Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

M.A. in Educational Administration


Educational Services and Leadership


College of Education


Capasso, Ronald


Peer counseling of students; Student suspension


Elementary and Middle and Secondary Education Administration


This study determined the effectiveness of the peer mediation program at Deptford Township High School, grades 9 through 12, in reducing student discipline problems. Furthermore, the study determined that peer mediation prevented further disputes and/or resolved current misunderstandings, that the disputants were able to resolve their differences constructively, and that mediation prevented disputes from developing into more serious matters. It determined that peer mediation helped to reduce student violence, lowered suspension rates, required less administrative time spent on discipline, and provided a more peaceful school environment.

There was no sample for this study. Any at-risk student in grades 9 through 12 who had a conflict with another student was a candidate for peer mediation.

The successfulness and number of peer mediation sessions were analyzed, in addition to the number of suspensions. The number of peer mediation sessions and suspensions for each school year from the program's inception, September 1993 to March 1999, were recorded and analyzed.

Interviews were held with the two vice-principals, student mediators, disputants, teacher mediators, and the two peer mediation advisors.

The major method of data analysis was comparing the number of peer mediations, the number of suspensions resulting from student fights, and the percent of successful peer mediation sessions during each school year beginning with September 1993.

There have been 43 percent fewer physical confrontations among students and a dramatic reduction in the number of suspensions related to violence since the inception of a peer mediation program at Deptford Township High School in September 1993.