By John C. Masters
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Extra info for Boundary Areas in Social and Developmental Psychology
Personal relationships: Their structure and processes. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum, 1979. Lamb, M . , Suomi, S. J . , & Stephenson, G. R. ). Social interaction analysis: Methodological issues. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1 9 7 9 . Lerner, R. , & Spanier, G. B. ). Child influences on marital and family interaction: A life-span perspective. New York: Academic, 1 9 7 8 . Markman, H. J . , & Sorell, G. Recent trends in the study of close relationships: Are we about to reinvent the wheel? Paper presented at the International Conference on Close Relationships, Madison, Wisconsin, 1982.
Only in the case of marriages do we seem to know much about the deterioration and termination of relationships. One way to study relationship development is to compare different levels of relationships. For example, one could compare the pattern of interaction of friends and acquaintances or that of premarital couples and married couples. Such comparisons yield information about the different types of relationships and have important implications for theories of relationship development. For example, because all friends were once acquaintances, comparisons between friends and acquaintances can provide information about how the relationship changes as a friendship develops.
For example, different processes may be central in the initiation and maintenance of relationships (Graziano & Musser, 1982). Moreover, a temporal perspective requires that we incorporate dynamic processes and not just static properties. In fact, if static properties are included, we must talk about how these characteristics are discovered and how they affect subsequent interactions—not just whether or not they are present. For example, one would want to discuss how similarity is found through interactions and how the discovery of similarity affects interactions, rather than merely hypothesizing that preexisting similarity may foster attraction.