Peer mediation

What is it?

In mediation, an unbiased third party assists others in the resolution of conflicts with a ‘win-win’, rather than a ‘win-lose’ outcome.1

Peer mediation aims to train young people as mediators to facilitate solutions to disputes among their peers.2

How does it work?

Peer mediators are trained in problem-solving, conflict resolution, communication and active listening skills to intervene in interpersonal conflicts to prevent more serious problems developing.2

Through training, peer mediators learn that conflict can be resolved constructively, and can assist to encourage peers to move from blaming each other to devising solutions acceptable to all young people involved.1

Common ways peer mediation is used

This approach is used increasingly in school settings focusing on bullying and violence prevention and constructive conflict resolution.2

Programs may occur in an informal setting (such as the playground), or may occur in the classroom or within a neutral mediation space.1

Peer mediation may be implemented as a stand-alone program, however the majority of programs utilise peer mediation as one part of a broader violence prevention and conflict resolution program.1

Examples of peer mentoring program approaches

Kids Matter – Peer Mediation Program

School Mediation Associates

Peer Mediation: Conflict Resolution in Schools


  1. Johnson, DW, & Johnson, RT 1996, Conflict resolution and peer mediation programs in elementary and secondary schools: A review of the research. Review of Educational Research, 66: 459-506.
  2. Burmaster, E 2002, Youth to Youth: A review of peer program theoretical underpinnings, forms, functions, and process- and outcome-related findings 2001-02. A literature review, Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.