Date of Paper


Type of Paper

Clinical research paper

Degree Name

Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)


Social Work

First Advisor

Lance Peterson


Social Work


The percentage of children experiencing divorce in the United States and around the world has dramatically increased in the last fifty years and currently affects one million children every year. Divorce mediation can be helpful and beneficial for families when resolving emotional and familial conflict, which could decrease the negative effects divorce can have on children. This research aims to address the decision making process that mediators use when deciding to include children in the mediation process. A qualitative study was conducted, in which professional mediators were interviewed regarding the decision making process used to determine whether or not children are included in the mediation process. Data were analyzed and coded using inductive grounded theory. Significant similarities between the literature and findings included mediators providing education to parents, parents deciding whether or not to include children in mediation, and the age of the child impacting the inclusion of the child in mediation. These findings were linked to research, but provided an additional focus on the age of children, how mediators can be mindful of children’s developmental levels and how that would affect how and when they are included in the mediation process. Further research is needed to determine how mediators are being trained to work with children and provide developmentally appropriate and competent services.

Included in

Social Work Commons