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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98061 Find in a Library
Title: Preliminary Portrait of Client Reactions to Three Court Mediation Programs (From Final Report of the Divorce Mediation Research Project, 1984 - See NCJ-98054)
Author(s): J Pearson; N Thoennes
Corporate Author: Assoc of Family and Conciliation Courts
Research Unit
United States of America
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 37
Sponsoring Agency: Assoc of Family and Conciliation Courts
Denver, CO 80218
US Dept of Health and Human Services
Washington, DC 20447
Grant Number: 90-CW-634
Document: PDF
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This comparasion of the characteristics of clients of the Los Angeles Conciliation Court, the Family Relations Division of the Connecticut Superior Court, and the Domestic Relations Division of the Hennepin Family Court (Minn.) assesses their evaluations of the mediation experience and its impact on case resolution, interspousal relations, and parent-child relationships.
Abstract: At each site, a sample of clients who were to use the court's mediation services was identified and administered a questionnaire prior to the initiation of mediation and approximately 15 weeks later. A third phase is also planned after a 12-month interval. Analysis reveals only modest differences in client types, program structures, and user reactions. Specifically, findings reveal that mediation clients include individuals of diverse educational and occupational backgrounds, including racial and ethnic minorities. Substantial -- and comparable -- proportions of respondents at each site report serious disagreements regarding custody and/or visitation and long-standing spousal communication problems prior to mediation. While the average number of mediation sessions and hours per case varies somewhat by site, roughly comparable proportions of respondents report reaching some agreement on custody and/or visitation. User satisfaction levels are also quite similar and generally high across all sites. However, many who report having reached agreements on custody or visitation also maintain that their problems have not been solved. Conversely, clients who fail to produce agreements in mediation are commonly satisifed with the process. Eight tables and 18 references are included.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; California; Child custody; Connecticut; Divorce mediation; Minnesota; User evaluation
Note: Earlier version presented at the 1982 meetings of the American Psycholosocial Association, Washington, DC.
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