Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Effectiveness of Peer Conflict Resolution Focused Counseling in Promoting Peaceful Behavior among Adolescents

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

Effectiveness of Peer Conflict Resolution Focused Counseling in Promoting Peaceful Behavior among Adolescents

Article excerpt

Abstract

The prevalence of conflict among adolescents is very common. At times adolescents use violence to handle conflicts. As such, this problem needs to be addressed. This quasi-experimental study investigated the effectiveness of Peer Conflict Resolution Focused Counseling (PCRC) in promoting peaceful behavior (nonviolence and hostility, conflict resolution strategies, and peaceful friendship) among adolescents. Participants were 80 senior high school students in Mataram, Indonesia. Instruments used were Aggression Questionnaire (AQ) for nonviolence and hostility, Conflict Dynamic Profile (CDP) for conflict resolution strategy, and Human Relation Skill Questionnaire Scale for measuring peaceful friendship. Results showed that the experimental group had significantly higher scores than the control group on peaceful behavior. This implies that counseling, particularly PCRC was effective in promoting peaceful behavior among adolescents.

Keywords: counseling, conflict resolution, adolescents, peaceful behavior, nonviolence

1. Introduction

Interpersonal conflict is inevitable at all stages in life. It is common to find adolescents experiencing conflicts with their peers (Wheeler, 1994). In Indonesia, conflicts among adolescents are very rampant (Latipun, 2005). Often these adolescents used violence as a way to solve their conflicts (Aryanto, 1992). Studies in America showed that 90% of adolescents could not solve their conflicts, 25% preferred using force, violence, and fights to solve their conflicts (Winter et al., 2005).

Promoting peaceful behavior among adolescents can be very difficult. Peaceful behavior represents the attitude, the way, the attempt, and the habit of an individual in promoting, strengthening, improving peaceful feeling towards himself and others from the wider community. The difficulties in promoting and improving peaceful behavior among adolescents are due to both internal (Park and Antonioni, 2007; Yelsma and Yelsma, 1998) and external factors (Johnson and Johnson, 1995). In maintaining peaceful behavior among students, schools frequently apply strict control over the students (Bennett-Johnson, 2004; Page and Hammermeister, 1997). Not many schools use educational approach in solving conflicts among students. Generally, there are three educational approaches commonly used by schools to solve peer conflicts: (1) peace education which is integrated into the school curriculum, (2) constructive problem solving training, and (3) peer mediation and negotiation (Gerstein and Moeschberger, 2003; Johnson and Johnson, 1995; Laursen et al., 2001; Newman et al., 2001; Zhang, 1994).

Conflict resolution programs at schools are rarely put into practice (Theberge and Karan, 2004). Only 8% of students involved in the programs actually applied what they learned in the program in their daily lives. It was also proven that these programs were not effective. The lack of trust in handling conflicts among students inhibited the effectiveness of the programs (Theberge and Karan, 2004).

In order to promote and improve peaceful behavior, it is necessary to use an appropriate strategy in the form of a constructive conflict resolution. A study done in Indonesia by Latipun (2005) found that most of the school principals (97%) believed that counseling was one of the strategies that was effective in preventing and solving peer conflict. It is also believed that counseling is able to improve the relationship among students and promote peace in the schools. The main concern however, is how to conduct counseling that is effective in solving peer conflicts among adolescents. Latipun (2005) reported that 80% of school principals in Indonesia assumed that school counselors were responsible for handling students' social and psychological problems. Thus, it was important that school counselors have a proper guideline as to how to resolve conflicts among students. These led to the purpose of this study that was to ascertain the effectiveness of peer conflict resolution counseling using person-centered approach in promoting and improving peaceful behavior among adolescents. …

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