P. 1
Maintaining Relationships Through Communication

Maintaining Relationships Through Communication

|Views: 4,209|Likes:
Published by Kholoud_Carrie_7933

More info:

Published by: Kholoud_Carrie_7933 on Aug 22, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

07/20/2013

pdf

text

original

Maintaining

Relationships

Through c ommunication
F&tional, Contextual,

an d Cultural

Variations

LE/fYS SERIES

ON PIXSONAL Ri3-ATlONSHlP.S Steve Duck. Series Editor A New Science of Personal

Bennett l Time and Intimacy: Relationships Canary/Dainton Communication: Variations
Christopher
l l

Maintaining Relationships Through Relational, Contextual, and Cultural Interaction

Exploration
Goodwin/Cramer

To Dance the Dance: A Symbolic of Premarital Sexuality
l

The Unconventional,

Inappropriate Relationships: The Disapproved, and The Forbidden Communication Adolescent Relationships Across

Hone cutt/Cantrdl l Cognition, an c? Romantic Relationships
M;IIer/AIberts/Hecht/Trost/KrizeJc

l

Relationships

and Drug Use

Monsour l Men and Women as Friends: the Life Span in the 2 1 st Century
www wlhnllm rnm

Maintaining

Relationships

Through c omrnunication
Relational, Contextual,

an d Cultural

Variations

Edited by

Daniel J. Canary
Arizona State University

and Marianne Dainton
La Salle University

2003

LAWRENCE ERLBAUM ASSOCIATES, Mahwah, New Jersey

PUBLISHERS London

Copyright 0 2003 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form, by photostat, microform, retrieval system, or any other means, without prior written permission of the publisher. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers 10 Industrial Avenue Mahwah, NJ 07430 Cover design by Kathryn Houghtaling Lacey Data

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication

Maintaining relationships through communication : relational, contextual, and cultural variations / edited by Daniel J. Canary and Marianne Dainton. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN O-8058-3989-5 (cloth: alk. paper) ISBN O-8058-3990-9 (pbk.: alk. paper) I. Canary, 1. Interpersonal relations. 2. Interpersonal communication Daniel J. II. Dainton, Marianne. HMllO6 .M34 2002 302.24~21 2002026373 CIP Books published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates are printed on acid-free paper, and their bindings are chosen for strength and durability. Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 h 5 A ?

Contents +t++ e

Series Preface

Foreword

x111

ix ...

About the Contributors

xvii

Overview

1

Definitions and Perspectives on Relational Maintenance Communication
Kathryn Dindia

Part I: Maintaining Different of Relationships

Types

2

M aintaining Family Relationships
Sally Vogl-Bauer

31

3

Maintaining Romantic Relationships: Summary and Analysis of One Research Program
Laura Stafford

51

\‘I

-is=+

CONTENTS

4

M aintaining Friendships Throughout
Marianne Dainton, Elaine Zelley, Emily

the Lifespan
Langan

79

5

Maintaining
Jon A. Hess

Undesired Relationships

103

Part II: Contextual Variations in Maintaining Relationships

6

Maintaining
Brooks Aylor

Long-Distance

Relationships

127

7
8

Computer-Mediated Communication Effects on Relationship Formation and Maintenance
Michael K. Rabby and Joseph Walther

141

Relationship Maintenance in Organizational
Vincent R. Waldron

Settings

163

9

When Partners Falter: Repair After a Transgression
Tara M. Emmers-Sommer

185

Part III: Cultural Variations in Maintaining Relationships

10 11

Relationship Maintenance in Same-Sex Couples
Stephen Haas

209

Relationship Maintenance in Intercultural Interdependence Analysis
Stanley 0. Gaines, Jr., and Christopher

Couples: An 23 1

R. Agnew

12

Maintaining Marriages in Russia: Managing Social Influences and Communication Dynamics
Deborah Ballard-Reisch, Zaguidoulline Daniel Weigel and Marat

255

CONTENTS

t.

VII

13

Maintaining Relationships in Korea and the United States: Features of Korean Culture that Affect Relational Maintenance Beliefs and Behaviors
Young-Ok Yum and Daniel J. Canary

277

Part IV: Epilogue
14 Framing the Maintenance of Relationships Through Communication: An Epilogue
Marianne Dainton

299

Author Index Subject Index

323 335

This page intentionally left blank

Steve Duck
University of Iowa

his series from Lawrence Erlbaum is intended to review the progress in the academic work on relationships with respect of a broad array of issues and to do so in an accessible manner that also illustrates its practical value. The LEA series includes books intended to pass on the accumulated scholarship to the next generation of students and to those who deal with relationship issues in the broader world beyond the academy. The series thus not only comprises monographs and other academic resources exemplifying the multi-disciplinary nature of this area, but also, in the future, textbooks suitable for use in the growing numbers of courses on relationshios. The series has the goal of prloviding a comprehensive and current survey of theory and research in personal relationship through the careful analysis of the problems encountered and solved in research, yet it also considers the systematic application of that work in a practical context. These resources not only are intended to be comprehensive assessments of progress on particular “hot” and relevant topics, but also will be significant influences on the future directions and development of the study of personal relationships. Although each volume is focused and centered: authors all attempt to place the respective topics in the broader context of other research on relationships and within a range of wider disciplinary traditions. The series already offers incisive and fork

\

-I+-=+ SERIES

FORWARD

ward-looking reviews and also demonstrates the broader theoretical implications of relationships for the range of disciplines from which the research originates. Present and future volumes include original studies, reviews of relevant theory and research, and new theories oriented toward the understanding of personal relationships both in themselves and within the context of broader theories of family process, social psychology, and communication. Reflecting the diverse composition of personal relationship study, readers in numerous disciplines-social psychology, communication, sociology, family studies, developmental psychology, clinical psychology, personality, counseling, studies, gerontology, and others-will find valuable and insightful perspectives in the series. Apart from the academic scholars who research the dynamics and processes of relationships, there are many other people whose work takes them up against the operation of relationships in the real world. For such people as nurses, the police, teachers, therapists, lawyers, drug and alcohol counselors, marital counselors, and those who take care of the elderly, a number of issues routinely arise concerning the ways in which relationships affect the people whom they serve. Examples are the role of loneliness in illness and the ways to circumvent it, the complex impact of family and peer relationships upon a attempts to give up the drug, the role of playground unpopularity on a learning, the issues involved in dealing with the relational side of chronic illness, the management of conflict in marriage, the establishment of good rapport between physicians and seriously-ill patients, the support of the bereaved, and the correction of violent styles of behavior in dating or marriage. Each of these is a problem that may confront some of the aforementioned professionals as part of their daily concerns and each demonstrates the far-reaching influences of relationship processes on much else in life that is presently theorized independently of relationship considerations. The present volume is a good example of the concerns, since it attends to something rarely given, until quite recently, significant research attention. The study of relational maintenance is one of those topics overlooked in the literature for several years yet now beginning to be regarded as central to the field. If we do not understand the many ways in which people sustain and manage their relationships day-to-day then we miss much of the way in which relationships intertwine with everyday existence and experience. The two editors are leaders in this development whose amplification of the topic has led to its recognition as a key part of any understanding of relating, at any age. In this single volume they have gathered together a list of distinguished authors who have many new and exciting thoughts about the ways to conceptualize relational maintenance and its impact in the lives of, for example, those who must live long distances

SERIES

FORWARD

+=a

XI

apart for a while, those who must work with uncongenial colleagues, or those who maintain relationships against a cultural background of unacceptance or even strong social disapproval. The connections between successful maintenance of relationships and their long term survival is ever to the fore in the chapters here and the close causal connections between failures of maintenance and breakdown of relationship are too obvious and too important to overemphasize. For theorists, therapists, and the rest of us, this theme is of immense significance and the present collection of thinking on the topic represents one of the best collections to date.

This page intentionally left blank

ost sane people know that relationships require work. That is, partners need to spend time and effort to maintain functional, satisfying relationships. Without such efforts, relationships tend to deteriorate. Of course, one might rely on external inducements to keep a relationship intact (Attridge, 1994). For example, one might use structural dependencies, including irretrievable investments, to keep a partner locked within the confines of a personal involvement (Johnson, 1999). However, this book is not about using existing structures to maintain a personal relationship. Instead, this book focuses on the communicative processes that people engage in to keep their relationships stable and satisfactory. As Perlman (2001) observed, our primary assumption is that “maintenance is what we do. In other words, it is a process rather than, as some suggested, as state” (p. 360). In our view, the examination of relational maintenance offers a rallying point for people interested in discovering the behaviors that people utilize to sustain various relationships. Theoretical models, research programs, and individual studies have examined how people in a variety of relationships keep those relationships defined in ways that they want them defined. More precisely, students in communication, social psychology, family studies, sociology, and related fields now possess a variety of articles and chapters to read on this topic. This anthology constitutes the third book that specifically focuses on the topic of relational maintenance. The first, by Canary and Stafford (1994) framed the area of study as one that emphasizes communication, social psychology, and dialectics. It summarized the burgeoning research to that time, hoping to provide traction for the construct. (About the same time [ 19931, a

-e=

PREFACE

special issue of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships on relational maintenance research was edited by Dindia and Canary.) We are pleased to note that years later the focus on relational maintenance processes has grown both theoretically and empirically. Recent reviews of alternative ways to look at relational maintenance processes testify to the ways that scholars have recently explored the construct (e.g., Canary & Zelley, 2000; Dindia, 2000; Perlman, 2001). The second book, by Harvey and Wenzel(2001, also published by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates), emphasizes psychological processes and social psychological models used to examine relational maintenance. As indicated, the present volume focuses on communicative processes that have been found critical in the maintenance and enhancement of social and personal relationships, thereby complementing the Harvey and Wenzel project. Previous research has shown that how people maintain their relationships through interaction is more than a temporary whim. For instance, (1994) research clearly shows how conflict management behaviors are linked to eventual divorce. Importantly, the relevance of maintenance behaviors extends beyond heterosexual, romantic involvements. Despite the importance of communication and relational maintenance across relational types, however, little effort (if any) has been made to synthesize the insights into maintenance processes that might hold true regardless of relational context or change as the result of variation in context. Accordingly, the primary goal of this volume is to summarize and integrate the research on maintaining various relational types that occur in a variety of contexts. We divide the book into three sections. The first section focuses on variations in maintaining different types of personal relationships. These include kin, romantic, friendship, and (even) undesired relationships. The second section focuses on contextual constraints on relationship maintenance. Such contexts potentially affect the manner in which people sustain their personal involvements, and these include long-distance relationships, computer-mediated relationships, associations within an organization, and relationships that have experienced a transgression. The final section focuses on cultural variations in relational maintenance. More specifically, this section explores how people maintain gay and lesbian relationships, culturally-mixed relationships, and two chapters on maintaining relationships in other nations (i.e., Russia, Korea). We do not claim to exhaust the many relational, contextual, and cultural factors that might affect how people maintain their relationships. Instead, we aim to provide the reader a representation of the kinds of issues that have emerged regarding how communication functions to maintain various kinds of personal relationships. Each contributor was to address five issues. Our goal here was to have the scholars address specific issues that readers would recognize from chapter to chapter, without constraining the authors regarding how they

PREFACE

_I

went about writing about the issues. The issues include: (1) assumptions influencing their research; (2) specific communicative strategies and processes identified by research for maintaining this relational type; (3) special or unique characteristics of the relationship type or context that is examined; (4) conclusions maintaining this type or aspect of relationships; and (5) implications/directions for future research. We are pleased at the creative manner in which each contributor examined these issues, and we believe the reader will find the alternative approaches thought provoking. In lieu of summarizing each chapter, we urge the reader to consider the implications of the present chapters. Some of the chapters are written by established, veteran scholars; some are composed by new scholars. We think the range of issues they discuss in part reflects on how research in personal relationships has emerged more generally-new issues concerning relationships in modern society, which are often raised by new scholars, are explained through systematic, theoretically based research, the foundation of which was laid by established scholars. Regardless, we hope that the reader appreciates the various levels of seasoning we wanted to represent. Many people have earned our respect and gratitude. First, we want to thank the chapter authors. Each contributor presented material in a timely and responsible fashion, and they energetically revised to meet our requests for revision. We are grateful to all of the authors that each chapter in this volume represents a positive writing and editing experience. Next, we want to thank both Arizona State University and La Salle University for providing us with needed support. In particular, La Salle University offered Marianne a research leave in order to work on this project. Moreover, our colleagues at Arizona State and at La Salle are wonderful in their continued enthusiasm for our work. To the people at LEA-Linda Bathgate, Karin Wittig Bates, and Marianna Vertullo-we are indebted for providing the publication support and careful editing needed. We are pleased not only to have this volume published by LEA, but also that it is part of their personal relationships series, edited by Steve Duck. It amazes us how (again) Steve has stepped to the fore in shaping the discipline of personal relationships, and we are grateful for his efforts on our behalf. Finally, we thank all of those people in our respective social and personal networks who have kept us both fascinated and challenged by the problems of relationship maintenance. Most especially, we want to thank our very patient partners. Without their efforts at relational maintenance, this volume would not have been possible. -Daniel -Marianne J. Canary Dainton April 2002

XVI

-is=

PREFACE

Attridge, M. (1994). B arriers to the dissolution of romantic relationships. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 14 l-1 64). New York: Academic Press. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1994). Communication and relational maintenance. New York: Academic Press. Canary, D. J., & Zelley, E. D. (2000). Current research programs in relational mainte23 (pp. 304-339). nance behaviors. In M. E. Roloff (Ed.), C ommunicationyearbook Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Dindia, K. (2000). Relational maintenance. In C. Hendrick & S. S. Hendrick (Eds.), Close relationships: A sourcebook (pp. 287-301). Gottman, J. M. (1994). What predicts divorce? The relationships between marital processes and marital outcomes. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Harvey, J. H., & Wenzel, A. (2001). Close romantic relationships: Maintenance and enhancement. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Johnson, M. I? (1999). P ersonal, moral, and structural commitment to relationships: Experiences of choice and constraint. In J. M. Adams &IV H. Jones (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal commitment and relationship stability (pp. 73-87). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships (1993). Special Issue on Relational Maintenance, 10, 163-304. Perlman, D. (2001). Maintaining and enhancing relationships: Concluding commentary. In J. H. Harvey &A. Wenzel (Eds.), Close romantic relationships: Maintenance Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. and enhancement (pp. 357-377).

Aboutthecontributors M M
Christopher R. Agnew is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. He received his doctoral degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1994. A social psychologist, his research interests in the interpersonal realm include couple decision-making, the cognitive representation of relationships, commitment processes, and social network interactions and influence. He has published widely, including articles in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Personal Relationships, and the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, as well as chapters in Advances in Population: Psychosocial Perspectives and the Blackwell Handbook of Social Psychology. Brooks Aylor is an Assistant Professor at La Salle University, where he also serves as Director of the Public Speaking Program. He teaches in the areas of communication theory, interpersonal, argumentation, organizational communication, and oral communication. His research interests include interpersonal, political, and instructional communication. He has published in Western Journal of Communication, Communication Quarterly, Communication Research Reports, Communication Teacher, and Journal of Communication Studies. He has also co-authored chapters in The I996 Presidential Campaign: A Communication Perspective (Praeger, 1998) and The 2000 Presidential Campaign (Praeger, in press). Brooks received his doctorate in Communication Studies from the University of Arizona and his MA in Speech and Theater Arts from Arkansas State University. Deborah Ballard-Reisch is a Professor in the Health Ecology Department at the University of Nevada. Her research is international in focus, emphasizing the U.S., Russia, and Zimbabwe. Areas of interest include marital commitment, relationship maintenance, and marital satisfaction; perceptions of femininity and masculinity; the impact of feminism on culture; status; health concerns; families coping with cancer; client/provider communication in health settings, and narrative theory and the social sciences. In her spare time, she likes to travel with her children Stefan, age

XVIII -ts=+ ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS 13, and Alyssa, age 8, take pictures, go to movies and the theatre, eat at good restaurants, hike, listen to music, and read. Daniel Canary (PhD, USC, 1983) is a Professor in the Hugh Downs School of Human Communication, Arizona State University. research focuses on conflict management, relational maintenance, conversational argument, and sex differences in communication. A member on several editorial boards, Dan is also Editor, Western Journal of Communication. Dan enjoys traveling, golfing, and writing songs. Marianne Dainton is an Associate Professor of Communication at La Salle University in Philadelphia. She received her PhD from The Ohio State University in 1994. research focuses on the symbolic exchanges that facilitate relationship maintenance. Of particular interest are routine and strategic maintenance efforts, and the maintenance of long-distance relationships. She has published in Communication Monographs, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Family Relations, Western Journal of Communication, Communication Quarterly, Communication Reports, and Communication Research Reports. She has also published numerous book chapters, and is the co-editor of this volume. Kathryn Dindia (PhD, Speech Communication, University of Washington, 198 1) is a Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. research interests include sex differences and similarities in communication behavior; self-disclosure, including, reciprocity of self-disclosure, self-disclosure and relationship development, and sex differences in self-disclosure; and relational maintenance strategies. Kathryn has published approximately 30 articles and book chapters including articles in Psychological Bulletin, Human Communication Research, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Personal Relationships, and chapters in the Handbook of Personal Relationships and The Handbook of Communication Skills. She co-edited Sex Differences and Similarities in Communication, Communication in Personal Relationships, and a special issue of the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships on Relational Maintenance. Tara M. Emmers-Sommer (PhD, 1995, Ohio U niversity) is Associate Professor, Department of Communication, University of Arizona. research interests include problematic communication in close relationships. work is published in the Journal of Communication, Human Communication Research, Communication Yearbook, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Personal Relationships, Communication Quarterly, and Communication Studies. Emmers-Sommer is also the co-author, along with Dan Canary, of the 1997 Guilford book, Sex and gender differences in personal relationships. Stanley 0. Gaines, Jr. received his PhD in social psychology from the University of Texas at Austin in 199 1. Gaines currently is a Lecturer in Psychology, Department of Human Sciences, Brunel University, in London. book, Culture, Ethnicity, and Personal Relationship Processes, was pub-

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

-+t-

XIX or

lished by Routledge in 1997. In addition, Gaines has authored co-authored more than 50 journal articles and book chapters.

