55 a negotiation or mediation. A mediator does not qualify as a party because mediators are neutral and do not have the power to make decisions. Number of parties and sides. Three or more parties must be involved for a conflict to be considered multiparty. Multiparty conflicts can also differ in the number of sides, or positions, that are taken by the disputants. A multiparty conflict is bilateral if there are mo re than three parties, but only two sides of a conflict are presented. An example of a bilateral multiparty conflict is when two people take one side and one person takes another side in a dispute. A multiparty conflict becomes multilateral when there ar e three or more sides to the dispute. Three people each arguing their own side to a conflict would be considered a multilateral conflict. Multilateral conflicts are always multiparty, but multiparty conflicts can either be bilateral or multilateral. Coalitions. When two or more parties cooperate to increase their mutual outcomes without considering the outcomes for the group as a whole, a coalition is formed (Crump & Glendon, 2003; Polzer et al., 1998). Coalitions may be stable, or they may have non cooperative relations if they disagree on some issues (Crump & Glendon, 2003). While dyadic conflicts are always balanced with one disputant on each side of the conflict, multiparty conflicts can be asymmetrical (Beersma & De Dreu, 2002). Asymmetry occur s in negotiations where a majority is formed against a minority of group members. Beersma and De Dreu set up a study where symmetry was manipulated in a multiparty negotiation. They found that asymmetrical task structure was associated with distributive negotiating behaviors, lower joint outcomes, and less positive group climate.

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56 Polzer, Mannix, and Neale assigned interests to participants in their 1998 study and found that negotiators formed coalitions to increase their outcomes. Although minority part ies were included in the final agreement to increase the total resources for the whole group, coalition members did not sacrifice personal gains to increase group gains. Overall, minority members received fewer resources. Coalitions were found to be rela tively stable and coalition members were more unified in their demands. Coalitions are likely to benefit members who belong to the coalition at the cost of those who are excluded. Parties may be members of different coalitions within the same conflict as it suits their interests (Susskind, Mnookin, Rozdeiczer, & Fuller, 2005). Disputant Contributions The various ways that disputants influence the process and the outcome of a conflict can be defined as disputant contributions. The dynamic process of a co nflict is relationships and interactions with each other. The contributions made by disputants are relationships, power, entitlement cues, and motivation. These four contribut ions have been found to affect whether or not disputants take an integrative or a distributive approach to resolving conflict (e.g. Kim, 1999; Polzer et al., 1998; Ten Velden, Beersma, & De Dreu, 2007; Thompson, Peterson, & Brodt, 1996). Relationships. Rel ationships include the concepts of shared identity, shared cognition, and friendship, and are related to the formation of coalitions. As shown in Figure 2 1, positive and negative relationships between the involved parties are likely to play a part in how coalitions are formed, and the coalitions are likely to affect the relationships as well. Peer relationships and group memberships are a noteworthy

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57 concern for adolescents because of their need for intimacy and peer approval (Akos et al., 2007). Shared c ognition refers to knowledge, mental models, and understanding that members of a group have in common (Swaab et al. 2007). Shared cognitions arise from interactions and experiences that group members have related to a task. Social identity theory maintai ns that group members identify with and are influenced by group standards. Group members distinguish between the ingroup and outgroup, leading to stereotyping. Identification with a group can encourage cooperative, prosocial behavior. Swaab and others ( 2007) manipulated shared cognition and shared identity in a series of three studies by giving participants varying types of opportunities for interaction before completing negotiations. They used questionnaires with scales for shared identity and shared c ognition to test their manipulations. The researchers found that shared cognition and shared identity are related and that they both positively influence integrative negotiation. Thompson, Peterson, and Brodt (1996) compared negotiations taking place be tween teams that were made up of strangers and teams consisting of friends. The researchers found results that contradicted their hypothesis that teams of friends would have an advantage because friendship is related to trust and cohesion. Teams that wer up with more integrative solutions than teams of friends. A possible explanation is that teams of friends could be more concerned with agreeing with each other than exploring integrative solutions.

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58 Power. The amount of power individuals have is related to the value they add to possible coalitions and how dependent others are on them (Polzer et al., 1998). Power can also be defined as the ability to gain outcomes at the exp ense of others (Sell, Lovaglia, Mannix, Samuelson, & Wilson, 2004). As shown in Figure 2 1, power plays a role in how coalitions are formed and can give parties leverage in a negotiation. Parties with low power may form coalitions to increase their power in negotiating with a more powerful opponent (Caplow, 1956). Kim (1999) found that excluding low power parties from the negotiation process led to less integrative outcomes. Entitlement cues. Power is also related to entitlement cues, which inform ind ividuals about how resources should be fairly distributed (Polzer et al., 1998). often used as an entitlement cue. Individuals prefer resources to be distributed in wa ys that benefit them. Parties with low power are likely to prefer equal distributions while higher power parties are likely to demand a larger share for those who make greater contributions. Polzer, Mannix, & Neale (1998) found that entitlement cues play ed a role in how parties were able to negotiate for greater resources. When the entitlement cues were in favor of low power parties, they were able to increase their outcomes. Motivation. It is obvious that disputants are interested in protecting their own interests, but researchers have also examined how disputants act in the interest of the group as a whole (Gillespie, Brett, & Weingart, 2000; Ten Velden, Beersma, & De Dreu, 2007). Prosocially motivated disputants have an interest in increasing group outcomes. Proself, or egotistically motivated disputants are interested in increasing individual outcomes. Ten Velden, Beersma, & De Dreu found that when negotiators were

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59 prosocially motivated rather than proself motivated, they were more likely to prob lem solve and find an integrative solution. Beersma, & De Dreu (2002) manipulated disputant motivation by promising rewards for either the highest group outcomes or the highest individual outcomes. They found that in asymmetrical conflicts when unanimous agreement was needed for a solution, egotistically motivated disputants engaged in more distributive behaviors and fewer integrative behaviors. Gillespie and others (2000) examined a stable form of motivation they termed Social Value Orientation. They f ound that negotiators with individualistic motivation were less satisfied with their outcomes than negotiators who were prosocial. Motivational orientation was manipulated by instructing negotiators that their goals were either to focus only on their own outcomes or to try to maximize both individual and group outcomes. However, this was not found to have a significant impact on satisfaction. Process The complexity of multiparty conflicts requires a different process of conflict resolution than is used with dyadic conflicts. Susskind and others (2005) recommend creating a checklist of decisions needing to be made about the process when preparing for a multiparty conflict. Some approaches used in mediating or negotiating dyadic conflicts may also be use d in resolving multiparty conflicts, but decision rule, mediator style, and meeting structure are different in multiparty conflicts. Decision rule. Decision rules determine how an agreement will be decided between parties. Decision rule is not an issue in dyadic conflicts because the rule is always that both parties must agree to a solution (Beersma & De Dreu, 2002). In multiparty conflicts, an agreement can be decided by unanimity rule, when all parties agree, or by majority rule, when most parties agr ee. When negotiations are

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60 asymmetrical, with an unequal number of parties agreeing on issues, majority rule gives more power to coalitions (Ten Velden et al., 2007). On the other hand, unanimity rule gives minority members veto power, or the ability to b lock an agreement. Either one of these decision rules creates the risk of one or more parties preventing an integrative agreement from being reached. Mediator style and number of mediators. When mediators become involved in handling multiparty conflicts they must consider who they will work with, what style they will use, and how they will structure meetings with the disputants (Crocker, Hampton, & Aall, 2001; Kim, 1997; Louis, 1999). Mediators may choose to work with one or more co mediators in handli ng a multiparty mediation. A school counselor for example, often collaborates with others such as administrators, teachers, and other counselors. When more than one mediator is involved, common understanding of the conflict and a common sense of a soluti on is needed to prevent confusion of the parties (Crocker et al.). Multiple mediators can encounter communication problems while handing off the stage from one mediator to another. Having multiple mediators also expends greater resources, which may be wa steful. Mediators working together have the additional task of sticking to a common script and developing common objectives. They should also define what role each will play in the process (Louis). Challenges in Multiparty Environmental Mediation shows how three different mediation styles can fit the complex process of multiparty mediation with attention given to environmental issues. The doubt and dissonance style challenges new options. Using the interest based option generation style, the mediator acts as a facilitator and aims to help

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61 parties discuss interests, intentions, options, and possible outcomes. The hypothesis generation and testing style begins with the negotiat ors to coming up with their versions of the fairest possible outcome. The mediator asks questions and actively listens to make hypotheses successively closer to the best possible solution, incorporating the interests of both parties. When co mediators ar e used, they should agree to which style to use. Meeting structure. Mediators have a choice to meet with disputants at the same time, in joint meetings, or in separate meetings called caucuses. A joint session allows all parties to be heard and participa te in discussion, which can facilitate a mutual agreement. Caucuses are useful when parties want to meet privately without other individuals present, or when a mediator finds it difficult to manage the parties because of heightened emotions or the number o f parties present. A potential drawback of caucuses are that they have been found to increase competitiveness and result in less inclusive outcomes than joint sessions (Kim, 1997). Mediators may choose to caucus with parties prior to the mediation to gat her information and make decisions about the mediation process (Max, 1999). This includes deciding who will represent each side and if they will be unified as a group or stand as individuals. An added complication of multiparty mediations is that parties on the same side may have various interests and goals. The mediator must consider how Caucuses that take place during mediations or negotiations can either be symmetrical or asymmetrical (Kim, 1997). Symmetrical caucusing gives each party a

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62 chance to meet with each of the other parties, while asymmetrical caucusing occurs when only some parties are given the chance to m eet privately to the exclusion of others. Kim (1997) investigated how caucusing can affect the outcomes in multilateral negotiations. The results suggest all parties should be included in meetings so that all of their resources can be explored and more i ntegrative outcomes can be reached. The inclusion of parties with low power was found to be especially important in increasing integrative outcomes. The findings also implicate that negotiators who are excluded from early negotiation can still improve th eir outcomes by breaking into the discussion. Multiparty Conflict Resolution Outcomes The ultimate goal of CR is to reach an integrative outcome that is mutually beneficial and positive for all parties as opposed to a distributive and perhaps negative r esult. For adolescents, a positive outcome might mean increased ability to understand different points of view, find creative solutions, and improve friendships (Scott, 2008). A negative outcome, on the other hand, could result in the loss of friendship, s ocial isolation, or detachment from school. Multiparty Conflicts in Schools Although there are current benefits for administrators, teachers, and students who establish and participate in dyadic conflict CR programs, most do not consider how multiparty d isputes can be successfully resolved. To a limited extent, studies about multiparty conflicts from professions other than education may help to inform future research, however, the structure, disputant contributions, and process of conflicts among middle s chool students may be markedly disparate from other populations studied. Applying adult population multiparty conflict research findings to a school setting is challenging because it has limited generalizability to middle school students.

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63 Unlike what would take place in a middle school, the studies are generally based on researcher constructed scenarios acted out by adult volunteers (e.g. Beersma & De Dreu, 2002; Kim, 1999; Polzer et al., 1998; Ten Velden et al., 2007). Given what is currently known about m ultiparty conflicts, implications for educators may be drawn if the unique characteristics of middle school students are considered. For application in a middle school setting, multiparty CR research is needed that captures the structure, disputant contri butions, and process that leads to successful outcomes of naturally occurring conflicts among middle school students. Student disputes that arise from gossiping, excluding friends from activities, verbal harassment, teasing, or arguing over failed responsi bility for completing a group assignment in class are examples that reflect the school setting and situations in which students are involved. Middle school students may be influenced and motivated by factors that are specific to their age and situation. A pplication of Theory to the Study Dual concerns theory, social interdependence theory, and social identity theory provide a theoretical framework for understanding student conflict and the process of conflict resolution. Dual concerns theory focuses on ind ividual student approaches to conflict resolution, while social interdependence theory emphasizes cooperative relationships, and social identity theory considers the influence of group memberships. Theories of conflict indicate that some approaches to con flict resolution are more effective than others, which may also be true of school counselor approaches for managing multiparty student conflicts. approaches for mediating mu ltiparty conflicts are informed by theory. Participants were

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64 asked to rate how likely they are to use approaches based in each of the three theories of conflict. Their responses show which theories they are informed by and how frequently they approach mu ltiparty conflicts in a way that aligns with each of the three theories of conflict. In addition to theories of conflict, another theory informing this research is self efficacy theory. A main variable of interest in this study is school counselor perceiv ed self efficacy because of the impact self efficacy has on behavior. Self efficacy theory conflicts is impacted by their beliefs about their ability to succeed. The behav iors that are involved in managing a multiparty conflict successfully are rooted in the three theories of conflict resolution as well as the framework for conceptualizing multiparty conflict. Summary Managing student conflicts is in alignment with the co managing student conflict is part of the task of clarifying the role of the school counselor. To clarify their role in conflict management, i nformation is needed about how counselors act as leaders, collaborators, advocates, and change agents to help perceived self efficacy is also of importance because it has an imp act on their motivation, persistence, and ability to carry out these functions. Students in middle school have a developmental need to maintain positive peer relationships, which is why conflict resolution skills are important to this age group (Daunic e t al., 2000; Zimmer Gembeck et al., 2005). CRE programs are often used in

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65 schools to manage student conflict, but vary in design and content. CRE may involve training the entire school or a cadre of selected students. The role of the counselor in impleme nting a conflict resolution program may vary depending on the school and program used. These programs are rooted in dual concerns theory and social interdependence theory, which promote the use of cooperative or problem solving approaches to conflict reso lution. Literature in the field of education focuses solely on dyadic conflicts, ignoring the possibility of multiparty conflicts between students. Social identity theory suggests that social groups play a role in conflicts. Researchers in the fields o f law, international negotiations, and organizational disputes have begun to define the issues and processes unique to multiparty conflict (Crump & Glendon, 2003). However, the applicability of this literature to student conflicts is limited. Much of the research on multiparty conflict uses researcher constructed scenarios and volunteers who have no prior relationships with each other (Beersma & De Dreu, 2002; Gillespie et al., 2000; Swaab et al. 2007). Students and the school environment have their own unique characteristics that are different from the populations studied by multiparty researchers. Further research is needed to understand how multiparty conflicts are handled in schools as well as how school counselors perceive their role and self effica cy in managing these conflicts. The following chapter describes the methodology of the current study.

