The Making of a Mediator: What Life Circumstances or Events Do Mediators Identify as Being Influential in the Career Choice to Become a Mediator?




Marshall, Betty Mae Smith

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This dissertation explored the background of mediators and what circumstances and events are identified as being influential in their career choice to become a mediator. The research also explored why individuals choose to become mediators and how events and circumstances experienced by a mediator impacted on the choice to become a mediator and the types of cases the mediators choose to handle. In the process of researching and writing this dissertation, the author conducted a literature search and an on-line survey of mediators who practice in various arenas and graduate students in the conflict resolution field. Telephonic interviews of “High-Profile” mediators were also conducted. This exploratory study with input from multiple perspectives in the conflict resolution field may serve as a reference and resource for individuals with a desire to join or study the conflict resolution field in the context of the understanding of the development of the profession of conflict resolution and whether they shared similar experiences with current practitioners. It may also assist them in engaging in self-reflection of how prior events and circumstances impact on their conflict resolution practice.



Conflict resolution, Mediators, Career choice, Mediation