Stephen M. Haas (PhD, Ohio State University) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Cincinnati. His research is in the areas of relational and health communication. Much of his work has explored communication dimensions of persons living with chronic illness including relationship maintenance in couples coping with HIV or AIDS; the communicative management of uncertainty in illness; and patient self-advocacy in physician-patient interactions. research has been published in journals such as Human Communication Research, Communication Monographs, the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, and Health Communication. Jon A. Hess (PhD, University of Minnesota, 1996) is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His research interests focus on how people can successfully maintain relationships under difficult circumstances. He has presented papers and published articles on getting along with people we dislike, ways people regulate distance, and foundations of civility in personal relationships. Emily Jane Langan (PhD, Arizona State University, 2001) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Texas, San Antonio. Her dissertation investigated attachment theory in young adult friendships and associations with perceived friendship functions, friendship quality, maintenance strategies, and relational perceptions. research focuses on the development and maintenance of friendships, compliance gaining and resistance, attachment theory, and nonverbal communication. Michael K. Rabby currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Communication at the University of Central Florida. He received his degree from the Pennsylvania State University, and his PhD from Arizona State University. His research interests include the impact of technology on a variety of contexts, including organizations and personal relationships. Laura Stafford is an Associate Professor in the Department of Journalism and Communication at The Ohio State University. Her research interests lie broadly in the domain of communication within personal relationships. She received her PhD in Communication from the University of Texas at Austin, 1985. In addition to numerous journal articles, Laura has published two books: with Dan Canary she coedited Communication and Relational Maintenance (Academic) and she wrote interaction Between Parents and Children (Sage) with Cherie Bayer. Sally Vogl-Bauer (PhD 1994, University of Kentucky) is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. Her research interests in family communication focus primarily on parent-child relationships and family maintenance patterns. She has been published in communication and family relations journals.

KY

++

ABOUT

THE

CONTRIBUTORS

Vincent R. Waldron (PhD, Ohio State University) is Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Arizona State University West, where he currently serves as Dean of the Division of Collaborative Programs. He specializes in the use of quantitative research methods to study interpersonal communication in personal and work relationships. Vince has published a series of articles and book chapters on such topics as the communication of emotion at work, upward influence processes, and relationship maintenance in supervisory relationships. Among his current projects are a longitudinal study of social support processes in a retirement community, and an examination of relationship maintenance patterns in a large data processing organization. His work has been funded by such entities as the State of Arizona, the Del Webb Corporation, and the Templeton Foundation. Joseph B. Walther (PhD, U niversity of Arizona, 1990) is an associate professor of communication at Cornell University. His research focuses on the interpersonal dynamics of communication via computers in personal relationships, work groups, and educational settings. He is the creator of original theories in this area and the author of numerous empirically based research articles. Walther also serves on the editorial boards of a number of international journals in communication, management, and other fields. Dan Weigel is an Associate Professor and Human Development Specialist for the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. His research interests include marital relationships-especially communication, commitment, and change-as well as parent-child interaction. His teaching areas include parent education, child development, and family communication. When not working, he likes golfing, skiing, backpacking, and spending time with family and friends. Young Ok Yum (PhD, 2000, Th e Pennsylvania State University) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech Communication, Theatre, and Dance at Kansas State University, Manhattan. Her research interests include cultural and individual variations in relational maintenance communication; communication patterns and quality in intercultural interactions; and individual, relational, and environmental factors that contribute to stusuccess in higher education institutions. She enjoys working, talking, dining, cooking, traveling, watching sitcoms and CNN, repairing, gardening, and fishing. Marat Zaguidoulline is a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary PhD program in social psychology, University of Nevada, Reno. He is a graduate of the Philology Department at Kazan State University, Russia and received a Masters degree in English from the University of Bergen, Norway. His research interests include language related social problems in contemporary society and interpersonal relationships. His hobbies include music (piano, guitar, samples) and taking photographs. Elaine D. Zelley is an Assistant Professor of Communication at La Salle University, Philadelphia, PA. She received her PhD from Pennsylvania State University in 2001. current research explores the relationships between friendship, competition, conflict, social support and the occurrence

ABOUT

THE

CONTRIBUTORS

+=e-

XXI

of eating disorders among women. She teaches in the areas of interpersonal, group processes, communication theory, and ethics. She also has worked as a team facilitator and in the fields of public relations and corporate communication. Elaine has recently been published in Communication Yearbook and the International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family Relationships. She is a fitness enthusiast, loves watching movies, and enjoys spending time at the beach.

This page intentionally left blank

“% if 4, %$\

Per5 ectives Definitions a P on Fdational Maintenance Communication

Kathryn Dindia University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

o maintain a relationship, partners must communicate with one another. Conversely, as long as people communicate, they have a relationship. The end of the relationship occurs when people stop communicating. This does not mean they stop communicating for some period of time, for, as Sigman (199 1) pointed out, relationships are continuous despite disconS&man tinuous periods of physical and interactional copresence. But once two people stop communicating (and do not anticipate future interaction), their relationship is over. Thus, to maintain a relationship one must maintain communication. Similarly, the quality of a relationship is primarily determined by the quality of the communication in the relationship. Thus, to maintain the quality of a relationship, one must maintain the quality of the communication. Communication is central to relationship maintenance. Communication scholars have much to say about relational maintenance. That is not to say we should study communication and relational maintenance in a vacuum; concepts such as costs and rewards, attraction, commitment, and so on, are all relevant to the study of relational maintenance. But communication constitutes the primary way we maintain rela-

2-e=+

DINDIA

tionships. Consequently, this volume is about how we maintain relationships through communication. The purpose of this chapter is both to review communication approaches to relational maintenance and to preview communication perspectives on relational maintenance elaborated in this volume. The goal of this chapter is to, among other things, illustrate the central role that communication plays in the process of relational maintenance and the central role that communication scholars play in the study of relational maintenance. This chapter begins by reviewing definitions of relational maintenance and is followed with a discussion of perspectives on communication and relational maintenance. This leads to a discussion of communication strategies to maintain relationships. In discussing communication strategies, the issue of strategic versus routine relational maintenance will be elaborated as well as the issue of self versus partner perceptions of relational maintenance behaviors. Uniphasic versus multiphasic models of relational maintenance strategies are discussed followed by a discussion of the types of relationships, and the limitations of the types of relationships, in which relational maintenance communication has been studied. The organization of the chapter is chronological, beginning with earliest perspectives that dealt explicitly with the role of communication in relational maintenance moving forward to the most recent perspectives on relational maintenance communication.

RIELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

DEl=lNlED

Relational maintenance processes and strategies compose the heart of relationship research. Although the processes and strategies of initiating and terminating relationships are important, people spend more time maintaining relationships than initiating or terminating them (Duck, 1988). Thus, although early research on relationships focused on relationship initiation strategies and the initial stages of relationships, and was followed by the study of the processes and strategies of terminating relationships, in the last 30 years the field has come to focus explicitly on the process and strategies of maintaining relationships. Thousands of studies pertain to relational stability and satisfaction, and each of these has something to say about relational maintenance processes and strategies although the authors may not use the term relational maintenance. (1979,1994) research is an excellent example of research that has important ramifications for communication and relational maintenance but does not explicitly use the term relutionship maintenance. However, in the last 30 years, several lines of research have emerged that explicitly use the term relational maintenance. In an earlier article, Canary and I (Dindia & Canary, 1993) elaborated four definitions of rela-

1.

RELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

COMMUNICATION

3t

tional maintenance as found in the literature. The first definition is to keep a relationship in existence. A relationship that is maintained is a relationship that is not terminated (i.e., a couple is married, not divorced). This is the most basic definition of relationship maintenance on which all others are based. The second definition of relational maintenance is to keep a relationship in a specified state or condition. This definition of relational maintenance implies not only that the relationship is maintained but also that the fundamental nature of the relationship is maintained, as it currently exists. From a stage perspective (e.g., Knapp &Vangelisti, 2000), to maintain a relationship is to maintain the stage of the relationship and the characteristics of the relationship associated with the stage of the relationship. For most people, when they talk about maintaining a relationship, they do not mean maintaining the existence of a relationship, they mean maintaining the closeness, the trust, the commitment, the liking, and so on; and failure to sustain these fundamental properties of a relationship constitutes a failure to maintain the relationship. In close, personal relationships, what is usually desired to be maintained is not just a relationship but a close, personal relationship. From a stage perspective, maintaining the stage of a relationship prevents a relationship from de-escalating (or escalating), and consequently from terminating; but it is not the same as continuing a relationship. People can maintain a relationship at a lower (or higher) level than they have in the past, thus, the relationship is maintained, but the level of the relationship is not. Relational maintenance defined as maintenance of a steady state is a definition of relational maintenance at odds with dialectical theory. According to a dialectical perspective, to maintain a relationship, the relationship must constantly change and adapt to opposing tensions (Montgomery, 1993). Thus, dialectical perspectives on relational maintenance reject the term relational maintenance and advocate the term relational sustainment. However, relational maintenance need not imply that a relationship is static and unchanging. As stated by Wilmot (198 1) a stable relationship still has considerable change occurring within it. The third definition of relational maintenance is to keep a relationship in a satisfactory condition (i.e., maintaining a satisfactory relationship). Sometimes relational maintenance is conceptually and operationally defined as maintaining relational satisfaction. Other times, relational maintenance is conceptually defined as relational continuity (i.e., whether the relationship is intact) but the operational definition of relational maintenance is relational satisfaction because predicting relational continuity is more difficult to do (requires longitudinal data) than predicting relational satisfaction. However, maintaining relational satisfaction and maintaining the relationship are not synonymous. One can maintain a dissatisfying relationship. Although it makes sense to study how people

4

w

DINDIA

maintain satisfaction (and other important characteristics of relationships such as liking and trust), and maintaining satisfaction may lead to relational continuity, maintaining satisfaction is not the same as relational continuity. Relationships can be maintained whether or not they are satisfying (e.g., in involuntary or circumstantial relationships, to be discussed later in this chapter). This is not to say that maintaining satisfaction and other important qualities of relationships are not theoretically important issues in and of themselves as well as predictors of relational continuity. It is only to say that some relationships that are not satisfying are, none-the-less, maintained (continued). The fourth use of the term rebztiond maintenance is to keep a relationship in repair. It includes both relationship maintenance and repair in the definition of relational maintenance. Davis (1973) defined relational maintenance to include preventative maintenance and corrective maintenance. As stated by Davis, “Integrations that have a tendency to become loose can be tightened by preventive maintenance before they become loose, or by corrective maintenance afterward” (p. 2 10). Similarly, Dindia and Baxter (1987; Baxter & Dindia, 1990) included both maintenance and repair in their definition of relational maintenance. Dindia and Baxter specifically tested whether relational maintenance and repair should be distinguished from one another. Conceptually, repair implies that something has gone awry with the relationship that needs correcting. Maintenance does not. Thus, the degree to which these two processes are similar-different, and the degree to which similar communication behaviors function to maintain-repair relationships is at issue. To keep a relationship in repair is related to the first definition of relationship maintenance (relational continuity) because to keep a relationship in repair, using both preventative and corrective maintenance, would, in effect, prevent the relationship from deescalating further and terminating. When Canary and I reviewed these definitions in 1993, we did not advocate a particular definition of relational maintenance. We did, however, argue that because the definition of relationship maintenance varies across studies of relational maintenance, the definition of relational maintenance should be explicitly stated in every study of relational maintenance. Although the definitions of relational maintenance overlap to some degree, important conceptual and operational distinctions exist among the four definitions. Differentiating the various conceptualizations of relational maintenance allows for conceptual clarity, which is necessary for theory development. For example, Interdependence Theory (Thibaut & Kelley, 1959) elaborates two distinct outcomes-satisfaction and dependence-and posits that different equations predict satisfaction and dependence. Thus, satisfaction and dependence are not the same and what causes satisfaction and dependence are not the same. The same is true for the dif-

1.

RELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

COMMUNICATION

+=a-

5

ferent definitions of relational maintenance, that is, what predicts relationship continuity, stability, satisfaction, and closeness can and do vary. In addition, a fundamental difference separates relational maintenance as relational continuity from other definitions of relational maintenance. A relationship that is maintained is a relationship that is not terminated. This definition of relationship maintenance does not imply anything about the dimensions or qualities of the relationship that are maintained. It does not specify whether the relationship changes or remains stable during the process of relational maintenance (an important theoretical issue in dialectical approaches to maintenance). Relational maintenance means that the relationship is maintained, not that relational satisfaction is maintained, or that a particular stage of the relationship is maintained, or that any other quality of the relationship, such as liking, is maintained. Maintaining certain characteristics of relationships (intimacy, liking, etc.) may affect whether a relationship is maintained or declines and terminates. In addition, the stage in which a relationship is maintained affects whether a relationship is maintained (if the relationship is maintained at a particular stage, the relationship is, in effect, maintained). But whether certain characteristics of a relationship are maintained or not is not the same as whether or not the relationship continues. Thus, researchers should clearly indicate whether they are studying maintaining the existence of the relationship, maintaining relational satisfaction, or other important qualities of the relationship, and so on, when they use the term relational maintenance. Satisfaction, stability, and closeness are important relational phenomena that may predict and explain relational continuity and should be studied as such, but they should not be confounded with the concept of relational continuity. Norton (1983) made a similar argument regarding conceptual and operational definitions of marital quality. Norton argued that an overall evaluation of a relationship was confounded with characteristics of the relationship in tra1958; Spanier, ditional measures of marital quality (Locke & Williamson, 1976). In traditional measures marital quality is measured by a multidimensional scale that includes several dimensions of relationships that are thought to be important components of marital quality (e.g., communication, cohesion, consensus). Norton conceptually defined marital quality as a global evaluation of the relationship and dimensions of quality marriage (communication, cohesion, consensus) were not included in his operational definition of marital quality and, therefore, could be studied as predictors of marital quality. Similarly, the ability to maintain a relationship at a given level, or the ability to maintain relational satisfaction, may predict relational continuity and therefore should be kept separate from relational continuity. Specifically, we need to better understand what must be maintained in a relationship (satisfaction, liking, intimacy, etc.) for a relationship to be continued.

0

-es

DINDIA

COMMUNICATION APPROACHi TO THE STUDY Ol= RELATIONAL MAINTENANCE
A number of theoretical perspectives on relationships implicitly or explicitly pertain to relational maintenance. Social exchange theories including Interdependence Theory, Equity Theory, and the Investment Model, have made explicit theoretical propositions about relational maintenance (c.f., Rusbult & Buunk, 1993; Thibaut & Kelley, 1959). Relational Dialectics, another theoretical perspective, has major implications for relational maintenance in terms of the dynamic process of relational maintenance (see Montgomery, 1993) and the strategies for maintaining relationships (i.e., the concept of praxis, Baxter & Montgomery, 1996). (1979, 1994) interactional approach focuses on how communicative patterns predict relational continuity. This chapter does not review research on social exchange, dialectical, or approaches to relational maintenance because these approaches were recently reviewed elsewhere (Canary & Zelley, 2000; see also Dainton, 2000 for a more recent test of Interdependence Theory). Instead, scholarly work is reviewed that explicitly uses the term relational maintenance and has focused on communication behaviors, strategies, and routines for maintaining relationships.

