Measuring Mediator Attitudes Towards Mediation:Exploring Mediator Styles and Their Correlates (Dissertation Defense)
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Measuring Mediator Attitudes Towards Mediation: Exploring Mediator Styles and Their Correlates (Dissertation Defense)

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  • I would first like to begin by illustrating a difficult mediation session. CLICK CLICK I want to remind everyone that mediators are neutral third - parties that attempt to help individuals resolve a current conflict they are having. So, at one time or another many of us have acted as informal mediators with family, friends, or co-workers or been “mediated” by them. However, as you probably know there are people who get PAID to mediate conflicts. My research has focused on professional mediators and the factors that influence how they approach a dispute. And I believe that one of the major factors that influences mediator behavior is the concept of mediator style.
  • I begin today by reviewing the background of mediation CLICK I want to then explain why studying mediator style important This will introduce you to my major topic CLICK Which is my dissertation research Let me begin my telling you about the history of mediation
  • Professional mediation began in the United States in the early 1900s in the U.S. Department of Labor CLICK Since then, the field has grown immensely There are approximately 30, 000 to 40,000 mediators in the U.S. and there are multiple areas of practice Divorce/Family Education Environmental Small Claims/ Civil Workplace/ Employment However, it was not until the 1960s and 1970s that cases exclusively seen in the courts were referred to mediation This then sparked an empirical interest from practitioners and researchers alike
  • The first major research question was: “ Does mediation work?” In other words, “Is mediation effective?” CLICK To assess the effectiveness of mediation , researchers focused on the outcomes of mediation number of settlements reached disputant satisfaction number of cases that are subsequently referred to adjudication CLICK After mediation was shown to be an effective and viable alternative to adjudication, the next major research question asked: “ How is mediation carried out?” In other words, “What behaviors occur in session?” This line of research focused on the strategies and tactics used by mediators
  • Focusing on behavior, process research has used a “bottom up” research strategy CLICK These studies have primarily reported: The frequencies of mediator behaviors The circumstances under which mediator behaviors are used How mediator behavior may be related to the outcomes of mediation For example, studies have created behavior checklists as a way to assess the frequency of certain mediator behaviors CLICK Yet “bottom up” studies tell us little about the “top down” cognition that is central to expert performance in many domains: For instance, experts get the big picture They notice subtle cues and patterns They rely on implicit cues and procedures Expert mediators seem to think like other domain experts They recognize patterns novices do not They develop and argue about top down styles
  • Using a top down research strategy and going beyond strategies and tactics , researchers began examining mediator style CLICK Mediator style research asks: “ Why do mediators do what they do?” In other words, “What is the rationale driving mediator behavior?” Now that you have some background information on mediator style, I now want to tell you why studying this concept is important
  • Another way to think about mediator style is using the parallel example of teaching style As you know, being a student or teaching yourself, there are various teaching styles that exist These styles determine what happens in a class, the amount of informative that is learned and teaching styles affect how much we will like or dislike an instructor Mediator style can be thought of in the same way CLICK Style can affect the course of a mediation session, the outcomes of the session CLICK and how much the disputants will or will not be satisfied with the mediator and the mediation process altogether CLICK However, many mediator trainers and practitioners believe all mediators (should) behave as neutral facilitators in session Going back to the teaching example, there a educators that believe the most effective and only teaching style that should be used is the lecture style CLICK Many mediators believe that a one size fits all style is the most effective and only style that mediators should practice According to this perspective, mediators should primarily: Set the agenda Control the climate of the session, Strive for win – win resolutions CLICK However empirical literature on mediator style has shown that the one size fits all style is not the only style that exists Ethnographic studies have reported various styles Kolb reported the Dealmaking style – a directive and somewhat evaluative mediator style Silbey & Merry (1986) reported the “Therapeutic” Style – a style focused on uncovering emotions related to the dispute and by doing so agreements could be reached Kressel et. al. (1994) reported the “Problem-Solving” Style – a style that believes latent causes of conflict are a primary obstacle to reaching an agreement And in an effort to extend the work of previous researchers and to bring a degree of methodological consistency to the study of mediator style, we conducted a laboratory investigation in which mediators were videotaped mediating a simulated dispute
  • In a few minutes I will tell you about my dissertation research which was built from the results of the lab study The purpose of the lab study was to explore the range of style variation that exists among a varied population of mediators. CLICK In our study 22 mediators came in our lab and were asked to mediate the angry roommates conflict. 17 experienced and 5 novice mediators participated in the study. CLICK This was a simulated dispute between 2 female college roommates. CLICK Each mediator was given 30 minutes to meet with the roommates. CLICK They were told to mediate this dispute as they would mediate an actual conflict. All mediation sessions were video and audio taped. I will now discus our results
  • Using multidimensional scaling, we were able to uncover the differing underlying dimensions of mediator stylistic behavior in our sample. This is a simplified visual of the results Two dimensions were found CLICK The first dimension indicates a difference in the mediators’ desire to reach a settlement CLICK We also found differences in how the role players and independent observers rated their satisfaction with the different mediator groupings CLICK For the purposes of this presentation, I will only focus the desire to reach a settlement dimension The 22 mediators were initially divided into two broadly contrasting orientations CLICK The Agreement – making orientation was primarily focused on generating a settlement on the surface issues the parties were fighting about (e.g. sloppiness, noise, failure to throw out old food) CLICK The Understanding orientation was not primarily focused on reaching a settlement but these mediators did focus on creating a climate where the parties felt comfortable discussing their feelings and exploring their respective interpretations of the conflict. As you can see, each of these orientations contained two identifiable stylistic subtypes. I will briefly discuss each subtype
  • I won’t go into details and read all the characteristics of each subtype But I will tell you a little bit about each style CLICK Similar to the one size fits all mediator style, we found the Facilitative Style: CHEERLEADING APPROACH CLICK Mediators using the Evaluative Style were not neutral: CRITICAL APPROACH CLICK Diagnostic Style: DIAGNOSERS CLICK Transformative Style: CARL ROGER’S APPROACH
  • In a more controlled laboratory environment, the mediator behavioral study confirmed that stylistic variation is normative. CLICK We also found that the identifiable styles correspond roughly to the major stylistic subtypes identified in field research My dissertation used the data from the empirical literature and the lab study to build a psychometrically robust scale to measure mediator stylistic preference among a varied population of mediators. I will now move on to my dissertation research, which primarily involved the development of the Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale. First, I would like to discuss the value of this scale
  • I am proposing that this dissertation has the following values: Allowing comparative outcome research: Possibly, certain styles are more effective based on the conflict dynamics of a case and certain conflict dynamics may be more prevalent in different areas of practice Knowing the exact relationship between mediator styles and increases in mediator efficacy is important to mediation practice and to the disputing parties as well CLICK Exploring the behavioral aspects of mediator style: Such questions as “Does mediator self – reported style correspond to mediator behavior in session?” And the question of whether or not mediators use the same style throughout a session can now be explored using the ATMS The following studies were carried out
  • Five studies were completed that addressed the following objectives: CLICK Develop the Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale (ATMS) (Study 1): Study 1 generated an item pool that consisted of face and content valid items CLICK Assessing its Factor Structure (Study 2 and Study 3): Study 2 was aimed at determining if the scale can measure stylistic variation amongst a varied population of mediators and the purpose of Study 3 was to confirm the factor structure found in Study 2 CLICK Validate the Scale (Study 4): Study 4 was aimed at establishing the construct validity of the ATMS Measures of mediator directiveness and mediator stylistic behavior were correlated with the scale CLICK Explore the Variables that Shape Mediator Style (Study 5): In Study 5, variables of the mediators work environment and personal characteristics were correlated with the scale I will now review the shortcomings of previous self report mediator style studies in an effort to demonstrate why the Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale is needed.
