Detection of intimate partner violence and recommendation for joint family mediation: A randomized controlled trial of two screening measures

Fernanda S. Rossi, Amy Holtzworth-Munroe, Amy G. Applegate, Connie J.A. Beck, Jeannie M. Adams, Darrell F. Hale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

Given controversy about whether mediation is a safe option for parties with a history of intimate partner violence (IPV), there is agreement that staffshould conduct systematic IPV screening prior to conducting family mediation sessions; yet, measures to do so are limited and new. The present study is a randomized controlled trial comparing use of a standardized, behaviorally specific screen (Mediator's Assessment of Safety Issues and Concerns, MASIC) to a less specific mediation clinic IPV screen (Multi-Door screen) for rates of IPV detection. We also examined rates of recommendation to joint mediation resulting from use of the 2 screens. The sample was 741 divorcing or never married parties seeking mediation at the D.C. Superior Court's Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division. Results indicated that parties were at greater odds of reporting IPV and IPV-related risk factors (i.e., injury, fear) on the MASIC compared with the Multi-Door screen. However, overall, neither screen was more likely than the other to lead to a case not being recommended for joint mediation. Regardless of screen, cases identified as higher risk were less likely to be recommended for joint mediation, and relative to the Multi-Door screen, the MASIC identified more high risk cases. Thus, a greater percentage of high risk cases were not recommended for joint mediation when the MASIC was used. In exploratory analyses, findings suggest that type of IPV behavior reported, level of IPV and abuse victimization, and the recency of such behaviors significantly impact recommendation decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-251
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology, Public Policy, and Law
Volume21
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

Keywords

  • Assessment
  • Divorce mediation
  • Intimate partner violence
  • Joint mediation
  • Mediation recommendation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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