Maintenance-By-Expression Maintenance-By-Suppression

Versus

Kaplan (1975; 1976) argued that relationship maintenance entails three basic functions: emotional expression, definition of reality (i.e., definition of relationship), and preservation of order. Emotional expression is based on the assumption that human interaction continuously evokes feelings, which must be released (Kaplan, 1975/l 976). This is particularly true for negative emotion because it poses a threat to relationship stability. As Kaplan explained, “no relationship is immune to negative emotion . . . and no relationship escapes the need to deal with these antisocial sentiments” (p. 106). A second function of maintenance is to define the relationship. Relationship partners need to understand what happens between them. Both individuals need to know what they think, feel, and expect of the partner, and they also need to know what the partner thinks, feels, and expects of them (Kaplan, 1975/l 965). The third function of maintenance is to preserve order in the relationship. The essence of a relationship is coordinated activity. Individuals achieve coordination by restricting the range of possible behaviors and bringing actions in to alignment with the actions (Kaplan, 1975/1976).

1.

RELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

COMMUNICATION

==a

Kaplan (1975/l 976) listed two global and polar-opposite types of maintenance behaviors relevant to these three functions of relational maintenance. Maintenance-by-expression occurs when partners verbalize their feelings, their observations of the relationship, and the regulation of the interaction between them. Maintenance-by-expression has been labeled by others as metacommunication or relationship talk, openness, and self-disclosure. It encompasses direct strategies for maintaining relationships. Maintenance-by-suppression occurs when any direct discussion of mutual feelings, views of the relationship, or efforts to carry on in an orderly fashion is suppressed. Maintenance-by-suppression included expressing emotions indirectly through nonverbal and verbal communication (joking and laughter). Maintenance-by-suppression also includes direct expression to third parties in the absence of the partner. Indeed, Oliker (1989) showed that married friendships promote marital stability. They do this, in part, by diffusing anger or other volatile emotions and managing these emotions so as to sustain married commitment to their marriage. Maintenance-by-suppression encompasses indirect strategies. Kaplan (1975/l 976) argued that expressive maintenance is better able to sustain relationships of high involvement over time than maintenance-by-suppression. According to Kaplan, “expressive maintenance provides a way of preserving a strong emotional bond and, in general, promotes closeness and satisfaction in relationship” (p. 301). Kaplan also argued that maintenance-by-expression involves some amount of maintenance-bysuppression (i.e., tact). Similarly, Kaplan indicated that maintenance-byexpression should be conducted in a constructive manner and he provided some guidelines for constructive maintenance-by-expression. No studies have directly tested thesis. However, others have studied metacommunication (or directness) as a strategy to maintain relationships. Research indicates that it is not a frequent study to maintain relationships (Ayres, 1983). Dindia and Baxter (1987) found that metacommunication was more frequently reported to repair than to maintain a relationship. In particular, several studies using Stafford and (I 99 I) measure of openness (defined as talking about the relationship and self-disclosure) have found mixed results about the effectiveness of openness in maintaining relationships (see Stafford, this volume).

Maintaining the ~ociaI Forces that HoId Relationships Together
One common forces that act to pull it apart ing forces and approach to relational maintenance posits a set of external either to hold a relationship together (centripetal forces) or (centrifugal force). Lewin (195 1) labeled these forces drivrestraining forces. Levinger (1965, 1976) called them at-

8

w

DINDIA

tractions and barriers. According to this perspective, relationship maintenance strategies can focus on any of the forces that affect a relationship. For example, Levinger (1979) indicated that a traditional strategy for maintaining marriage was to keep up the barriers preventing divorce and to remove all realistic alternatives; whereas, a contemporary approach to relational maintenance is to revive or raise the mutual feelings of attraction (although see Attridge, 1994, for a return to barriers and maintenance). Similarly, Davis (1973) observed:
like any human construction, intimate relations are subject to deterioration.. .. As these minor breakdowns accumulate, they will both weaken the centripetal forces that hold intimates together and strengthen the centrifugal forces that drive them apart. When the centrifugal forces become stronger than the centripetal, the intimates will break up. (p. 209)

According to Davis, individuals who want to maintain a relationship must sustain certain social forces that fasten themselves together. Davis (1973) o b served three global types of preventative and corrective maintenance designed to sustain the social forces that fasten intimates together. First, is manipulation of the external environment, both social and physical, surrounding the relationship. To employ this strategy, intimates deliberately seek out an environment that will bring them closer together. Second, intimates can “work-it-out” or “have-it-out.” Intimates can work it out through explicit communication about the relationship or the problems in the relationship (i.e., “a serious talk”). Davis (1973) labeled but it is similar to the term this “meta-intimate conversation,” metacommunication. Davis also referred to this as a “State of the Union Address,” which Baxter and Wilmot (1984) labeled a state-of-therelationship talk. Davis argued that metacommunication functions to reintegrate the relationship. Alternatively, intimates can “have it out” by engaging in an argument or fight. This strategy also includes a number of “intimacy tests” that test the desire to continue the relationship (e.g., becoming obstinate, insolent, hypercritical, sullen) and other destructive behaviors (e.g., ultimatums, withdrawal, acting cold to the partner, being unwilling to provide customary self-disclosure or favors, taking preliminary steps to end the relationship, etc). Ironically, all of these behaviors are intended to reintegrate the relationship but accomplish the opposite. Thus, negative and antisocial behaviors are used as strategies to maintain a relationship (albeit probably not very effectively). Third, couples can intentionally renew their relationship through periodic ceremonies that Davis (1973) ca11 d reintegration ceremonies. Reintee gration ceremonies include formal reintegration ceremonies such as celebrating anniversaries and less formal reintegration ceremonies such as when couples recall times during which they were especially close (play

1.

RELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

COMMUNICATION

+=a-

?

“our song,” etc.). Davis discussed two other kinds of reintegration ceremonies (eating out at an expensive restaurant) and reassurance rituals (verbal and nonverbal expressions of love, compliments, etc.). Although not all of relational maintenance strategies are communication based, many of them are: primarily work-it-out and have-it-out but also reintegration ceremonies. Davis did not empirically test his observations. However, his observations led to the work of Dindia and Baxter (1987) and are later elaborated in this chapter. Relational Maintenance as Metacommunication

Braiker and Kelley (1979) were interested in understanding the role that conflict plays in relationship development. Employing a social exchange approach to relational maintenance, Braiker and Kelley conceptually defined maintenance as communication behaviors engaged in by members of the couple to reduce costs and maximize rewards in the relationship. Maintenance behavior was operationally defined using items primarily measuring communication with partner about the relationship (also included one item measuring self-disclosure and one item measuring willingness to change behavior). Thus, Braiker and Kelley also focus on metacommunication as a relational maintenance strategy. Braiker and Kelley (1979) ask ed married couples to complete questionnaires in which they estimated the degree or extent to which they experienced a particular attitude, feeling, or behavior during each stage of the history (casual dating, serious dating, engaged, and married). The results of the study were that the maintenance scale showed a linear development over time with gradual increases from casual dating to marriage. Thus, metacommunication increased linearly from casual dating to marriage. In addition, Braiker and Kelley (1979) f ound that the maintenance scale loaded on a general love dimension during the first two stages of the relationship, but by the fourth stage (marriage) it was more heavily loaded on a conflict-negativity dimension. The authors concluded that maintenance strategies change meaning over time, with maintenance behavior serving to increase interdependence and love in the earlier stages of development and to resolve conflict in the later ones. Thus, it appears that talking about the relationship functions to escalate a relationship (increase love and interdependence) in the early stages of relationship development and to maintain the relationship (resolve conflict) in later stages. Tyvoiogies L of Relational Maintenance Strategies

The next set of studies on relational maintenance emphasized rehtional maintenance strategies, or conscious and intentional behaviors designed to maintain the relationship. Several typologies of relational maintenance

IO

-c=+

DINDIA

strategies have emerged in the literature. Each of these typologies is unique in their conceptualization of relational maintenance. However, more recent research calls into question the strategic nature of these behaviors, using the term routine maintenance behaviors to refer to behaviors that are not consciously and intentionally employed as relational maintenance strategies but, nonetheless, function to maintain the relationship. Typology of Relational Maintenance Strategies

Although most of the research on relational maintenance has been concerned with strategies for keeping a relationship from de-escalating and terminating, Ayers (1983) defined relational maintenance as keeping a relationship in a stable state, thus preventing it from de-escalating or escalating. Ayres gave male and female college students a relationship scenario and asked them the likelihood of using 28 strategies (generated by the author and supplemented by undergraduate students) to maintain the hypothetical relationship. A factor analysis of the 28 strategies suggested three factors. The first factor, avoidance strategies, included ignoring things the other person might do to change a relationship and avoiding doing things that might alter the relationship trajectory (up or down). The second factor, balance strategies, involved keeping the number of favors and emotional support levels constant or balanced (again, preventing the relationship from moving up or down). The third factor, directness strategies, involved directly telling the other person that the relationship should remain unchanged. Overall, the most frequently reported strategy was balance strategies followed by avoidance strategies then directness strategies regardless of the relationship condition (trying to maintain when partner wants to escalate, de-escalate, or maintain). Thus, regardless of perceived partner intent, individuals primarily maintain their relationship through balance and avoidance strategies rather than directness strategies. However, perceived partner intent did affect the use of avoidance, balance, and directness strategies. Participants who wanted to maintain the level of the relationship but were told that their partner wanted to escalate the relationship reported more avoidance strategies than participants who were told their partner wanted to maintain or de-escalate the relationship. Participants who were told that their partner wanted to escalate the relationship were less likely to report balance strategies than those who were told that their partner wanted to maintain or de-escalate the relationship. Participants who were told that their partner wanted to escalate the relationship reported more directness strategies than participants who were told that their partner wanted to de-escalate the level of the relationship. Shea and Pearson (1986), in an extension of (1983) research, found three factors that resembled, but were not identical to, factors. They found

1.

RELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

COMMUNICATION

+==+- II

that perceived partner intent only affected balance (not avoidance or directness) strategies. Thus, it is difficult to draw conclusions from this research. However, this research is important because it illustrates the different types of relational predicaments in which relational maintenance strategies occur (maintain when partner wants to escalate, maintain when partner wants to maintain, maintain when partner wants to de-escalate) and tries to illuminate similarities and differences in strategies to maintain a relationship across these various relationship conditions.

Bell et al. (Bell, Daly, & Gonzalez, 1987) examined affinity maintenance strategies. The researchers developed a typology of affinity maintenance strategies by asking a sample of wives to describe, in writing, the things they and their husband said and did in their marriage that they thought maintained liking and solidarity. The responses were content analyzed and used to develop a typology of 28 strategies. The strategies were:
altruism, concede control, conversational rule-keeping, dynamism, elicit disclosures, equality, facility enjoyment, faithfulness, honesty, inclusion of other, influence perceptions of closeness, listening, openness, optimism, physical affection, physical attractiveness, present interesting self, reliability, reward association, self-concept confirmation, self-improvement, self-inclusion, sensitivity, shared spirituality, supportiveness, third-party relations, and verbal affection.

Conceptual definitions and examples for each strategy are found in Bell et al. (1987). Bell et al. (1987) examined reported frequency of affinity maintenance strategies. Wives reported the most frequently used strategies by both themselves and their husbands were faithfulness, honesty, physical attractiveness, self-concept confirmation, supportiveness, and verbal affection. The least frequently used strategies were altruism, conceding control, conversational rule-keeping, dynamism, equality, shared spirituality, and similarity. Bell et al. (1987) ask ed wives what affinity maintenance behaviors they wanted from their husbands as well as what they thought their husbands wanted from them. The affinity behaviors wives most desired from husbands included being faithful, honest, physically attractive, sensitive, and confirming the self-concept. Far less important to wives were strategies of conceding control, dynamism, equality and self-improvement. Wives believed that their husband most wanted them to be faithful, honest, physically affectionate, sensitive, and physically attractive. Bell et al. (1987) correlated marital satisfaction with perceptions of their own and their frequency of strategy use. There were nu-

12

+=+

DINDIA

merous correlations between frequency judgments and marital satisfaction. marital satisfaction was related to the frequency with which wives reported engaging in 18 of the strategies and the frequency with which wives felt their husbands engaged in 24 of the strategies. Bell et al. (1987) investigated predictors of martial satisfaction. Because the frequency of use of five strategies had accounted for more than half the variance in marital satisfaction, marital satisfaction was regressed on these five strategies. The stepwise regression revealed the following predictors of marital satisfaction in order: (a) sensitivity, (b) shared spirituality, (c) physical affection, (d) self-inclusion, and (e) honesty. Thus, there is some evidence of the effectiveness of these strategies for maintaining relationships. One reason that Bell et al.‘s research on affinity maintenance strategies is important is because it reminds us that liking is an important dimension of relationships and that to maintain a voluntary relationship requires maintaining affinity.

Dindia and
and Repair strategies

Typobgg

06 KeIationaI

Maintenance

In a third line of research Dindia and Baxter studied relational maintenance and repair strategies (Baxter & Dindia, 1990; Dindia & Baxter, 1987). Following (1973) conceptual definition of relational maintenance, which included both preventative and corrective maintenance (repair), a typology of relationship maintenances strategies was generated using a combination of deductive and inductive methods. strategies to maintain relationships were supplemented with strategies derived from interviews with married couples regarding their relational maintenance strategies. The resulting typology consists of 49 categories that are clustered into 11 superordinate types: changing the external environment (drawn from Davis), communication (from pilot study, not addressed by Davis), metacommunication (derived from Davis), avoid metacommunication (from Davis, keep quiet, let it pass), antisocial strategies (derived from Davis, includes coercive attempts to change the partner in some way, including fights, ultimatums, threats, negative behaviors such as being insolent or rude, breaking contact, being sullen, acting cold, etc.), 6. prosocial strategies (not from Davis but opposite of antisocial strategies, things we do in relationship to maintain equilibrium, being nice, cheerful, refraining from criticism, giving in, etc.), 7. ceremonies (from Davis, includes celebrations, reassurance rituals including expressions of affection, compliments, etc.), 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1.

RELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

COMMUNICATION

+=+I- If,

8. 9. 10. 11.

spontaneity (not from Davis, includes efforts to be spontaneous), togetherness (spending time together, doing things together, etc.), seeking or allowing autonomy (not from Davis), and seeking outside help (not from Davis, see counselor, pray, etc.).

This typology of relational maintenance and repair strategies was used to categorize the relational maintenance and repair strategies reported by 50 married couples (N = 100 spouses; Dindia & Baxter, 1987). Strategies were categorized into the 12 superordinate categories. Respondents most frequently reported the use of prosocial (primarily being nice, refraining from criticism, giving in, being warm, providing favors), ceremonial (primarily expressions of affection followed by going out to dinner), communication (primarily references to quantity of communication not quality of communication), and togetherness (primarily spending time together and doing things together) strategies. Changing the external environment, avoid metacommunication, antisocial strategies, and seeking or allowing autonomy were seldom reported as relational maintenance or repair strategies. Moreover, the results of the study indicated that not all strategies used to maintain a relationship were also used to repair a relationship. Metacommunication occurred more frequently when the goal was repairing the relationship than when the goal was maintaining the relationship. Introducing spontaneity into the relationship occurred more frequently when the goal was maintaining the relationship than when the goal was repairing the relationship. In addition, more strategies were reported for maintenance than repair indicating that repertoires of strategies for maintaining their relationship is larger than their repertoire of strategies for repairing their relationship. Dindia and Baxter (1987) tested whether reported relational maintenance strategies were correlated with relational satisfaction, length of marriage, and gender. The only significant result was that the number of relational maintenance strategies was negatively correlated with the length of marriage. We concluded that either couples do less to maintain their relationship the longer they have been married; alternatively, through a process of trial and error, couples come to rely on a small number of strategies to maintain their relationship. Relational satisfaction was not related to relational maintenance strategies. This could be due to fact that we only asked partners to indicate what they did to maintain their relationship (not what their partner did to maintain the relationship) and research later reviewed in this chapter indicates that our perceptions of our relationship maintenance strategies predicts relational satisfaction (not our perceptions of our own maintenance strategies). Because this research included relational maintenance and repair in the definition of relational maintenance, it illuminates similarities and differences between strategies designed to maintain (at an advanced level as op-

1-v -I+-

DINDIA

posed to deescalate) a relationship relationship (return to a previously

versus strategies designed to repair a advanced level after decline).

