Family functioning level and divorce mediation outcome


  • Richard D. Mathis,

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    • Richard D. Mathis is assistant professor of psychology and counselor education and director of the Psychology Training Clinic at Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, Louisiana.

  • Lynelle C. Yingling

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    • Lynelle C. Yingling is associate professor of counseling and guidance and MFT training director at East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas.


Is the outcome of divorce mediation predictable based on the adaptability and cohesion dimensions of the divorcing family's level of functioning? An assessment of seventy-three families in court-ordered mediation was made using the Family Adaptability and Cohesion Evaluation Scale (FACES III) and the Circumplex Model of marital and family systems. Failure to achieve resolution in mediation was significantly related to unstructured, chaotic family functioning, but not to cohesion and overall family functioning. This indicates premediation screening for extremely unstructured families is important. However, for mediation to benefit from screening, modified approaches to treating low-success family types are called for.