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66 Figure 2 1. Framework for conceptualizing multiparty conflict

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67 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Overview The purpose of t self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Additionally, this study examined the prevalence of multiparty conflicts in middle schools, how school counselors manage multiparty stude nt conflicts and whether their approaches are informed by theory. The study aims to provide an understanding of how middle school counselors are involved in managing multiparty student conflicts and whether or not they believe they are efficacious in this role. Variables, population, sampling procedures, data collection, design of the study, data analysis, and instrumentation are presented in this chapter. Variables The variables of interest can be grouped into research variables and descriptive variab les (see Table 3 1). The research variables included school counselor self efficacy, percent of multiparty conflict, type of delivery, and theoretical approach. The mu ltiparty conflicts in various school settings, but were not part of the posed research questions. The descriptive variables included those that describe the school counselor and those that describe the school. The variables describing the school counselo r were gender, ethnicity, years of school counseling experience, years of employment at school of employment, education, and training in conflict resolution. The variables describing the school were location, size, student to counselor ratio, percent of l ow income

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68 students, frequency of student conflict, gender composition of the disputants, and school support in managing multiparty student conflicts. Research Variables The research variables were used to test the research hypotheses. The research varia bles included school counselor self efficacy, percent of multiparty conflicts, type of delivery, and theoretical approach. efficacy indicated whether or not they believed they were able to successfully manage multi party student conflicts. The degree of perceived self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflicts was measured by self reported responses on the Multiparty Conflict Management Self Efficacy Scale (MCMSS) that was embedded within the survey. Percent of multiparty conflict was that are multiparty. Type of delivery was defined as the method of providing multiparty conflict services to students and include the fol lowing types: mediation, arbitration, individual counseling, small group counseling, training peer mediators, collaborating with others, teaching conflict resolution skills to large groups, other types of delivery, and none of the above. Theoretical appro ach was defined as the degree of likelihood that a school counselor uses an approach to mediation informed by one of three theories: social interdependence theory, dual concerns theory, and social identity theory. Descriptive Variables The descriptive va riables provided insight into the background of the participants and their school environments. Gender was defined as either male or female as self reported by respondents. Ethnicity was defined as African American (not of Hispanic

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69 origin), Asian or Paci fic Islander, Hispanic, Native American, White, not of Hispanic origin, Multi ethnic, or Other as reported by respondents. School counseling experience was defined as the number of years reported by the respondents. Education was defined as the highest l evel of education in school counseling received and was self reported by respondents as m aster s degree in school counseling, s pecialist in school counseling, d octorate in s chool counseling, or no degree in school counseling. Training in conflict coursework, seminar or workshop, certificate program, or other. School location was defined as urban, suburban, or rural as self reported by respondents. School size was defined by the total number of students enrolled at the school, as respondents reported. Student to counselor ratio was determined by dividing the number of students enrolled at the school, by the number of counselors working at the school. Percent of low income students wa s defined as the percentage of students eligible for free and reduced lunch as reported by the respondents. Frequency of conflict was reported as the degree of frequency to which student conflicts were brought to the attention of school counselors. Gende r composition of the disputants was defined as the percentages of multiparty conflicts that took place among all males, all females, and a mix of males and females. School support was reported by respondents as the degree to which school counselors, peer mediators/facilitators, teachers, and administrators were involved in managing student conflicts. Population The population of interest was middle school counselors belonging to the American School Counseling Association (ASCA). ASCA members include sc hool counselors from across the United States who practice at different levels of schooling in

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70 addition to professionals in related settings, such as community agencies, state governments, and universities. Members of ASCA receive access to professional p ublications and online resources, as well as opportunities for professional development and peer networking. By belonging to ASCA, members show a concern for staying informed and connecting with other professionals. Sampling Procedures Participants were sampled from the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) Directory. ASCA members include school counselors from all parts of the United States who practice at different levels of schooling. The ASCA member directory was used as a sampling frame. O nly members who were identified as working in a middle school setting and who had listed email addresses were selected, because the survey was distributed online. In order to collect accurate data about the frequency of multiparty conflicts in schools, sc hool counselors were excluded if they had been employed at a school for less than one year as indicated by self report on the survey. This additional criterion ensured that participants had adequate experience with their As of December 7, 2009, the total number of members listed in the ASCA member directory was 22,348. Only members who had email addresses listed under the category of Midde/Junior High work setting were included in the sample. As of December 7, 2009, the number of members listed under the Middle/Junior High work setting category was 2,120. Out of this group of members 1,878 had listed email addresses. After sending out invitations to the list, some mail was automatically returned due to errors with the email addresses. In addition, responses were received from school counselors who were not practicing at the middle school level, disqualifying

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71 them for inclusion in the study. After removing invalid and unqualified email addresses, the resultant sample w as 1,723. The necessary sample size (Ns) for ensuring a 95% confidence interval, assuming the maximum population heterogeneity of a 50/50 split, is calculated using the following formula: (Dillman, 2007). After substituting, = 315. A total of 386 responses were received, resulting in a 22% response rate. Of those responses, 357 met all of the criteria for inclusion in the study. Online surveys generally have a lower response rate than traditional mail surveys (Granello & W heaton, 2004). Two similar studies that used online surveys to access school counselors who were members of ASCA had response rates of 17% (Leibach, 2008) and 44% (Steen, Bauman, & Smith, 2007). Data Collection A pre notice letter was emailed to respond ents three days before sending the invitation to participate in the research study (see Appendix A). Pre notice letters do not require any action to be taken by the recipient and serve to build their interest and anticipation (Dillman, 2007). The invitat ion letter was sent to the selected school counselors by email, informing them of the nature and purpose of the study (see Appendix B). The letter also invited them to participate in the study by following a link to an online survey. A third email was se nt reminding sample members about the study 14 days after the invitation letter was sent. A final reminder that also thanked respondents for their participation was emailed 14 days after the previous letter.

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72 Dillman recommends making multiple contacts wi th participants to maximize the response to a survey, sending reminders in two to four week increments. Once participants chose to access the online survey, they first viewed a brief welcome screen. The purpose of a welcome screen, according to Dillman (2007) is to inform the respondent that they have reached the correct website and to instruct them on how to proceed. In order to proceed, respondents entered a password listed in their email. Without requiring a password to be entered, researchers run t he risk of including respondents who are not part of the desired sample (Dillman, 2007; Van Selm & Jankowksi, 2006). After the welcome screen, participants viewed a statement of informed consent and were required to give their informed consent before proc eeding to the survey (see Appendix C). Participants who did not give their consent were redirected to the end of the survey. Design of the Study The method used in this study was a cross sectional survey design. With this design, data is collected from p articipants at one point in time (Creswell, 2008). It is appropriate to use a cross sectional survey design for collecting data about attitudes, beliefs, opinions, or practices. The instrument used was a researcher designed online survey. Online surveys a llow respondents to respond anonymously and eliminate interviewer bias (Van Selm & Jankowski, 2006). Using an online survey saved resources and allowed for a larger number of participants to be contacted for inclusion in the study. In addition to being co st efficient, online surveys also save time (Granello & Wheaton, 2004). The response time is minimal and because respondents enter their own data and results are received instantaneously. In addition, online surveys allow the

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73 researcher greater control o ver the formatting. The researcher can specify that the respondent choose only one answer or skip to another section automatically. In this study, the survey was used to collect data about the beliefs and practices of middle school counselors. Member s of ASCA who were categorized as middle school counselors were surveyed on their school setting, personal background, degree of involvement in managing multiparty conflicts, how they approach multiparty conflict, and the degree of self efficacy they perce ive to have in managing these conflicts. Data Analysis For each research question, a specific approach was taken to analyze and interpret the data. The research questions are listed below, followed by the data analysis approach that was taken. 1. What is the degree of school counselor self efficacy i n managing multiparty conflict? For the first research question, the degree of school counselor self efficacy in managing multiparty conflict was estimated by computing a 95% confidence interval for the averag e score on the self efficacy scale for managing multiparty conflicts. A 95% confidence interval is a range of values that has a 95% probability of containing the population parameter (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2007). 2. What percent of student conflicts that are en countered by sch ool counselors are multiparty? For the second research question, the percent of multiparty student conflicts encountered by school counselors was estimated by computing a 95% confidence interval. 3. What types of delivery do school counselor s use to manage multiparty conflicts?

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74 For the third research question, the degree to which school counselors use each type of delivery in managing multiparty conflict was estimated by computing 95% confidence intervals for the average score for each type o f delivery. 4. What theoretical approaches inform school counselors in mediating multiparty conflicts? For the fourth research question, the degree to which school counselors are likely to use an approach based in each theory was estimated by computing 95% co nfidence intervals for the average score for each theory. 5. What is the relationship between type of delivery and school counselor self efficacy in managing multiparty conflict? For the fifth research question, to investigate the relationship of categorica l variable type of delivery and school counselor self efficacy, ANOVA testing was conducted to determine if the average self efficacy is the same across groups. Analysis of variance is used when there are three or more groups, to determine if there is mor e variance between groups or within groups (Gall et al.). 6. What is the relationship between theoretical approach to mediation and school counselor self efficacy in managing multiparty conflict? For the sixth question, Spearman correlation testing was used to investigate the relationship between school counselor self efficacy and each theoretical approach. Instrumentation Past research has not looked at the overall approaches school counselors use to manage conflict. In addition, researchers have not yet examined school counselor approaches for handling multiparty conflicts. For the purposes of this study, it was necessary to create a new instrument to measure the variables of interest. The survey includes questions about the school setting, school coun selor background, school

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75 counselor perspectives, and school counselor behaviors related to multiparty conflicts. Table 3 1 shows how the survey questions connect to the variables of interest. The survey is composed of four sections: school demographics, school counselor background and practices, the Multiparty Conflict Management Self Efficacy Scale (MCMSS), and an open ended question section (see Appendix D). The school demographics section was used to collect data about the frequency of multiparty con flict and descriptive variables concerning the school setting. The school counselor background and practices section includes questions about the type of delivery and theoretical approach to mediation as well as descriptive variables about the school coun selors. The MCMSS requires counselors to rate their ability to perform tasks involved in multiparty conflict management. The open ended question section includes one question that allows school counselors to write in suggestions for improvement in counse lor education to better prepare school counselors for multiparty student conflict management. The open ended question gives respondents the opportunity to make additional comments, but the results were not analyzed for the current study. Multiparty Conf lict Management Self Efficacy Scale Self efficacy was measured by the Multiparty Conflict Management Self Efficacy Scale (MCMSS), which was included as part of the survey. The scale consists of 21 items ranging from 0 to 10, where 0 represents a task that school counselors cannot do at all and 10 represents a task that school counselors are highly certain they can do. Although self efficacy scales have been constructed for counselors and school counselors (i.e. Bodenhorn & Skaggs; Holcomb McCoy et al., 200 8; Larson et al., 1992), self efficacy scales are limited to use in the domain for which they were created

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76 (Bandura, 2006). Thus, a new scale was developed to accurately reflect the construct of multiparty conflict. The self efficacy scale was developed f Guidelines for Constructing Self Efficacy Scales The instructions and items are phrased in terms of they believe they have the potential to do in the future, as recommended by Bandura. Each item is rated on a 0 10 point scale to ensure a high level of sensitivity and reliability (Bandura). Validity and Reliability Four experts were asked to review the questionnaire and examine the reliabil ity and validity of each question. These experts included a counselor educator, author of conflict resolution research, a survey methodologist, and a district supervisor of counseling and guidance. The experts were asked to determine how well the items r eflect the concepts measured in order to provide evidence of validity from test content (Gall et al., 2008). The next step in instrument development was to administer the survey to a middle school counselor and conduct a cognitive interview to gather info rmation about the clarity of the items and directions. Lastly, a pilot test was administered to 11 middle school counselors to test for evidence of construct validity and to detect any problems with the administration procedures. Middle school counselor s from a local school district were contacted by email and sent a link to the online survey. After two weeks, respondents were emailed an invitation to retake the survey in order to examine test retest reliability of the MCMSS. The scores from each admin istration were correlated to show stability from

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77 was calculated to determine the internal reliability of the MCMSS. At the end of the post test, the school counselors items, instructions, overall clarity, and appearance. Participants did not report any problems with the directions or concepts and no changes were made to either the format or the content of the survey. Summary In this chapter, relevant variables, population, sampling procedures, data collection, and design of the study were presented. In addition, the approaches for data analysis and the instrumentation were described. The fourth chapter will include a report of the findings of the study. A discussion of the findings, implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research will follow in the fifth chapter.

