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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98784 Find in a Library
Title: Strategies in Child Custody Mediation - A Family Systems Approach
Journal: Mediation Quarterly  Issue:2  Dated:(December 1983)  Pages:29-54
Author(s): D T Saposnek
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 26
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Based upon a family systems perspective, this article identifies children's and spouses' strategies in dealing with divorce as well as mediators' strategies for faciliatating cooperation, reducing conflict, diverting conflict, and breaking impasses in child custody disputes.
Abstract: The family systems perspective is recommended for interpreting and resolving child custody disuptes through mediation. This perspective views family members as engaging in interactional maneuvers to influence one another in ways that satisfy each family member's own needs. During times of family crisis, such as divorce, family members initiate more potent interactional maneuvers (strategies) to meet their needs. Children's strategies during a divorce include attempts to reunite their parents, divert interspousal hostility to themselves by engaging in problem behavior, and reduce separation distress. Spouses' strategies for dealing with divorce include (1) resistance of spouse's attempts to reconcile: (2)attempts to disengage emotionally from one another; and (3) efforts at achieving emotional survival, financial survival, power over the other spouse, and proof of being a caring parent. Mediator strategies for dealing with child custody disputes encompass designing a context for cooperative negotiations, reducing and diverting conflict, motivating efforts at constructive problemsolving, and guiding the couple through child and spousal strategies to achieve workable solutions. A total of 20 references are listed.
Index Term(s): Child custody; Conflict resolution; Divorce mediation; Mediators
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