Canary and staffordJs Typobgy o F Relational Maintenance Strategies
Finally, Stafford and Canary (199 1) d erived five relational maintenance strategies through factor analysis of items derived from previous research and by asking a sample of married and dating couples what they did to maintain their relationship. The factors were: 1. positivity (being positive and cheerful), 2. openness (self-disclosure and open discussion about the relationship), 3. assurances (stressing commitment, showing love, and demonstrating faithfulness), 4. network (spending time with common friends and affiliations), and 5. sharing tasks (sharing with household tasks). This line of research is not reviewed here because it is reviewed by Stafford (chap. 3) in this volume. However, this line of research is important for several reasons. First, it has become the most frequently used operational definition of relational maintenance strategies in the literature, in part because it has spawned research by others beyond the original developers of the instrument. Second, because of all the research using this instrument, an impressive body of evidence is developing on the following issues: the frequency of various relational maintenance strategies, the relationship between relational maintenance strategies and relational satisfaction, the effect of relationship type on relational maintenance strategies, the effect of gender on relationship maintenance strategies, the link between relational maintenance strategies and various relationship characteristics, in particular, control mutuality, trust, and liking but also commitment and love, the results of which are reviewed in Stafford (chap. 3, this volume).

l=UNDAMENTAL lSSUES REGARDING RWATIONAL MAINTENANCE STRATiEGIES
To more thoroughly review research on communication and relational maintenance strategies one can elaborate on three issues that are central to research on relational maintenance strategies: the various perceptions of relational maintenance strategies, the degree to which these behaviors are strategic, and the degree to which they are unique to this relationship goal.

1.

RELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

COMMUNICATION

==s-

12

Perceptions

06 Relational

Maintenance

Strategies

Some of the research on relationship maintenance strategies has examined an perception of his or her maintenance strategies (e.g. Canary & Stafford, 1993; Canary, Stafford, Hause, & Wallace, 1993; Dainton & Stafford, 1993). For example, Canary et al. (1993) asked students who were involved in a wide variety of relationships what communication strategies they used to maintain their relationships. Other research has examined an perception of his or her maintenance strategies (Ayres, 1983; Dainton, Stafford, & Canary, 1994; Guerrero, Eloy, & Wabnik, 1993; Shea & Pearson, 1986; Stafford & Canary, 1991). Some researchers have examined both an perception of his or her own maintenance strategies and the same perception of his or her maintenance strategies (Bell et al., 1987; Canary & Stafford, 1992). Research has also examined both perceptions of their own relationship maintenance strategies (Dindia SKBaxter, 1987). Determining whose perceptions of relational maintenance strategies are being examined is important for a number of reasons. For example, Stafford and Canary (1991) examined perceptions of their relational maintenance strategies. They found that women perceived their male partners as using more positiveness, assurances, and social networks than men perceived their female partners as using. Based on results of this study, it is unknown if men use more relationship maintenance strategies than women or if women are just more perceptive of relational maintenance strategies (Canary & Stafford, 1992, studied perceptions of their own maintenance behaviors and found the opposite; women reported using more openness, networks, and tasks than men reported using). Only by systematically taking into account whose perspective is being measured, can we determine the answer to this question. Whose perceptions are being examined is also important in terms of determining whose perceptions of self or partner relational maintenance strategies predict relational satisfaction (and ultimately relational continuity) . If an individual does not perceive his or her relational maintenance strategies, his or her relational maintenance strategies may not affect the relational satisfaction. It is possible for an individual to perceive that he or she is using a relational maintenance strategy and for his or her partner not to perceive that he or she is using this relational maintenance strategy. We need to know whose perceptions of whose (self or partner) maintenance strategies are related to relational satisfaction (and other relational characteristics). Spiegelhoff and Dindia (2001) studied perceptions of self and partner relational maintenance strategies and relational satisfaction. Both partners in a relationship reported their perceptions of their own and their

lo

+i=+

DINDIA

relationship maintenance strategies. This allowed us to examine agreement in perceptions of their relationship maintenance strategies (e.g., “If I perceive I use assurances does my partner perceive I use assurances?“) and perceived similarity in use of relational maintenance strategies (e.g., “If I perceive I use assurances does my partner perceive s/he uses assurances?“). It also allowed us to examine whose perspective is more predictive of relational satisfaction, “my perceptions of my relational maintenance strategies,” “my perceptions of my perceptions of his or own relational maintenance strategies, ” “my her relational maintenance strategies,” or “my perceptions of my relational maintenance strategies.” Partners in 75 opposite-sex dyads independently completed the Canary and Stafford Relational Maintenance Strategies Scales (1991) and a measure of relational satisfaction. The results indicate high reliability in partperceptions of relational maintenance strategies and high similarity in use of relational maintenance strategies. The results also indicate that, in general, an perceptions of his or her relational maintenance strategies are most predictive of the relational satisfaction. Specifically, when controlling for self and partner perceptions of self and partner relational maintenance strategies, perceptions of their female assurances and positiveness were related to relational satisfaction, and perceptions of their male assurances were related to relational satisfaction. However, perceptions of their male assurances were related to relational satisfaction. Apparently, men who are satisfied with their relationship engage in assurances, and these assurances, are perceived by their female partners, and such assurances are highly predictive of both their own and their female relational satisfaction.

StrategicVersus

Routine

Relational

Maintenance

Dainton and Stafford (1993) d i ff erentiated relational maintenance strategies and routine maintenance behaviors by defining strategic behavior as conscious and intentional behavior enacted by partners to maintain the relationship, whereas routine maintenance behavior was held to occur at a lower level of consciousness and is not intentionally used to maintain the relationship. Duck (1988) argued for the need to look at routine behaviors, stating, “there are many other instances where the little things of life keep us together” (p. 99). For example, people probably do not think of asking their partner how his or her day went or telling their partner how their day went as strategies to maintain their relationship. However, these acts may nonetheless function to maintain the relationship. Dainton and Stafford (1993) extended previous typologies of relational maintenance strategies by probing for routine maintenance behaviors used

1.

RELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

COMMUNICATION

-+I-

by married and dating couples. The resulting 12-category taxonomy included both strategic and routine maintenance behaviors. The researchers found that the most frequently reported maintenance behavior was sharing tasks, a category that was infrequently mentioned in prior research. This discrepancy lead the researchers to note that sharing tasks may be a routine behavior that functions to maintain relationships that couples perform without the explicit purpose of maintaining the relationship. use of strategic and routine mainDainton (1995) compared tenance behaviors. Dainton developed a typology of interaction types based on a daily interaction log completed by subjects. The typology included seven categories of interaction: instrumental, leisure, mealtime, affection, conversations, and network. Dainton had participants rate how much thought each interaction required and how typical it was for the relationship. Dainton then combined these scores to come up with an index of routineness. Dainton discovered that the majority of interactions couples engage in are routine, rather than strategic. Participants rated the category of affection as the most routine and the most important to the relationship. Similar to routine maintenance behaviors are the rituals that function to maintain relationships. Bruess and Pearson (1995) focused on the types and uses of interpersonal rituals in marriages. They developed a typology of seven ritual types: couple time rituals, idiosyncratic and symbolic rituals, daily routines and tasks, intimacy expressions, communication rituals, spiritual rituals, and patterns, habits, and mannerisms. Bruess and Pearson studied the functions of these rituals. They found that marital rituals, such as communication rituals and performing everyday tasks together, served to bond and maintain the relationship. In reality, the distinction between strategic and routine relational maintenance behaviors may not be dichotomous. Couples may routinely (without thinking about maintaining the relationship or intending to maintain the relationship) kiss each other and say “I love you,” and this behavior may function to maintain the relationship. Alternatively, an individual may kiss his or her partner and say, “I love you” as a conscious and intentional strategy to maintain the relationship. People may initially use some relational maintenance behaviors as strategic, but such behaviors become routine over time. Some behaviors may be strategic for some partners or couples and routine for others, or they might be perceived as strategic by some partners or couples but not by others. Finally, strategic or routine may not be characteristic of maintenance behaviors but of specific instances of maintenance behaviors on particular occasions. For example, some relational maintenance behaviors may be produced routinely but they may also be used in a strategic manner on occasion. Regardless, it is clear that couples engage in both strategic and routine behaviors that function to maintain the relationship.

uniphasic

Versus Mukiphasic Relational Dedo~ment Strategies

Dindia (1994) argued that research on relationship development strategies was phase bound, that is, relationship development strategies were studied within the boundaries of a particular stage of relationship development. However, there are typologies of relationship initiation strategies (e.g., Baxter & Philpott, 1982), relationship escalation strategies (e.g., Tolhuizen, 1989, 1992), relationship maintenance strategies (e.g., Ayres, 1983; Dindia & Baxter, 1987; Stafford & Canary, 1991), and relationship termination strategies (e.g., Baxter, 1982, 1984). Al so, relationship development strategies are multiphasic, that is, strategies used to initiate and escalate a relationship are also used to maintain relationships and these are the opposite of strategies to de-escalate and terminate a relationship. For example, in reviewing the research one can find that communication and contact is used to initiate, escalate, and maintain relationships. The opposite, avoidance, is used to deescalate and terminate relationships. Rewards, self-presentation of positive attributes, and affection are used to initiate, escalate, and maintain relationships. Their opposites, costs, self-presentation of negative attributes, and indifference are used to terminate relationships. Similarity is used to initiate and maintain relationships; whereas, dissimilarity is reported to terminate relationships, and so on. Taking a closer look, it becomes apparent to me that a typology of relationship development (broadly conceived as relationship initiation, escalation, maintenance, de-escalation, repair, and termination) strategies is applicable to all stages of relationship development, including relationship maintenance. Also, a typology of relationship development strategies that is multiphasic has more generality and parsimony than separate typologies of relationship initiation, escalation, maintenance, and termination strategies and that a multiphasic typology is important for understanding the similarities and differences between relationship maintenance and other stages of relationship development as well as the similarities and differences between relationship maintenance strategies and relationship initiation, relationship termination, and the like, strategies. There is some empirical evidence to support this view. As stated earlier, Bell et al. (1987) d eveloped a typology of 28 affinity maintenance strategies by asking wives what they said and did to maintain liking and solidarity in their marriage. Bell et al. found that 24 of the 28 strategies used to maintain liking were used to generate liking in the first place (Bell & Daly, 1984). The only exceptions were assume control, personal autonomy, comfortable self, and nonverbal immediacy (all strategies to generate but not maintain liking). As stated by Bell et al. (1987), the exertion of control and demonstration of independence would seem to be counterproductive to the goal of relational maintenance; the strategies of comfortable self and

1.

RELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

COMMUNICATION

t,

l”7

nonverbal immediacy may be more suited to interactions between acquaintances than interactions between married couples. In addition, the typology of affinity maintenance strategy contained six strategies not represented in the reports of affinity-seeking strategies. Theses strategies were faithfulness, honesty, physical affection, verbal affection, self-improvement, and third-party relationships, which derive their meaning and significance from the interdependence and emotional involvement characteristic of more developed relationships (Bell et al., 1987). Thus, Bell et al.‘s study provides some empirical support that, to a large degree, similar strategies are used to generate and maintain liking. Similarly, Tolhuizen (1989) studied strategies to generate liking across relationship stages. Participants read a description of one of four levels of relationship development: new acquaintances, fully developed stable friendship, deteriorating friendship in which the desire is to save and continue the relationship, and deteriorating friendship in which the desire is to terminate the relationship. Participants indicated the likelihood that they would use Bell and (1984) 25 affinity-seeking strategies. The results indicated that more than one half (14) of the strategies were similar across all stages of relationship development (altruism, assume control, assume equality, concede control, conversational rule-keeping, dynamism, elicit disclosures, inclusion of other, nonverbal immediacy, optimism, personal autonomy, physical attractiveness, self-confirmation, and trustworthiness). However, 11 of the strategies showed significant differences across relationship stages. Without going into too much detail, participants reported greater use of a number of affinity-seeking strategies to maintain a relationship than to initiate, repair, or terminate a relationship. These results suggest either greater effort to maintain a developed relationship than to initiate or terminate a relationship, or a greater repertoire of strategies to maintain a relationship than to initiate, repair, or terminate a relationship. When the goal was initiating the relationship, participants reported being more likely to use similarity than when the goal was to repair or terminate the relationship and more likely to use present interesting self than when the goal was to terminate the relationship (Tolhuizen, 1989). Thus, these strategies may be unique to early stages of relationship development. Among other findings, openness, was more likely to repair the relationship than to initiate or terminate a relationship. This is similar to Dindia and Baxter (1987) w h o f ound that metacommunication was used more to repair than to maintain a relationship. When the goal was termination, participants were more likely to use supportiveness than when the goal was initiation. Tolhuizen speculated that this result might confirm Knapp and (2000) contention that supportiveness may be evident in the farewell rhetoric of decaying relationships. Indeed, research by Baxter (1984) indicates that other-oriented strategies are specifically designed to

20

+e

DINDIA

avoid hurting the vide evidence to initiate, maintain, across relationship pair, de-escalate,

other party in the break-up. Overall, these studies prosupport the contention that some strategies are used to and terminate relationships. Similarities and differences strategies (strategies to initiate, intensify, maintain, reterminate) should be studied more in the future.

MAINTAINING

NONVOLUNTARY, RlZLATIONSHIPS

NONINTIMATE

Communication scholars, like others who study relationships, have focused their study of relational maintenance strategies on voluntary, intimate (i.e., close) relationships (marriage, romantic couples, friends) to the exclusion (until lately) of involuntary or circumstantial relationships or nonintimate relationships (e.g., acquaintances, friendly relations, superior-subordinate relationships, co-worker relationships). This emphasis on voluntary, intimate relationships, to the exclusion of involuntary or nonintimate relationships, is not unique to the relational maintenance literature but is true in general for the study of personal relationships. As Milardo and Wellman (1992) wrote:
The field [of p ersonal relationships] has become myopic, with most papers focusing on emotionally supportive close relationships: friends, spouses and lovers.. . . There are more relationships worth studying in heaven and earth than love, marriage and friendship. People work together, are neighborly.. . . In a world where people have many hundreds of ties, we often need to extend analysis to more than a few close relationships. (pp. 339-340)

Although only voluntary and intimate (close) relationships for the most part have received scholarly attention, people maintain a variety of relationships, some of which are subjectively significant including relationships with spouses, friends, romantic partners, and family members, and some of which are less significant, such as relationships with co-workers, acquaintances, neighbors, etc. (Burleson & Samter, 1994). Although these relationships are viewed as less significant by participants in the relationships, as well as those who study relationships, these relationships are important and serve a variety of functions in everyday lives. Milardo and Wellman (1992) explained:
[Weak ties] are quantitatively important because there are so many of them. They are the basis for many of the allies or enemies people have when things get complicated. They form potential outlets for changing lives when people change jobs, spouses, neighborhoods or political systems. They lend familiarity and a sense of community to daily routines. (p. 340)

A few recent studies of relational maintenance examined nonintimate relationships. Ray and Poulson (1994) studied holiday greetings and found

1.

RELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

COMMUNICATION

++

21

that holiday greetings function to maintain nonintimate relationships. Ray and Poulson concluded that Christmas letters are “significant means by which persons structure and maintain low intimate, long-term relationships” (p. 27). They stated: “This form of maintenance allows the relationship to remain on a non-intimate, but stable basis. Inadequate as this maintenance may seem to others, especially in regard to intimate relationships, it still functions effectively to keep the relationship going” (p. 30). Dindia et al. (1995) a1so studied holiday greetings and found that people did not perceive holiday greetings as functioning to maintain relationships (i.e., average score was very near mean of scale “neither agree nor disagree” that holiday greetings function to maintain relationships). In addition, holiday greetings were perceived to maintain relationships even less for nonintimate than intimate relationships. Type of relationship did not affect the degree to which holiday greetings were perceived to maintain relationships except that holiday greetings sent to co-workers, superiors, and subordinates were perceived to maintain the relationship less than greetings sent to friends, relatives, and romantic partners. Although holiday greetings were not perceived as functioning to maintain relationships, when asked why people send holiday greetings, the most frequent reason given for sending holiday greetings was to maintain the relationship (approximately one-fourth of responses). Thus, the authors hypothesized that holiday greeting cards might be a hygienic factor; the absence of holiday greetings, rather than the presence, may negatively impact relational maintenance.

