Family Mediation: Facts, Myths, and Future Prospects
In Family Mediation: Facts, Myths and Future Prospects, Connie J. A. Beck and Bruce D. Sales trace the development of the field as well as current mediation practices and take a hard look at the consequences for families and the legal system. For families enduring divorce, it is presumed that mediating support, custody, and visitation issues is quicker, less expensive and less painful than battling in court. But, how valid are the claims of mediation's wide-ranging benefits?
Borrowing from the experiences and methods of psychotherapy research, the authors offer an engaging, highly informative critique of family mediation practice and research to reveal how much more needs to be done. Legal and mental health professionals involved with families in divorce will gain a clear understanding of the substantial research opportunities in the field, results of which have direct impact on social policies.
I. Divorce Mediation Practice and Scholarship
- An Introduction to Divorce Mediation
- Methodological Limits in Mediation Research
II. Assessing the Goals and Benefits of the Mediation Process
- Full Discussion of Concerns
- A Neutral Third Party as Mediator
- Reduced Adversarialness and Emotional Stability of Parents
- Increased Satisfaction of Disputants with Legal Procedures and Outcomes
- Increased Compliance With Court Orders
- Decreased Divorce Processing Costs
III. New Directions for Mediation Research and Theory to Inform Policy and Practice
- Future Mediation Research
- Current Mediation Theory
- Future Mediation Theory
Table of Authorities
About the Authors
Connie J. A. Beck, PhD, is an assistant professor of psychology in The Psychology, Policy and Law Program at the University of Arizona, Tucson. Her work focuses on how the legal system creates or exacerbates psychological distress and how it can be adjusted or restructured to minimize that distress. She considers both the effects on legal professionals of working in legal settings and the effects of legal processes on those people who have disputes and attempt to resolve them using the legal system. She and Bruce D. Sales are currently writing a sequel to this book, tentatively titled Theory in Divorce Mediation.
Bruce D. Sales, PhD, JD, is director of The Psychology, Policy and Law Program at the University of Arizona, Tucson, where he is also a professor of psychology, psychiatry, sociology, and law. His most recent books are Accommodating Abused Children in the Courtroom: Forensic Assessment and Testimony (with Susan Hall; APA, in press), Treating Adult and Juvenile Offenders With Special Needs (coedited with Jose B. Ashford and William H. Reid; APA, 2001), and Ethics in Research with Human Participants (coedited with Susan Folkman; APA, 2000).
Professor Sales is the editor for two APA book series: Law and Mental Health Professionals and Law and Public Policy: Psychology and the Social Sciences; is a Fellow of the APA and the American Psychological Society; is a recipient of the APA Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Public Service and the Distinguished Contributions Award from the American Psychology–Law Society; and is an elected member of the American Law Institute. In 1999, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Science from the City University of New York for being the founding father of forensic psychology as an academic discipline.