Determination of occupational stress and coping strategies of mediators utilizing the Delphi techniques
The study involved 134 staff and volunteer mediators working at four public agencies which provide mediation services in the Dallas metroplex. A total of 87 participants completed all three rounds of a Delphi study during a four-month data collection period. Three questionnaires were constructed and mailed out in order to collect data. Content analysis and categorization applied to data collected in Round 1 provided the foundation for a Likert-scale instrument which consisted of a list of 33 stressful situations. This instrument was used in Round 2 for participants to rate degrees of stressfulness in each situation (reliability,.90). The Round 3 instrument was a rank-ordered list (feedback) of the 33 stressful situations generated from the participants' responses in Round 2. Employing t tests, data from Rounds 2 and 3 were compared. The mean score for 6 items decreased significantly in Round 3; however, on the 27 remaining items, differences were not significant indicating a consensus on the degrees of stressfulness. Ten highest rated stressful situations were identified and a comprehensive list of mediators' coping strategies was developed. There were no significant differences between the responses of staff and volunteers to stressful situations.