Maintaining work ~elationshps
Recently there has been a major effort to study relational maintenance communication in superior-subordinate relationships. Waldron (199 1) argued that maintaining superior-subordinate relationships is the most important communication objective pursued by subordinates. Waldron also argued that relational maintenance in supervisor-subordinate relationships deserves special attention because of the unique nature of this relationship. First, maintenance communication in supervisor-subordinate relationships is highly influenced by formal role definitions and subject to constraints not encountered in unstructured interpersonal relationships. Second, the unique features of superior-subordinate relationships limit the use of some maintenance tactics (e.g., avoidance). Third, upwardly directed maintenance communication is important because relationship deterioration has potentially substantial career and possibly economic implications for the subordinate. relationship maintenance strategies with subordinates are also important to the career and the organization as a whole. According

22

-is-

DINDIA

to the results of research conducted by the Gallup Organization (Buckingham & Coffman, 1999) involving surveys of more than 1 million employees, how long an employee stays with an organization and how productive that employee is, is determined by his or her relationship with the immediate supervisor. As stated by Buckingham and Coffman (1999), employee retention is “most directly influenced by the immediate manager. What does this tell us? It tells us that people leave managers, not companies” (p. 33). Waldron (1991) and L ee and Jablin (1995) studied strategies to maintain relationships in superior-subordinate relationships. However, relational maintenance in work settings involves more than maintaining the superior-subordinate relationship. Work relationships take on a number of forms (Waldron, chap. 8, this volume). A given employee may be faced with maintaining relationships with a supervisor, several subordinates, members of a work team, formal and informal mentors, and any number of co-workers, customers and clients, suppliers, and so on. Although research on the maintenance of work relationships needs to continue and expand beyond the supervisor-subordinate relationship, some conclusions can be drawn about strategies used to maintain work relationships versus strategies used to maintain close, personal relationships based on research conducted to date (see Waldron, chap. 8, this volume). Maintaining Nonvokmtar~

Relationships with Disliked Others

Hess (2000) studied relational maintenance in nonvoluntary relationships with disliked partners. rationale for studying relational maintenance in this context was that, “people do maintain relationships, often healthy and close relationships, with partners they dislike, and they do so on a daily basis” (p. 459). Hess defined nonvoluntary relationships as relationships in which the actor believes he or she has no viable choice but to maintain it. Nonvoluntary relations include a variety of types of relationships according to Hess, including family relationships (e.g., siblings, stepparents, or in-laws), work relationships (e.g., bosses, students, clients, or tenured colleagues), and social relationships (e.g., roommates, church members, camp counselors, or members of a sports team). Hess had participants respond to questionnaires about their maintenance of voluntary and nonvoluntary relationships with liked and disliked partners. Hess was interested in distancing behaviors and asked open-ended and closed-ended questions to learn what type of distancing behaviors people use to maintain relationships. The closed-ended questions were specifically about distancing behaviors. The open-ended questions (e.g., “what did you do to maintain this relationship, what did you do differently when interacting with this person than you did when interacting with people you like . . . “) were coded specifically for distancing behaviors. The results showed that people use distancing behaviors (expressing

1.

RELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

COMMUNICATION

++-

21,

detachment, avoiding involvement and showing antagonism) to maintaining involuntary relationships with disliked partners. It makes sense that people use distancing behaviors to maintain nonvoluntary relationships with disliked others. If you cannot end the relationship, you can at least distance yourself from the relationship and your partner as a strategy to maintain the relationship. This line of research should be continued and expanded; of particular interest, whether traditional relational maintenance strategies (e.g., positiveness, assurances, openness, sharing tasks) are strategies to maintain nonvoluntary relationships with disliked partners. If we are stuck with these relationships due to marriage, our job, or whatever, it seems that in addition to distancing behaviors, we might employ positive relational maintenance strategies to make the relationship we cannot terminate more satisfying, or at least tolerable. People generally try to get along with their in-laws, colleagues, and others as a strategy to maintain these relationships. Similarly, it seems reasonable that some of (1991) and Lee and (1995) strategies may be used to get along with disliked superiors (as well as disliked others in other non-voluntary relationships).

RELATIONAL

CONTINUITY

CONSTRUCTION

UNITS

This chapter is concluded with a brief elaboration of (199 1) theoretical perspective on relational continuity and the behaviors that function to construct relational continuity because this perspective has major implications for relationships in the 2 1st Century, including long-distance relationships and on-line relationships. Sigman (1991) noted a fundamental anomaly about social and personal relationships; social and personal relationships are continuous despite discontinuous periods of physical and interactional copresence. Sigman argued that couples manage the discontinuous aspects of relationships by using relational continuity constructional units (RCCUs). RCCUs refer to behaviors relational partners engage in before, during, and after an absence that function to construct the continuity of the relationship despite the absence. Sigman divided RCCUs into three types: prospective units, introspective units, and retrospective units. Prospective units are behaviors that relationship partners perform before physical separation. Behaviors in this category include farewells, agenda establishments (projections of future interactions, such as see you at the office tomorrow morning”), the use of tokens (e.g., wedding and engagement rings), and spoors (objects left behind, such as a toothbrush in bathroom). Introspective units occur during relational noncopresence and constitute the continuity during periods of absence. The wearing of wedding bands is an example of an introspective unit. Affiliative artifacts,

2-f

+s=+ DINDIA

such as team jackets, wedding bands, and photographs of the relationship partner all signal the existence of the relationship although the partner is not present. A second type of introspective unit is mediated contact between relationship partners. Greeting cards, notes, phone calls, and e-mail messages allow partners to remain connected even when face-to-face interaction possible. Retrospective units occur after the period of relational noncopresence. Greetings and conversations that allow the partners to “catch-up” on what happened during the period of absence are examples of retrospective units. Gilbertson, Dindia, and Allen (1998) conducted a test of theory. They studied the relationship between time spent apart, RCCUs, and relational satisfaction for married and cohabitating couples. The results of the study, similar to the results of other studies, indicated that time apart was negatively related to relational satisfaction. This evidence indirectly supports the claim that periods of absence threaten the continuity of relationships. More important to theory, a number of significant correlations were found between prospective, introspective, and retrospective RCCUs and relational satisfaction. In particular, when the effects of relational copresence were held constant, and reports of their prospective RCCUs predicted female relational satisfaction and reports of their prospective RCCUs predicted male relational satisfaction. The concepts of relational continuity and relational continuity construction units are particularly informative to theory and research on long-distance relationships including commuter marriages and to all relationships in which couples spend considerable periods of time away from each other (see Aylor, chap. 6, this volume). In world, couples spend a considerable amount of time apart due to increased job demands. For example, in the U.S. the average number of hours worked per week has risen (from 43.6 in 1977 to 47.1 in 1997), more women work (28% in 1940, 40% in 1966, 51% in 1979, and 60% in 1998), more women work full time year round (28% in 1969, 50% in 1997), and there are more dual-earner couples (39% in 1970, 64% in 1999; Bond, Galinsky, & Swanberg, 1997). Thus, couples are apart from each other for many hours during the workday. In addition, more people engage in increased business travel (nights away from home on business), which takes workers away from their loved ones. Moreover, there are more job relocations, which often have the effect of inducing long-distance relationships and commuter marriages (see Aylor, chap. 6, this volume). Similarly, the rise of telecommuting, global organizations, and virtual teams has had a profound effect on accessibility in the workplace (see Waldron, chap. 8, this volume). Managers often manage from a distance, teams often work at a distance, and individuals are often physically isolated from superiors, subordinates, and co-workers. Thus, this theory is particularly relevant for maintaining relational continuity in the 2 1st centurv.

1.

RELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

COMMUNICATION

++I-

25

However, this theory assumes that relationships are initiated face-to-face and that physical copresence is the sine qua non of relational maintenance. This may no longer be the case. Today, relationships are initiated and maintained on-line (see Rabby & Walther, chap. 7, this volume). Some relationships never involve physical copresence, some do not get to the point of meeting each other face-to-face until they are months, even years, into the relationship. In some relationships, computer-mediated communication, such as e-mail, is not the means for maintaining a relationship during periods of physical and interactional noncopresence, it is the means for maintaining the relationship all the time. Thus, although theory assumes that physical and interactional copresence maintains relationships, there may be no primacy or even necessity to physical and interactional copresence in maintaining relationships (Rabby & Walther, chap. 7, this volume). A more radical way to look at this is that mediated communication is no longer an introspective relational continuity construction unit used to maintain relationship during periods of absence; instead, for some relationships, mediated communication constitutes the copresence of the relationship, virtual copresence, and it is the only copresence experienced. Thus, relational continuity construction units become something that must be done to maintain the relationship during periods of virtual noncopresence. Rabby and Walther (chap. 7, this volume) take a less radical view of relational maintenance in which computer-mediated communication (CMC) is viewed as a relationship maintenance strategy. They hold that, ” [CMC] functions alongside phone calls, letters, and FtF interactions to keep the relationship going” (p. 153). Rabby and Walther view CMC as an introspective RCCU, “friends, family members, and romantic partners use e-mail as a means of staying in touch with each other between face-to-face meetings and phone calls.” (p. 153) DIRKTIONS I=OR l=UTURE

RlE5lEARC.H

Typically, chapters such as this end with a section called “directions for future research.” There is no need for that here because the rest of the chapters in this volume constitute the directions for future research on communication and relational maintenance. Future research on communication and relational maintenance begins with the rest of the chapters in this volume and charts a path of greater expansion and diversity on the role of communication in relational maintenance across relational types, contexts, and culture. Clearly, a solid foundation has been built on which theory and research on relational maintenance communication will continue to gain momentum as it branches out beyond the confines of traditionally defined “close” relationships.

2c

+==

DINDIA

REl=tERENCES
Attridge, M. (1994). B arriers to dissolution of romantic relationships. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 141-164). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Ayres, J. (1983). Strategies to maintain relationships: Their identification and perceived usage. Communication Quarterly, 3 1, 62-67. Baxter, L. A. (1982). Strategies for ending relationships: Two studies. Western Journal of Speech Communication, 46, 223-24 1. Baxter, L. A. (1984). Trajectories of relationship disengagement. Journal of Social and
Personal Relationships, 1, 29-48.

Baxter, L. A., & Dindia, K. (1990). Marital perceptions of marital maintenance and repair strategies. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 7, 187-208. Baxter, L. A., & Montgomery, B. M. (1996). Relating: Dialogues and dialectics. New York: Guilford. Baxter, L. A., & Philpott, J. (1982). Attribution-based strategies for initiating and terminating relationships. Communication Quarterly, 30, 2 17-224. Baxter, L. A., & Wilmot, W. W (1984). “Secret tests”: Social strategies for acquiring information about the state of the relationship. Human communication Research, I I, 171-202. Bell, R. A., & Daly, J. A. (1984). The affinity-seeking function in communication. Contmunicution Monographs, 51, 91-115. Bell, R. A., Daly, J. A., &G onzalez, C. (1987). Affinity-maintenance in marriage and its relationship to marital satisfaction. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 49, 4455454. Bond, J. T., Galinsky, E., & Swanberg, J. E. (1997). The 1997 National Study of the Changing Workforce. New York: Families and Work Institute. Braiker, H. B., & Kelley, H. H. (1979). Conflict in the development of close relationships. In R. L. Burgess & T. L. Huston (Eds.), Social exchange in developing relutionships (pp. 135-l 68). N ew York: Academic Press. Bruess, C. J. S., & Pearson, J. C. (1995, November). Like sands through the hour glass: Rituals in day-to-day marriage. Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association, San Antonio, TX. Buckingham, M., & Coffman, C. (1999). First, break all the rules: What the greatest managers do diff erently. New York: Simon & Schuster. Burleson, B. R., & Samter, W. (1994). A socials kills approach to relationship maintenance: How individual differences in communication skills affect the achievement of relationship functions. In D. J. Canary & L. S. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational; maintenance (pp. 62-90). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1992). Relational maintenance strategies and equity in marriage. Communication Monographs, 59, 243-267. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1993). P reservation of relational characteristics: Maintenance strategies, equity, and locus of control. In I? J. Kalbfleisch (Ed.), Interpersonal communication: Evolving interpersonal relationships (pp. 237-259). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Canary, D. J., Stafford, L., Hause, K. S., & Wallace, L. A. (1993). An inductive analysis of relational maintenance strategies: Comparison among lovers, relatives, friends, and others. Communication Research Reports, 10, 5-l 4. Canary, D. J., & Zelley, E. D. (2000). C urrent research programs on relational maintenance behaviors. Communication Yearbook, 23 (pp. 305-339).

1.

RELATIONAL

MAINTENANCE

COMMUNICATION

+e

2,-

Dainton, M. (1995, November). lnteruction in maintained marriages: A description of type, relative routineness, and perceived importance. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Speech Communication Association; San Antonio, TX. Dainton, M. (2000). Maintenance behaviors, expectations for maintenance, and satisfaction: Linking comparison levels to relational maintenance strategies. Journal of
Social and Personal Relationships, 17, 827-853.

Dainton, M., & Stafford, L. (1993). Routine maintenance behaviors: A comparison of relationship type, partner similarity, and sex differences. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 255-27 1. Dainton, M., Stafford, L., & Canary, D. J. (1994). Maintenance strategies and physical affection as predictors of love, liking, and satisfaction in marriage. Communication
Reports, 7, 88-98.

Davis, M. S. (1973). Intimate relations. New York: Free Press. Dindia, K. (1994). A multiphasic view of relationship maintenance strategies. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 91-l 10). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Dindia, K., & Baxter, L. (1987). Strategies for maintaining and repairing marital relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 4, 143-l 58. Dindia, K., & Canary, D. J. (1993). Definitions and theoretical perspectives on maintaining relationships, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, IO, 163-l 73. Dindia, K., Gilbertson, J., Grob, L., Langan, E., Sahlstein, E., & Schuh, R. (1995, June). The ritual of holiday greetings and the maintenance of weak ties. Paper presented at the International Network on Personal Relationships conference; Williamsburg, PA. Duck, S. (1988). Relating to others. Stratford, England: Open University Press. Gilbertson, J., Dindia, K., & All en, M. (1998). Relational continuity constructional units and the maintenance of relationships. Journal of SociaZ and Personal Relationships, 15, 774-790.

Gottman, J. M. (1979). Marital interaction: Experimental investigations. New York: Academic Press. Gottman, J. M. (1994). What predicts divorce: The relationship between marital processes and marital outcomes. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Guerrero, L. K., Eloy, S. V, & Wabnik, A. I. (1993). in in g maintenance strategies to Journal of Sorelationship development and disengagement: A reconceptualization.
cial and Personal Relationships, 10, 273-284.

Hess, J. A. (2000). Maintaining nonvoluntary relationships with disliked partners: An investigation into the use of distancing behaviors. Human Communication Research, 26, 458-488. Kaplan, R. E. (1975/l 976). Maintaining interpersonal relationships: A bipolar theory. Interpersonal Development, 6, 106-I 19. Knapp, M. L., & Vangelisti, A. L. (2000). Interpersonal communication and human relationships (4th ed.). Boston: Allyn & Bacon. Lee, J., & Jablin, F. (1995). Maintenance communication in superior-subordinate work relationships. Human Communication Research, 22, 220-257. Levinger, G. (1965). Marital cohesiveness and dissolution: An integrative review. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 27, 19-28.

Levinger, G. (1976). A social psychological perspective on marital dissolution. Journal of Social Issues, 32, 21-47. Levinger, G. (1979). A social exchange view on the dissolution of pair relationships. In R. L. Burgess & T. L. Huston (Eds.), Social Exchange in Developing Relationships (pp. 169-l 93). New York: Academic Press. Lewin, K. (1951). FieZd Theory in Social Science. New York: Harper.

2i?

-e=+

DINDIA
R. C. (1958). B. (1992). Marital adjustment: A factor analysis study.

Locke, H. J., & Williamson,

American
Milardo,

Sociological

Review, 23, 562-569.
The personal is social. Journal

R. M., & Wellman,

of Social and Per-

sonal Relationships,

9, 339-342.

Montgomery, B. M. (1993). Relationship maintenance versus relationship change: Dialectical dilemma. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 205-224. Norton, R. (1983). M easuring marital quality: A critical look at the dependent variable. Journal Of Marriage and the Family, 4.5, 14 l-l 5 1. Oliker, S. J. (1989). B estf riends and marriage: Exchange among women. Berkeley: University of California. Ray, G ., & Poulsen, S. (1994, May). Processes of maintaining social relationships: The case ofAmerican Christmas letters. Paper presented at the Symbolic Interaction and Ethnographic Research Conference. Rusbult, C. E., & Buunk, B. P (1993) .C ommitment processes in close relationships: An interdependence analysis. Journal ofSocial and Personal Relationships, IO, 175-204. Shea, B. C., & Pearson, J. C. (1986). The effects of relationship type, partner intent, and gender on the selection of relationship maintenance strategies. Communication

Monographs,

53, 354, 364.