  • Previous studies’ samples and/or methods were not as expansive and stringent as those used in this study CLICK The samples were convenience samples, they were Too narrow or Too small CLICK As for their methods, they were not psychometrically sound The studies omitted several steps of scale development I believe my methods were more thorough Now I want to tell you what I did, beginning with Study 1, Developing the Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale
  • The goal of Stage 1 was to create a pool of items that captured goals, attitudes and behaviors representative of each of the 4 styles found in the lab study To accomplish this, I relied on narratives that the 3 observers in the lab study wrote after watching the video taped mediation sessions. The observers wrote about the mediator’s inferable goals and attitudes and the accompanying behaviors CLICK Initially 114 items were created CLICK Here are items I wrote after reading the observers’ narratives These items characterize attitudes about why parties end up in conflict for each of the four styles CLICK, CLICK, CLICK CLICK The item list was then reduced to 62 items when redundant, unclear items and items that could be placed into more than one category were removed. There were about 15 items per style. I will now discuss Stage 2
  • CLICK Method: Four psychology graduate students participated in the face validity analysis. CLICK They were presented with descriptions of each style. CLICK And were asked to sort the items into the style they believe the item best represented. Raters were monetarily compensated for their participation. CLICK Three out of four raters had to agree on the category in which an item was placed in order for the item to be retained. CLICK Results: Fifty (81%) of the initial 62 items were retained After stage 2 was completed, the scale contained face valid items. I will now discuss the content validity analysis
  • 3 professional mediators and 4 prominent mediation researchers participated CLICK The expert raters were asked to essentially perform the same item reduction task that the participants in stage two carried out. CLICK Additionally, raters were asked to create any new items they believed should be added to the item pool for each style category. They were also monetarily compensated for their participation. CLICK Items were only retained if 5 out of the 7 sorters agree on the item’s style placement (71%). CLICK 40 (80%) of the 50 items were retained. CLICK To balance out the Facilitative scale, 4 items were added. Two items were taken from the items created by two of the expert raters Two more items were developed after reviewing the remaining facilitative items and determining what aspects of the facilitative style were absent from the item pool Thus, resulting in 10 facilitative items CLICK At the conclusion of Study 1, the item pool contained 44 items I will now discuss Study 2
  • The goal of Study 2 was to determine the degree to which the ATMS is able to capture consistent and interpretable variations in mediator stylistic leanings CLICK I opted to use a web – based survey format to distribute the scale The measure was hosted on SurveyMonkey.com, a site specifically designed to host web surveys CLICK There are several advantages to using a web-based format: Dramatic decrease in response time Cheaper than traditional surveys No need for manual data entry CLICK On the ATMS, participants were asked to express the degree to which their general approach as a mediator was adequately described by item CLICK In addition to the ATMS measure, participants also completed a Biographical Data Form Participants provided demographic and Professional information about themselves CLICK Over 650 professional mediators were recruited in Study 2 2 methods were used: The first involved contacting key personnel at mediation organizations For the second method I used public membership directories were used CLICK Only 481 mediators were sent email invitations to complete the ATMS Mediators that did not receive an invite for Study 2 were subsequently sent invites to complete Study 3
  • Participants 250 professional mediators participated Older mediators (M= 51.1 years old) Predominately legal background (42%) Trained in a facilitative approach (45.6%) Experienced (M= 11.6 years) Primarily Family (41.2%), Workplace/Employment (40.8%), Civil (39.6%) and Community (36%) mediators
  • Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to determine the factor structure CLICK The resulting factor structure represented a dichotomous split among the four proposed mediation approaches: CLICK Factor 1 was called the Resolution – oriented approach The underlying goal of items that loaded on this factor was moving the parties towards a settlement CLICK - Read item CLICK - Read item CLICK - Read item CLICK Factor 2 was called the Dialogue – oriented approach The underlying goal of items that loaded on this factor was emphasizing dialogue over settlement CLICK - Read item CLICK - Read item CLICK - Read item CLICK At the conclusion of Study 2, 2 factors comprised the ATMS, with 11 Resolution – oriented and 8 Dialogue – oriented items ( 19 items in total)
  • Why not 4 factors? Why only 2? Remember in the lab study we found 4 mediator styles and the items for the Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale were based on these 4 styles The factor analysis has shown that evaluative, facilitative, and diagnostic items loaded unto the resolution – oriented scale and transformative items loaded unto the dialogue – oriented scale CLICK One possible reason, is that the lab study results were based on independent observer ratings of mediator behavior, whereas the ATMS’s data comes from mediator self reported style More distinct stylistic differences were able to emerge from the data collected in the lab study because the data was richer The ATMS does not permit the same level of insight as the behavioral style study CLICK The field has not grown beyond the simplistic settlement versus non – settlement distinction In depth understanding that could lead to finer distinctions is not yet possible among practitioners In general, the results of this study show that mediator style can be systematically measured among a varied group of professional mediators The next study involved determining if the 2 factors could be confirmed using a different sample
  • Study 3 had two goals: Replicating the factor structure found in Study 2 Establishing the validity of the ATMS Additionally, other data was collected for Studies 4 and 5, but for now I will focus on the data analyzed in Study 3 CLICK The ATMS was again hosted on SurveyMonkey.com CLICK Participants were also asked to fill out the Biographical Data Form CLICK Over 300 professional mediators were recruited in Study 3 CLICK The recruitment pool included mediators that were recruited in Study 2, but did not receive an invite to complete the ATMS in Study 2 (n= 158) CLICK And mediators that participated in the Mediator Behavioral Study CLICK The rest of the item pool was generated by contacting key personnel at mediation organizations And public membership directories
  • Participants 111 professional mediators participated Study 3 ‘s participants were very similar to Study 2’s participants, they were Older mediators (M= 52 years old) Predominately legal background (65.8%) Trained in a facilitative approach (38.7%) Experienced (M= 11.7 years) Primarily Workplace/Employment (36.6%), Civil (26.8%), Community (26.8%), and Family (25.9%) mediators
  • Confirmatory factor analysis was used to confirm the factor structure from Study 2 CLICK In the initial model, 11 Resolution oriented and 8 dialogue oriented items made up the factor structure After the CFA was run, one resolution oriented item and one dialogue oriented item had respective factor loadings below .50 and were removed CLICK The CFA was run again and the second model was an improvement over the first model
  • The model The second purpose of Study 3 was the establish test – retest reliability
  • The test – retest reliabilities were very good CLICK For the resolution – oriented scale, the correlation between time one and time two was .87. CLICK The reliability for the dialogue – oriented scale was split into two correlations, one for Study 2 participants and the other for Study 3 participants. At the conclusion of Study 2, three items were added to the dialogue – oriented scale in order to balance out the scales. Participants from Study 2 did not answer the additional three items, whereas participants from Study 3 did. The correlation between time 1 and time 2 for the dialogue – oriented scale was .80 for Study 2 participants and .84 for Study 3 participants. Test – Retest reliability was established I will now show the finalized scale
  • The goal of Study 4 was to establish construct validity of the ATMS. The construct validity established in two ways. Responses on the ATMS were correlated with a measure of mediator directiveness and a measure of mediator behavior I will first discuss mediator directiveness CLICK The extent to which mediators press their views on the disputing parties along with the amount of control they maintain over the direction and focus of the session can be referred to as a mediators’ degree of directiveness. Directiveness is an important variable upon which mediators of different stylistic orientations might be expected to differ. For example, mediators with the goal of reaching a settlement are presumably more directive than those whose goal is helping the parties gain a better understanding of their conflict . To validate the scale I used the Social Support Opinion Survey CLICK Created by Harber and colleagues, the SSOS is a 14-item measure in which respondents are asked to rate the degree in which they agree to statements that describe directive or non-direct social support behavior. Directive Item: “ Encourage the person to get over his/her problem quickly ” Non – Directive Item: “ Let the person get over problems at his/her own pace ” CLICK A mediator adapted version was created For example “ Decide for the person what kind of help they might need” was changed to “Decide for the disputant(s) what kind of help they might need.” CLICK As a reminder, this measure was given in Study 3
  • H1: Mediators with a strong resolution – orientation on the ATMS will be more likely to endorse directive social support as measured by the SSOS; conversely, dialogue – oriented mediators will be more likely to favor non – directive social support as measured by the SSOS.
  • The ATMS resolution – oriented and dialogue – oriented scale scores were correlated with the SSOS directive and non – directive scale scores. CLICK The ATMS resolution – oriented scale was positively correlated with the directive scale (.56, p = .01) CLICK The ATMS dialogue – oriented scale was positively correlated with the non – directive scale (.30, p = .01). CLICK Additionally, the ATMS dialogue – oriented scale was negatively correlated with the directive scale (-.43, p = .01). CLICK The hypothesis was supported and construct validity was established using the SSOS This finding also gives more support to the assertion that directiveness is an important factor that shapes mediator behavior
  • So the previous results show that the ATMS is correlated with a measure of directiveness, however, I wanted to know if the scale would also correlate with a measure of mediator behavior out of the 22 mediators that participated in the Mediator Behavioral Style Study completed the ATMS in Study 3 For these 12 mediators I have: A observer rated behavioral measure of their mediator style and their self-reported mediator style CLICK The observer data was correlated with self-report data
  • The ATMS self – reported style will positively correlate with the observer ratings of behavior. Mediators with an ATMS resolution – orientation were also rated as being resolution – orientated by the observers in the lab study And mediators with an ATMS dialogue – orientation were also rated as being dialogue – orientated by the observers in the lab study
  • A correlation analysis was conducted CLICK The ATMS dialogue oriented scores was positively correlated with the observer dialogue oriented ratings CLICK However, the ATMS resolution oriented scores was not correlated with the observer resolution oriented ratings Validity was established, but only for the ATMS dialogue – oriented scale.