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78 Table 3 1. Relationship among research variables, research questions (R.Q.), and survey questions Variable Type Variable R.Q. Survey Question Constant Profession N/A Are you a middle school counselor practicing in Florida? Research Self efficacy in managing multiparty conflict 1, 5, 6 All items in the self efficacy scale. Perce nt of multiparty conflicts 2 Out of all the student conflicts occurring at your school, what percent of conflicts occur among 3 or more students? Type of delivery 3,5 Which types of delivery do you use to manage conflicts among three or more students? Theoretical approach to mediation 4,6 For the following questions, you will be asked how likely you are to take a specific action when you, as a school counselor, mediate a conflict between three or more students. Descriptive Location What is the metro politan status of your location? Size N/A What is the student enrollment at your school? Student to counselor ratio N/A What is the student enrollment at your school? How many counselors work at your school? Percent of low income students N/ A What percentage of students are on free or reduced lunch? Frequency of conflict N/A How frequently are student conflicts brought to your attention in an average month? Gender composition N/A Out of the conflicts you encounter involving three or more students, what percent take place among: all males, all females, and a mix of males and females? School support To what degree are (school counselors, teachers, administrators, peer facilitators) involved in managing student conflicts at your school? Gender N/A What is your gender? Ethnicity N/A What is your ethnic background? Years of school counseling experience N/A How many years of experience have you had as a school counselor, not including the current school year? Education N/A What is the highest degree you have earned in the field of school counseling?

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79 Table 3 1. Continued Training in conflict resolution N/A What training have you had in conflict resolution? Open Ended N/A N/A How might counselor education be changed to better prepare school counselors to handle conflicts among three or more students?

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80 Table 3 2. Relationship of self efficacy items and theory Self Efficacy Item Theory Help students use a problem solving approach when in a multiparty conflict (a conflict involving th ree or more students). Dual Concerns Theory Get students who are involved in multiparty conflicts to use a conflict resolution approach that does not sacrifice relationships for personal gain. Dual Concerns Theory Get students who are involved in multipa rty conflicts to use an approach that does not sacrifice important needs in order to appease others. Dual Concerns Theory Help three or more students involved in conflict build positive beliefs about their position within their social network. Social I dentity Theory Help three or more students involved in conflict to build positive beliefs about their group memberships. Social Identity Theory Help students in a multiparty conflict to reduce their biases towards students belonging to different, outside social groups. Social Identity Theory Help students build trust while resolving a multiparty conflict. Social Interdependence Theory Help students involved in a multiparty conflict avoid coercion, intimidation, and deception. Social Interdependence Theory Help three or more students work together cooperatively to resolve a conflict. Social Interdependence Theory Get students who are involved in a multiparty conflict to consider the needs of others in addition to their own needs. Dual Concerns Th eory Get students who are in a multiparty conflict to think about their relationships with other disputants instead of just their own needs. Dual Concerns Theory Get every student who is involved in a multiparty conflict to work towards a common goal. S ocial Interdependence Theory Get every student who is involved in a multiparty conflict to reach an agreement. Multiparty Framework Get every student who is involved in a multiparty conflict to reach an agreement that meets the needs of every disputant. Dual Concerns Theory, Multiparty Framework Work cooperatively with other adults to manage multiparty student conflicts. Multiparty Conflict Framework Manage an imbalance of power during a multiparty conflict, when one or more students is at a disadvantag e. Multiparty Conflict Framework

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81 Table 3 2. Continued Maintain control over the process of managing a multiparty conflict. Multiparty Conflict Framework Decide whether a multiparty conflict should end when the majority of disputants agree or when all a gree. Multiparty Conflict Framework Decide which students to meet with when there is a conflict involving three or more students. Multiparty Conflict Framework Meet privately with individual disputants when there are three or more disputants. Multiparty Conflict Framework Meet with all disputants together at one time when there are three or more disputants. Multiparty Conflict Framework

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82 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS role and self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Middle school counselors belonging to the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) were invited to complete an online survey at one point in time, which is a cross sectional survey design. Participant s provided information about their background, school setting, involvement and approach to managing multiparty student conflict, and self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Data analysis and results from the study are presented in this chap ter. Descriptive Statistics The current study solicited participation from middle school counselors belonging to ASCA who had valid email addresses listed under the Middle/Junior High category of the member directory. After removing invalid email addres ses and email addresses of members stating they were not currently practicing school counselors, 1,723 were invited to participate in the study. A pre notice letter and a series of three invitations were sent out, leading to a total of 386 responses. Th e resulting response rate was 22%. Responses were only included in the study for participants indicating they were practicing middle school counselors who were employed at their current school for at least one year. After excluding individuals not meetin g the criteria for inclusion, the resulting sample was 357. Frequencies were computed for the following descriptive data: gender, ethnicity, degree earned in school counseling, and training in conflict resolution. This information is presented in Table 4 1.

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83 The sample was comprised of 297 (83.2%) females and 57 (15%) males. The ethnic backgrounds of the participants included 299 (82.8%) White, 28 (15%) African American, 12 (3.4%) Hispanic, 7 (2%) Asian or Pacific Islander, 5 (1.4%) multi ethnic, 3 (.8%) N ative American, and 3 (.8%) other. The average years of experience of school counselors was 9.21 years (SD = 7.26 ). Forty two percent of counselors had 1 to 5 years of experience, 23.6% had 6 to 10 years of experience, and 34.6% had more than 10 years of schools was 7.25 years (SD = 7.11) Fifty six percent of participants had 1 to 5 years of employment at their current schools, 22.1% had 6 to 10 years, and 22.1% had over 10 years of e xperience. The participants had varying degrees in school counseling, including 316 (88.5%) with m s pecialist degrees, 6 (1.7%) with d octorates, and 10 (2.8%) individuals with no degree in school counseling. While 36 (10.1% ) participants indicated they had not had any formal training in conflict resolution, 266 (74.5%) had taken a seminar or workshop on conflict resolution, 224 (62.7%) had college coursework in conflict resolution, 43 (12%) have completed a certificate progr am in conflict resolution, and 29 (8.1%) had other training not listed in the options. The locations in which participants worked included 139 (38.9%) schools in suburban locations, 115 (32.2%) schools in rural locations, and 103 (28.9%) schools in urba n locations. An average of 45% of the students in the schools were on free or reduced lunch (SD = 68.01). There was an average of 728.82 students enrolled at each school (SD = 681.59) with an average of 2.10 counselors (SD = 1.04) working in each

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84 school. The student to counselor ratio ranged from 90 to 1 to 3,100 to 1 and there was an average of 363.11 students per counselor (SD = 198.235). Participants were asked how frequency conflict was brought to their attention on a scale of 1 (very low frequency ) to 10 (very high frequency). School counselors reported that student conflicts were brought to their attention at an average frequency of 7.57 out of 10 (SD= 2.156), indicating that school counselors are often made aware of student conflicts. The stude nt conflicts encountered by participants were described on average as 56% (SD= 22.75%) dyadic and 43% multiparty (SD = 22.54%). The gender composition of multiparty student conflicts was an average of 65% (SD = 22.49%) all female conflicts, 20% (SD = 15.9 1%) all male conflicts, and 13% (SD = 15.25%) conflicts between a mixture of females and males. School counselors reported their degree of involvement in managing student conflicts as an average of 8.06 (SD = 1.81) on a scale of ranging from 1 (very infr equent involvement) to 10 (very frequent involvement), meaning very frequent involvement. Administrators were perceived as the most involved (M = 8.21, SD = 1.825) followed by school counselors (M = 8.06, SD = 1.81), teachers (M = 5.82, SD = 2.036), and p eer facilitators (M = 2.31, SD = 2.06). On average, administrators were perceived to be slightly more involved than were school counselors. Instrument Development Results A pilot test was conducted with 11 middle school counselors to evaluate the admini stration procedures and reliability of the survey. During pilot testing, participating instructions, overall clarity, and appearance. The appearance of the survey was rated by pa rticipants as an average of 9.18 on a scale of 1 (very poor) to 10 (very good).

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85 Participants scored the overall clarity of the directions an average of 9.27 on a scale of 1 (very unclear) to 10 (very clear). Clarity of the concepts was rated by participa nts as an average of 8.67 of 1 (very unclear) to 10 (very clear). Since no problems were reported during pilot testing, the survey instrument and procedures remained the same for the primary study. Pilot testing included a pre test and a post test to ex amine the internal reliability of the Multiparty Conflict Management Self Efficacy Scale (MCMSS). The post test was completed by participants between two weeks and four weeks after completing the pre test. Scores for the MCMSS were created by summing acr oss all of the items in the MCMSS and dividing by the number of items to calculate a mean score for each person. Test retest reliability was calculated using a Pearson correlation. The results indicated that the test retest correlation was r = .874. To de termine internal reliability for the .961, indicating high internal reliability. Data Analysis For each research question, a specific approach was taken to analyze and interpret the data. The research questions are listed below, followed by the data analysis approach that was taken and the results of the analysis. Research Question One The first res degree of school counselor self For the first research question, the degree of school counselor self efficacy in managing multiparty conflict was e stimated by computing a 95% confidence interval for

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86 the average score on the MCMSS. The MCMSS includes 21 items, each ranging from 0, which represents a task that school counselors cannot do at all, to 10, which indicates tasks that school counselors are highly certain they can do. The average total self efficacy score for the MCMSS was 8.182 (SD = 1.144), which indicates that middle school counselors have a relatively high level of self efficacy for managing multiparty student conflicts. The 95% confid ence interval ranged from a low of 8.062 to a high of 8.301. Confidence intervals and average scores for each item on the MCMSS can be found in Table 4 2. The three items with the lowest average scores and the three items with the three lowest average sc ores are reported below. Participants had the highest level of confidence on the ability to meet privately with individual disputants when there are three or more disputants (M = 9.07, SD = 1.117). Interestingly, 166 ( 46.5%) participants rated their se lf efficacy as a 10 for this item and only 4 (1.1%) respondents reported a 5, the lowest reported response for the item. School counselors rated themselves second highest on the ability to decide which students to meet with when there is a conflict invol ving three or more disputants, with an average score of 8.86 (SD = 1.22). A total of 143 ( 40.1%) participants rated their self efficacy as a 10 for this item and only 4 (1.1%) respondents reported a 5 or lower. The lowest reported score on this item was 3. The item on the MCMSS with the third highest average score of 8.68 (SD = 1.306) measured self efficacy for the ability to work cooperatively with other adults to manage multiparty student conflicts. For this item, 113 ( 31.7%) school counselors

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87 report ed a self efficacy of 10. There were 7 respondents who rated their self efficacy as a 5 or lower, with 2 being the lowest reported score. The item with the third to lowest average self efficacy score was the ability to help students build trust while res olving a multiparty conflict. The average score for this item was 7.75 (SD = 1.564). A total of 49 ( 13.7%) participants recorded a 10, while 39 (10.9%) participants reported a score of 5 or lower. The lowest reported score for this item was 2. School counselors scored second lowest on average (M = 7.71, SD = 1.685 ) on the ability to help three or more students involved in conflict to build positive beliefs about their group memberships. A total of 57 (16%) participants reported a 10 for the item and 3 4 (9.5%) participants reported a 5 or lower, with 2 being the lowest score reported. The item on the MCMSS with the lowest average score of 7.28 (SD = 1.786) measured self efficacy for the ability to get every student involved in a multiparty conflict to reach an agreement that meets the needs of every disputant. Only 34 (9.5%) of participants rated their self efficacy as a 10 for this item, while 57 (16%) rated their self efficacy as a 5 or lower, with 1 being the lowest score reported. Only two respo nses of 0, representing a task that cannot be done at all, were reported. One was reported for the ability to get students who are involved in multiparty conflicts to use a conflict resolution approach that does not sacrifice relationships for personal ga in. The second was reported for the ability to meet with all disputants together at one time when there are three or more disputants

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88 Research Question Two of student conflicts t To address the second research question, the percent of multiparty student conflicts encountered by school counselors was estimated by computing a 95% confidence interval. The average percent of m ultiparty student conflicts that were encountered by school counselors was 42.71% (SD = 22.538). The confidence interval was between a low of 40.37% and a high of 45.06%. Although a majority of student conflicts occur between two students (M = 56.35, SD= 22.753) over one third of student conflicts involve three or more students. Research Question Three For the third research question, confidence intervals were computed for the average score for each type of delivery in managing multiparty conflict to estimate the degree to which school counselors use each type of delivery. The degree to which each type of d elivery was measured on a scale ranging from 1 (very unlikely) to 10 (very likely). The frequency for each type of delivery, the percent of respondents who use each type of delivery, and the confidence intervals for each type of delivery are reported in T able 4 3. The most widely used form of delivery was mediation, which 328 (91.9%) of respondents reportedly employ. The confidence interval for mediation ranged from a lower limit of .89 to an upper limit of .95. Individual counseling, which was the seco nd most commonly used form of delivery, was selected by 312 (88.2%) of respondents.