Sigman, S . J. (199 1). Handling the discontinuous aspects of continuing social relationships: Toward research of the persistence of social forms. Communication Theory, I, 106-127. Spanier, G. B. (1976). Measuring dyadic adjustment: New scales for assessing the quality of marriage and similar dyads. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 38, 15-30. Spiegelhoff, M., & Dindia, K. (2001, June-July). perceptions of relational maintenance strategies and relationship satisfaction. Paper presented at the International Network on Personal Relationships Conference; Prescott, AZ. Stafford, L., & Canary, D. J. (1991). Maintenance strategies and romantic relationship type, gender and relational characteristics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 8, 2 17-242. Thibaut, J. W, & Kelley, H. H. (1959). Th e social psychology of groups. New York: Wiley. Tolhuizen, J. H. (1989). Affinity-seeking in developing relationships. Communication Reports, 2, 83-91. Tolhuizen, J. H. (1992, November). The association of relational factors to intensification strategy use. Paper presented at the annual convention of the Speech Communication Association; Chicago, IL. Waldron, V (1991). A c h ieving communication goals in superior-subordinate relationships: The multi-functionality of upward maintenance tactics. Communication Wilmot,

Monographs, 58, 289-306. W W (1987). Dyadic

C ommunication.

New York: Random

House.

Maintainin Different o F Re ationships -f

Types

This page intentionally left blank

Sally Vogl-Bauer
Uniuersi ty of Wisconsin-Whi tewater

fall the relation types studied, perhaps the ones most neglected, overlooked, or taken for granted by individuals are those of familial origin. Societal cliches about family relationships abound, such as “your family is always there for you” or “blood is thicker than water.” Yet little time or research has been done on how families maintain “the ties that bind.” In fact, casual observers might postulate that people do not care about their families because family members are often treated less favorably than individuals having no biological or legal connection. When research first began on relational maintenance in the 198Os, strategically working on sustaining existing relationships was a relatively new concept (Ayres, 1983; Dindia & Canary, 1993). As research on relationship maintenance grew, the primary focus was on how to maintain marital or romantic relationships (Fitzpatrick & Badzinski, 1994). Strong marital relationships are extremely important for families. However, there are some problems deducing family relational maintenance from what is known about marital relational maintenance. First, relational maintenance activities might vary dramatically in accordance to the type of relationship under investigation (Dindia & Canary, 1993). Second, the majority of family relationships are characterized as relationships of circumstance (McGoldrick,

52

+=e

VOGL-BAUER

Heiman, & Carter, 1993; Peterson, 1986; Vangelisti, 1993). Marital relationships are perceived as relationships of choice. Particularly in western culture, it is customary to choose marital partner. Although these distinctions are not inherently problematic, it becomes an important issue if other family relationships are ignored when attempting to explain and examine how individuals maintain family relationships. (1993) essay on communication in the family was one of the first to discuss the maintenance of family relationships. This is a rather large task and several approaches could be taken. The primary goal of this chapter is to examine family relational maintenance by integrating research on family communication patterns with the findings on relational maintenance strategies. In either case, research examining family relational maintenance is still in the preliminary stages of development. This chapter first examines the relationship between relational maintenance and communication in families and developmental issues relevant to relational maintenance. Research in both areas has important implications for understanding family maintenance across the lifespan (Stafford & Bayer, 1993). Second, this chapter explores three possible theoretical frameworks for examining family maintenance: Systems Theory, Exchange Theories, and Relational Dialectics Theory. Each perspective has been incorporated either implicitly or explicitly in scholarship relevant to relational maintenance (Dindia & Canary, 1993). The final section discusses the role technology may play in family relational maintenance now and in the future.

l=FAMILY MA1NTlENANC.E. COMMUNICATION AND Dl3ELOPMENTAL ISSUlZS
When examining family relational maintenance two issues are at the forefront: communication in families and family developmental issues. Numerous scholars have highlighted the importance of communication for families (Bhushan, 1993; Fitzpatrick & Badzinski, 1985, 1994). Unfortunately, very little research specifically focuses on communication strategies for maintaining relationships. When families are studied across the lifespan, different familial challenges may influence relational maintenance (McGoldrick et al., 1993). Thus, each area is examined in greater detail, to underscore the relationship of communication and developmental issues to family relational maintenance.

Communication

in Families

The value of communication in family relationships is significant, however, the importance of family communication has not always been acknowl-

2.

FAMILY

MAINTENANCE

=c-

33

edged. When Fitzpatrick and Badzinski (1985) reviewed communication behavior in families, they reported that many family theories either had ignored or undervalued the role of communication, despite the fact that families are the primary context wherein children learn effective interaction skills (Booth-Butterfield & Sidelinger, 1997; Noller, 1995). When Fitzpatrick and Badzinski (1994) updated their review of family communication research, the significance of communication in families was becoming more apparent, as scholarship published both inside and outside of the field of communication touts the importance of communication for families (Bhushan, 1993; Booth-Butterfield & Sidelinger, 1997). Relational maintenance behaviors provide an important avenue for examining the communication dynamics in families. Relational maintenance behaviors are primarily demonstrated through the use of verbal and nonverbal messages. What family members say to each other, as well as their behavioral patterns, serve as a reflection for how families maintain their relationships. Specifically, the exchange of messages between family members is paramount to demonstrate three different strategies of relationship maintenance: positivity, openness, and assurance. Although actual behaviors can supplement these efforts, family members typically satisfy these patterns through frequent or routine verbal interactions between members (Miller & Lane, 1991). Although the relationship between the relational maintenance strategies of positivity, openness, and assurance identified by Stafford and Canary (1991) to communication is evident, the relational maintenance strategies of shared networks and shared tasks can be easily linked to family interaction. For example, when family members participate in shared activities (e.g., eat dinner together, go on a family vacation) or interact with similar groups of people (e.g., attend a neighborhood block party), the event serves as a catalyst for one-on-one exchanges between family members. As a result, if research is going to address how families maintain their relationships, communication should play an integral role in the process (Bhushan, 1993). Unfortunately, there is a dearth of research explicitly studying maintenance strategies by families. Thus, in order to make assumptions about family maintenance behaviors, connections to relevant communication variables influencing family maintenance must be made. One such example is the significance of listening skills. Family listening skills are critical to whether or not family relational maintenance strategies have the opportunity to work effectively (Nelson & Lott, 1990). Effective listening conveys involvement with and attention to other family members (Galvin & Brommel, 2000; Steen SKSchwartz, 1995); behaviors inherently helpful to maintaining family relationships. Although it is important for all family members to listen effectively, parents may find that listening to their children can be especially challenging. “Parents especially get extremely ego-involved with their kids; they take things even more personally, be-

?I$

-IS+

VOGL-BAUER

cause they feel they may not be good-enough parents” (Nelson & Lott, 1990, pp. 229-230). A s a result, if family members believe that their voice is not being heard correctly, either parent or child may withdraw, or modify their maintenance messages to coincide with the relational dynamics. The maintenance strategies most likely to be impacted by this type of exchange are openness, positivity, and assurance because the reduction in overall family exchanges is likely to have a negative impact on the degree of positive or encouraging remarks made. From a pragmatic perspective, if family members have poor listening skills, their likelihood to withhold information from each other, or inhibit conversation between family members is probably great (Steen & Schwartz, 1995). According to communication boundary management, individuals can determine who has access to personal information in families (Petronio, Ellemers, Giles, & Gallois, 1998). If relational dynamics are questionable, family members are less likely to reveal personal information to others. Research also suggests a positive relationship between how frequently a topic is discussed and the degree of self-disclosure provided by the family member (Noller, 1994). Thus, if family members only talk about a small number of topics with any regularity, family members may place greater restrictions on what they consider private knowledge. Such restrictions are problematic when families attempt to develop relational maintenance patterns. Relational maintenance strategies implicitly, as well as explicitly rely on family willingness to self-disclose information to each other. Reduced disclosures are likely to have a negative impact on the ability to maintain successful relations between its members. DeveloDtnental Issues

Although families encounter transitional periods across the lifespan, two stages are especially relevant to the study of family relational maintenance: families with adolescent children, and families at midlife and beyond. The period of adolescence and the transformation of families at midlife are particularly relevant to family maintenance for several reasons: (a) each stage presents a series of changes for multiple family members; (b) all family members may actively participate in the maintenance during each stage; and (c) the research available on each stage allows for reasonable inferences to family relational maintenance behaviors. Adolescence. The period of adolescence is often accented due to vast amounts of change occurring for family members (McGoldrick et al., 1993). Adolescent development has been examined from several perspectives, ranging from biological indicators of adolescence to dependency is-

2.

FAMILY

MAINTENANCE

++-

$5

sues for parents and children (Collins & Repinski, 1994). During the years often associated with adolescence (e.g., from ages 11 to 19; Ambert, 1997), a great deal can occur for individual family members that potentially impact all other family members as well, as issues of responsibility and social status change (Boxer & Petersen, 1986). The time frame may get skewed if individuals associate the period of adolescence exclusively with puberty, which typically occurs between the ages of 11 to 17, as opposed to viewing the period of adolescence in terms of successfully establishing autonomy or independence. For example, if financial dependency is a marker for adolescence, the time frame may extend into a midtwenties (Ambert, 1997). One reason adolescence is such a highlighted developmental stage is that there are behavioral, emotional, and value adjustments occurring (Montemayor, 1986; Noller, 1995). Although changes occur at the individual level, family interactions may be impacted on a larger scale. As a result, both parents and adolescents may find themselves modifying their communication patterns to accommodate new situations (Bhushan, 1993), which can be stressful for all parties involved (Hartos & Power, 2000). Furthermore, parent-child exchanges may later influence spousal interactions or sibling relationships. Thus, the ability to maintain family relationships during adolescence can get rather complicated. Research has shown that the influence over children varies during adolescence. Parental ability to influence an behaviors may be compounded by social changes occurring, as well as what is being valued by society at the time (Ambert, 1997). 0 ne of the more salient features studied during adolescence, the peer group, has received extensive coverage due to its strong influence over children during their early to midteens. Family members are in a potentially precarious position during this period if the relationship between parents and children was not reasonably established early on. After a child reaches 16 to 17 years of age, the influence of family members, parents in particular, could be re-emphasized or strengthened if the relationship was initially solid (Golish, 2000). Thus, family maintenance may “look” different from a few years before. Attachment issues between parents and children compound relational dynamics between family members. In addition, the dialectic between autonomy and connectedness may potentially undermine how and what family members do to maintain their relationships. For example, the type of relational strategy may vary, or perhaps the significance of the strategy for family members may change as family members cope with issues of independence. The communicative dynamics during adolescence are also complex because parents and adolescents typically have divergent views about perceptions of their family (Noller, 1995). R esearch has shown that parents tend to perceive and communicate about their families in more optimistic tones, whereas adolescents tend to be more pragmatic to critical in their

36 -+=+ VOGL-BAUER perceptions and communicative displays about their families (Bhushan, 1993). These discrepancies may make it inherently more complicated for family members to successfully maintain their relationships. It is especially problematic if one family member believes that things are running smoothly, whereas another believes that there are numerous problems in the relationship. In summary, family relational maintenance experiences flux just like any other relationship. However, marital couples or friendships do not encounter the relational stages encountered by families, in particular the developmental stage of adolescence. Thus, families encounter a set of developmental issues that necessitate flexibility and adjustment in order to accommodate the relational issues encountered during this period of growth and transition. Families at Midlife and Beyond. Families probably have the longest lifecycle of all relationship types (McGoldrick et al., 1993; Vangelisti, 1993). Th us, as relationships between family members change over time, family relational maintenance behaviors are also likely to adjust accordingly (Weigel & Ballard-Reisch, 1999). Kinship ties offer families an avenue for continued relational maintenance over time. Kinship involves the sustained interaction of families with relatives and friends, with the intent to share, participate in, and promote the welfare of the family (Galvin & Brommel, 2000). Essentially, kinship maintenance allows family members to stay in contact, keep abreast of changes in one lives, and exchange family gossip. Depending on the level of cohesiveness between family members, the expectations placed on family members to maintain family relationships may vary. In some instances, attendance at family gatherings may be mandatory, whereas in other instances some family members may be excluded from events (or never even told of their occurrence). Often times, one person assumes the primary duties of maintaining communication between family members. This person is known as the kinkeeper (Leach & Braithwaite, 1996). Because kinkeepers maintain family connections in a variety of ways, their significance in family relational maintenance should be examined. Kinkeepers help maintain family rituals, keep family members connected through family reunions, and facilitate in establishing a lineage. In regards to family communication, kinkeepers provide several important functions. Specifically, kinkeepers (a) provide information to family members; (b) facilitate rituals, especially family gatherings; (c) offer assistance, financially or physically; (d) help maintain family relationships; and (e) continue a previous work (Leach & Braithwaite, 1996). One of the most recently recognized phases for families across the life cycle, and also one of the longest, occurs at a midlife

2.

FAMILYMAINTENANCE

+=a-

3,7

(McGoldrick et al., 1993). The child rearing stage is near an end, yet there still remains a large period of time for family members to cope with prior to retirement. Golish (2000) examined the turning points in adult child-parent relationships. The major turning points found were (a) physical distance between parents and children; (b) the rebellious teenager, pertaining to the decline and then increase in closeness as adolescents age; (c) times of crisis for family members; (d) communication; and (e) participating in activities together. Of the five turning points reported, two events, communication and participating in activities together, can be directly associated with relational maintenance strategies. The relationship between family relational maintenance and family turning points pertaining to closeness in adult child-parent relationships suggests that relational maintenance strategies continue to play a pivotal role in family dynamics across the life span of the family. Once children reach adulthood, the potential for numerous entries and exits from families occurs. Family members might marry, and perhaps have children, increasing the size of the family, while long-standing family members may die. As a result, family membership, as well as the status among family members, may change. Either event can impact how families reestablish and maintain themselves. Family roles may also change over time. For example, parents traditionally provide the primary care giving for their children when they are young, thus facilitating the majority of maintenance behaviors occurring. These roles may be reversed when adult children take care of their older parents (Cicirelli, 1993). The responsibility for maintaining the family may be transferred to other family members. In addition, the living arrangements for parents and their children could vary. Each party may be living independently of the other; the child could be living with the parents, or vice versa. Needless to say, the satisfaction with the living arrangement could vary for one or both parties (Noller & Fitzpatrick, 1993), and family maintenance behaviors could be greatly impacted by the change in proximity for family members. Perhaps one of the most critical points for family relational maintenance involves the death of the last parent. ‘A critical point for siblings comes after the last parent dies, when for the first time their relationships become a matter of choice. Fostering such connectedness throughout the life cycle is an important factor in cushioning families against the stressors of life” (McGoldrick et al., 1993, p. 414). M ares (1995) identified several factors that impact the likelihood of sibling contact: (a) proximity; (b) family size; (c) sex of siblings; (d) presence of other relationships; and (e) ethnicity. These factors are of interest because as siblings age, and as family connections are weakened, sibling relationships begin to look more like relationships of choice as opposed to relationships of circumstance. As a result, family members may consciously think about the maintenance of their family relationships for the first time.

38 -I++ VOGL-BAUER In summary, like families, relational maintenance behaviors are subject to changes over time (Vangelisti, 1993). H ow families adjust to change is often reflected in how their relationships are maintained afterwards. Clearly, some changes are more traumatic for families to adjust to than others. Therefore, the relational maintenance behaviors enacted may transpire over a greater period of time. Yet if families are some of the most enduring relationships that individuals have, it is important to understand these relational maintenance transitions.

THlZOR~TICAL l=KAMEWORKS ASSOCIATED WITH FAMILY MAINTIENANCIE
Three theoretical frameworks examine how relational maintenance can be understood and applied within families. Each theory offers a different perspective on how relational maintenance is assessed within the familial context.