  • CLICK The results of Study 4 have tells us the ATMS is a reasonably valid measure of mediator attitudes towards mediation CLICK However, on the behavioral measure, construct validity was only found for the dialogue – oriented scale. CLICK Dialogue – oriented approach may be more well defined and narrow than the resolution oriented approach As a reminder, the dialogue – oriented items were derived from the transformative mediation approach. The transformative approach is one of the few mediation styles that has a straightforward, defined, and unified basis, as well as a clear and direct link to training. CLICK It is possible that the cohesiveness of the transformative approach allows consistency across both behavioral measures and more attitudinal, cognitive measures. Studies 1 through 4 provided evidence that the ATMS is a valid and reliable scale. Now let me tell you about my final study. In this study I explored the belief that mediator style is influenced or possibly shaped by the environment in which the mediator works along with the mediator’s personal characteristics.
  • The primary aspects that may shape mediator style included CLICK the mediator’s primary or preferred area of practice, aspects of the mediator’s work environment, CLICK and the mediator’s gender and discipline of origin. Because data on the relationship between mediator style and its various social and personal determinants is relatively undeveloped, Study 5 was largely exploratory. CLICK The data for these explorations were collected during Study 3 by means of the Biographical Data Form CLICK and the Work Environment Index The WEI measured five aspects of a mediator’s social environment including Mediator embeddedness 2. Time pressure 3. opportunity to consult with colleagues 4. types of issues mediated and 5. The nature of the disputing parties’ relationship with each other
  • Previous research suggests CLICK The resolution – orientation is more likely to be found among men and those with a legal background CLICK Along with work environments where greater time pressure exists, There is less embeddedness with the organization, minimal time to consult with colleagues, mediate cases that involve a single tangible issue, and parties’ that do not have an ongoing relationship may lend themselves to the resolution – oriented approach. CLICK The dialogue – oriented approach is more likely to be found among women CLICK And mediators work in environments with less experienced time pressure, embeddedness with an organization, more time to meet with colleagues, cases that have multiple intangible issues and parties that have ongoing relationships may lend themselves to a dialogue – oriented approach
  • Most of the associations listed on the previous slide were supported Correlation analyses were conducted and it was found that CLICK Resolution-oriented mediators were older, male, and work in environments where time pressure is present, there was an inability to consult with colleagues, and mediated cases which the parties have no ongoing relationship CLICK Dialogue-oriented mediators were women, received mental health and transformative mediation training and work in environments where cases involve multiple intangible issues and parties do have an ongoing relationship CLICK A Stepwise Regression Analysis was also conducted, Parties’ Relationship was the best predictor for both the resolution (10%,F (1,102) = 11.14, p <.001) I was also interested in the relationship between mediator style and area of practice
  • Though no studies have directly measured the relationship between area of practice of mediation and mediator style, there is some scant evidence that different meditation styles may be more common in some areas of practice than others On the Biographical Data Form, participants were asked to indicate the percentage of their total mediation experience among 11 areas of practice CLICK Only two areas of practice were significantly correlated with the ATMS’s subscales CLICK A resolution – oriented approach is more likely to be used by mediators who practice in Community mediation, CLICK Whereas a dialogue – oriented approach is less likely to be used in Community mediation CLICK However, a dialogue – oriented approach is more likely to be used in Family mediation
  • Multiple approaches have been cited in the community mediation literature; ranging from those that are more resolution – oriented to styles that are more dialogue – oriented. CLICK It is possible that the resolution oriented approach is favored by the community mediators and the dialogue oriented approach is favored by family mediators in the sample due to the type of disputes mediated CLICK Community mediators reported mediating disputes that involved a single tangible issue, such as money, and the disputing parties do not have an ongoing relationship CLICK A quick glance at the Family mediators in the sample show that, in some areas, the inverse is true CLICK However, more research, using larger samples is still needed
  • The gender difference was anticipated, however mediator age was an unexpected discovery CLICK Similar styles that can be classified as resolution – oriented approaches have a long – standing history in the field of mediation Possibly, older mediators are more familiar with a resolution – oriented approach CLICK The dialogue – oriented approach, wherein settlement is not the primary goal (Bush & Folger, 1994), is a novel approach in the mediation field CLICK The association between a dialogue – oriented style and therapy training appear to reflect the kind of skills implied by a dialogue – oriented style. CLICK A portion of the dialogue - oriented mediators were trained in an approach that de-emphasized settlement: Transformative mediation CLICK Thus, Forlenza (1989), comparing mediation and therapy, notes that in therapy the primary focus is the person/relationship, the structure is a client led process, and emotions are explored. These elements are identical to elements of the dialogue – oriented approach in mediation CLICK It is feasible that mediators that place a higher priority on dialogue versus settlement would have received Transformative mediation training.
  • CLICK These findings further support the argument that social context does play a role in mediator behavior CLICK However, the directional relationship between social context and mediator style stills requires examination. CLICK From the current study, it is unclear whether social context influences a mediator approach or CLICK if a mediator’s approach influences the context they work in. For example, perhaps resolution – oriented mediators are not motivated to consult with others due to their amplified focused on reaching a resolution; they may feel as though taking time to discuss a case with their co-workers is unnecessary and may impede the their ability to reach a resolution. CLICK Moreover, social context and mediator style may be constantly effecting and molding one another. In general, Study 5 demonstrated that area of practice, social context and mediator characteristics are important elements of mediator style. This study only scratches the surface of the possible correlates of mediator style Future research should extensively examine each element within the various areas of practice using larger national samples of professional mediators
  • Mediator style has been a topic of interest for over two decades yet no study to date has successfully created a psychometrically valid instrument to measure the variants of mediator style. The value of the current set of studies is that they provide such a measure in the ATMS CLICK Items were carefully selected for the ATMS and both face validity and content validity were established CLICK Established the factor structure of the Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale and Test – Retest reliability F1: Resolution – oriented F2: Dialogue – oriented CLICK The construct validity of the ATMS was established CLICK Relationships between the ATMS’s factor scores, area of practice, social context, and personal characteristics were established
  • There are two noteworthy limitations about this research The first speaks to the cautions of self – report data and the second involves possible alternative explanations for the social context findings CLICK The ATMS relies on self – reported mediator attitudes towards practice and while the participants’ attitudes were found to be reliable across two different samples, their actual behavior may vary This was made apparent when the three proposed mediator styles (evaluative, facilitative, and diagnostic styles) loaded unto the resolution – oriented factor. Future research should address this issue CLICK Secondly, the correlations between the ATMS and WEI lend themselves to alternative explanations Though it was argued that work environment shapes mediator behavior, it is quite possible that the one – way relationship descried could be reversed or occurs in a cycle, wherein work environment and mediator behavior continuously influence one another More research is needed to pin point the exact nature of this relationship
  • CLICK This dissertation created the first psychometrically valid a reliable measure of mediator style among a varied national sample of mediators and provide evidence that age, gender, area of practice, mediation training, and work environment are related to mediator style CLICK The ATMS is wonderful resource for researchers and practitioners alike because it can serve as a standard metric of mediator style I would like to end by discussing the possible applications of the Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale
  • CLICK First, researchers could use the ATMS to measure mediator efficacy in relation to mediator style For example, mediation outcomes and disputant satisfaction can be compared across the resolution – oriented and dialogue – oriented approaches. Such questions can be answered: “Does the resolution – oriented approach foster greater disputant satisfaction in small claims disputes versus family/divorce disputes?”; And “Does the dialogue – oriented approach produce agreements that parties are more likely to adhere to in community mediation versus workplace mediation?” This line of research can also lie to rest the debate about which styles are better and will offer the alternative perspective wherein certain styles are better suited for certain conflict situations CLICK There is evidence of a discrepancy between self – reported style and actual mediator behavior however, until now, a valid metric of mediator style did not exist. Using the ATMS, mediators can self identify their approach to mediation and subsequently independent observers can rate the mediator’s behavior in session. Perhaps the ATMS could be adapted into an observer version therefore comparisons between the ATMS and the observers ratings would be more reliable Additionally, an observer version of the ATMS could be used to monitor mediator style flexibility to determine if mediators use the approach throughout a session CLICK The current study provided some evidence that work environment does play a role in mediator style However, larger samples of mediators across various areas of practice are needed to do more through investigations of how work environments affect mediator style.
