Though conflict is an inevitable component of interpersonal relationships, without appropriate conflict resolution skills, school students may experience social isolation and academic decline. This pattern can be particularly true in a middle school setting,
where peer relationships have become the focal point of adolescent development. This
article includes a rationale for the importance of middle school educators, school counselors, and administrators educating themselves regarding healthy conflict resolution for their students. The authors provide a brief summary of existing programs,
such as peer mediation, conflict coaching, and psychoeducational training, to create a conflict resolution school climate. The authors conclude that while the current state of the literature is a promising starting point for the field, empirical validation of these models is needed; thus, they call for further outcome research to determine what the
counseling field can truly call a “best practice” for facilitating healthy conflict management in middle school settings.
Keywords: conflict resolution, school counseling, middle school