Viewpoints: A Guide to Conflict Resolution and Decision Making for Adolescents/Viewpoints (Teacher's Guide): A Guide to Conflict Resolution and Decision Making for Adolescents

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Viewpoints: A Guide to Conflict Resolution and Decision Making for Adolescents Nancy G. Guerra, Ann Moore, and Ronald G. Slaby. Champaign, IL: Research Press (www.researchpress.com). 1995, 102 pp, $13.95 (paperback).

Viewpoints (Teacher's Guide): A Guide to Conflict Resolution and Decision Making for Adolescents. Nancy G. Guerra, Ann Moore, and Ronald G. Slaby. Champaign, IL: Research Press (www.researchpress.com). 1995, 28 pp, $8.95 (spiralbound).

Viewpoints: A Guide for Conflict Resolution and Decision Making for Adolescents (1995) is a valuable resource for teaching problem-solving skills. It consists of a student workbook which includes activities divided into 10 lessons and a teacher's manual which contains instructions for the implementation of activities. The program is based on the social information-processing model of aggressive behavior, initially formulated by Kenneth Dodge. Over the past decade, several social problem-solving treatment approaches were developed to be used by mental health and education specialists to help adolescents better cope with conflicts. Overall effectiveness of social problem-solving approaches has been demonstrated in controlled treatment-outcome studies and in quantitative reviews. This program, developed by Nancy Guerra, Ann Moore, and Ronald Slaby, was originally validated in well-designed treatment-outcome studies (e.g., Guerra and Slaby, 1990) and has been used with various youth populations.

The current "conflict-resolution curriculum" is a 10-lesson educational program with a recommended number of six to eight participants per group. The program targets adolescents with behavioral problems, but it is also noted that "these lessons are appropriate for all students." The authors do not specify the type of settings or professional requirements for people who can deliver the program. It is implied, however, that the program may be administered in schools and youth centers by teachers and counselors. The teacher's guide suggests selecting facilitators who will "be warm, supportive, and nonjudgmental, while at the same time-able to guide students towards effective and prosocial solutions." The role of facilitators is further specified to include "modeling" appropriate conflict-resolution behaviors and "engaging" students in the activities.

The main techniques utilized in the Viewpoints curriculum include didactic, education, in-class written assignments, and guided discussion. The students manual contains multiple activities and assignments tailored for detailed practice of the eight problem-solving steps: "Is there a problem? Stop and think. Why is there a conflict? What do I want? Think of solutions. Look at the consequences. Choose what to do and do it. Evaluate results." Both the students' manual and the teacher's guide are structured to follow a 10-lesson format with each lesson dedicated to a certain step in the problem-solving process.

The first lesson addresses the nature of "problems" and "conflicts" in general. Three short stories of hypothetical problematic situations are presented and students are invited to think about and write down possible causes, and solutions. The lesson concludes with the introduction of the eight steps of problem solving. The teacher's guide contains suggestions for creating a working environment and establishing the rules for the program, e.g., listening without interrupting and keeping information revealed during the sessions confidential.

The second lesson examines many issues. Does a problem exist? When does a problem start? What are the indications that there is a problem? First, the concept of stress is discussed and a checklist of stressful events is provided so that participants can better understand how stressful events in their lives may contribute to interpersonal conflicts. Then, the lesson presents several vignettes and a multiple-choice format questions that can be used to discuss the issue of causality in conflicts. …