Systems Theory
One of the most popular theories for studying family dynamics is systems theory (Galvin & Brommel, 2000). Systems theory is discussed in virtually every family textbook, and it has intuitive appeal for understanding family relationships. At the core of systems theory is the concept of interdependence; one part or person in the system relies on or impacts other parts or persons in the system. Interdependence underscores the complicated nature inherent when there are a variety of family subsystems to explore (Galvin & Brommel, 2000). Essentially, family interactions become difficult to isolate because the implications from one behavior could extend to the entire family (Peterson, 1986). Scholars have typically researched various family subsystems in an effort to gain a greater understanding of family dynamics. These subsystems range from parent-child dyads, sibling dyads, and same-sex-opposite-sex familial dyads. Thus, a second component of systems theory may be applied: hierarchy. Hierarchy may be examined in family dynamics by assessing the age or power/status of each family member to ascertain degrees of influence for each family member. Research on each dyadic combination offers insight into how family subsystems function. Depending on the subsystem under analysis, relational maintenance may vary in both practice and application because each family member has the potential to mutually influence one another (Stafford & Dainton, 1995). Inherent within the systems perspective is the concept of nonsummativity. This concept suggests that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The relational dynamics of the family create outcomes

5. MAINTAINING

UNDESIRED

RELATIONSHIPS

++i-

117

Task and Social Balance. One aspect of undesired relationships that seems especially salient in the workplace is the difficulty of maximizing task effectiveness when that task forces participation in an unwanted relationship. Unpleasant peer relationships in the workplace interfere with successful task outcomes (Fritz & Omdahl, 1998). A case could be made that this outcome should not necessarily follow, because keeping interactions focused on task, rather than relational issues, is one way people create distance (Hess, 2000). However, simply interacting on a task level is impossible. First, the general consensus among scholars is that virtually all communication involves both content and relational information, so it is impossible to remove the relational component from a communicative exchange (e.g., Burgoon & Hale, 1984; Watzlawick et al., 1967). Second, effective social interaction is a contributing factor in task success (Bormann, 1990). research shows that groups that tried to focus exclusively on task concerns and eliminate any social dimension to their interaction were less effective than counterpart groups that effectively balanced task and social elements in their work. So, to maximize task success, interactants in undesired relationships must find a balance between social interaction and disengagement. Multiple Audience Problem. The multiple audience problem is a challenge for relational communication, whether the interaction happens in the workplace or a social setting. It refers to a communicative situation in which a speaker needs to simultaneously meet different, and usually mutually exclusive, purposes with a single message (Fleming & Darley, 199 1; Fleming, Darley, Hilton, & Kojetin, 1990). The challenge is to address the conflicting purposes in message construction so that all parties are treated in ways that meet the social goals. Although this problem is not unique to undesired relationships, it is likely to present itself when a mutual acquaintance is present for whom the relationship with the target person is desired. In this case, a person may want to distance herself or himself from the undesired partner without simultaneously suggesting a desire to do so to the favored relational partner. The reverse can also occur. If a third party is present who considers a relationship with the target person unwanted, an individual may wish to show the third party their dissociation from the target person (to avoid perceptions of affiliation) while concealing that message from the target. Researchers have found many creative ways that people attempt such deceit. For example, people can word messages in a way that the target and the third party would interpret differently, display nonverbal cues visible only to the third party, or convey relational messages using indirect references that the target person could not interpret (e.g., Clark & Schaefer, 1987; Fleming & Darley, 1991).

4-o -c== VOGL-BAUER

Numerous exchange theories have been applied when studying family relational maintenance (Rusbult & Buunk, 1993; Vogl-Bauer, Kalbfleisch, & Beatty, 1999). Although exchange theories possess different nuances and characteristics, collectively they share many features. Klein and White (1996) i d en tfi ie d several general features of exchange theories. First, exchange theories put the primary focus on the individual; families are collections of individuals. Second, in order to predict or understand an choices, there must be a motivational factor present. Choices are driven more by the motivations, as opposed to outside constraints. Third, self-interest directs individual choices. Therefore, family members may be guided by their own desires, as opposed to the desires or needs of the family. Fourth, individuals make rational choices. This suggests that individuals are able to assess information logically when making decisions within families. Fifth, inherent within every choice is the assessment of rewards and costs. Individuals assess potential benefits or sanctions from fellow family members based on choices made. Sixth, individuals want to maximize their rewards or benefits. Essentially, family members compare and assess their options to ensure that they receive an overall net profit from familial interactions. Finally, individuals compare their options and select the one that is the most beneficial or the least costly to themselves; there is more regard for personal interests than those of the family. At first glance, exchange theories may seem calculated and self-centered (Peterson, 1986). Exchange theories are very individual centered and appear contradictory to how families function. But on closer inspection, exchange theories provide an important perspective in understanding how or why individuals choose to maintain their family relationships. For example, a parent may decide to call his or her child when he or she gets home from school on a regular basis because the parent feels comforted knowing where his or her child is after school. Is this exchange costly to the parent? Perhaps the telephone call may be considered a cost in terms of time constraints or frustration and uncertainty if his or her child does not answer the telephone. Yet the parent may feel that the benefits outweigh the costs because he or she feels comforted knowing that his or her child is safe, and it gives the parent a chance to touch base with his or her child during the day. Granted, the rewards and costs should also be assessed for the child as well. It may be more interesting to assess how consciously family members actually think about the relational maintenance behaviors utilized throughout the day. For example, do people consciously exchange positive messages with family members in order to avoid a fight or get someone to do a task around the house? Furthermore, is it a problem if

2.

FAMILY

MAINTENANCE

=+i-

4-l

avoidance or strategic persuasion is the true motive for utilizing more relational maintenance strategies in families? Exchange theories have been criticized for their insensitive approach to family relationships (Klein & White, 1996; Peterson, 1986; Vogl-Bauer et al., 1999). As a result, features have been added to respond to such feedback. For example, the time frame considered for exchanging rewards or costs has been modified (Noller & Fitzpatrick, 1993). Family members are often content to wait longer periods of time for a “return on their investment” than nonfamily members. In addition, norms of reciprocity have been incorporated in order to examine how family members respond to each other. In both examples, family members acquire greater flexibility for demonstrating relational maintenance behaviors to each other. The expanded time frame provides family members with a longer period to return maintenance behaviors to others. Presumably, one family relational maintenance behaviors will encourage similar behaviors across the family.

Equity Theory. One of the more popular exchange theories used when studying family interactions is equity theory (Handel, 1992; Vogl-Bauer et al., 1999). Equity theory incorporates the fundamental features of exchange theories, however, equity theory emphasizes the importance of shared, comparable exchanges between relational partners (Adams, 1965). A relationship is considered equitable if one ratio of relational rewards to costs is comparable to the other relational ratio of rewards to costs. Thus, both parties demonstrate comparable levels of personal investment in the relationship, suggesting that the relationship is balanced. Inequities are said to occur if one person feels overbenefited (the reward/cost ratio is greater than their relational ratio) or underbenefited (the reward/cost ratio is less than their relational ratio; Adams, 1965). Relational partners adjust their rewards or costs accordingly in order to regain balance with one another. When applying these features to family relational maintenance behaviors, equity theory suggests that family members are comparably sharing the maintenance of family relationships in their efforts to sustain familial ties. Preliminary research by family scholars examining equity theory in family relationships has identified qualifications for family application. Vogl-Bauer et al. (1999) examined parent-adolescent relationships and assessed the satisfaction of parents and adolescents when in equitable, as opposed to inequitable relationships and the perception of relational maintenance strategies by parents and adolescents when in equitable, as opposed to inequitable relationships. Although the child is typically overbenefited while the parent is underbenefited in parent-child relation-

42

-c=+

VOGL-BAUER

ships, it was hypothesized that parent-child relationships would become more equitable as children grow older. Vogl-Bauer et al. (1999) found that although parents were the most satisfied when relationships with their children become more equitable, at age 16 and 17, children were the most satisfied when they overbenefited from the parent-child relationship. Regarding relational maintenance strategy usage, there was a greater likelihood for the strategies of positivity and shared tasks to occur in equitable relationships, as opposed to underbenefited relationships. Although the primary responsibility for maintaining the parent-child relationship still rested with the parent overall, it may not be perceived as a negative factor for the parties involved. “If parents are equally comfortable with their role as provider, it may be presumptuous to assume that adolescents and parents can make this change quickly, or for that matter, that each will be satisfied while this transformation occurs in their relationship” (Vogl-Bauer et al., 1999, p. 42). Handel (1992) examined the significance of equity in sibling relationships. Equity theory may be demonstrated by observing how fairly siblings treat each other, but it is also reflected in how fairly or comparably parents treat each of their children. Handel found that when siblings perceived the treatment from their parents as equitable, the sibling relationship was strengthened. When parents did not treat all of their children in a comparable fashion, negative ramifications were present in sibling relationships. Thus, parental patterns of equitable behavior toward their children directly influence the ability of siblings to maintain relationships with each other (Stafford & Dainton, 1995). In summary, exchange theories offer a contrasting perspective for understanding how family members maintain their relationships. Although some scholars believe that exchange theories neglect the altruistic features present in family relationships (Peterson, 1986), others suggest that the maintenance of families may be captured within the parameters of exchange theory, in particular, equity theory. The challenges for researchers may be to understand the unique family dynamics that impact how family interactions vary over developmental periods, and across other family dyads to identify how maintenance behaviors are exchanged in families.

Relational dialectics theory is a relatively new framework for examining the dynamics in close relationships. The focal point of relational dialectics concerns the bilateral tensions present in close relationships. These tensions underscore the process as well as the contradiction between opposing forces (Baxter, 1988). Th e metaphor of a “tug-of-war” captures the dynamic strug-

2.

FAMILY

MAINTENANCE

=+

43

gle inherent in relational dialectics. Relational partners are challenged to manage the seemingly endless discrepancies that relationships encounter. Although partners encounter many relational dialectics, three in particular have been examined in relationship to relational maintenance: autonomy-connection, predictability-novelty, and openness-closedness (Baxter & Simon, 1993; Montgomery, 1993). The first dialectic, autonomy-connection, refers to the continuous struggle to balance individual identity issues with relational partner concerns (Baxter, 1988). In the context of families, how does someone maintain personal independence without alienating family members? Depending on the role of the family member, the struggle to achieve balance between autonomy and connectedness may persist for an extended period of time. Expectations pertaining to who should make the individual sacrifices to their own autonomy may also exist. For example, children often think of their parents in fairly narrow ways. In fact, it may not be until the child is older that he or she acknowledges that a parent holds interests outside of the family. Of course, the reverse could also be said of parents; the child could be expected to spend the majority of his or her free time with the family. To make alternative plans that conflict with traditional family get-togethers is very problematic. The second relational dialectic is predictability-novelty (Baxter, 1988). The predictability-novelty dialectic underscores the tensions between what is certain versus what is new or spontaneous. The predictability-novelty dialectic may be especially problematic for families because it is often assumed that families will remain constant; as individuals, we can change, but our family should stay the same. Thus, whenever a family member does something deemed extreme in another family opinion, there may be conflict to the extent that although relationships need novelty to remain healthy (Baxter & Simon, 1993), the challenge for families is to determine the amount of novelty desired. The third relational dialectic is openness-closedness (Baxter, 1988). The degree of openness in family communication may be assessed in two ways. First, it could reflect the struggle to access or block information from reaching family members. Depending on the age of the family member, perceptions of openness could be associated with restrictions on television programming or reading materials. The second way to examine openness-closedness in the family is to identify the disclosure patterns of family members. How open is the dialogue between and among family members? Do some family members have greater liberties in which to disclose their views on particular topics, while others remain silent? Although relational dialectics theory provides an interesting avenue to assess family relational maintenance, it too has some problems. One of the primary criticisms is that a great number of dialectics to examine in families potentially exists. Thus, it is challenging to determine what to include

4-e

-I+=+ VOGL-BAUER

and what to withhold (Griffin, 2000). Second, many of these dialectics are subject to change over the lifespan of a family. Accordingly, it may be important to identify the relational dialectics most likely to occur across the history, as well as to identify those dialectics that emphasize a particular period within the family. Because change and flux in relationships are not uncommon, many ideas proposed in relational dialectics theory have been examined as distinct features in relational development, with a large body of research related to each. For example, autonomy has been studied extensively by family scholars (Bulcroft, 1991; Clasen & Brown, 1985; Montemayor, 1986). Granted, regardless of the number of approaches taken, more is being learned about autonomy. Unfortunately, the research being done across disciplines on autonomy is not always integrated into a comprehensive assessment. This issue is probably more problematic for relational dialectics theory than the previous two discussed due to the structure and premise of relational dialectics theory. In short, relational dialectics theory emphasizes the relational tensions that exist in family relationships. The struggle for families is to determine how to maintain strong family relationships successfully through these moments. Olson and his colleagues Circumplex Model of Family Functioning. in Family Sciences have been refining a model for assessing marital and family interactions for approximately two decades (Barnes SKOlson, 1983). The Circumplex Model of Marital and Family Systems emphasizes three primary dimensions in marriages and families: (1) cohesion or togetherness; (2) flexibility; and (3) communication (Olson, 1993). Optimal family functioning occurs when balance is attained between levels of cohesion and flexibility. Family communication patterns provide the means to attain balance. Although model is traditionally placed within a subset of Systems Theory, when contrasted with (1988) Relational Dialectics Theory, many similarities exist. As in relational dialectics theory, families struggle to balance feelings of extreme closeness (e.g., enmeshment) with degrees of autonomy (e.g., independence). Families also have to manage degrees of flexibility ranging from rigid to chaotic (Olson, 1993). This continuum is very comparable to the relational dialectic of predictability-novelty. Although Relational Dialectics Theory has a third dimension, openness-closedness because the Circumplex Model places major significance on family communication, it appears that both approaches concurrently strive to understand how families manage the ebb and flow of inherently dynamic relational features. The fact that each relies on communication to ultimately accomplish this task for families suggests that family relational maintenance strategies could be examined from either perspective with potentially comparable results.

2. FAMILY MAINTENANCE

==i+ +,5

TKHNOLOGY

AND FAMILY MAINTENANCE

Families do not maintain their relationships in a vacuum. Just like any relationship, families are impacted by changes occurring in society. As technological advances affect both our professional and private lives, these advancements also change how family members maintain their relationships. As the options available to maintain family relationships increase, the scope and magnitude of family maintenance is impacted as well.

Utdizing

TechtAg

in FarniIy Maintenance

Presumably, family relational maintenance is accomplished through face-to-face interaction. Although it could be conceded that other communication channels could be used to send family maintenance strategies, little coverage has been given to these alternative channels. Yet as family members age or leave home, the opportunity to rely exclusively on face-to-face interaction is problematic. Thus, families are adapting to these changes by utilizing channels that are better suited to their changing needs. As family activities limit the amount of face-to-face interaction among family members, technological devices are beginning to play an integral role in family maintenance (Carlson, 1999; Ticoll, 2000). Children are faxing copies of their homework to parents in order to ask questions (or verify that the homework is being done). Parents may purchase cellular phones or pagers for their children so that they may contact family members with greater ease. For some families, technological tools have increased familial interactions that would not have taken place otherwise. Probably the most highly advertised technological tool available to families to maintain their relationships is electronic mail, or e-mail. As access to sending and receiving e-mail messages increases, more families are taking advantage of this communication channel. Children can e-mail their parents when they get home from school to let them know that they arrived safely. E-mail is especially beneficial for families maintaining communication between members who are no longer available for face-to-face interactions. E-mail is quick, accessible (in most areas of the United States), and adaptive to individual constraints. Messages can be exchanged between family members in a short period of time (Carlson, 1999). Time delays associated with traditional mailings are also significantly reduced. In addition, more and more families are purchasing computers. Finally, family members are not restricted by when they can communicate with others (Oravec, 2000). Traditionally, time constraints affected when family members could call one another, due to availability factors. Now, family members can send messages to one another at their leisure, without disturbing the receiver of the message. The receiver can read the message at

d-6

-is+

VOGL-BAUER

his or her convenience as well. Thus, many constraints associated with other communication channels, such as face-to-face access; time-zone variances when making telephone calls, or the message delays associated with traditional mailings are no longer obstacles. Interesting solutions are being identified for using technologies to assist parents and teachers in their communication about children in the classroom. Effective communication between parents and teachers tends to lead to more appropriate and cooperative behaviors by children in the classroom (Cameron & Lee, 1997). Cameron and Lee found that voice mail offered parents and teachers an additional means of communication to establish and maintain contact with parents regarding specific messages, announcements, and reminders. Although teachers and parents continue to place value on other communication channels, voice mail provides an important outlet for maintaining communication over the course of an academic year. However, there are legitimate concerns associated with utilizing technology to maintain family relationships. For some, problems are associated with learning and using technologies. A lack of basic computer competenties may be the most salient for individuals who did not grow up with the also exist retechnologies (Neudecker & Burke, 1985). Contradictions garding the belief that technology will give people and families more leisure time (Carlson, 1999; Neudecker & Burke, 1985). The assumption is that families should be able to share more time together because technology reduces the amount of time necessary to accomplish other tasks. But other scholars argue that technology has just made life busier (Carlson, 1999) or more problematic due to the inherent struggles to manage technology (and the information it disperses; Oravec, 2000). Parents are given the task of managing a technology for which they may have limited understanding or control. Thus, the roles, norms, or expectations placed on family members could be questioned. The role of technology in maintaining family relationships is still uncertain. Some researchers view the role of technology very favorably (Ticoll, 2000), whereas others view the impact of technology on families with greater concern or skepticism (Carlson, 1999; Oravec, 2000). The challenge for families and researchers alike is to identify when technological tools are accessible and supportive of family maintenance and when technological tools become a detriment to effective family functioning.