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89 The confidence interval for individual counseling is a range of .85 to .92. Small group counseling was used by 272 (76.2%) of participants, with a confidence interval ran ging from .72 to .81. Collaborating with others was reported to be a form of delivery for 265 respondents (74%). The lower limit of the confidence interval was .70 and the upper limit was.79. Teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups was used by 205 (57.4%) of respondents as a form of delivery. The confidence interval for this delivery form ranged from .52 to .63. Teaching conflict resolution skills to large groups was used by 123 (34.5%) participants. The lower limit of the confidence inter val was .30 and the upper limit was .39. Arbitration, where an adult makes the final decision, was the least preferred form of delivery out of the types listed by name, as it was selected by 92 (25.8%) participants. The lower limit of the confidence inte rval for arbitration was .21 and the upper limit was .3. The number of participants indicating that they use a form of delivery other than the listed options was 25 (7%). The lower limit of the confidence interval for other forms of delivery was .04 and the upper limit was .1. Only one participant reported not using any forms of delivery, indicating no involvement in managing multiparty student conflicts in any way. No confident interval was calculated for this group since only one participant was inclu ded. Research Question Four For the fourth research question, the degree to which school counselo rs are likely to use an approach based in each theory was estimated by computing 95% confidence intervals for the average score for each theory. For each theory of conflict resolution, a description of the theoretical approach was presented along with an

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90 example of how the approach might be applied to a multiparty student conflict. Participants rated the likelihood of using each approach on a scale from 1 (very unlikely) to 10 (very likely). The average scores, standard deviations, and confidence interva ls for each theoretical approach are reported in Table 4 4. An approach based on dual concerns theory was described as encouraging students to balance their own needs while considering the needs of others. The likelihood of using an approach based on du al concerns theory was an average of 8.90 (SD = 1.658), with a confidence interval of 8.73 to 9.07. A likelihood of 10 was reported by 167 ( 46.8%) participants for using a dual concerns based approach and only 17 (4.8%) participants believed the likelihoo d be 5 or below. Taking an approach based on social identity theory was described as trying to reduce negative beliefs that students have about others belonging to a different social group. The likelihood of using an approach based on social identity the ory was an average of 8.60 (SD = 1.812), with a confidence interval of 8.41 to 8.79. The number of participants who reported a likelihood of 10 for using an approach based on social identity theory was 151 ( 42.3%), while the number of participants who rep orted a likelihood of 5 or lower was 28 (7.8%). An approach based on social interdependence theory was described as helping students work cooperatively toward a common goal. The likelihood of using an approach based on social interdependence theory was an average of 8.49 (SD = 1.860), with a confidence interval of 8.30 to 8.69. A total of 134 (37.5%) participants rated their likelihood of using an approach based on social interdependence theory as a 10, while only 27 (7.6%) respondents reported a likeliho od of 5 or lower.

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91 Based on the findings, the theoretical based approach most likely to be used by school counselors was dual concerns theory, followed by approaches based in social identity theory and social interdependence theory. The results also indi cate that middle school counselors have a relatively high likelihood of employing approaches based in these theories when approaching multiparty student conflicts. Research Question Five at is the relationship between type of delivery and school counselor self efficacy in managing For the fifth research question, to investigate the relationship of categorical variable type of delivery and school counselor self effic acy, ANOVA testing was conducted to determine if the average self efficacy was the same across groups. For each type of delivery, a Levene Statistic was calculated to determine homogeneity of variance, which is an assumption of ANOVA testing. The homogene ity of variances for each type of delivery was at an acceptable level to complete ANOVA testing. The findings from the test of h omogeneity of variances, ANOVA testing, and the average self efficacy scores for each type of delivery are reported in Table 4 5. Collaborating with others. Based on ANOVA testing, the null hypothesis failed to be rejected for collaborating with others (F (1, 355) = .439, p = .508). The average self efficacy score for respondents who collaborate with others was 8.205 (SD = 1.1 83) and 8.113 (SD = 1.0279) for respondents who do not. This indicates that school counselors who collaborate with others to address multiparty conflict and those who do not collaborate show no significant difference in self efficacy in multiparty conflic t management.

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92 Teaching small groups. For the teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups type of delivery, the null hypothesis was rejected, based on significant findings (F (1, 355) = 3.862, p = .05). The average self efficacy scores for teach ing conflict resolution skills to small groups and not using this form of delivery were 8.284 (SD = 1.099) and 8.044 (SD = 1.192) respectively. This finding indicates that school counselors who teach conflict resolution skills to small groups have signifi cantly higher self efficacy in multiparty conflict management than those who do not. Teaching large groups. The null hypothesis was also rejected for teaching conflict resolution skills to large groups, due to the significant result (F (1, 355) = 18.884 p = .0). The average self efficacy scores for teaching conflict resolution skills to large groups and not using this form of delivery were 8.536 (SD = .887) and 7.995 (SD = 1.22) respectively. The result of ANOVA testing shows that school counselors who teach conflict resolution skills to large groups have significantly higher self efficacy in multiparty conflict management than those who do not. Mediation. The null hypothesis for mediation was not rejected, as the finding was not significant (F (1, 3 55) = .101, p = .750). The average self efficacy scores for using and not using mediation were 8.187 (SD = 1.156) and 8.117 (SD = 1.024) respectively. This finding indicates that self efficacy in multiparty conflict management is not significantly differe nt for school counselors who use mediation and those who do not. Arbitration. The null hypothesis was not rejected for arbitration, where the adult makes the final decision, since the result was not significant (F (1, 355) = .186, p = .667). The averag e self efficacy scores for individuals using and not using arbitration

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93 were 8.137 (SD = 1.242) and 8.197 (SD = 1.111) respectively. This finding indicates that self efficacy in multiparty conflict management is not significantly different for school counse lors who use arbitration and those who do not. Individual Counseling. For individual counseling, the null hypothesis was not rejected, as the result was not significant (F (1, 355) = 2.230, p = .136). The average self efficacy scores for using and not u sing individual counseling were 8.215 (SD = 1.147) and 7.934 (SD = 1.106) respectively. This indicates that school counselors who use individual counseling to address multiparty student conflict and those who do not use individual counseling show no signi ficant difference in self efficacy in multiparty conflict management. Small group counseling. The null hypothesis was rejected for small group counseling, given the significant result of ANOVA testing (F (1, 355) = 3.892, p = .049). The average self ef ficacy score for using and not using small group counseling were 8.248 (SD = 1.135) and 7.969 (SD = 1.157) respectively. This finding shows that school counselors who use small group counseling to address multiparty conflict have significantly higher self efficacy in multiparty conflict management than those who do not. Other types of delivery. For types of delivery other than those previously listed, the null hypothesis was not rejected because the result was not significant (F (1, 355) = 1.856, p = .1 74). The average self efficacy scores for respondents using and not using other delivery types were 8.482 (SD = .938) and 8.159 (SD = 1.157) respectively. This result indicates that self efficacy in multiparty conflict management is not significantly diff erent for school counselors who use other types of delivery and those who do not.

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94 No delivery type. Since only one respondent selected no delivery type, ANOVA testing was not conducted for that group. Research Question Six The sixth research question p relationship between theoretical approach to mediation and school counselor self For the sixth question, Spearman correlation testing was used to investigate the rel ationship between school counselor self efficacy and three theory based approaches, including social interdependence theory (r = .457), dual concerns theory (r = .472), and social identity theory (r = .415). These results suggest that use of each theory b ased approach is significantly related to self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict at the .01 level. School counselors who perceived themselves as likely to use theoretical approaches to multiparty conflict resolution had significantly higher self efficacy in multiparty conflict management than those who did not. Thus the null hypothesis was rejected. Summary In this chapter, the results of the study were presented. Descriptive statistics and data analyses including confidence intervals, ANO VA testing, and Spearman correlation testing were explained. Also included were results from the pilot testing phase of the survey development and reliability data for the Multiparty Conflict Management Self Efficacy Scale. In the final chapter, discussion of the results, implications, limitations, and recommendations will be presented.

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95 Table 4 1. Participant descriptive information Variable Response n Percent Gender Female 297 83.2% Male 57 15% Ethnicity African American 28 7.8% Asian or Pacific Isl ander 7 2% Hispanic 12 3.4% Native American 3 .8% White 299 83.8% Multi ethnic 5 1.4% Other 3 .8% Degree in school counseling 316 88.5% Specialist Degree 25 7% Doctorate 6 1.7% No Degree in school counseling 10 2.8% Train ing in conflict resolution College coursework 224 62.7% Seminar or workshop 266 74.5% Certificate program 43 12% No training in conflict resolution 36 10.1%

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96 Table 4 2. Self efficacy item averages Std. Dev. Confidence Int. Item Mean Lower Up per Help students use a problem solving approach when in a multiparty conflict (a conflict involving three or more students). 8.62 1.422 8.48 8.77 Get students who are involved in multiparty conflicts to use a conflict resolution approach that does not s acrifice relationships for personal gain. 8.07 1675 7.90 8.24 Get students who are involved in multiparty conflicts to use an approach that does not sacrifice important needs in order to appease others. 7.99 1.473 7.83 8.14 Help three or more students involved in conflict build positive beliefs about their position within their social network. 7.71 1.685 7.54 7.89 Help three or more students involved in conflict to build positive beliefs about their group memberships. 7.76 1.633 7.59 7.93 Help students in a multiparty conflict to reduce their biases towards students belonging to social groups (i.e. friendship, cultural, community) different from their own. 7.68 1.609 7.51 7.85 Help students build trust while resolving a multiparty conflict. 7.75 1.564 7.59 7.92 Help students involved in a multiparty conflict avoid coercion, intimidation, and deception. 7.96 1.574 7.79 8.12 Help three or more students work together cooperatively to resolve a conflict. 8.67 1.373 8.53 8.81 Get students involved in a multiparty conflict to consider the needs of others in addition to their own needs. 8.34 1.442 8.19 8.49 Get students in a multiparty conflict to think about their relationships with the other disputants instead of just their own needs. 8.19 1.514 8.04 8.35 Get every student involved in a multiparty conflict to work towards a common goal. 7.94 1.610 7.77 8.11 Get every student involved in a multiparty conflict to reach an agreement. 7.84 1.708 7.66 8.02 Get every stud ent involved in a multiparty conflict to reach an agreement that meets the needs of every disputant. 7.28 1.786 7.09 7.47 Work cooperatively with other adults to manage multiparty student conflicts. 8.68 1.306 8.55 8.82 Manage an imbalance of power during a multiparty conflict, when one or more students is at a disadvantage. 8.04 1.557 7.87 8.20

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97 Table 4 2. Continued Maintain control over the process of managing a multiparty conflict. 8.59 1.326 8.46 8.73 Decide whether a multiparty conflict should end when the majority of disputants agree or when all agree. 8.39 1.477 8.23 8.54 Decide which students to meet with when there is a conflict involving three or more disputants. 8.86 1.220 8.74 8.99 Meet privately with individual disputants wh en there are three or more disputants. 9.07 1.117 8.95 9.18 Meet with all disputants together at one time when there are three or more disputants. 8.38 1.794 8.19 8.57

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98 Table 4 3. Types of delivery used to manage multiparty student conflicts Con fidence Int. Type of Delivery n % Lower Upper Collaborating with others 265 74.2% 70% 79% Teaching Conflict Resolution Skills to Small Groups 205 57.4% 52% 63% Teaching Conflict Resolution Skills to Large Groups 123 34.5% 30% 39% Mediation 328 91. 9% 89% 95% Arbitration (Adult makes final decision) 92 25.8% 21% 30% Individual Counseling 315 88.2% 85% 92% Small Group Counseling 272 76.2% 72% 81% Other 25 7% 4% 10% None of the above (You are not involved in managing conflicts among three or more students) 1 <1%

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99 Table 4 4. Average use of theoretical approaches Confidence Intervals Theoretical Approach Mean Std. Dev. Lower Upper Social interdependence theory 8.49 1.860 8.30 8.69 Dual concerns theory 8.90 1.658 8.73 9.07 Social identity theory 8.60 1.812 8.41 8.79 Table 4 5. Type of delivery and self efficacy score ANOVA testing results Type of Delivery Homogeneity of Variances df F p value Response Mean self efficacy Std. Dev. Collaborating with others 2.174 1, 355 .439 .508 Yes 8.205 1.183 No 8.113 1.028 Teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups .315 1, 355 3.862 .05 Yes 8.284 1.099 No 8.044 1.192 Teaching conflict resolution skills to large groups 8.783 1, 355 18.884 .0 Yes 8.536 .887 No 7.995 1.22 Mediation .607 1, 355 .101 .750 Yes 8.187 1.156 No 8.117 1.024 Arbitration 1.172 1, 355 .186 .667 Yes 8.137 1.242 No 8.197 1.111 Individual counseling .151 1, 355 2.23 .136 Yes 8.215 1.147 No 7.934 1.106 Small g roup counseling .116 1, 355 3.892 .049 Yes 8.248 1.135 No 7.969 1.157 Other .383 1, 355 1.856 .174 Yes 8.482 .938 No 8.159 1.157

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100 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION Physical violence, overt aggression, and covert aggression can be damaging to student aca demic performance and social well being. Conflict resolution education provides a constructive solution for approaching student conflicts, but does not include the issue of multiparty student conflicts. School counselors, who are directly involved in sup perspective on the management of multiparty student conflict in middle schools. Thus, effi cacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Presented in this chapter are the discussion of findings, implications, limitations, and recommendations for future research. Overview of the Study and Discussion of Findings An online survey was used to collec t participant perspectives of their background, school setting, their involvement and approach to managing multiparty student conflict, and their self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Data was collected from a sample of 357 middle school counselors drawn from the Middle/Junior High work category under the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) member directory. Participants in the study were predominately White (82.8%) and female (83.2%). The participants were similar in backgroun d to participants in a national study of school counselors belonging to ASCA by Bodenhorn, Wolfe, and Airen (2010) who were 89% European American and 85% female. The gender and ethnicity of participating school counselors were also similar to teacher back grounds at the national level. During the

