As divorce rates rise, family mediation represents an alternative way of making settlements without involving an already overburdened judicial system. This book presents a discussion of the current North American trends in the burgeoning field of family mediation by featuring both a review of the literature and a model for family mediation practice. The practice model presented here, Therapeutic Family Mediation, stresses an ecological perspective, and considers the feminist critique of the mediation process. The authors also address mediation's role in the important issues of joint custody, ethnicity, and child protection. Future directions in family mediation are examined in the final part.

Research in Family Mediation: A Decade Review, 1990–1999
Research in family mediation: A decade review, 1990–1999

In this chapter, we provide a decade review of research in family mediation. Such reviews are not normally included in practice texts such as this. It is included here because we have always believed that there is a great deal of overlap between the goals of practice and those of research. Specifically, research in family mediation is intended to serve a variety of functions:

  • to provide guidance to practitioners;
  • to serve as a reality check;
  • to respond to issues, especially criticism;
  • to assess existing practice models and provide the basis for the construction of new models;
  • to support the credibility of family mediation;
  • to ensure continuing funding of mediation service agencies;
  • to inform consumers of mediation services; ...
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