  • The goal of study 1 was to develop a scale tapping the full range of mediator stylistic attitudes. This study had 3 stages: Item generation, Establishing Face Validity Establishing Content Validity CLICK Items for the ATMS were derived from the Mediator Behavioral Style study. The mediator observer narratives that written by three independent observers were used as the basis of the item pool. The narratives from the behavioral style study described each mediators explicit and implied goals of mediation, behavior used to accomplish their goals and the rationale behind their performance We read the narratives and created items that captured the underlying elements of each of the four styles. I would now like to show you an example of a narrative. All narratives followed a similar format, however different goals, behaviors and rationales were described. CLICK
  • Results Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to determine the factor structure Promax (oblique) rotation was conducted Items were dropped if Factors with eigenvalues less than one Defined solely by minor item loadings (e.g. .40) were dropped Two factors with both adequate (>.40) and major (>.50) loadings met this criterion and accounted for 36% of the variance Additionally, there was a moderate positive correlation between the factors (r =.35)
  • Item retention To correct for the disproportionate amount of items, a criterion was developed to reduce the number of resolution – oriented items Resolution – oriented items were only retained if the item had a difference of at least .30 between their loading on the primary factor of the scale and their loading on the dialogue – oriented scale The value .30 was adopted in this study to further reduce the possibility of cross loading. 17 items were retained Scale Reliability Cronbach’s α was computed Items were retained if the item to total correlation was between .50 and .80 Two items were removed from the resolution – oriented scale and one item was removed from the dialogue – oriented scale Resolution – oriented scale α = .91 Dialogue – oriented scale α = .73
  • In an effort to balance the scales once again, redundant items on the resolution – oriented scale were removed additional items were drafted for the dialogue – oriented scale from practitioner descriptions of the transformative mediation style In conclusion, the resolution – oriented scale consisted of 11 items Dialogue – oriented scale was comprised of 8 items
  • The resampling was conducted 250 times using the 111 participants from Study 3. The n of each resample was 111, with some participants being drawn more than once or not at all. The sampled solutions were rotated to best – fit positions with a common target solution. To correct variations across factors, a Procrustes rotation was conducted on each resample resulting in a single common factor space. The Procrustes rotations rotates, translates, and optionally scales one matrix (e.g., the first configuration of points) to match the other (e.g., containing the second configuration of points) minimizing the residual sum of squares between the configurations. This method, as much as possible, forces the data to conform to a predetermined structure (Digman, 1967). In addition to computing the Procrustes – rotated pattern/structure coefficients, the sample and mean eigenvalues for each factor, mean bootstrap results, and SE s over the repeated samples were calculated. Lastly, eigenvalues were divided by SE s to create a test statistic that measured statistical significance. Eigenvalues of one or higher indicate a possible factor. These three factors have eigenvalues of 5.88, 4.05, 1.19 and mean resampled eigenvalues of 6.01, 4.07 and 1.39. Since the sample eigenvalues and the mean eigenvalues are close, this suggests stability across the resamples. However, the third factor’s eigenvalues were low in comparison to the other factors and possibly only contained one or two items that also loaded unto the another factor, it was not retained. The close Procrustes – rotated structure statistics and mean bootstrap results, along with the small SE s indicate parameter stability across resampling. The large t statistic values indicated statistical significance. Moreover, 11 items loaded unto Factor 1 and eight items loaded unto Factor 2.
  • Results Scale Reliability Cronbach’s α was computed for the two scales Again, items were retained if the item to total correlation was between .50 and .80 One item was removed from the resolution – oriented scale and one item was removed from the dialogue – oriented scale Resolution – oriented scale α = .89 Dialogue – oriented scale α = .84 As a result, the ATMS’s resolution – oriented scale was comprised of 10 items and the dialogue – oriented scale consisted of seven items.
  • CLICK Subset of 109 participants from Study 2 and 78 participants from Study 3 were sent an email invitation to complete the ATMS a second time CLICK Fifty – eight participants from Study 2 and 40 participants from Study 3 completed the ATMS a second time. CLICK In total, 98 participants formed the test – retest sample
  • For this analysis the composite ATMS resolution – oriented and dialogue – oriented scores were used again. To create variables that were comparable to the ATMS resolution – oriented and dialogue – oriented scores, the observer GEMS scales ratings were used. The Latent Cause, Facilitative, Evaluative, and Supportive scale ratings were summed and divided by four; this resulted in an observer GEMS resolution – oriented composite score. These scales were used because the ATMS resolution – oriented scale is compromised of latent cause, facilitative, and evaluative items. The supportive scale was also used because it has the underlying goal of reaching a resolution. The remaining observer GEMS transformative scale was used as the observer GEMS dialogue – oriented score. This scale was used because the ATMS dialogue – oriented scale is compromised of largely transformative items.
  • A composite WEI score was computed with the purpose of creating an index that measured the two aforementioned work environments After all items obtained a five – point scale Resolution – oriented items were given the lowest score on the scale (e.g. 1) Dialogue – oriented items were given the highest score on the scale (e.g. 5) The lower composite WEI scores indicate a propensity towards a resolution – oriented approach The higher WEI composite scores signify a dialogue – oriented approach ( M =38, SD =7.13)
  • A composite WEI score was computed with the purpose of creating an index that measured the two aforementioned work environments After all items obtained a five – point scale The lower composite WEI scores indicate a propensity towards a resolution – oriented approach The higher WEI composite scores signify a dialogue – oriented approach ( M =38, SD =7.13) After the composite WEI score was calculated, a correlation analysis between the composite score and the ATMS Resolution – oriented and Dialogue – oriented scales were completed The WEI composite score was negatively correlated with the resolution – oriented scale meaning the lower the WEI score, the more likely the mediator uses a resolution – oriented approach. The WEI composite score was positively correlated with the dialogue – oriented scale meaning the higher the WEI score the more likely the mediator uses a dialogue – oriented approach
  • To further explore the influence of type of training, a cross tabulation examining the relationship between the dialogue – oriented subscale and the specific approach that mediators indicated they were trained in was computed The dialogue – oriented subscale was divided into groups of mediators that had high (e.g., one standard deviation above the mean), median (e.g., between .9 standard above and -.9 standard deviations below the mean), and low (e.g., one standard deviation below the mean) subscale scores Mediators with high dialogue – oriented scores were of interest The results were significant (  2(18, N = 111) = 32.32, p > .05) and demonstrate that mediators with high Dialogue – oriented scores indicated being trained under a Transformative mediation approach or receiving both Transformative and Facilitative mediation training

Measuring Mediator Attitudes Towards Mediation:Exploring Mediator Styles and Their Correlates (Dissertation Defense) Measuring Mediator Attitudes Towards Mediation: Exploring Mediator Styles and Their Correlates (Dissertation Defense) Presentation Transcript

  • Measuring Mediator Attitudes Towards Mediation: Exploring Mediator Styles and Their Correlates Tiffany Butts Rutgers University - Newark Psychology Committee Members: Kenneth Kressel Paul Boxer Kent Harber John Hyman Harold Siegel Warren Reich December 16th, 2009 1
  • A mediator is:A neutral third-party who attempts to help two or moreindividuals resolve a current conflict they are having.(Welton, Priutt, McGillicuddy, 1988) 2
  • Outline• Mediation Background – History of Mediation – Previous Mediation Research• Mediator Style – Why is Style important?• Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale (ATMS) 3
  • Mediation Background• History of Mediation – Professional mediation began in the United States in the early 1900s in the U.S. Department of Labor – Since then, the field has grown immensely • There are approx. 30,000 to 40,000 mediators in the U.S. • Multiple areas of practice – Divorce/Family – Education – Environmental – Small Claims/ Civil – Workplace/ Employment 4
  • Mediation Background• Previous Mediation Research – Outcome Research • The first major research question was: – “Does mediation work?” – In other words, “Is mediation effective?” • To assess the effectiveness of mediation, researchers focused on the outcomes of mediation – number of settlements reached – disputant satisfaction – number of cases that are subsequently referred to adjudication – time to resolution – Process Research • The next major research question asked: – “How is mediation carried out?” – In other words, “What behaviors occur in session?” – This line of research focused on the strategies and tactics used by mediators 5
  • Mediation Background• Process Research – Focusing on behavior, process research has used a “bottom up” research strategy – These studies have primarily reported: • The frequencies of mediator behaviors • The circumstances under which mediator behaviors are used • How mediator behavior may be related to the outcomes of mediation – “Bottom up” studies tell us little about the “top down” cognition that is central to expert performance in many domains: • Experts get the big picture (top down thinking) • (Anecdotally) Expert mediators seem to think like other domain 6