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101 2007 2008 school year, teachers were 83.5% White and 75.6% female (NCES). However this finding shows a disparity between the diversity of the participating school counselors and the national averages for student g ender and ethnicity. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, or NCES (2009a), during the 2007 2008 school year, 59.3% of students were White and 49.8% female. The average years of experience of participants was 9.21 and the average ye ars employment at their current schools was 7.25. The majority of participants (97.2%) had earned at least a m received some form of training in conflict resolution, with only 10.1% indicatin g that they had no formal training in conflict resolution. Participants were employed at schools that were located in suburban (38.9%), rural (32.2%), and urban (28.9%) settings. They indicated that 45% of students were receiving free or reduced lunch, wh ich reflects the national average (43%) of eligible students (NCES, 2009b). The average student to schools of employment was 363 to 1. This ratio is higher than the ASCA recommended guidelines of 250 to 1, but lower than the 2007 2008 national average of 460 to 1 (ASCA, n.d.). Frequency of Multiparty Conflict School counselors reported that student conflicts were brought to their attention at relatively high frequency with a mean frequency of 7.57 on a scale of 1 (very l ow frequency) to 10 (very high frequency). Participants described student conflicts as 56% dyadic and 43% multiparty. School counselors reported a high degree of involvement in managing student conflicts with a mean rating of 8.06 on a scale of ranging f rom 1 (very

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102 infrequent involvement) to 10 (very frequent involvement). Administrators were perceived as the most involved (M = 8.21) followed by school counselors (M = 8.06), teachers (M = 5.82), and peer facilitators (M = 2.31). Thus administrators were perceived to be slightly more involved than were school counselors, followed by teachers, and finally, peer facilitators who were the least involved. The findings indicate that middle school counselors are very likely to encounter student conflicts, and are involved in managing both dyadic as well as multiparty student conflicts Interestingly, the majority of multiparty student conflicts were composed of all females (65%), followed by all male (20%), and a combination of both genders (13%). Noakes and th and 8 th grade students found there to be no significant gender difference in frequency of conflict, but did not address the issue of multiparty conflict. Perhaps the gender disparity in multiparty conflict in this study is du e to differences in male and female relationships at the middle school level, the way each gender approaches conflict, and/or differences in their willingness to seek help for conflicts with their peers. It is possible that male students are less likely to report multiparty conflicts to an adult at school. Williams and Cornell (2006) found that student willingness to seek help for bullying and for threats of violence declined during the middle school years, and was lower for boys than for girls. Further, s ome studies investigating gender differences in help seeking suggest that boys are more likely to associate help seeking with personal weakness (Eiser, Havermans & Eiser, 1995; Steinfeld, Steinfeld, & Speight, 2009). Noakes and Rinaldi found female confli cts to be over relational issues while conflicts between males were over status and dominance. Since a large majority of the school counselor participants in the study were female,

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103 their gender may have affected how often male or female multiparty conflic ts were brought to their attention. Types of Multiparty Conflict Management Delivery School counseling services, as described in the ASCA National Model (2005), fall into different types of delivery including school guidance curriculum, individual stude nt planning, responsive services, and system support. The guidance curriculum refers to lessons that aid students in reaching developmentally appropriate competencies and includes teaching skills to small groups and large groups. The second type, individ ual planning, involves helping individual students set and works toward personal goals. through counseling, consultation, referral, peer mediation, and information giving. Fina lly, systems support consists of activities that help maintain and enhance the counseling program, including administration, collaboration, and consultation. In this study, school counselors reported using several types of conflict management delivery of services. It was determined that mediation, used by 91.9% of respondents, is the most common type of delivery employed by school counselors to manage multiparty student conflicts, followed by individual counseling (88.2%), and small group counseling (76.2 %). It is interesting to note that all three types of delivery that school counselors are most inclined to use to manage multiparty conflicts are responsive services. However, many school counselors use other forms of delivery in addition to these respo nsive types. Collaborating with others, which was used by 74% of participants, falls under the category of system support. Collaboration among administrators, school counselors, and teachers, who were all found to be involved in managing student

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10 4 conflict students. Teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups and large groups, which fall under guidance curriculum, were used by 57.4% and 34.5% of school counselors respect ively. These findings suggest that more school counselors target select students for training than instruct large groups, which may include integrating skills into the curriculum for a class or the whole school. Arbitration, another responsive service, was used by only 25.8% of participants. Additional forms of delivery that were not listed were used by 7% of respondents. Overall, the vast majority of school counselors participating in this study provide at least one service that is related to managin g multiparty student conflict; only one respondent reported using no types of delivery to address multiparty student conflict. Theoretical Approach to Multiparty Conflict Management School counselors were asked to rate the likelihood of using theory bas ed approaches to mediate multiparty student conflicts. Participants scored each theory on a scale of 1 (very unlikely) to 10 (very likely) for each theoretical approach. School counselors had the highest likelihood of using an approach based on dual conc erns theory (M = 8.90). Nearly half (46.8%) of participants indicated a likelihood of 10, meaning they are very likely to mediate a multiparty conflict using an approach based on dual concerns theory. This approach was described as encouraging students to balance their own needs while considering the needs of others. Dual concerns theory proposes that individuals who are highly concerned about meeting their own needs, and highly concerned about the interests of other disputants, approach conflict the most effectively, using problem solving (Blake & Mouton, 1970; Holt & Devore, 2005).

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105 Participants reported a likelihood of 8.60 for using an approach based on social identity theory, which was described as trying to reduce negative beliefs that students have about others belonging to a different social group. From the social identity perspective, individuals who perceive a threat to the status of their social groups are likely to protect their social identity by discriminating against individuals belonging t o other social groups (Hornsey & Hogg, 2000). Bias against individuals belonging to outside social groups interferes with the ability to listen and empathize with them (Smyth, 2002). A total of 42% of participants reported a likelihood of 10 for using an approach based on social identity theory, which indicates a very high likelihood of mediating a conflict using this approach for this group. The likelihood of participants using an approach based on social interdependence theory was 8.49. A score of 10, meaning very high likelihood, was reported by 37.5% of participants for using an approach based on social interdependence theory. This approach was described in the survey as helping students work cooperatively toward a common goal. Social interdepende nce theory proposes that disputants who are positively interdependent share a mutual goal and work together to resolve a conflict. Positive interdependence leads to a pattern of behavior that includes cooperation, helping, and trust, while negative interd ependence causes competitive behavior such as intimidation, coercion, and deception (Deutsch, 1993; Johnson, 2003; Roseth et al., 2008; Uline et al., 2003). Based on the findings, the theoretical based approach most likely to be used by school counselors was dual concerns theory, followed by social identity theory and social interdependence theory. Middle school counselors were found to have a

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106 relatively high likelihood of employing one or more of these theoretical approaches when mediating multiparty st udent conflicts. Self Efficacy in Multiparty Conflict Management School counselor self efficacy for managing multiparty student conflicts was measured by the Multiparty Conflict Management Self Efficacy Scale (MCMSS), which consisted of 21 Likert scale i tems. Each item ranged from a 0 (Cannot do at all) to 10 (Highly certain can do). The average self efficacy score on the MCMSS was found to be 8.182, which indicates that school counselors have relatively high self efficacy for managing multiparty confl icts. Since 89.9% of participants reported receiving training in conflict resolution, training may partially account for their high self efficacy. Another possible contributing factor was t he gender and level of experience of the participants in the stud y, who were mostly female and had an average of 9.21 years of experience. Bodenhorn and Skaggs (2005) found that females and school counselors with three or more years of experience had higher self efficacy in school counseling than males and those with l ess experience. Given the relevance of multiparty conflict management to the personal and social domains of the ASCA National Model (2005) and the high ratings of self efficacy on the MCMSS, it is highly likely that school counselors perceive managing mu ltiparty conflicts as relevant to their role as a school counselor. Studies have shown that school counselors have a higher level of self efficacy for tasks that are related to the role of the school counselor than for unrelated tasks ( Baggerly & Osborn, 2006; Sutton & Fall, 1995) The 21 items on the MCMSS each addressed a separate aspect of managing multiparty student conflicts. Each item was based on dual concerns theory, social

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107 interdependence theory, social identity theory, or the framework for con ceptualizing multiparty student conflicts. The relationship between the items and theory can be seen in Table 3 2. School counselors reported high self efficacy on average for every item, but some abilities were rated higher than others. To provide furt her insight into school counselor self efficacy in multiparty conflict management, the three highest scoring items and three lowest scoring items are examined in further detail. High scoring items. The individual item with the highest self efficacy scor e (M = 9.07) described the ability to meet privately with individual disputants when there are three or more disputants. The average self efficacy score for meeting with all disputants in a multiparty conflict together was slightly lower, at 8.38. It may be that including multiple students in the conflict resolution process makes the situation more complex, or difficult to manage. One of the advantages of a joint session, is that all parties are able to participate and listen to each other. This strateg y can facilitate the reaching of a mutual agreement among parties, whereas caucuses, or meetings that do not include all involved parties, have been found to have the opposite effect of increasing competitiveness, resulting in less integrative outcomes ( K im, 1997) However, in cases where disputant emotions are heightened or safety is in question, caucuses are a safe alternative ( Welton, Pruitt, & McGillicuddy, 1988) School counselors may also choose to meet privately with students in order to gather i nformation and make decisions about the mediation process. On average, school counselors rated their self efficacy as second highest (M = 8.86) on the ability to decide which students to meet with when there is a conflict involving three or more disputan ts. To decide which disputants to meet with, school

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108 counselors must have an awareness of which students have a personal interest in the outcome and which can be excluded. Being able to identify which students need to be involved in mediation is an impor tant step, since excluded disputants are left out of the discussion and therefore the creation of a solution that meets their needs. The item on the MCMSS with the third highest average score (M = 8.68) measured the ability to work cooperatively with oth er adults to manage multiparty student conflicts. The complex nature of multiparty student conflict may require separate meetings with individual or small groups of students that may be carried out by more than one adult. Literature on multiparty conflic t resolution suggests that successfully co mediating a multiparty conflict requires co mediators to develop a common understanding of the problem and solution to avoid confusion (Crocker, Hampton, & Aall, 2001) Based on the findings of this study, school counselors perceive themselves to be efficacious in collaborating with other adults in multiparty conflict management. Collaboration with other faculty allows school counselors to help a greater number of students than working alone and is a form of deli very for guidance services recommended by the ASCA National Model (2005). Administrators may be ideal partners for school counselors managing multiparty student conflicts since administrators were perceived to have the highest involvement in the manageme nt of student conflicts. Other partners may include other school counselors as well as teachers, who were also found to be involved in managing student confict. Lowest scoring items. School counselor self efficacy was third lowest (M = 7.75) for the it em describing the ability to help students build trust while resolving a multiparty conflict. Deutsch (1993) suggests that one of the functions of mediators or

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109 third party facilitators is to reduce mistrust and hostility between parties. According to socia l interdependence theory, disputants who are positively interdependent are more likely to display helping behaviors and trust because they view their goals to be compatible with the goals of other disputants. While the average school counselor self effic acy rating on the ability to build trust between students was fairly high, 10.9% respondents reported self efficacy level of 5 or below. Participant responses indicated that their self efficacy was second lowest on average (M = 7.71) for the ability to h elp three or more students involved in conflict to build positive beliefs about their group memberships. According to social identity theory, identity is made up of both an individual component and a social component that roup memberships (Crocker & Luhtanen, 1990; respond with prejudice and negatively stereotype individuals from groups outside of their own (Hornsey & Hogg). A total of 9.5 % of participants reported having a self efficacy score of 5 or lower on a scale of 0 to 10, indicating that a small minority of school counselors believe with only moderate certainty or are uncertain that they can help students build positive beliefs abou t their group memberships. The item on the MCMSS with the lowest average score of 7.28 measured self efficacy for the ability to get every student involved in a multiparty conflict to reach an agreement that meets the needs of every disputant. The prima ry goal of conflict resolution is for students to reach a mutually satisfying solution, also called an integrative or win win solution (Johnson & Johnson, 1995; Smith & Daunic, 2002). In multiparty conflicts, there are more individual needs to consider, w hich may make

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110 reaching an integrative solution more difficult. A number of school counselors (16%) rated their self efficacy as a 5 or lower, meaning they are moderately certain or uncertain that they can assist students in reaching an integrative soluti on. However school counselors on average had a relatively high level of self efficacy for performing this task, which reflected their overall high self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflicts. Relationship between self efficacy and other varia bles. This study looked at the relationship between self efficacy in multiparty conflict management and other variables including types of delivery and theoretical approach. School counselors were asked which of the following types of delivery they use t o provide multiparty conflict management: mediation, arbitration, individual counseling, small group counseling, training peer mediators, collaborating with others, teaching conflict resolution skills to large groups, other types of delivery, and none of t he above. The types of delivery significantly related to self efficacy in managing multiparty conflict were counseling small groups of students, teaching skills to small groups of students, and teaching skills to large groups of students. Counseling sma ll groups of students was the third most frequently used type of delivery, used by 76.2% of participants. Teaching conflict resolution skills to large groups and teaching skills to small groups were used by 57.4% and 34.5% of school counselors correspondi ngly. While teaching skills to small groups and large groups are both related to higher levels of self efficacy, they are only the fifth and sixth ranked types of delivery in terms of frequency of use. Teaching students conflict resolution skills is a fo rm of developmental guidance, which is preventative in nature and reaches more students than reactive

