Mediation of youth conflict: A multi-system perspective

Mark S. Umbreit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The use of mediation and conflict resolution skills for youth in a variety of settings has grown extensively during the past decade. Rather than remain in a largely passive role as adults attempt to solve their problems, youth mediation programs can empower young people to be actively involved in resolving conflicts they are faced with. This article examines the application of mediation techniques in a variety of systems, including: the family; the school; the neighborhood; and the juvenile justice system. A basic definition of mediation, along with its strengths and limitations is presented. Key characteristics of youth mediation programs from a number of different states are identified. Finally, several critical issues facing the field of youth development and mediation are identified and discussed. These issues include: imbalance of power and negotiating skills; coercive versus voluntary participation; and, net-widening/labelling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)141-153
Number of pages13
JournalChild & Adolescent Social Work Journal
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 1991


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