Six-, Twelve-, and Fifteen-Month Follow-Ups of a High-Conflict Program


  • Ron Neff,

    1. Ron Neff, Ph.D. is the author of the curriculum for the Parental Conflict Resolution program. He has an extensive background in research, higher education, mental health, and family court programs. Currently he is in private practice as a mediator, mediation trainer, author, speaker, and family court consultant.
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  • Kat Cooper

    1. Kathryn (“Kat”) Cooper MSW is Associate Clerk of the Superior Court in Maricopa County, Arizona. Her prior positions include clinical director in a psychiatric hospital, administration of social service and counseling centers, marriage and family therapist, educator, mediator, conciliation counselor, and custody evaluator. She is responsible for the development and production of a 3-part educational video series, Family Ties & Knots, two of which are used in the Parental Conflict Resolution program, which she also spearheaded; a third video orients judges to high-conflict cases. She has authored a chapter in a custody evaluation manual published by AFCC, and is currently an adjunct faculty member of Maricopa County Management Institute.
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  • Authors' Note: Special thanks to Hon. Mark W. Armstrong for providing the Parental Conflict Resolution Program with its name and for his consistent support of the program. Funding for this program was provided under Grant No. CFDA 93-597 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service.


Six-, 12-, and 15-month follow-up data are presented evaluating a program for high-conflict parents. Funded by a grant from Health and Human Services, the program's content reflects an extensive review of research literature, including the relevant literature on personality disorders. Introduced in Phoenix, Arizona in October 1999, the program has served more than 1,000 families in several jurisdictions. Whereas other programs for entrenched, high-conflict cases are typically time intensive, involving 2 to 6 months, this is a one-time 4-hour program. As such, the authors are heartened to report a suprisingly positive—and enduring—response from the parents.