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111 types of delivery. The guidelines in the ASCA National Model (2005) recommend that middle school counselors devote 25% to 35% of their time to delivering the guidance curriculum. Geltner and Clark (2005) point out that school counselors may not be comfortable with classroom management techniques, which may account for the low frequency of teaching skills to large groups. No differences in self efficacy w ere found between individuals who use or do not use other delivery types. The findings signify that school counselors who teach skills to small or large groups or use small group counseling have higher self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflic t than individuals who do not. It may be that the practice of working with groups of students leads to a greater understanding of group dynamics and confidence in managing multiparty conflict. Perhaps school counselors who have lower self efficacy in man aging multiparty student conflicts feel less comfortable working with groups of students. Spearman correlation testing showed a significant relationship between self efficacy in managing multiparty conflict and three theoretical approaches used by school counselors to mediate multiparty student conflicts. Relationships were found between self efficacy and dual concerns theory (r = .472), social interdependence theory (r = .457), and social identity theory (r = .415). School counselors who perceived them selves as likely to use theoretical approaches to multiparty conflict resolution had significantly higher self efficacy in multiparty conflict management than those who did not. The likelihood of school counselors using an approach based on theory was fou nd to be relatively high for each theory, which may account for the high level of self efficacy school counselors reported in managing multiparty student conflict. Using an approach

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112 based in theory is positively correlated with degree of self efficacy in managing multiparty conflict for school counselors in this study. Although participants were not asked to demonstrate knowledge or understanding of the theories, they did perceive themselves as using approaches that are grounded in theory. The findings s uggest that it is important for school counselors to operate from a theoretical framework when managing multiparty student conflicts. Limitations A limitation of using a cross sectional design is that the data does not reflect changes that may occur in t he population over time (Gall et al., 2007). The generalizability of this study is limited due to the sampling procedures used to select participants. Only members of ASCA with valid email addresses listed in the member directory were asked to take the s urvey, which resulted in a non probability sample (Van Selm & Jankowski, 2006). Middle school counselors who are not members of ASCA may have differing views from counselors who are a part of the professional organization. Furthermore, the response rate for online surveys is often lower than that of mail surveys (Granello & Wheaton, 2004) Since the data in this study was collected by self report, the responses could have a self reporting bias. School counselors completed the survey voluntarily, which could have biased the results to reflect the perceptions of counselors most willing and interested in completing the survey. They may have also responded in a way that they believed to be socially desirable. The accuracy of the data depended on the perc eptions of those surveyed, and each person had their own way of interpreting the questions and measuring their own behaviors and beliefs. These biases could have

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113 threatened internal validity and the ability to find a strong relationship between variables. Implications for Theory School counselors were asked to indicate the likelihood of using theoretical approaches to mediation based on dual concerns theory, social identity theory, and social interdependence theory. The results of the study show that s chool counselors are likely to use an approach based in one or more theories of conflict when mediating multiparty student conflicts. Furthermore, using theory based approaches was found to be significantly related to self efficacy in managing multiparty conflicts. Although multiparty conflicts are structurally different from dyadic conflicts, theories of conflict resolution are still applicable. The goals of the mediation are the same for both types of conflict, which means that mediators can use thei r understanding of conflict to facilitate an integrative solution for either dyadic or multiparty conflicts. School counselors who mediate multiparty student conflicts may want to consider encouraging students to consider the needs of other disputants in addition to their own needs, as suggested by dual concerns theory. They may also encourage disputants to work cooperatively towards the common goals of resolution, as recommended by social interdependence theory. Finally, school counselors can help stude nts lower their biases towards individuals belonging to different social groups, an implied suggestion of social identity theory. While social identity theory is not mentioned in most conflict resolution education literature, it was found to be relevant t o multiparty student conflicts. School counselors may use a combined theoretical approach by considering how individual students approach conflicts, how they cooperate, and how their perceptions of group memberships.

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114 Though school counselors were asked to rate their likelihood of using approaches based in theories of conflict resolution, their understanding and knowledge of these theories were not explored. School counselors who use approaches based in theory may or may not be operating from a theoreti cal framework. The findings suggest that it may be beneficial for school counselors to consider theories of conflict when selecting approaches for mediation. Implications for Practice School counselors showed a high level of involvement in managing stud ent conflicts, which include both dyadic (56%) and multiparty (43%) conflicts. The finding suggests that multiparty student conflicts are an issue in middle schools that school counselors are partially responsible for managing. School counselors should p artner with Administrators to address this issue, since administrators were perceived to be the most involved in managing student conflicts. Specifically, principals can be an important source of support and school counselors should include them in creati ng a conflict resolution component in their developmental counseling program. Principals are key decision makers in schools and have been found to have different views of what roles school counselors should fulfill (Amatea & Clark, 2005; Chata & Loesch, 2 007; Clemens, Milsom, & Cashwell, 2009). By working closely with principals, school counselors can develop a program that aligns with principal expectations as well as professional standards for school counselors. Partnerships may also be formed with tea chers, who were perceived to be moderately involved in managing student conflicts. Given their training in conflict resolution and their high self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflicts, school counselors may help educate other faculty members

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115 about the nature of multiparty conflicts and theoretical approaches for mediating multiparty conflicts. School counselors can also integrate conflict resolution training into their developmental guidance curriculum. Teaching small and large groups of st udents skills in conflict management were two forms of delivery found to be significantly related to self efficacy in managing multiparty conflict. By empowering students to constructively resolve their conflicts, school counselors can reduce the number o f student conflicts requiring adult intervention. Skills for understanding the process of resolving conflict include teaching a problem solving approach to negotiation and encouraging cooperation among students, which are strategies based on dual concerns theory and social interdependence theory respectively. Conflict resolution education also includes teaching social skills such as communication, empathy, and perspective taking (Casserino & Lane Garon, 2006). Students may also benefit from learning how to build a positive social identity and discover common group memberships with others because multiparty conflicts take place within rich social contexts. Teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups and teaching skills to large groups ranked fifth and sixth in the frequency of types of delivery used. Perhaps more school counselors should integrate these skills into their guidance curriculum. Those who are uncomfortable with classroom management can learn useful techniques from teachers, such as h ow to set rules and use humor to improve the atmosphere (Geltner & Clark, 2005). School counselors can gain support for delivering their guidance curriculum by discussing with he school.

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116 Most school counselors reported using mediation to manage multiparty student conflicts, but mediation was not related to self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. However, school counselors who reported using a theory based appro ach for mediating multiparty student conflicts had higher self efficacy than those who did not. Thus, school counselors should seek to gain an understanding of theory and operate from a theoretical framework when mediating student conflicts. Peer mediat ors were reported to have the least involvement in managing student conflicts and it may be inappropriate to have them independently manage multiparty student conflicts. Peer mediators are trained in the process of mediating dyadic conflicts including a basic script or set of steps. Peer mediators may have difficulty with the dynamic and complex structure of multiparty conflicts. Another limitation of peer mediators is their limited neutrality. In a study of dyadic mediations, student mediators sometim es deviated from their script and had lapses in their neutrality when trying to gain control of the process (Nix & Hale, 2007). A multiparty conflict may be more difficult to control because of additional disputants, possible coalitions, and other variabl es which may further detract from peer mediator neutrality. Perhaps a more appropriate role for peer mediators who have been trained in mediating dyadic conflicts is to assist school counselors in teaching other students skills in managing multiparty conf licts. For example, peer mediators could lead or participate in a role play of a multiparty student conflict. School counselors felt most confident about their ability to meet with students involved in multiparty conflicts individually, but individual c ounseling as a type of delivery was not significantly related to self efficacy in managing multiparty student

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117 conflicts. Alternatively, school counselors who counseled small groups of students had higher self efficacy than those who did not. These findin gs suggest that small group counseling may be the most effective way to respond to a multiparty student conflict in most cases. Small group counseling allows all involved disputants to be present in a joint session. Joint sessions give disputants an oppo rtunity to listen, empathize, and contribute to the creation of a solution. Meeting individually with students can be used to gather information and may be necessary in emotionally heightened situations. The ability that was found to be the greatest are a of weakness for participants on average was helping all students in a multiparty conflict reach a mutually beneficial agreement. The primary goal of conflict resolution is to reach an agreement that meets the needs of all involved parties. With multipa rty conflict, there are more individual needs to consider. If a mutual agreement cannot be reached, school counselors need to consider how the conflict will be resolved. One solution that students sometimes reach is to avoid each other, which may lead to improved social relationships but can still prevent aggressive behavior from continuing (Smith, Daunic, Miller, & Robinson, 2002). Recommendations for Future Research The current study found that multiparty student conflicts are an issue in middle sc hools and that school counselors apply a variety of approaches to manage these conflicts. This knowledge could be expanded by examining the occurrence of multiparty student conflict at the elementary and high school levels. Research could also be conduct ed to investigate the perceptions and practices of administrators and teachers, who were also found to be involved in managing multiparty student conflicts. Additional research needs to be conducted to gather information about the nature of multiparty

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118 stu dent conflicts and how they differ from dyadic conflicts. Observational data and student perceptions would provide greater understanding of the structure, disputant contributions, and process of multiparty student conflicts. This information could be use d to improve the framework for multiparty conflict (Figure 2 1) to better fit student conflicts. Although gender was not a research variable in the current study, an interesting finding was that the majority of multiparty student conflicts take place am ong all females. The gender composition of multiparty student conflicts could be further investigated to explain the gender disparity. Possible factors to consider are male and female relationships, approaches for conflict resolution, and likelihood of r eporting multiparty conflicts to an adult. It would be interesting to know whether multiparty conflicts are self referred or adult referred to school counselors, because it may be that males are less likely to refer their conflicts to an adult. School c ounselors reported teaching student skills in conflict resolution, but the survey did not ask what skills were taught or whether students were able to apply what they learned. It would be useful to know which skills are the most useful for students in res olving multiparty student conflicts. Students may also benefit from learning skills that are specific to managing conflicts that take place among a group. The goal of conflict resolution is to reach an integrative agreement that meets the needs of all d isputants. School counselor self efficacy for the ability to facilitate such an agreement was relatively high, but still lower than other tasks related to multiparty conflict management. An important follow up to this finding would be to research the out comes of multiparty student conflicts and determine how often an integrative

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119 agreement is reached. A longitudinal design study could track disputants in multiparty conflicts to see if solutions are successful long term. Conflict resolution programs are meant to reduce negative impacts from poorly managed student conflicts. When students approach conflict aggressively, the result can be physical, psychological, or social harm. Aggression can also take the form of cyberbullying, where bullies use techn ology as a means to attack their victims. Cyberbullying has similar negative effects on victims as traditional bullying, including depression and lower self esteem (Tokunaga, 2010). It is not known whether multiparty conflict is more or less likely than dyadic conflict to result in aggression. It is also unknown whether multiparty conflicts typically take place among friends belonging to the same social group or students belonging to different social groups. Gang disputes, which are a form of multiparty conflict, may differ from other forms of student conflict as well. Since school counselors were shown to be involved in managing multiparty student conflict, it would be beneficial to learn more about how school counselors are trained in managing studen t conflicts. Future research could explore how conflict resolution is addressed in counselor education programs as well as workshops and continuing education. It would be essential to look at the theories of conflict presented in these programs, since th eoretical approach was related to higher self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Through further investigation of student multiparty conflicts, school counselor training, and school counselor practices, recommendations for school counselor best practices and counselor education could be developed.

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120 In the current study, school counselors were found to apply approaches based in theories of conflict, however it is unknown whether participants operate from a theoretical framework. Future resea and understanding of theory and how their knowledge informs their approaches to mediation. A comparison of the effectiveness of each theory based approach could also be conducted, which could be used to improve school counselor training and practices. The MCMSS was developed for this study to measure school counselor self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflict. Additional testing of the instrument could be done to ensure validity and reliabil ity. Testing could also be done with other educators, such as administrators or teachers, to determine whether the scale could be used with these populations. Since administrators and teachers were perceived to be involved with managing multiparty studen t conflicts, it is important to know how confident they are in this role. Conclusion The results of the study showed that multiparty student conflict is an issue that middle school counselors are involved in managing. Therefore it is worthwhile for sch ool counselors to learn more about multiparty student conflicts and best practices for multiparty student conflict management. Administrators were perceived to be the most involved in the management of student conflicts, making them ideal partners for sch ool counselors in managing multiparty student conflicts. School counselors were found to have high self efficacy in managing multiparty student conflicts, possibly due to their experience and training. This finding shows that school counselors are well e quipped to

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121 manage multiparty student conflicts and may be able to provide training for other faculty members. Higher levels of self efficacy were related to using an approach to mediation based in theory. This implies that school counselors should have an understanding of conflict resolution theories and apply them to the management of multiparty student conflict. The types of delivery for managing multiparty student conflict that were related to high self efficacy were counseling small groups of studen ts, teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups, and teaching skills to large groups. Small group counseling allows school counselors to meet with all of the disputants involved in a multiparty conflict together in a joint session, which is facili tative of reaching a mutually beneficial agreement. Teaching conflict resolution skills to small groups and large groups helps students to constructively approach conflicts, including multiparty, on their own. The results of the study can also be used by counselor educators, who can apply this information to teach future school counselors how to manage multiparty student conflicts.