  • Mediation Background• Mediator Style Research – Using a top down research strategy and going beyond strategies and tactics, researchers began examining mediator style – Mediator style research asks: • “Why do mediators do what they do?” • In other words, “What is the rationale driving mediator behavior?” 7
  • Outline• Mediation Background – History of Mediation – Previous Mediation Research• Mediator Style – Why is Style important?• Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale (ATMS) 8
  • Why is Style Important?• Mediator style is believed to influence: – the process and outcomes of mediation – the disputing parties’ satisfaction with the session• How Many Mediator Styles Exist? – The “One Size Fits All” Perspective – Set the agenda – Control the climate of the session – Strive for win-win resolutions – The Ethnographic Research • Kolb (1983) “Dealmakers” • Silbey & Merry (1986) “Therapeutic” Style • Kressel et. al. (1994) “Problem-Solving” Style 9
  • Mediator Stylistic Behavior in the Lab• Participants – 22 mediators (17 experienced and 5 novice mediators)• The “Angry Roommate Dispute” – This was a simulated dispute between two female roommates at Rutgers University – Each mediator was given 30 minutes to meet with the disputants – Mediators were told to mediator this dispute as they would mediate an actual conflict 10
  • Mediator Stylistic Behavior in the Lab • Results Agreement makers Diagnostic Facilitative Hi n= 2 n= 11Satisfaction Transformative Evaluative Low n= 4 n= 5Understanders Low Low Hi Hi Desire to ReachaaSettlement Desire to Reach Settlement 11
  • Mediator Stylistic Behavior in the Lab Diagnosticians (n=2) Facilitators (n=11) • Avoid critiquing the parties’ positions• Emphasize quality problem – solving rather than agreement per se • Avoid using pressure tactics to induce agreement• Actively seek when, why and how the • Focus on issues as presented by the parties have gotten polarized parties (No probing of any latent causes that could be fueling the conflict)• Propose solutions based on diagnostic understanding • Attempt to create an atmosphere where each party feels comfortable • Encourage the parties to brainstorm possible solutions Transformative (n = 4) Evaluators (n=5)• Emphasize dialogue, not agreement • Critique and evaluate the parties’ positions• Actively summarize each party’s feelings and perceptions • Use pressure tactics to induce• Refrain from proposing any solutions to agreement the parties • Focus on issues as presented by the parties (No probing of any latent causes that could be fueling the conflict) Low Hi 12 Desire to Reach a Settlement
  • Summary• Mediator Style Study has: – In a more controlled laboratory environment, my own study of professional mediators has confirmed that stylistic variation is normative – Identified styles that correspond to the styles found in the field studies 13
  • Outline• Mediation Background – History of Mediation – Previous Mediation Research• Mediator Style – Why is Style important?• Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale (ATMS) 14
  • Value of the Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale• Allow comparative outcome research• Facilitate exploration of the behavioral aspects of style 15
  • Dissertation Overview• Develop the Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale (ATMS) (Study 1)• Assessing its Factor Structure (Study 2 and Study 3)• Validating the Scale (Study 4)• Exploring Variables that Shape Mediator Style (Study 5) 16
  • ATMS: First Valid and Reliable Measure of Mediator Style• Problems the Samples: – Too narrow • Only examined one area of practice (e.g., Community mediation) • Only mediators from a single state participated – Too small • Fewer than 100 participants• Problems with Scale Development Methods: – Omitted several steps of scale development • Vague item generation procedure • Establishing content and/or construct validity 17 • Establishing reliability
  • Developing the Attitudes Towards Mediations Scale (ATMS) (Study 1)•Stage 1: Item Generation •Initially 114 items were created from observer narratives written in the lab study Example ATMS items: Grouped by style AttitudeEvaluative Cases often end up in mediation because the parties are unrealistic in their positions.Facilitative Most conflict is caused by the parties’ inability to discuss the needs that underlie their positions.Diagnostic Conflicts are often caused by latent causes of which the parties are unaware. It is part of the job of the mediator to help them understand such causes.Transformative Most times, parties are in conflict because they have not had the chance to have an open and honest discussion about their own and the other party’s perception of the conflict. •The item list was then reduced to 62 items 18
  • Developing the Attitudes Towards Mediations Scale (ATMS) (Study 1)• Stage 2: Establishing Face Validity – Method: • Four Psychology graduate students participated • Participants read descriptions of each style • They were then asked to complete a forced choice task and sort the 62 items into one of the four styles • Items were only retained if 3 out of the 4 sorters agreed on the style category in which the item belonged – Results: • 50 (85%) of the initial 62 items were retained: – 14 Evaluative items – 11 Facilitative items 19 – 12 Diagnostic items
  • Developing the Attitudes Towards Mediations Scale (ATMS) (Study 1)• Stage 3: Establishing Content Validity – Method: • Three professional mediators and four prominent mediation researchers were recruited • Participants were asked to sort the 50 items from stage 2 into one of the four styles • They were also asked to create new items they believe should be added to the item pool • Items are only retained if 5 out of the 7 sorters agree on the item’s style placement – Results: • 40 (80%) of the 50 items remain in the item pool: – 12 Evaluative items – 6 Facilitative items – 11 Diagnostic items – 11 Transformative items • 4 items were subsequently added to the Facilitative item pool, resulting in 10 items • At the conclusion of Study 1, the ATMS contained 4420 items
  • Assessing the Factor Structure (Study 2)• Measurement – The ATMS was hosted on SurveyMonkey.com, a site specifically designed to host web surveys • Advantages to this format: – Dramatic decrease in response time – Cheaper than traditional surveys – No need for manual data entry • On the ATMS, participants were asked to express the degree to which their general approach as a mediator was adequately described by item (1=describes my approach poorly; 7=describes my approach well) – Participants were also asked to fill out the Biographical Data Form (12 items) • Item Examples – Age – Gender – Field in which highest degree was obtained – Years of Experience – % of total mediation experience in a given area of practice• Recruitment – Over 650 professional mediators were recruited in Study 2 • 2 methods: – Contacting Key Personnel at Mediation Organizations (n=6) – Public Membership Directories (n=4) • Only 481 mediators were sent email invitations to complete the ATMS • Mediators that did not receive an invite for Study 2 were subsequently asked to participate in Study 3 21
  • Assessing the Factor Structure (Study 2)• Participants – 250 professional mediators participated (54% response rate) – Older mediators (M= 51.1 years old) – Predominately legal background (42%) – Trained in a facilitative approach (45.6%) – Experienced (M= 11.6 years) – Primarily Family (41.2%), Workplace/Employment (40.8%), 22
  • Assessing the Factor Structure (Study 2)• Results – Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to determine the factor structure – The resulting factor structure represented a dichotomous split among the four proposed mediation approaches: • Factor 1: Resolution-oriented approach (25% of the variance) – Items: » “It is important that a mediator point out the costs of continued disagreement to the parties in order to keep them on track.” » “An important task for the mediator is to encourage the parties to generate possible solutions through brainstorming or similar techniques.” » “Where possible, I will assist solution generation by making the parties aware of hidden feelings or circumstances that have caused their conflict.” • Factor 2: Dialogue-oriented approach (11% of the variance) – Items: » “The role of the mediator is to create conditions for the parties to have a genuine dialogue about whatever it is that each wants to say relative to their conflict.” » “Reaching a settlement should not be a mediator’s primary goal.” » I am a promoter of dialogue, not an orchestrator of agreements • At the conclusion of Study 2, 2 factors comprised the ATMS, with 11 Resolution-oriented and 8 Dialogue-oriented items (19 items in total) 23
  • Assessing the Factor Structure (Study 2)• Why only 2 factors, why not 4? – Measurement Issues • Lab study was more intensive and complicated, whereas the ATMS is a simpler study – Lab study: Behavioral observation – ATMS: Self-report – Conceptual Explanation • Mediators in the study could only differentiate between styles with a settlement focused or non-settlement focused goal 24
  • Assessing the Factor Structure (Study 3)• Measurement – The ATMS was again hosted on SurveyMonkey.com – Participants were also asked to fill out the Biographical Data Form and• Recruitment – Over 300 professional mediators were recruited in Study 3 • The recruitment pool included: – Mediators that were recruited in Study 2, but did not complete the ATMS in Study 2 (n= 158) – Mediators that participated in the Mediator Behavioral Study • Remaining participants were recruited using these methods: – Contacting Key Personnel at Mediation Organizations (n=7) – Public Membership Directories (n=7) 25
  • Assessing the Factor Structure (Study 3)• Participants – 111 professional mediators participated (36%) – Older mediators (M= 52 years old) – Predominately legal background (65.8%) – Trained in a facilitative approach (38.7%) – Experienced (M= 11.7 years) – Primarily Workplace/Employment (36.6%), Civil (26.8%), 26
