William A. Donohue is professor in the Department of Communication, Michigan State University, East Lansing.
Research and Practice
Mediator issue intervention strategies: A replication and some conclusions
Article first published online: 16 JAN 2007
Copyright © 1994 Wiley Periodicals, Inc., A Wiley Company
Volume 11, Issue 3, pages 261–274, Spring 1994
How to Cite
Donohue, W. A., Drake, L. and Roberto, A. J. (1994), Mediator issue intervention strategies: A replication and some conclusions. Mediation Quarterly, 11: 261–274. doi: 10.1002/crq.3900110306
- Issue published online: 16 JAN 2007
- Article first published online: 16 JAN 2007
The goal of the study reported here was to compare two samples of mediator intervention strategies to learn about sources of dissatisfaction among clients. The results indicate that the more mediators ignore disputants' relational concerns, the more difficulty they will experience in reaching agreement. In both samples, couples who came to mediation with significant relational baggage quickly moved the discussion toward these concerns and away from substantive issues. Mediators who had trouble reaching agreement bypassed any mention of these issues and instead focused on facts. By failing to provide the clients with an opportunity to vent emotional concerns, these mediators may have contributed significantly to decreased client satisfaction.