Relationship quality and the complementarity of interpersonal behaviors among parent-child dyads

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Description: Previous research indicates that the quality of interpersonal relationships may be related to the behaviors of the individuals involved. The current study examined the interpersonal styles of college-aged children and their parents using Carson's (1969) model of complementarity, which predicts that individuals in a dyad will match each others' level of warmth, and will have opposite levels of dominance. Past studies have found higher levels of complementarity in enduring and harmonious relationships. Therefore, the present research evaluated whether differences in the relationship harmony of parent-child dyads were related to the presence of complementarity. Children and parents provided informant ratings of each others' interpersonal styles, and children reported on the quality of their relationships with their parents. Results indicated that children who reported less conflict with their parents behaved similarly to them in terms of both warmth and dominance. In contrast, children reporting higher conflict showed no relationship to their parents' interpersonal styles. These data indicate that the similarity of interpersonal styles between parents and children may be an important variable in the success of these relationships.
Language: English
Format: Degree Work