  • Assessing the Factor Structure (Study 3)• Results – Confirming the Factor Structure • The resolution and dialogue-oriented factors were confirmed by confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) • Initial model: χ2 (151, N = 111) = 388.0, p <.001 (CFI = .75, GFI = .72, AGFI=.65, RMSEA = .12) – Items with low factor loadings (e.g., .50 or lower) were removed and the model was run again • The amended model was an improvement over the initial model and fit fairly well χ2 (26, N = 111) = 263.6, p < .010 (CFI = .95, GFI = .92, AGFI = .86, RMSEA = .08) 27
  • 28
  • Assessing the Factor Structure (Study 3)• Results – Test – Retest Test – Retest Reliability of ATMS Scales Scale Pearson’s Coefficent Resolution – oriented .87** Dialogue – oriented .80**a/.84**b **p < 0.01 Note: a. participants from Study 2 only b. participants from Study 3 only • Resolution – oriented scale r = .87 • Dialogue – oriented scale r = .80 (Study 2)/.84 (Study 3) 29
  • Finalized ATMS ItemsFinal ATMS ItemsResolution – oriented Items As a mediator, I often ask questions to test ideas I begin to develop about underlying causes or motives that are fueling a conflict. It is important that a mediator point out the costs of continued disagreement to the parties in order to keep them on track. As a means for depolarizing conflict, a mediator must often be a practical diagnostician who attempts to help the parties understand where and why they have gotten stuck. It is an important part of a mediator’s job to confront parties that are being overly competitive, rigid or disrespectful. Caucuses can be especially helpful in providing a party candid feedback about their unrealistic or overly rigid negotiating position. The mediator may need to move parties off unreasonable or overly rigid positions by asking hard questions or providing accurate, realistic information. 30
  • Finalized ATMS ItemsFinal ATMS ItemsDialogue – oriented Items I am a promoter of dialogue, not an orchestrator of agreements. A focus on settlement as the primary goal of mediation unnecessarily limits mediation’s potential to help people grow and learn. Reaching a settlement should not be a mediator’s primary goal. 31
  • Validating the Scale (Study 4)• Directiveness vs. Non-Directiveness – Directiveness is an important variable that mediators of different stylistic orientations might be expected to differ – Measurement • Social Support Opinion Survey (SSOS) Harber et. al (2008) – 14 item measure – 5 – point scale (1 = Not at all important; 5 =Extremely important) – Asks participants to indicate how important it is to them when helping someone to: » Directive Item: “Encourage the person to get over his/her problem quickly” » Non – Directive Item: “Let the person get over problems at his/her own pace” – A mediator adapted version was created » E.g., “Decide for the person what kind of help they might need” was changed to “Decide for the disputant(s) what kind of help they might need.” » 2 items were removed because they were not relevant to mediation practice • This measure was distributed in Study 3 32
  • Validating the Scale (Study 4)• Hypothesis – H1: Mediators with a strong resolution-orientation on the ATMS will be more likely to endorse directive social support as measured by the SSOS; conversely, dialogue-oriented mediators will be more likely to favor non-directive social support as measured by the SSOS. 33
  • Validating the Scale (Study 4)• Results – The ATMS resolution-oriented and dialogue-oriented scale scores were correlated with the SSOS directive and non-directive scale scores Correlations Among SSOS and ATMS Factors ATMS Resolution – oriented ATMS Dialogue – oriented SSOS Directive .56** -.43** SSOS Non – Directive -.05 .30** **p < 0.01 – The ATMS resolution-oriented scale was positively correlated with the SSOS directive scale – The ATMS dialogue-oriented scale was positively correlated with the SSOS non – directive scale – The ATMS dialogue-oriented scale was negatively correlated with the SSOS directive scale – The hypothesis was supported and construct validity was established using 34 the SSOS
  • Validating the Scale (Study 4)• Comparing Behavioral Style Lab Results to the ATMS – Participants • 12 out of the 22 mediators (55%) that participated in the Mediator Behavioral Style Study completed the ATMS in Study 3 – For these 12 mediators I have: » Observer rated mediator style (Mediator Behavioral Study) » Self-reported mediator style (ATMS) – The observer data was correlated with self-report data 35
  • Validating the Scale (Study 4)• Hypothesis – H2: The ATMS self – reported style will positively correlate with the observer ratings of behavior. • ATMS resolution-orientation = Observer resolution-orientation (self-report mediator style) (observed mediator style) • ATMS dialogue-orientation = Observer dialogue-orientation (self-report mediator style) (observed mediator style) 36
  • Validating the Scale (Study 4)• Results – A correlation analysis was conductedCorrelations Among Observer Behavioral Ratingsand ATMS Scores ATMSResolution– orientedScore ATMSDialogue – oriented Score Observer Resolution– oriented Rating .12 -.25 Observer Dialogue – oriented Rating -.31 .60***p < 0.01 • ATMS Self-report dialogue-orientation = Observer dialogue orientation • No relationship between the ATMS self-report resolution- orientation and the Observer resolution orientation 37
  • Validating the Scale (Study 4)• Discussion – The results of Study 4 have tells us the ATMS is a reasonably valid measure of mediator attitudes towards mediation – However, on the behavioral measure, construct validity was only found for the dialogue-oriented scale • Dialogue-oriented approach may be more well defined and narrow – Allows consistency across both behavioral measures (Mediator Behavioral Style Study) and more attitudinal, cognitive measures (ATMS) 38
  • Exploring Variables that Shape Mediator Style (Study 5)• Possible Correlates of Mediator Style: – Context Of Mediation • Area of Practice • Social Environment – Mediator Characteristics • Gender • Discipline of Origin• Measures – Data was collected in Study 3 via: • Biographical Data Form – Area of Practice, Gender and Discipline of origin • Work Environment Index (WEI,16 items) 39 –
  • Exploring Variables that Shape Mediator Style (Study 5)• Previous Research Suggests: – Resolution – orientation • Men and those with a legal background are more likely to use this approach • Work environment: – Mediators experience more time pressure – Less embeddedness within an organization – Minimal time to consult with colleagues – Mediate cases that involve a single tangible issue – Parties’ do not have an ongoing relationship – Dialogue – oriented • Women are more likely to use this approach • Work environment: – Less experienced time pressure – Embeddedness within an organization – More time to meet with colleagues – Cases have multiple intangible issues 40 – Parties have ongoing relationships
  • Exploring Variables that Shape Mediator Style (Study 5)• Results Correlations Among Mediator Characteristics, Social Context and the ATMS Factors Resolution – oriented Dialogue – oriented Mediator Characteristics Age .25** -.18 Gender (Male = 1) -.26** .34** Discipline of Origin Trained in Psychological Counseling/Therapy .05 -.30* Trained in Developmental Psychology .08 -.40** Trained in a Specific Approach to Mediation .10 -.21* Social Context Embeddedness within the Organization .04 .07 Time Pressure -.26** .10 Consultation with Colleagues -.27** .10 Issue Characteristics -.15 .32** Parties’ Relationship -.43** .41** *p < 0.05 **p < 0.01 – Resolution-oriented mediators were older, male, and work in environments where time pressure is present, there was an inability to consult with colleagues, and mediated cases which the parties have no ongoing relationship – Dialogue-oriented mediators were women, received mental health and transformative mediation training and work in environments where cases involve multiple intangible issues and parties do have an ongoing relationship 41 – Parties’ Relationship was the best predictor for both the resolution (18%,F (1,102) = 23.61, p <.001) and dialogue – oriented approaches (17%, F (1,102) = 20.77, p <.001)
  • Exploring Variables that Shape Mediator Style (Study 5)• Results: Area of Practice Correlation Among Mediation Domain and ATMS Factors Resolution – oriented Dialogue – oriented Civil Mediation -.12 .07 Community Mediation .30** -.40** Divorce Mediation .02 .02 Education Mediation -.10 .04 Environmental Mediation .09 -.08 Family Mediation -.04 .23* Labor Mediation .10 -.05 Ombuds Mediation .07 -.05 Organizational Mediation .12 -.02 Small Claims Mediation .14 .01 Workplace/Employment Mediation .00 .06 *p < 0.05 **p < 0.01 – A resolution-oriented approach is more likely to be used by mediators who practice in Community mediation, whereas a dialogue-oriented approach is less likely to be used in Family mediation 42
  • Exploring Variables that Shape Mediator Style (Study 5)• Discussion – Multiple approaches have been cited in the community mediation literature • Transformative and Facilitative training (Hedeen, 2004) • Evaluative behavior (Wissler, 2002) – Dispute CharacteristicsCorrelations Among Community Mediation and Dispute Characteristics Correlations Among Family Mediation and Dispute Characteristics Pearson Coefficient Pearson Coefficient Dispute Characteristics Dispute Characteristics Mediate a Single Issue .35** Mediate Tangible Issue(s) -.43** Mediate Multiple Issues -.28* Parties’ Do Not Have an Ongoing Relationship -.33** Mediate Tangible Issue(s) .50** Parties’ Do Have an Ongoing Relationship .37** Mediate Intangible Issue(s) -.32** **p < 0.01 Parties’ Do Not Have an Ongoing Relationship .67** Parties’ Do Have an Ongoing Relationship -.62***p < 0.05**p < 0.01 •Cases involve intangible issue(s) •Cases involve a single tangible issue •Parties have an on-going relationship •Parties do not have an on-going relationship 43 – More research is still needed
  • Exploring Variables that Shape Mediator Style (Study 5)• Discussion – Age • Possibly, older mediators are more familiar with a resolution-oriented approach • The dialogue-oriented approach, wherein settlement is not the primary goal is a relatively novel approach in the mediation field – Mental Health Training • This result reflects the kind of skills implied by a dialogue-oriented style – In therapy the primary focus is the person/relationship, the structure is a client led process, and emotions are explored (Forlenza, 1989) – Mediation Training • A portion of the dialogue - oriented mediators were trained in an approach that de-emphasized settlement: Transformative mediation – It is feasible that mediators that place a higher priority on dialogue versus settlement would have received Transformative mediation training 44
