THEME

Interdependence, Interaction, and Relationships

Interdependence, Interaction, and Relationships

For this mini-conference, we have selected the theme Interdependence, Interaction, and Relationships (a nod to Rusbult and Van Lange’s 2004 Annual Review of Psychology paper by the same title). This theme emphasizes interdependent perspectives on relationships, and encompass the myriad ways that relationship scholars conceptualize dyadic and group phenomena. For example, some relationship scholars examine how involved individuals influence or impact each other within a relationship or family, or how the dyadic/family context itself influences the individuals. Additionally, involved individuals’ choices and behaviors change the relationship itself, for better or worse. Papers that are appropriate for this theme are any that explicitly or implicitly speak to the dyadic aspects of relationships, broadly defined.

IMPORTANCE OF THIS THEME

We have selected this theme because we believe it highlights one of the greatest strengths of relationship research: its ability to speak the complex interplay of individuals with their close others. Research that highlights how basic processes are impacted by the dyadic and family context in which they are embedded has kept relationship research on the cutting edge of its home disciplines. The statistical and methodological advances necessary to empirically study such topics have made relationship researchers among the most savvy in their fields. The cumulative knowledge our area has generated on how relationship partners influence each other and combine efforts to obtain dyadic-level and family-level outcomes has led to a greater knowledge-base regarding human behavior than would have been possible with a solely individual-focused approach to understanding human behavior. As such, we wish to highlight this strength explicitly in our mini-conference.