In interpersonal relationships, two participants are interdependent, where the behavior of each affects the outcomes of the other. Additionally, the individuals interact with each other in a series of interactions that are interrelated and affect each other. Individuals form many different kinds of relationships with other people, some of which are intimate and close (e.g., parent–child, spouse–spouse, friendships) and others which are not intimate and close (e.g., neighbor, teacher–student). Most of the research on interpersonal relationships has focused on those relationships that are close, intimate, and have high interdependence. In an influential book, Kelley and colleagues (1983) define a close relationship as one that is strong, frequent, and with diverse interdependence that lasts over a considerable period of time. In sociology, although the classic distinction between primary and secondary relationships has been expanded in the public realm (fleeting, routinized, quasi-primary, and intimate secondary relationships), these close relationships (as described above) also can be categorized as primary groups, which provide support and nurture and socialize individuals to the norms of society. Read more about Interpersonal Relationships.
Interpersonal Relationships Research Topics:
Future Directions in Interpersonal Relationships Research
The field of interpersonal relationships has a strong history and vibrant theoretical foundation in social sciences. Critical to social psychology ideas and theories is the notion that individuals interact with others and that these interactions are interrelated and affect each other. Further, the topic of interpersonal relationships is the perfect arena to understand and illuminate many underlying social processes and concepts (e.g., development of self, culture, social networks, commitment, and emotions) that are critical to the discipline.
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