  • Exploring Variables that Shape Mediator Style (Study 5)• Discussion – Social Context • These findings further support the argument that social context does play a role in mediator behavior (Kolb, 1983,1989; Klein, 1998; Picard, 2004; Herrman et. al., 2003; Herrman, 2006; Kressel, 2007) • However, the directional relationship between social context and mediator style stills requires examination – Social context Mediator Style? – Mediator Style Social Context? – Social Context Mediator Style? 45
  • Overview of Findings• Study 1 – Items were carefully selected for the ATMS and both face validity and content validity were established• Studies 2 and 3 – Established the factors structure of the Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale and Test-Retest reliability • F1: Resolution – oriented • F2: Dialogue – oriented• Study 4 – The construct validity of the ATMS was established• Study 5 – Relationships between the ATMS’s factor scores, area of practice, social context, and personal characteristics were established 46
  • Caveats• Self – report Data – While the participants’ attitudes were found to be reliable across two different samples, their actual behavior may vary• Alternative explanations for WEI correlations – Though it was argued that work environment shapes mediator behavior, it is quite possible that the one-way relationship described could be reversed or occurs in a cycle 47
  • Conclusions• This dissertation created the first psychometrically valid and reliable measure of mediator style among a varied national sample of mediators and provided evidence that age, gender, area of practice, mediation training, and work environment are related to mediator style• The ATMS can serve as a standard metric of mediator style 48
  • Possible Applications• Measuring mediator efficacy in relation to mediator style• Explore the relationship between self-reported mediator style, style flexibility and actual mediator behavior in session• Determine the exact relationship between the ATMS and a mediator’s work environment 49
  • Thank you My advisor: Ken Kressel My Committee: Fellow Colleagues: Paul Boxer Dan DePaulo Jon Hyman Jamie Gorman Kent Harber Kraig Knibb Warren Reich Adrienne Mcfaul Harold Siegel Sarah SavoyUndergrad Research Assistants: Monica Costa Christine Wojnicz John Simon Jon Juah Charlotte Mayanja Kristen Couce Ursula Gener IMSD 50
  • Questions• Lab Study • Study 3 – GEMS Scales – BFA – Item Retention• Study 1 – Test – Retest Participants – Observer Narrative • Study 4• Study 2 – GEMS Resolution and – PCA Dialogue-oriented scales – Item Retention – Balancing the Scales • Study 5 – Areas of Practice – WEI Composite Score – WEI Composite Score – Mediator Training 51
  • GEMS ScalesStyle A: Style A mediators believe that a frequent cause of polarized conflict are important latentsource of difficulty in the parties’ relationship or circumstances of which they are unaware(e.g. a flawed communication pattern; an unrecognized need for resources) Consequently, mediatorsenacting Style A give priority to determining whether such latent causes are fueling the conflict. Ifdiagnostic inquiry suggests that this is the case the mediator tries to make use of this knowledge inhelping the parties reach agreements.Style C: Style C mediators believe that a frequent cause of polarized conflict is the tendency ofdisputants to have unrealistic confidence in the validity and reasonableness of their respectivepositions. Consequently, mediators enacting Style C give priority to providing the parties with abalanced and realistic evaluation of their respective positions, and, if necessary, in marshalingarguments in favor of particular solutions.Style D: Style D mediators believe that a frequent cause of polarized conflict is the failure ofdisputants to see that disputes can be viewed as opportunities for moral growth andtransformation. Consequently, mediators enacting Style D do not see their primary role asproducing agreements, but give priority to helping each party attain a degree of personalempowerment (e.g. thru becoming aware of their range of options or developing a new awareness ofpersonal strengths or resources) and a degree of recognition of the other (e.g. by acknowledgingthe situation of the other or offering a genuine apology to the other). 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Describes them Describes them 52 poorly well
  • Observer Narrative – Study 1•Stage 1: Item GenerationObserver Narrative“I see my primary goal as helping the parties resolve their differences in a mutuallyacceptable way. I see my primary job as to ensure a good process of conflictmanagement, not the reaching of settlements, per se. For me, a good conflict resolutionprocess involves thorough information gathering about the relevant history of the dispute. Iserve as a communication facilitator and diagnostician of where they have gone off track witheach other. Where possible, I believe it is useful to develop with the parties someunderstanding for the possible reasons for their conflict. I find that such insight often helps todepolarize the conflict and restore a measure of mutual appreciation.” 53
  • PCA – Study 2• Results – Principal Component Analysis (PCA) was used to determine the factor structure • Promax (oblique) rotation was conducted – Factors were dropped if » Eigenvalue was less than one » Only had minor item loadings (e.g. <.40) » Had less than three items with adequate loadings (e.g. >.40) – Two factors with both adequate (>.40) and major (>.50) loadings met this criterion and accounted for 36% of the variance • A third factor only had two items with adequate loadings and accounted for 5% of the variance, it was not retained – Additionally, there was a moderate positive correlation between the factors (r =.35) 54
  • Item Retention – Study 2• Results – Item Retention • Resolution – oriented Items – Had to have a difference of at least .30 between their loading on the resolution – oriented scale and their loading on the dialogue – oriented scale – Scale was reduced to 17 items – Scale Reliability • Cronbach’s α was computed – Items were retained if the item to total correlation was between .50 and .80 • Two items were removed from the resolution – oriented scale and one item was removed from the dialogue – oriented scale • Resolution – oriented scale α = .91 55 • Dialogue – oriented scale α = .73
  • Balancing the Scales – Study 2• Results – In a balanced scale, the number of favorable and unfavorable categories is equal; in an unbalanced scale, the number is unequal. • In general, the scale should be balanced in order to obtain objective data. – For the resolution – oriented scale, five items with similar wording were removed; α = .88 – For the dialogue – oriented scale, 3 items were created using descriptions of the transformative style• In conclusion, the resolution – oriented scale consisted of 11 items and the dialogue – oriented scale was comprised of 8 items 56
  • Factor Loadings – Study 2Factor Loadings, ATMS ScalesItem Resolution – oriented Dialogue – oriented Factor Loading Factor LoadingResolution – oriented Scale Applying pressure on the parties to make concessions is an essential part of the .40 -.38 mediator’s role. A mediator should try to draw on the parties’ commonalties in order to help them .65 .15 reach agreement. A hallmark of a good mediation is the use of positive reinforcement (e.g., praising .67 .20 the parties for collaborative problem – solving) to encourage the parties. A good way for a mediator to proceed is to explore the history of the dispute in .61 .32 order to identify situational factors or events that may have fueled tensions or distrust. In cases where the parties are being unreasonable or inflexible in their positions, it .67 -.40 is the mediator’s job to be the voice of reality. Exuding optimism and enthusiasm are important tools a mediator should use when .53 .08 attempting to encourage problem – solving between the disputants. It is important that a mediator point out the costs of continued disagreement to the .64 -.22 parties in order to keep them on track. Where possible, I will assist solution generation by making the parties aware of .63 .28 hidden feelings or circumstances that have caused their conflict. I strive to be seen as impartial by both sides, but at times, I may have to lean more .56 -.29 heavily on one side than the other in the interests of getting a realistic settlement. Mediator warmth and a little humor can be helpful in encouraging disputant .60 -.04 problem – solving. Conflicts are often caused by latent causes of which the parties are unaware. It is .54 .40 part of the job of the mediator to help them understand such causes.
  • Factor Loadings – Study 2Factor Loadings, ATMS ScalesItem Resolution – oriented Dialogue – oriented Factor Loading Factor Loading The mediator may need to move parties off unreasonable or overly rigid positions .71 -.26 by asking hard questions or providing accurate, realistic information. As a mediator, I often ask questions to test ideas I begin to develop about .73 .08 underlying causes or motives that are fueling a conflict. Caucuses can be especially helpful in providing a party candid feedback about .69 -.20 their unrealistic or overly rigid negotiating position. Before addressing the substantive issues, I spend a lot of time trying to understand .59 .35 what has fueled the conflict. An important task for the mediator is to encourage the parties to generate possible .61 .25 solutions through brainstorming or similar techniques. It is an important part of a mediator’s job to confront parties that are being overly .63 -.16 competitive, rigid or disrespectful. Caucuses can be useful as a way of helping each party become more aware of their .52 .05 underlying interests and the variety of ways they can be satisfied. Asking a lot of questions about the history of the conflict can be extremely useful .60 .34 in helping the parties learn what has caused their dispute and what to do about ameliorating it. Mediation is not therapy but there is some relevant diagnostic work that needs to .60 .24 be done about what produced the conflict and the circumstances and behaviors that maintain it. A mediator should probe the parties about the history of their conflict in order to .61 .38 surface patterns of interaction that may have led to the dispute. The mediator should postpone any consideration of possible terms of resolution .47 .19 until the parties have articulated their underlying needs and interests.