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122 APPENDIX A PRE NOTICE LETTER Dear School Counselor, I am a doctoral student at the University of Florida, and a m conducting a study on the role of the school counselor in managing student conflicts. A few days from now you will receive an E mail requesting your participation in research I am conducting for my dissertation. I am writing in advance because many p eople like to know ahead of time when they will be contacted for surveys. You were selected to participate because you are a middle school counselor and a member of ASCA. Your survey invitation will include a hyperlink and password. You may click on the link or copy and paste it into your browser, then type in the password provided in the email when prompted. You will then be directed to the online survey. Your participation is very important to the study and will contribute to understanding counselor p erceptions about the management of student conflicts. Your responses are confidential and participation in the survey is voluntary. If you have questions or comments regarding this study, please contact me or my faculty supervisor, Dr. Mary Ann Clark. Thank you for your time and consideration. I appreciate it very much. Sincerely, Summer Yacco, Ed.S., NCC Doctoral Candidate Department of Counselor Education University of Florida (XXX ) XXX XXXX XXXXX@ufl.edu Mary An n Clark, Ph.D., NCC Associate Professor Department of Counselor Education University of Florida ( XXX ) XXX XXXX XXXXX@coe.ufl.edu

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123 APPENDIX B INVITATION LETTER Dear School Counselor, You have been selected to participate in a survey of middle school counselors being conducted as part of my dissertation. The purpose of this study is to investigate the perceptions of middle school counselors. An understanding of how counselors perceive and manage student conflicts could facilitate the development of more effective intervention strategies for working with young adolescents. Your participation in this survey is voluntary and you are free to skip any questions that you prefer not to answer. Your answers are completely confidential and will be released approximately 10 minutes of your time. Please access the survey by clicking on the following internet link and entering the http://qtrial.qualtrics.com/SE?SID=SV_8AOTRyjv03szVsM&SVID=Prod After following the link, please If you have questions or comments regarding this study, please contact me or my faculty supervisor, Dr. Mary Ann Clark. I greatly appreciate your time and effort. It is only with the help of pract icing counselors like you that current practices can be improved. Sincerely, Summer Yacco, Ed.S., NCC Doctoral Candidate Department of Counselor Education University of Florida (XXX ) XXX XXXX XXXXX@ufl.edu Mary An n Clark, Ph.D., NCC Associate Professor Department of Counselor Education University of Florida ( XXX ) XXX XXXX XXXXX@coe.ufl.edu

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124 APPENDIX C INFORMED CONSENT FOR M Dear School Counselor: I am a doctoral student at the University of Florida. For my dissertation I am conducting a survey, the purpose of which is to learn about how school counselors perceive their role and self efficacy in managing conflicts involving three or more students. I am asking you to particip ate in this survey because you have been identified as a middle school counselor. Your views will help to develop an understanding of counselor perceptions and approaches to managing conflict. Participants will be asked to complete a survey that should t ake approximately 10 minutes. If you agree to participate, you will not have to answer any question you do not wish to answer. Your identity will be kept confidential to the extent provided by law and your identity will not be revealed in the final manuscr ipt. There are no anticipated risks, compensation or other direct benefits to you as a participant in this survey. You are free to withdraw your consent to participate and may discontinue your participation in the interview at any time without consequence If you have any questions about this research protocol, please contact me at 352 505 8292 or my faculty supervisor, Dr. Mary Ann Clark at (352) 392 0731 ex. 295. Questions or concerns about your rights as a research participant rights may be directed to the IRB02 office, University of Florida, Box 112250, Gainesville, FL 32611; (352) 392 0433. To give your consent, please check "I give my consent" below. With your consent, you give me permission to report your responses anonymously in the final manuscr ipt to be submitted to my faculty supervisor as part of my course work. Sincerely, Summer Yacco Perceived Role and Self Efficacy in Managing Multiparty Student Conflicts s tudy and I voluntarily agree to participate in the survey. _____ Yes, I give my consent. _____ No, I do not consent.

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125 APPENDIX D SURVEY OF SCHOOL COU NSELOR PERCEPTIONS O F STUDENT CONFLICT A ND COUNSELOR ROLE School Demographics 1. Are you a middle schoo l counselor practicing in Florida? _____ Yes _____ No If Yes is checked, please continue with the rest of the survey. If you checked No, you are now finished with the survey. Thank you for your time. 2. What is the metropolitan status of your schoo _____ Urban (50,000 or more inhabitants in the area) _____ Suburban (At least 10,000 inhabitants and fewer than 50,000 inhabitants in the area) _____Rural (Fewer than 10,000 inhabitants in the area) 3. What is the approximate student enrollment at your school? (Fill in the blank) The approximate number of students enrolled is _____. 4. How many school counselors work at your school? (Fill in the blank) There are _____ counselors, including myself. 5. Approximately what percentage of students are on free or reduced lunch? (Fill in the blank) _____% of students are on free or reduced lunch.

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126 For the following questions, indicate the frequency that each item occurs at your school from 1 = Very Infrequent to 10 = Very Frequent. 6. How frequently are student conflicts brought to your attention in an average month? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very Moderately Very Infrequent Frequent Frequent 7. To what degree are school counselors involved in managing student conflicts at your school? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very Moderately Very Infrequent Frequent Frequent 8. To what degree are teachers involved in managing student conflicts at your school? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very Moderately Very Infrequent Frequent Frequent 9. To what degree are administrators (i.e. principals, deans, assistant principals) involved in managing student conflicts at your school? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very Moderately Very Infrequent Frequent Frequent 10. To what degree are peer facilitators/mediator s involved in managing student conflicts at your school? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very Moderately Very Infrequent Frequent Fre quent

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127 For each of the following questions, fill in the blanks. 11. Out of all the student conflicts brought to your attention, approximately what percent of conflicts occur: (Answers should add up to 100% of conflicts brought to your attention) betwe en just 2 students _____% among 3 or more students _____% 12. Out of the conflicts brought to your attention involving three or more students, approximately what percent take place among: (Answers should add up to 100% of conflicts brought to your attent ion involving three or more students) all females _____% all males _____% a mix of males and females _____% Counselor Background 13. What is your gender? _____ Male _____ Female 14. What is your ethnic background? _____African American, not of Hispanic origin _____ Asian or Pacific Islander _____ Hispanic _____ Native American _____ White, not of Hispanic origin _____ Multi ethnic _____ Other

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128 15. How many years of experience have you had as a practicing school counselor, not including the 2009 20 10 school year? _____ years of experience 16. How many years have you been employed at your current school, not including the 2009 2010 school year? _____ years at current school 17. What is the highest degree you have earned in the field of school co unseling? _____ Masters degree (M.A. or M.S.) in school counseling _____ Specialist in Education degree (Ed.S.) in school counseling _____ Doctorate of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in school counseling _____ No degree earned in school counseling 18. What training ha ve you had in conflict resolution? (Check all that apply) _____College coursework _____Seminar or workshop _____Certificate program ______ No formal training _____ Other (Please specify) __________________

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129 19. Which types of delivery do you use to m anage conflicts among three or more students? (Check all that apply) _____ Collaborating with others _____ Teaching Conflict Resolution Skills to Small Groups _____ Teaching Conflict Resolution Skills to Large Groups _____ Mediation _____ Arbitration (Ad ult makes final decision) _____ Individual Counseling _____ Small Group Counseling _____ Other (Please specify) _________________________ _____ None of the above (You are not involved in managing conflicts among three or more students)

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130 Directions: F or the following questions, you will be asked how likely you are to take a specific action when you, as a school counselor, mediate a conflict between three or more students. Examples will be given to help clarify each question. After reading the questio n and example, indicate how likely you are to take each action from Very Unlikely to Very Likely. 20. When you mediate a student conflict involving three or more students, how likely are you to help them work cooperatively toward a common goal? Example: If three students were arguing because each one wants to be a group leader for a class project, how likely is it that you would help them to work cooperatively toward a common goal so that they can all help the group be successful on the assig nment? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very Moderately Very Unlikely Likely Likely 21. When you mediate a student conflict involvi ng three or more students, how likely are you to encourage them to balance their own needs while considering the needs of others when working toward a solution? Example: If four students are in a conflict over who is to blame for starting a rumor, how likely are you to help them think about each others feelings instead of just their own point of view? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very Moderately Very Unlikely Likely Likely

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131 22. When you mediate a student conflict involving three or more students, how likely are you to try to reduce negative beliefs that students have about others belonging to a different social group? Example: Two students from social group A are in a conflict with two students from social group B. Students from group A seem to have stereotypes about students belonging to group B and vice versa. How likely are you to help the students to learn more about each other and see that they are more similar than different? 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Very Moderately Very Unlikely Likely Likely

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132 Self Efficacy Scale The following items list activities related to resolving conflicts between students of three or more. These conflicts are defined as Multiparty Conflicts. In the column labeled Confidence, rate how confident you are th at you can do them as of now, regardless of whether you have performed the task before. Rate your degree of confidence by recording a number from 0 to 10 using the scale given below: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Cannot Moderately Highly do at all certain can do certain can do Confidence (0 10) 1. Help students use a problem solving approach when in a multiparty conflict (a conflict involving three or more students). _______ 2. Get students who are involved in multiparty conflicts to use a conflict resolution approach that does not sacrifice relationships for personal gain. _______ 3. Get students who are involved in multiparty conflicts to use an approach that does not sacrifice important needs in order to appease others. _______ 4. Help three or more students involved in conflict build positive beliefs about their position within their social networ k. _______ 5. Help three or more students involved in conflict to build positive beliefs about their group memberships. _______ 6. Help students in a multiparty conflict to reduce their biases towards students belonging to social groups (i.e. friendship, cultural, community) different from their own. _______ 7. Help students build trust with one another while resolving a multiparty conflict. _______ 8. Help students involved in a multiparty conflict avoid coercion, intimidation, and deception. _______ 9. Help three or more students work together cooperatively to resolve a conflict. _______ Confidence (0 10)

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133 10. Get students who are involved in a multiparty conflict to consider the needs of others in addition t o their own needs. _______ 11. Get students who are in a multiparty conflict to think about their relationships with other disputants instead of just their own needs. _______ 12. Get every student who is involved in a multiparty conflict to work t owards a common goal. _______ 13. Get every student who is involved in a multiparty conflict to reach an agreement. _______ 14. Get every student who is involved in a multiparty conflict to reach an agreement that meets the needs of every disputant. _______ 15. Work cooperatively with other adults to manage multiparty student conflicts. _______ 16. Manage an imbalance of power during a multiparty conflict, when one or more students is at a disadvantage. _______ 17. Maintain control over the process of managing a multiparty conflict. _______ 18. Decide whether a multiparty conflict should end when the majority of disputants agree or when all agree. _______ 19. Decide which students to meet with when there is a conflict involving three or more students. _______ 20. Meet privately with individual disputants when there are three or more disputants. _______ 21. Meet with all disputants together at one time when there are three or more dispu tants. _______

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134 Open ended Question How might counselor education and/or in service training be changed to better prepare school counselors to handle conflicts among three or more students? (Write in the space below)

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135 REFERENCES Abrami, P. C., & Chambers, B. (1994). Positive social interdependence and classroom climate. Genetic, Social & General Psychology Monographs, 120 (3), 329 347. Akos, P., Hamm, J. V., Mack, S. G., & Dunaway, M. (2007). Utilizing the developmental influence of peers in middle school groups. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 32 (1), 51 60. Aluede, O., Imonikhe, J., & Afen Akpaida, J. (2007). Towards a conceptual basis for understanding developmental guidance and counselling model. Education, 128 (2), 189 201. Am atea, E. S., & Clark, M. A. (2005). Changing schools, changing counselors: A qualitative study of school administrators' conceptions of the school counselor role. Professional School Counseling 9(1), 16 27. American School Counselor Association. (2003) The American School Counselor Association national model: A framework for school counseling programs. Alexandria,VA: Author. American School Counselor Association. (2005). The ASCA national model: A framework for school counseling programs (2nd ed.). Al exandria,VA: Author. American School Counselor Association. (n.d.). Student to counselor ratios. Retrieved March 25, 2010, from http://www.schoolcounselor.org/content.asp?pl= 328&sl=460&contentid=460 Baggerly, J., Osborn, D. (2006). School counselors' c areer satisfaction and commitment: Correlates and predictors. Professional School Counseling, 9 (3), 197 205. Bandura, A. (1997). Self efficacy. Harvard Mental Health Letter, 13 (9), 4 7. Bandura, A. (2001). Social cognitive theory: An agentic perspective. Annual Review of Psychology, 52 (1), 1 26. Bandura, A. (2006). Guide for constructing self efficacy scales. In F. Pajares & T. Urdan (Eds.), Self Efficacy Beliefs of Adolescents Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishing. Bauman, S., Siegel, J., Falco, L ., Szymanski, G., Davis, A., & Seabolt, K. (2003). Trends in school counseling journals: The first fifty years. Professional School Counseling, 7 (2), 79 90.

