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Program Profile: Peers Making Peace

Evidence Rating: Promising - One study Promising - One study

Date: This profile was posted on October 22, 2013

Program Summary

A peer-mediation program designed to handle conflicts both in and out of school and to help maintain drug-free schools. The program is rated Promising. The treatment group had fewer assaults, expulsions, discipline referrals, absences, a greater improvement in self-efficacy, and significantly improved in academic performance.

Program Description

Program Goal/Target Population
Peers Making Peace (PMP) is a peer-mediation program designed to handle conflicts both in and out of school and to help maintain drug-free schools. The goal of the program is to improve school environments by reducing violence, assaults, and discipline referrals and by increasing academic performance. It is designed to work with students in prekindergarten through 12th grade.

Program Components
The program is based on a combination of strategies that include life and social skills training, conflict prevention and resolution, parental involvement in conflict resolution education, and peer-led modeling and coaching. Each participating school selects a group of 15 to 24 students who represent the community’s racial, ethnic, and gender demographics, and these teams of students are trained to act as peer mediators on their school campuses. They are trained in skills such as conflict resolution, nonverbal communication, questioning, and maintaining neutrality. Peer mediators are also trained to serve as drug-free role models. Students apply the skills they learn by serving as third-party mediators to help those involved in conflict reach mutually satisfactory agreements.

The program supplies age-appropriate curricula for each level. The training activities for students vary in length from 10 to 45 minutes. The maximum training time each day varies by age group: elementary students receive no more than 3 hours a day on three different occasions, middle school no more than 4 hours on three different occasions, and high school students no more than 5 hours on three different occasions.

Most mediation takes place before or after school, during lunch, or during activity time.

Theoretical Context
The program is based on prevention and resiliency strategies. The intervention promotes social competence, personal problem-solving skills, sense of autonomy, and opportunities for meaningful participation.

Evaluation Outcomes

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Study 1
Assault
Landry (2003) found that, compared to the control group, the Peers Making Peace (PMP) group had significantly fewer assaults. Assaults decreased by 90.2 percent in treatment schools, while increasing by 33.0 percent in control schools.

Expulsion
Compared to the control group, the PMP group had significantly fewer expulsions. Expulsions decreased by 73.0 percent in treatment schools, but increased by 6.2 percent in control schools.

Discipline Referral
Compared to the control group, the PMP group had significantly fewer discipline referrals. Discipline referrals decreased by 57.7 percent in treatment schools, but increased by 8.4 percent in control schools.

Absence
Compared to the control group, the PMP group had significantly fewer absences. The PMP program reduced the number of days absent on an average of more than one day per student.

Self-Efficacy
Compared to the control group, the PMP group had significantly greater improvement in self-efficacy as measured by the composite score.

Academic Performance
Compared to the control group, the PMP group had significantly greater improvement in academic performance as measured by the Texas Assessment of Academic Skills score.

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Evaluation Methodology

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Study 1
To evaluate the Peers Making Peace (PMP) program, Landry (2003) used a pre–post, quasi-experimental design with six experimental and six comparison schools in two Texas school districts (one experimental and one control). Experimental schools were selected based on a questionnaire. All experimental schools were required to have at least 54 percent of their enrollment classified as high risk; significant reports of discipline referrals, expulsions or suspensions, and student-on- student assaults; and less-than-acceptable scores on standardized academic tests. Control schools were recommended by the experimental school.

Student population samples in both the treatment and control schools were selected randomly. Data from 360 students was collected on the identified school-based variables prior to initiation of the program and after its completion. The collected data included violence statistics, discipline referrals, absentees, suspensions, school vandalism incidents, retention rates, standardized achievement tests scores, attendance records, and demographics. Baseline data was gathered from existing documents, including state surveys, school records, police records, student surveys, and record forms from PMP coordinators and principals. Data was also collected from site visits. Ninety-nine of the students completed the R. Schwarzer and M. Jerusalem Self-Efficacy instrument on a pre- and posttest basis. The control group constructed for the Self-Efficacy instrument consisted of 599 students tested on the instrument during the same time frame.

A total of 162 students received training as mediators, and 143 of these students participated in at least one mediation. Students, administrators, and teachers made referrals. The six program high schools had 1,469 mediation referrals, with 1,305 mediations occurring and resulting in 1,275 agreements.
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Cost

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Out-of-state registration costs $850 per participant. Materials are not included in this fee. Each campus or site needs to purchase an Implementation Kit (includes age-appropriate manual and a site license to reproduce 30 student workbooks and two videos) for $350 in order to implement the program.
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Implementation Information

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The Peers Making Peace (PMP) Facilitator Training is a 3-day, 21-hour certification training for PreK–12 teachers, counselors, campus/district-level administrators and campus/district support staff. Experienced PMP program facilitators can attend a Train the Trainers workshop. Information on training can be found at the PaxUnited Web site.
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Evidence-Base (Studies Reviewed)

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

Study 1
Landry, Robert. 2003. Peers Making Peace: Evaluation Report. Houston, Texas: Research and Educational Services.
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Additional References

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These sources were used in the development of the program profile:

PaxUnited. 2013. “Peers Making Peace Overview.” Accessed July 15, 2013.
http://www.paxunited.org/school-based.aspx
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Related Practices

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Following are CrimeSolutions.gov-rated practices that are related to this program:

School-Based Conflict Resolution Education
This practice aims to reduce school-based conflict and encourage long-term prosocial behavior. It teaches students to understand the nature of the conflict and provides options for responding. This practice is rated Promising for multiple problem or at-risk behaviors. Student participants in the programs reported significantly fewer antisocial behaviors than students in the control group.

Evidence Ratings for Outcomes:
Promising - One Meta-Analysis Juvenile Problem & At-Risk Behaviors - Multiple juvenile problem/at-risk behaviors
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Program Snapshot

Age: 14 - 19

Gender: Both

Race/Ethnicity: Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic, White

Geography: Suburban, Urban

Setting (Delivery): School

Program Type: Conflict Resolution/Interpersonal Skills, Leadership and Youth Development, School/Classroom Environment, Violence Prevention

Current Program Status: Active

Listed by Other Directories: Model Programs Guide, National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices

Program Developer:
Susan Armoni
Executive Director
paxUnited
PO Box 702407
Dallas TX 75370
Phone: 972.671.9550
Fax: 972.671.9549
Website
Email

Program Director:
Elizabeth Etier
Director of Training
paxUnited
PO Box 702407
Dallas TX 75370
Phone: 972.671.9550
Fax: 972.671.9549
Website
Email

Training and TA Provider:
Cary Trout
Senior Training Specialist
paxUnited
PO Box 702407
Dallas TX 75370
Phone: 972.671.9550
Fax: 972.671.9549
Website
Email