  • Factor Loadings – Study 2Factor Loadings, ATMS ScalesItem Resolution – oriented Dialogue – oriented Factor Loading Factor Loading As a means for depolarizing conflict, a mediator must often be a practical .63 .06 diagnostician who attempts to help the parties understand where and why they have gotten stuck. As a mediator, I try to inject something of my own energy and optimism about life .55 -.12 and relationships; I am something of a “cheerleader” at times. It is part of a mediator’s job to confront people who are being unreasonable. .60 -.28 It is important that a mediator help the parties gain insight into to what has caused .58 .44 their conflict. Encouraging disputant problem – solving around substantive issues is the essence .61 -.01 of good mediation.Dialogue – oriented Scale As a mediator, I am particularly interested that the parties learn something useful .30 .47 about themselves and the other. The role of the mediator is to create conditions for the parties to have a genuine -.12 .62 dialogue about whatever it is that each wants to say relative to their conflict. A mediator should adhere to strict neutrality and not make any evaluations of the -.32 .43 parties or the issues. Empowerment and recognition are the hallmarks of good mediation. -.14 .49 A focus on settlement as the primary goal of mediation unnecessarily limits -.19 .66 mediation’s potential to help people grow and learn. I am a promoter of dialogue, not an orchestrator of agreements. .26 .59Summary StatisticsEigenvalue 10.97 4.79Variance Accounted for by Factor 25% 11%Note: ATMS = Attitudes Towards Mediation Scale. Bolded values indicate adequate to significant factor loadings.
  • BFA – Study 3The resampling was conducted 250 times using the 111participants from Study 3. The n of each resample was 111,with some participants being drawn more than once or not at all. Sample Eigenvalues and Mean Bootstrap Results Across 250 Resamples Since the sample eigenvalues and the mean eigenvalues are Sample Eigenvalue M(BR) SE M(BR)/SE close, this suggests stability across the resamples. However, the 5.88 6.01 0.65 9.27 third factor’s eigenvalues were low in comparison to the other 4.05 4.07 0.39 10.53 factors and possibly only contained one or two items that also 1.19 1.39 0.17 8.00 loaded unto the another factor, it was not retained. Table 8, cont. Sample Mean and Bootstrap Results Across 250 Sample Mean and Bootstrap Results Across 250 Resamples Resamples Factor 1 Factor 2 Factor 1 Factor 2Item Sample Bootstrap SE M(BR)/SE Sample Bootstrap SE M(BR)/SE Item Sample Bootstrap SE M(BR)/SE Sample Bootstrap SE M(BR)/SE Mean Mean Mean MeanAs a mediator, I often ask .98 .99 .02 45.02 -.17 -.17 .02 -1.55 The mediator may need to move parties off -.46 -.46 .09 -5.15 .88 .89 .05 18.73questions to test ideas I begin to unreasonable or overly rigid positions by askingdevelop about underlying causes hard questions or providing accurate, realisticor motives that are fueling a information.conflict A hallmark of a good mediation is the use of .87 .89 .07 12.82 .47 .45 .12 3.89Exuding optimism and .98 .99 .03 33.04 .11 .11 .15 .75 positive reinforcement (e.g., praising the partiesenthusiasm are an important toolsa mediator should use when for collaborative problem – solving) toattempting to encourage problem encourage the parties.– solving between the disputants. I am a promoter of dialogue, not an orchestrator -.12 -.13 0.10 -1.26 .99 .99 .01 85.03Where possible, I will assist .96 .97 .03 29.76 .24 .24 .11 2.15 of agreements.solution generation by making the The role of the mediator is to create conditions .12 .10 0.11 1.07 .99 .99 .02 57.19parties aware of hidden feelings for the parties to have a genuine dialogue aboutor circumstances that have caused whatever it is that each wants to say relative totheir conflict. their conflict.As a means for depolarizing .94 .95 .04 26.78 -.33 -.32 .10 -3.22 Empowerment and recognition are the .16 .15 0.13 1.23 .98 .99 .02 39.27conflict, a mediator must often be hallmarks of good mediation.a practical diagnostician who A mediator should adhere to strict neutrality -.18 -.18 0.16 -1.13 .97 .98 .04 23.16attempts to help the parties and not make any evaluations of the parties orunderstand where and why they the issues.have gotten stuck. The responsibility for the outcome(s) of -.22 -.20 0.14 -1.64 .96 .98 .03 28.23It is an important part of a .94 .94 .04 22.67 -.33 -.34 .12 -2.66 mediation should be left with the parties.mediator’s job to confront partiesthat are being overly competitive, A focus on settlement as the primary goal of -.20 -.23 0.15 -1.39 .97 .97 .03 31.36rigid or disrespectful. mediation unnecessarily limits mediation’s potential to help people grow and learn.It is important that a mediator .94 .94 .03 31.10 -.33 -.33 .08 -4.03point out the costs of continued Reaching a settlement should not be a -.46 -.46 .10 -4.67 .88 .89 .05 16.41disagreement to the parties inorder to keep them on track.An important task for the .90 .93 .07 12.64 .40 .37 .15 2.70mediator is to encourage theparties to generate possible The close Procrustes – rotated structure statistics andsolutions through brainstormingor similar techniques. mean bootstrap results, along with the small SEs indicateCaucuses can be especiallyhelpful in providing a party .90 .91 .05 16.93 -.42 -.42 .11 -3.77 parameter stability across resampling. The large t statisticcandid feedback about theirunrealistic or overly rigid values indicated statistical significance. Moreover, 11negotiating position. items loaded unto Factor 1 and eight items loaded untoA mediator should try to draw on .87 .89 .10 8.82 .46 .45 .16 2.92 60the parties’ commonalties in order Factor 2.to help them reach agreement.
  • Item Retention – Study 3• Results – Scale Reliability • Cronbach’s α was computed – Again, items were retained if the item to total correlation was between .50 and .80 • One item was removed from the resolution – oriented scale and one item was removed from the dialogue – oriented scale • Resolution – oriented scale α = .87 • Dialogue – oriented scale α = .80 • As a result, the ATMS’s resolution – oriented scale was comprised of 6 items and the dialogue – oriented scale consisted of 3 items 61
  • Test – Retest Participants – Study 3• Participants – Subset of 109 participants from Study 2 and 78 participants from Study 3 were sent an email invitation to complete the ATMS a second time – Fifty – eight participants (53.2%) from Study 2 and 40 participants (51.3%) from Study 3 completed the ATMS a second time. – In total, 98 participants formed the test – retest sample 62
  • GEMS Resolution and Dialogue – oriented scales – Study 4• Results – The GEMS Latent Cause (Diagnostic), Facilitative, and Evaluative scale ratings were summed and divided by 4; this resulted in an observer GEMS resolution – oriented composite score • These scales were used because the ATMS resolution – oriented scale is compromised of diagnostic, facilitative, and evaluative items – The remaining observer GEMS transformative scale was used as the observer GEMS dialogue – oriented score • This scale was used because the ATMS dialogue – oriented scale is compromised of largely transformative items 63
  • Areas of Practice – Study 5 On average, mediators reported practicing in three areas of mediation– 32.4% only mediated in one area – More than one area • Civil (n=18) • Two (16.7%) • Divorce (n=7) • Three (13%) • Family (n=5) • Four (16.7%) • Workplace/Employment (n=2) • Five (11.1%) • Community (n=1) • Six (3.7%) • Ombuds (n=1) • Seven (2.8%) • Small Claims (n=1) • Eight (.9%) • Ten (1.9%) • Eleven (.9%) 64
  • Composite WEI Score – Study 5• Results – A composite WEI score was computed  All items had a five – point scale – Resolution – oriented items were given the lowest score on the scale (e.g., 1) – Dialogue – oriented items were given the highest score on the scale (e.g., 5) – Ex. » Do you feel pressured to reach a resolution during sessions? Always (1), Often (2), Sometimes (3), Rarely (4), Never (5) » What % of your cases involve parties who currently have a continuing relationship beyond mediation (e.g., neighbors, parents, co - workers)? Always: 81 to 100% (5), Often: 61 to 80% (4), Sometimes: 41 to 60% (3), Rarely: 21 to 40% (2), Almost Never: 0 to 20% (1)  Lower composite WEI scores indicated a propensity towards a resolution – oriented approach  Higher WEI composite scores signified a dialogue – oriented approach 65  Avg. WEI Score: 38, Min: 20, Max: 52, Std. Dev.: 7.13
  • Composite WEI Score – Study 5• Results Correlation Among WEI and ATMS Factors Resolution – oriented Dialogue – oriented WEI Composite Score - .41** .42** **p < 0.01 • The WEI composite score was negatively correlated with the resolution – oriented scale meaning the lower the WEI score, the more likely the mediator uses a resolution – oriented approach • The WEI composite score was positively correlated with the dialogue – oriented scale meaning the higher the WEI score the more likely the mediator uses a dialogue – oriented approach 66
  • Mediator Training – Study 5• Results Cross – Tabulation of Mediation Training by Dialogue– oriented Score Group Low Score Median Score High Score Total Facilitative/Interest Base d 3 18 3 24 Transformative 0 2 5 7 Facilitative and Transformative 0 6 4 10 Evaluative 1 0 0 1 Facilitative and Evaluative 0 2 0 2 Transformative and Evaluative 0 2 0 2 Other 3 4 1 8 More than two approaches listed 0 7 1 8 Total 7 41 14 62 Note : Only participants that indicated they were trained under a specific philosophy/approach to mediation were included • Mediators with high Dialogue – oriented scores indicated being trained under a Transformative mediation approach or receiving both Transformative and Facilitative mediation training (χ2(18, N = 111) = 32.32, p > .05) 67