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136 Beersma, B., & De Dreu, C. K. W. (2002). Integrative and distributive negotiation in small groups: Effects of task structure, decision rule, and social motive. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 87(2), 227 252. Bodenhorn, N., & Skaggs, G. (2005). Development of the school counselor self efficacy scale. Measurement & Evaluation in Counseling & Development, 38 (1), 14 28. Bodenhorn, N., Wolfe, E. W., & Airen, O. E. (2010). School counselor program choice and self efficacy: Relationship to achievement gap and equity. Professional School Counseling, 13 (3), 165 174. Bickmore, K. (2001 ). Student conflict resolution, power "sharing" in schools, and citizenship education. Curriculum Inquiry, 31 (2), 137 163. Bickmore, K. (2002). Good training is not enough: Research on peer mediation program implementation. Social Alternatives, 21 (1), 33 39. Blake, R. R., & Mouton, J. S. (1970). The fifth achievement. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, Vol. 6 (4), 413 426. Bortner, L. (2005). Resolving conflicts, providing skills. ASCA School Counselor. Retrieved January 25, 2008, from http://www.sch oolcounselor.org/article. asp?article=760&paper=91&cat=137 Breunlin, D. C., Bryant Edwards, T. L., Hetherington, J. S., & Cimmarusti, R. A. (2002). Conflict resolution training as an alternative to suspension for violent behavior. Journal of Educational R esearch, 95 (6), 349 357. Burrell, N. A., Zirbel, C. S., & Allen, M. (2003). Evaluating peer mediation outcomes in educational settings: A meta analytic review. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 21 (1), 7 26. Cantrell, R., Parks Savage, A., & Rehfuss, M. (200 7). Reducing levels of elementary school violence with peer mediation. Professional School Counseling, 10 (5), 475 481. Caplow, T. (1956). A theory of coalitions in the triad. American Sociological Review 21 (4), 489 493. Carruthers, W. L., & Sweeney, B. (1996). Conflict resolution: An examination of the research literature and a model for program evaluation. School Counselor, 44 (1), 14. Cassinerio, C., & Lane Garon, P. S. (2006). Changing school climate one mediator at a time: Year one analysis of a scho ol based mediation program. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 23 (4), 447 460.

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137 Chata, C. C., Loesch, L. C. (2007). Future school principals' views of the roles of professional school counselors. Professional School Counseling, 11(1), 35 41. Coser, L. A. (195 7). Social conflict and the theory of social change. The British Journal of Sociology, 8 (3), 197 207. Clemens, E. V., Milsom, A., Cashwell, C. S. (2009). Using leader member exchange theory to examine principal school counselor relationships, school couns elors' roles, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions, Professional School Counseling, 13(2), 75 85. Creswell, J. W. (2008). Educational reearch: Planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, N ew Jersey: Pearson Education Inc. Crocker, C. A., Hampton, F. O., & Aall P. (2001). A crowded stage: Liabilities and benefits of multiparty mediation. International Studies Perspectives, 2 51 67. Crocker, J., & Luhtanen, R. (1990). Collective self est eem and ingroup bias. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58 (1), 60 67. Crump, L., & Glendon, A. I. (2003). Towards a paradigm of multiparty negotiation. International Negotiation, 8 197 234. Cunningham, C. E., Cunningham, L. J., Martorelli, V., Tran, A., Young, J., & Zacharias, R. (1998). The effects of primary division, student mediated conflict resolution programs on playground aggression. Journal of Child Psychology & Psychiatry & Allied Disciplines, 39 (5), 653 663. Dahir, C. A. (2001). T he national standards for school counseling programs: Development and implementation. Professional School Counseling, 4 (5), 320 328. Dahir, C. A., & Stone, C. B. (2003). Accountability: A M.E.A.S.U.R.E of the impact school counselors have on student achie vement. Professional School Counseling, 6 (3), 214 222. Daunic, A. P., Smith, S. W., Robinson, T. R., Miller, M. D., & Landry, K. L. (2000). School wide conflict resolution and peer mediation programs: Experiences in three middle schools. Intervention in S chool and Clinic, 36 (2), 94 100. Davis, M. H., Capobianco, S., & Kraus, L. A. (2004). Measuring conflict related behaviors: Reliability and validity evidence regarding the conflict dynamics profile. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 64 (4), 707 73 1.

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139 Gomes M. M. (2007). A concept analysis of relational aggression. Journal of Psychiatric & Mental Health Nursing, 14 (5), 510 515. Granello, D. H., & Wheaton, J. E. (2004). Online data collection: Strategies for research. Journal of Counseling & Development, 82 (4), 387 393. Gysbers, N. C. (2004). Comprehensive guidance and counseling programs:The evolution of accountability. Professional School Counseling, 8 (1), 1 14. Gysbers, N. C., & Henderson, P. (2001). Comprehensive guidance and counseling programs: A ric h history and a bright future. Professional School Counseling, 4 (4), 246 257. Harris, R. D. (2005). Unlocking the learning potential in peer mediation: An evaluation of peer mediator modeling and disputant learning. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 23 (2), 1 41 164. Hernandez, T. J., & Seem, S. R. (2004). A safe school climate: A systemic approach and the school counselor. Professional School Counseling, 7 (4), 256 262. Heydenberk, R. A., & Heydenberk, W. R. (2007). The conflict resolution connection: Increas ing school attachment in cooperative classroom communities. Reclaiming Children & Youth, 16 (3), 18 22. Heydenberk, R. A., Heydenberk, W. R., & Tzenova, V. (2006). Conflict resolution and bully prevention: Skills for school success. Conflict Resolution Qua rterly, 24 (1), 55 69. Holcomb McCoy, C., Harris, P., Hines, E. M., & Johnston, G. (2008). School counselors' multicultural self efficacy: A preliminary investigation. Professional School Counseling, 11 (3), 166 178. Holt, J. L., & DeVore, C. J. (2005). Cu lture, gender, organizational role, and styles of conflict resolution: A meta analysis. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 29 (2), 165 196. Hornsey, M. J., & Hogg, M. A. (2000). Assimilation and diversity: An integrative model of subgroup re lations. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 4 (2), 143 156. Hovland, J., & Peterson, T. (1996). School counselors as conflict resolution consultants: Practicing what we teach. School Counselor, 44 (1), 71 80. Johnson, D. W. (2003). Social interdepen dence: Interrelationships among theory, research, and practice. American Psychologist, 58 (11), 934 945.

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140 Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1995). Reducing school violence through conflict resolution Alexandria, Virginia: Association for Supervision and Cur riculum Development. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (1996). Conflict resolution and peer mediation programs in elementary and secondary schools: A review of the research. Review of Educational Research, 66 (4), 459 506. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2004). Implementing the "teaching students to be peacemakers program". Theory Into Practice, 43 (1), 68 79. Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2005). New developments in social interdependence theory. Genetic, Social & General Psychology Monographs, 131 (4) 285 358. Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R., Dudley, B., & Mitchell, J. (1997). The impact of conflict resolution training on middle school students. Journal of Social Psychology, 137 (1), 11 21. Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R., Dudley, B., Ward, M., & Magnuson, D (1995). The impact of peer mediation training on the management of school and home conflicts. American Educational Research Journal, 32 (4), 829 844. Kim, P. H. (1997). Strategic timing in group negotiations: The implication of forced entry and forced ex it for negotiators with unequal power. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 71(3), 263 286. Kimsey, W. D., & Fuller, R. M. (2003). CONFLICTALK: An instrument for measuring youth and adolescent conflict management message styles. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 21 (1), 69 78. Klein, C. A., & Klein, A. B. (2008). Alternative Dispute Resolution Part 3: Arbitration. Nurse Practitioner, 33 (5), 11 11. Kramer, R. M., Pommerenke, P., & Newton, E. (1993). The social context of negotiation: Effects of social identity and interpersonal accountability on negotiator decision making. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 37 (4), 633 654. Lambie, G. W., & Williamson, L. L. (2004). The challenge to change from guidance counseling to professional school counseli ng: A historical proposition. Professional School Counseling, 8 (2), 124 131. Lane, P. S., & McWhirter, J. J. (1992). A peer mediation model: Conflict resolution for elementary and middle school children. Elementary School Guidance & Counseling, 27 (1), 15 23.

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142 Nix, C. L., & Hale, C. (2007). Conflict within the structure of peer mediation : An examination of controlled confrontations in an at risk school. Conflict Resolution Quarterly, 24 (3), 327 348. Noakes, M. A., & Rinaldi, C. M. (2006). Age and gender differences in peer conflict. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 35 (6), 881 890. Par tin, R. L. (1993). School counselors' time: Where does it go? School Counselor, 40 (4), 274 282. Peterson, C. C., & Peterson, J. L. (1990). Fight or flight: Factors influencing children's and adults' decisions to avoid or confront conflict. Journal of Gene tic Psychology, 151 (4), 461 471. Polzer, J. T., Mannix, E. A., & Neale, M. A. (1998). Interest alignment and coalitions in multiparty negotiation. Academy of Management Journal, 41(1), 42 54. Poynton, T. A., & Carey, J. C. (2006). An integrative model o f data based decision making for school counseling. Professional School Counseling, 10 (2), 121 130. Poynton, T. A., Carlson, M. W., Hopper, J. A., & Carey, J. C. (2006). Evaluation of an innovative approach to improving middle school students' academic ac hievement. Professional School Counseling, 9 (3), 190 196. Rhoades, J. A., & Carnevale, P. J. (1999). The behavioral context of strategic choice in negotiation: A test of the dual concern model. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 29 (9), 1777 1802. Robe rts, L., White, G., & Yeomans, P. (2004). Theory development and evaluation of project WIN: A violence reduction program for early adolescents. Journal of Early Adolescence, 24 (4), 460 483. Roberts, L., Yeomans, P., & Ferro Almeida, S. (2007). Project WIN evaluation shows decreased violence and improved conflict resolution skills for middle school students. Research in Middle Level Education Online, 30 (8), 1 14. Roseth, C. J., Johnson, D. W., & Johnson, R. T. (2008). Promoting early adolescents' achieveme nt and peer relationships: The effects of cooperative, competitive, and individualistic goal structures. Psychological Bulletin, 134 (2), 223 246. Sari, M., Sari, S., & Otunc, M. S. (2008). An investigation of devotion to democratic values and conflict res olution abilities: A case of elementary school students. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 8 (1), 183 192. Scales, P. C. (2005). Developmental assets and the middle school counselor. Professional School Counseling, 9 (2), 104 111.

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144 Stevahn, L., Munger, L., & Kealey, K. (2005). Conflict resolution in a french immersion elementary school. Journal of Educational Research, 99 (1), 3 18. Susskind, L., Mnookin, R., Rozdeiczer, L., & Fuller B. (2005). What we have learned about teaching mu ltiparty negotiation. Negotiation Journal, 21(3), 395 408. Sutton, J. M., & Fall, M. (1995). The relationship of school climate factors to counselor self efficacy. Journal of Counseling & Development, 73, 331 336. Swaab, R., Postmes, T., Van Beest, I., Spears, R. (2007). Shared cognition as a product of, and precursor to, shared identity in negotiations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 33, 187 199. Sweeney, B., & Carruthers, W. L. (1996). Conflict resolution: History, philosophy, theory, and educational applications. School Counselor, 43 (5), 326 345. Tajfel, H. (1982). Social psychology of intergroup relations. Annual Review of Psychology, 33 1 39. Tajfel, H., Billig, M. G., Bundy, R. P., & Flament, C. (1971). Social categorization and intergroup behaviour. European Journal of Social Psychology, 1 (2), 149 178. Ten Velden, F. S., Beersma, B., & De Dreu, C. K. W. (2007). Majority and minority influence in group negotiation: The moderating effects of social motivation and decision rules. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(1), 259 268. Thompson, L., Peterson, E., Brodt, S. E. (1996). Team negotiation: An examination of integrative and distributive bargaining. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70(1) 66 78. Thompson, L., Peters on, E., & Brodt, S. E. (1996). Team negotiation: An examination of integrative and distributive bargaining. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 70 (1), 66 78. Tokunaga, R. S. (2010). Following you home from school: A critical review and synthesis o f research on cyberbullying victimization. Computers in Human Behavior, 26 (3), 277 287. Uline, C. L., Tschannen Moran, M., & Perez, L. (2003). Constructive conflict: How controversy can contribute to school improvement. Teachers College Record, 105 (5), 78 2 816. Van Selm, M., & Jankowski, N. W. (2006). Conducting online surveys. Quality & Quantity, 40 (3), 435 456.

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145 Walsh, M. E., Barrett, J. G., & DePaul, J. (2007). Day to day activities of school counselors: Alignment with new directions in the field and t he ASCA national model. Professional School Counseling, 10 (4), 370 378. Welton, G. L., Pruitt, D. G., & McGillicuddy, N. B. (1988). The role of caucusing in community mediation. The Journal of Conflict Resolution, 32 (1), 181 202. Wigfield, A., Lutz, S. L the middle school years: Implications for school counselors. Professional School Counseling, 9 (2), 112 119. Williams, F., & Cornell, D. (2006). Student willingness to seek help for threats o f violence in middle school. Journal of school violence, 5, 35 49. Zimmer Gembeck, M. J., Geiger, T. C., & Crick, N. R. (2005). Relational and physical aggression, prosocial behavior, and peer relations: Gender moderation and bidirectional associations. Journal of Early Adolescence, 25 (4), 421 452.

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146 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Summer Yacco was born in 1982 and raised in Burbank, California. She majored University, Northridge in 2004. The same year, Summer moved to Florida to begin her graduate studies in school counseling as an Alumni Fellow at the University of Florida. As a graduate student, she gained school counseling experience at the elementary, middle, and high school levels in Alachua County schools. Summer conducted her doctoral internship as an intern to the Supervisor of Gu idance and Student Services in Alachua County. Her graduate assistant work included teaching undergraduate level courses and participating in scholarly research. Summer received her Master of Arts and Specialist degrees in 2006 and continued her educatio n at the University of Florida pursuing a doctorate in counselor education. Upon graduation, Summer is beginning her career as a counselor educator in a university position.