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Research Report

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Community mediation, characterized by free or low cost mediation services delivered primarily by volunteer mediators, aims to provide effective dispute resolution services to a broad spectrum of the population, particularly to underserved and low-income populations. The present study seeks to determine whether community mediation fulfills this goal with respect to divorce/separation-related parenting disputes while concomitantly testing the legitimacy of concerns about the quality of mediation services offered according to a community mediation model. Thus, the effectiveness of community mediation in resolving these disputes is measured through indicators reported by mediation participants, such as the population served, mediation results and party reactions to mediation, which encompass not only agreement and process satisfaction rates but also party motivation to use mediation, development of parenting plans, amount of court involvement, and relationship effects involving between-parent and parent-child interactions. The connections between relevant outcomes and the variables of conflict intensity and custodial status are also scrutinized.


This publication was originally called "Addressing Parenting Disputes between Estranged Parents through Community Mediation." The title was changed when a substantially revised version of the article was accepted for publication by Open Sage under the original title.

For that final revised version of this article, see “Addressing Parenting Disputes between Estranged Parents through Community Mediation,” (DOI: 10.1177/2158244014542085), published by SAGE Open in 2014:



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