CAHSS Faculty Articles

Title

Mediators and Metaphorical Analysis and Coherence of Family Mediators

Department

Department of Conflict Resolution Studies

Publication Date

1-1-2013

Publication Title

Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN or ISBN

1044-4068

Volume

1

Issue

1

First Page

5

Last Page

24

Abstract

Florida family court mediation programs have predominantly been assessed using numerical data. To understand the complexity of mediation, programs may benefit from increasing systematic qualitative research. One attribute for consideration - metaphors, as they are snapshots of the mental models that mediators use. For example, mediation might be defined as a journey or the peeling of layers from an onion. This study was a qualitative content analysis of 85 Florida family court mediators’ conflict metaphors, couched in relevant theories, providing insight into their experiences. A statewide questionnaire resulted in predominantly negative metaphors for conflict and mediation parties, and positive metaphors for mediation and mediators. Meta-metaphors emerged and findings were presented as major categories and subcategories, indicating coherence in their metaphors regarding conflict, mediators, mediation, people in conflict, divorce, anger, and forgiveness

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