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Peers Making Peace

Ages 5-22

Rating: Level 3


Peers Making Peace (PMP) is an innovative peer-mediation program that uses a preventive approach for handling conflicts both in and out of school. The program is based on a combination of strategies that include life and social skills training, conflict prevention and resolution, and peer-led modeling and coaching. The goal of the program is to improve school environments by reducing violence, assaults, and discipline referrals and by increasing academic performance. This is accomplished by training teams of students to act as peer mediators on their school campuses.

The program is designed to affect students in prekindergarten through 12th grade with research-based, age-appropriate, and developmentally sound curricula for each level. Each participating school selects a group of 15 to 24 students who represent the community’s racial, ethnic, and gender demographics. Students learn skills such as conflict resolution, nonverbal communication, questioning, and maintaining neutrality. The training activities for students vary in length from 10 to 45 minutes. The maximum training time each day varies by age group: elementary students receive no more than 3 hours a day on three different occasions, middle school no more than 4 hours on three different occasions, and high school students no more than 5 hours on three different occasions. Selected students apply the skills they learn by serving as third-party mediators to help those involved in conflict reach mutually satisfactory agreements. Most mediation takes place before or after school, during lunch, or during activity time. Students take responsibility for solving their own problems, which allows teachers to concentrate on teaching. A pretraining needs assessment with materials assists schools in preparing for program implementation.


The evaluation of the Peers Making Peace program used a pre–post, quasi-experimental design with six experimental and six comparison schools in two school districts (one experimental and one control). Experimental schools were selected based on a questionnaire. All experimental schools were required to have at least 54 percent of their enrollment classified as high risk; significant reports of discipline referrals, expulsions or suspensions, and student-on- student assaults; and less-than-acceptable scores on standardized academic tests. Control schools were recommended by the experimental school. Student population samples in both the treatment and control schools were selected randomly. Data from 360 students was collected on the identified school-based variables prior to initiation of the program and after completion of the program.

The collected data included violence statistics, discipline referrals, absentees, suspensions, school vandalism incidents, retention rates, standardized achievement tests scores, attendance records, and demographics.


The evaluation found that there was a significant difference in discipline referrals, assaults, and expulsions postevaluation between intervention and control schools. Discipline referrals decreased by 57.7 percent in treatment schools, but increased by 8.4 percent in control schools. Assaults decreased by 90.2 percent in treatment schools, while increasing by 33.0 percent in control schools. Expulsions decreased by 73.0 percent in treatment schools, but increased by 6.2 percent in control schools.

Risk Factors


  • Anti-social behavior and alienation/Delinquent beliefs/General delinquency involvement/Drug dealing
  • Early onset of aggression and/or violence
  • Victimization and exposure to violence


  • Dropping out of school
  • Inadequate school climate/Poorly organized and functioning schools/Negative labeling by teachers
  • Low academic achievement
  • Negative attitude toward school/Low bonding/Low school attachment/Commitment to school
  • School suspensions
  • Truancy/Frequent absences


  • Association with delinquent and/or aggressive peers

Protective Factors


  • Healthy / Conventional beliefs and clear standards
  • High expectations
  • Perception of social support from adults and peers
  • Social competencies and problem-solving skills


  • High expectations of students
  • Opportunities for prosocial school involvement
  • Student bonding (attachment to teachers, belief, commitment)


  • Good relationships with peers
  • Involvement with positive peer group activities


  • SAMHSA: Model Programs
  • Department of Education


Landry, Robert. 2003. Peers Making Peace: Evaluation Report. Houston, Texas: Research and Educational Services.


Susan Armoni
508 Twilight Trail, Suite 99
Richardson, TX 75080
Phone: (800) 650-5247
Fax: (972) 671-9549
Web site:

Technical Assistance Provider

Darby Merriman
508 Twilight, Suite 99
Richardson, TX 57080
Phone: (972) 671-9550
Fax: (972) 671-9541
Web site: