Mediator strategies are the focus of this report on custody, visitation, and child access cases in Maryland. In the report, the researchers look at how what a mediator does affects the parties’ perception of their ability to work with the other party to overcome conflict, their understanding of the other party, their own understanding of what they want, etc. it also looked at the effect of the strategies on the outcome of the case and the agreement reached participant outcomes and the probability of reaching
The research included pre-mediation surveys of the parties, observations of each session, and post-mediation surveys. Mediators were also surveyed and case data was obtained six months after the last mediation session. During mediation, the observers looked for particular behaviors, which were grouped into strategies including reflective strategies, directive strategies, eliciting participant solutions, and offering their own perspectives.
The researchers found that when more time was spent in caucus, the parties were less likely to believe that they could work with the other party to resolve their conflict or that they had multiple options for resolving it. Additionally, eliciting participant solutions had the most positive impact on the participants and they were more likely to say they understood the other party, were clear about their own desires, and that their underlying issues had been revealed.