CLOSING

REMARKS
studying relational mainteindividuals can keep the imand, nonetheless, have the to understand how families

There is something intuitively appealing to nance. Relational maintenance examines how portant relationships in their lives over time potential to improve them. Thus, the ability

2.

FAMILY

MAINTENANCE

++i-

47

accomplish relational maintenance is a compelling one. Although little input exists regarding family selection, individual connections to families are extremely strong. What can be done to nurture these relationships over time has the potential to impact all parties involved, as well as society. Clearly, if families are going to continue as a vital force in society, helping family members maintain these relationships is paramount to their survival. Existing family theories may help to unravel the questions surrounding family relational maintenance. Systems theory, exchange theories, and relational dialectics theory have the potential to reveal more about how families maintain their relationships over time, as well as the obstacles facing families in their efforts to do so. As greater knowledge is acquired, the impact for families and relational maintenance scholarship is great. Two important items highlighted are communication and the use of technology. In order for successful family maintenance to occur, messages need to be exchanged, either verbally or nonverbally. Advances in technology offer potential tools to aid family maintenance. Family members may incorporate technology to varying degrees to enhance family maintenance contingent upon accessibility to each other or technological tools. Perhaps cautious optimism should be used when aiding families in how they choose to communicate with each other. What is known is that without communication, the ability of families to maintain their relationships is severely hindered.

Adams, J. S . (1965). Inequity in social exchange. In L. Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimentaZsociaZpsychoZogy volume 2, (pp. 267-300). New York: Academic Press. Ambert, A. (1997). Parents, children, and adolescents: interactive relationships and development in context. New York: Haworth Press. Ayres, J. (1983). Strategies to maintain relationships: Their identification and perceived usage. Communication Quarterly, 3 1, 62-67. communication and the Barnes, H., & Olson, D. H. (1983). P arent-adolescent circumplex model. Child Development, 56, 438-447. Baxter, L. A. (1988). A dialectical perspective on communication strategies in relationship development. In S. Duck (Ed.), Handbook ofpersonal relationships: Theory, research and interventions (pp. 257-273). Chichester, Great Britain: Wiley & Sons. Baxter, L. A., & Simon, E. P (1993). Relationship maintenance strategies and dialectical contradictions in personal relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 225-242. Bhushan, R. (1993). A study of patterns of family communication: Parents and their adolescent children. Journal of Personality and Clinical Studies, 9, 79-85. Booth-Butterfield, M., & Sidelinger, R. J. (1997). Th e relationship between parental traits and open family communication: Affective orientation and verbal aggression. Communication Research Reports, 14, 408-417. Boxer, A. M., & Petersen, A. C. (1986). Pubertal change in a family context. In G. K. Leigh & G. W Peterson (Eds.), Adolescence in families (pp. 73-103). Cincinnati,
OH: South-Western.

4-8

-I+=+ VOGL-BAUER for
20,

Bulcroft, R. A. (1991). The value of physical change in adolescence: Consequences the parent-adolescent exchange relationship. Journal of Youth and Adolescence,
89-105.

Cameron, C. A., & Lee, K. (1997). Bridging the gap between home and school with voice-mail technology. Journal of Educational Research, 90(3), 182-l 90. Carlson, C. J. (1999). The influence of technology on families: An Asian perspective. Family Journal, 7, 23 l-236. Cicirelli, V G. (1993). Intergenerational communication in the mother-daughter dyad regarding caregiving decisions. In N. Coupland &J. F. Nussbaum (Eds.), Discourse and lifespan identity (pp. 2 1 S-236). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Clasen, D. R., & Brown, B. B. (198.5). Th e multidimensionality of peer pressure in adolescence. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 14, 45 l-468. Collins, W A., & Repinski, D. J. (1994). R e 1at ionships during adolescence: Continuity and change in interpersonal perspective. In R. Montemayor, G. R. Adams, & T. I? Gullotta (Eds.), Personal relationships during adolescence (pp. 7-36). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Dindia, K., & Canary, D. J. (1993). Definitions and theoretical perspectives on maintaining relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 163-l 73. Duck, S. (1994). Steady as (she) goes: Relational maintenance as a shared meaning system. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), C ommunicution and relutional muintenunce (pp. 45-60). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Fitzpatrick, M. A., & Badzinski, D. M. (1985). All in the family: Interpersonal communication in kin relationships. In M. L. Knapp & G. R. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication (pp. 687-736). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Fitzpatrick, M. A., & Badzinski, D. M. (1994). All in the family: Interpersonal communication in kin relationships. In M. L. Knapp & G. R. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication (2nd ed., pp. 726-771). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Galvin, K. M., & Brommel, B. J. (2000). Fumily communication: Cohesion and change, (5th ed.). New York: Longman. Golish, T. D. (2000). Changes in closeness between adult children and their parents: A turning point analysis. Communication Reports, I 3, 79-97. Griffin, E. (2000). A first look at communication theory (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill. Handel, G. (1992). Equity and loyalty among brothers and sisters. In J. M. Henslin (Ed.), Marriage undfumily in a changing society (4th ed., pp. 250-260). New York: The Free Press. Hartos, J. L., & Power, T G. (2000). Relations among single awareness of their stressors, maternal monitoring, mother-adolescent communication, and adolescent adjustment. Journal of Adolescent Research, 1.5, 546-563. Klein, D. M., &White, J. M. (1996). Fumily theories: An introduction. Thousand Oaks, Sage. Leach, M. S., & Braithwaite, D. 0. (1996). A bibdibg tie: Supportive communication of family kinkeepers. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 24, 200-216. Mares, M. (1995). The aging family. In M. A. Fitzpatrick & A. L. Vangelisti (Eds.), Explaining family interactions (pp. 344-374). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. McGoldrick, M., Heiman, M., & Carter, B. (1993). The changing family life cycle: A perspective on normalcy. In F. Walsh (Ed.), N ormul family processes (2nd ed., pp. 405-443). N ew York: Guilford Press. Miller, J. B., & Lane, M. (1991). Relations between young adults and their parents. Journal of Adolescence, 14, 179-l 94. Montgomery, B. M. (1993). Relationship maintenance versus relationship change: A dialectical dilemma. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 205-224.

2.

FAMILYMAINTENANCE

+=+-

49

Montemayor, R. (1986). D eveloping autonomy: The transition of youth to adulthood. In G. K. Leigh & G. W. Peterson (Eds.), Adolescence in families (pp. 205-225). Cincinnati, OH: South-Western. Nelson, J., & Lott, L. (1990). I ‘m on your side. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing. Neudecker, T E., & Burke, I? L. (1985). High technology: Opportunity or crisis for the family? In L. E. Arnold (Ed.), Parents, children, and change (pp. 19-30). Lexington, MA: D. C. Heath & Company. Noller, P (1994). Relationships with parents in adolescence: Process and outcome. In R. Montemayor, G. R. Adams, & T. I? Gullotta (Eds.), Personal relationships during adolescence (pp. 37-77). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Noller, (1995). Parent-adolescent relationships. In M. A. Fitzpatrick & A. L. Vangelisti (Eds.), Explainingfamily interactions (pp. 77-111). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Noller, P., & Fitzpatrick, M. A. (1993). Communication in family relationships. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. T. G., Hetherington, E. M., & Clingempeel, W. G. (1997). Systems and bidirectional influences in families. Journal of Social and PersonaL Relationships, 14, 491-504. Olson, D. H. (1993). C ircumplex model of marital and family systems: Assessing family functioning. In F. Walsh (Ed.), N ormalfumilyprocesses (2nd ed., pp. 138-160). New York: Guilford. Oravec, J. (2000). Internet and computer technology hazards: Perspectives for family counselling. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling, 28, 309-324. Peterson, G. W (1986). F amily conceptual frameworks and adolescent development. In G. K. Leigh & G. W. Peterson (Eds.), Adolescents in families (pp. 12-36). Cincinnati, OH: South-Western Publishing. Petronio, S., Ellemers, N., Giles, H., & Gallois, C. (1998). (Mis)communicating across boundaries: Interpersonal and intergroup considerations. Communication Research, 25, 571-595. Rusbult, C. E., &Buunk, B. P (1993). C ommitment processes in close relationships: An interdependence analysis. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 175-204. Stafford, L., & Bayer, C. L. (1993). Interaction between parents and children. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Stafford, L., & Canary, D. J. (199 I). Maintenance strategies and romantic relationship type, gender and relational characteristics. Journal of Social and Personal Relutionships, 8, 217-242. Stafford, L., & Dainton, M. (1995). P arent-child communication within the family system. In T. J. Socha & G. H. Stamp (Eds.), Parents, children, and communication: Frontiers of theory and research (pp. 3-2 1). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Steen, S., & Schwartz, F! (1995). C ommunication, gender, and power: Homosexual couples as a case study. In M. A. Fitzpatrick & A. L. Vangelisti (Eds.), Explaining family interactions (pp. 310-343). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Ticoll, D. (2000). Th e 1 s are alright. teZe.com, 5(14), 92. Vangelisti, A. (1993). Communication in the family: The influence of time, relational prototypes, and irrationality. Communication Monographs, 60, 42-54. Vogl-Bauer, S., Kalbfleisch, I? J., & Beatty, M. J. (1999). P erceived equity, satisfaction, and relational maintenance strategies in parent-adolescent dyads. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 28, 27-49. Weigel, D. J., & Ballard-Reisch, D. S. (1999). Th e influence of marital duration on the use of relationship maintenance behaviors. Communication Reports, 12, 59-69.

This page intentionally left blank

Laura Stafford Ohio State University

he quest to elucidate factors associated with marital stability or satisfaction is long-standing and pervasive. Sophisticated investigations of features of satisfying marriages, self-report measures of marital stability, and applied programs aimed toward enriching marriages can be traced back to the 1930s (Perlman, 2001). In addition, literally hundreds of investigations on stability or satisfaction in romantic relationships have been undertaken in the last several decades (Canary & Stafford, 1994). This plethora of previous research has served as the vanguard to study of a conceptually related phenomenon: relational maintenance. As Canary and Stafford observed, such studies explicitly or implicitly inform us about relational maintenance.
I gratefully acknowledge the responses provided by Dan Canary and Marianne Dainton to earlier drafts of this chapter. They have provided much stimulating discussion, deliberation and debate of the material presented.

51

32

-+==s STAFFORD

Notwithstanding (1926) ob servation that any given family or marriage is a constantly evolving and fluctuating process that may be best thought of as a set of “interacting personalities” (p. 3) for several decades research tended to focus on demographic characteristics or personalities of marital partners to the neglect of interaction. It was not until the 1960s when the link between interactional processes of the marital participants and martial satisfaction became a focal point of relational research (Duck, 1985; Fitzpatrick & Badzinski, 1985). Research during the 1970s indicated that communication is strongly associated with marital satisfaction (Lewis & Spainer, 1979). Reminiscent of (1926) conception of marriage as a constantly changing entity, Duck (1985) reminded us that although we may be inclined to think of development and deterioration of romantic relationships as processes; “It is worth pointing out that the maintenance and stability of relationships are also processes” (p. 671). Furthermore, scholarly work concerning interactive processes was directed far more often towards the development or deterioration of relationships than toward the continuance of relationships. This seems ironic given (1988) insightful reflection that people spend more time maintaining relationships than developing or dissolving them. Yet the direct question of what do romantic partners do to sustain these processual romantic relationships was largely unexplored until the last 10 to 15 years and certainly the term maintenance as a point of convergence for research on the role of linkages between communication and the properties of personal relationships is relatively new (Canary & Stafford, 1994), a point echoed by Perlman (2001). Stafford and Canary (199 1) began a program of inquiry aimed at delineating maintenance strategies. Albeit, certainly not the only scholars to address issues of relational maintenance, their work serves as the focus of this chapter. It is hoped that theoretical connections implied by their particular model of maintenance will be made lucid in the upcoming discussion. This chapter first provides a definitional and theoretical review. Then Canary and (1994) overarching model of relational maintenance is used as an organizational heuristic to discuss research invoking, expanding, or challenging Canary and work on relational maintenance. The primary focus of their research has been on romantic relationships, and thus is the major focus of this chapter. However, this program has expanded into other domains that will be given brief attention here as well. Questions regarding this research are then raised. This chapter closes with conclusions that can be drawn from this line of work.

THEORlETICAL UNDlXPINNINGS AND A TiXMlNOLOGICAL ISSUE
From the beginning, Stafford and Canary (199 1) clearly laid out their guiding principles. They have summarized the manner in which equity theory

3. MAINTAINING

ROMANTIC

RELATIONSHIPS

++I-

23

informs their research (Canary & Stafford, 1992, 1994). Accordingly, a highly abbreviated recap is offered here explicating two cornerstones of the many principles that have continued to guide their efforts. First and fundamentally, relationships require maintenance to continue; second, individuals are motivated to maintain relationships in accordance with social exchange theory.

Duck (1988) suggested two models underlie relational stability: that relationships will stay together unless something tears them apart and that relationships will deteriorate unless efforts are made to keep the relationship intact. Although these two conceptions are not mutually exclusive (Duck, 1994) and Canary and Stafford (1994) concur with the proposal that barriers act to keep relationships together, they focused primarily on the latter of these two propositions. The statement that all relationships require maintenance to continue seems intuitively obvious. Yet, given the number of romantic relationships and marriages that end leaving one or the other or both partners proverbially scratching their heads asking the question, “What happened?” perhaps the necessity for maintenance is not as apparent as it seems. In brief, a guiding principle is that some kind of maintenance activity is necessary to keep relationships from deteriorating. The second fundamental principle is derived from the tenets of equity theory as laid out by Hatfield, Traupmann, Sprecher, Utne, and Hay (1985); Sprecher (1986); Walster, Berscheied, and Walster (1973) among others. Canary and Stafford (1994) explained, “equity theory predicts that people are content when both persons have equal ratios of inputs to outcomes, that people are distressed when involved in an inequitable relationship and that people try to restore and maintain equity.” (p. 7). Overbenefited individuals perceive they get more out of a relationship than they put into it whereas underbenefited individuals perceive they get more out of a relationship than they put into it. Being either overbenefited or underbenefited should cause emotional distress (Sprecher, 1986). Equity should be satisfying. Furthermore, in a dyadic relationship one perinputs serve as rewards for the other person. Thus, maintenance activities are conceived of as a cost or input for one person and hence a reward for the other. It follows then, that individuals would adjust their maintenance efforts in accordance to their perceived equity levels. Issue Stafford and Canary (1991) first used the term maintenance strategies and offered their definition of maintenance as “efforts expended to maintain

54

+-

STAFFORD

the nature of the relationship to the satisfaction” (p. 220). Canary and Stafford (1992) o ff ere d a similar definition of maintenance strategies: “communication approaches people use to sustain desire relational definitions” (p. 243). Stafford and Canary (1991); Canary and Stafford, (1992) were silent on the meaning of the term strategy. However, they did point out that their investigations “focus on strategies and not routine interactions” (Canary & Stafford, 1993, p. 242). Dainton and Stafford (1993) expressed concern with these efforts directed at ascertaining strategies, which they considered as behaviors invoked with the intent to sustain the relationship. They contended that maintenance behaviors might also be less strategic. That is, although the behavior itself may be intentional the “actor is not performing these behaviors with the express goal of maintaining the relationship. However, the performance of these behaviors may indeed serve maintenance functions” (Dainton & Stafford, 1993, p. 256). Drawing on (1988, 1992) discussion of routine interactions, they chose to label such nonstrategic activities as routine behaviors. Thus, maintenance behaviors were viewed as a broader term encompassing both strategic and nonstrategic or routine activities by Dainton and Stafford (1993) and the inclusion of both sets of behaviors was then set forth as a central tenant by Canary and Stafford (1994). Proposition 6: People use both strategic and routing interactions to maintain heir relationships. Maintenance behaviors are thus distinguished into strategic and routine categories (Duck, 1988). That is, people maintain their relationships both by using approaches they believe will function to sustain their involvements and, through the practices of daily living, been enacting particular routines which become part of the dyad (p. 10). Nevertheless, the terms behaviors and strategies are ambiguously and indiscriminately interchanged. The reason behind this ambiguous use of the term strategy is centered in differing conceptions of the term strategy. D. J. Canary (personal communication, August 2,200l) adheres to an expansive definition:
For me, a strategy is defined as an approach someone takes. In other words, strategic communication is implicitly learned and often mindlessly enacted. This is a broad definition of “strategic” that encompasses a lot of behavior. Strategic approaches are often routinized but become more cognitively processed when the routine plan does not work (Berger, 1997). So, I d 0 not see a necessary separation between routine and strategic.

Stafford (see e.g., Stafford et al., 2000) however, invokes a more narrow view of the term strategy. As Duck (1994) stated, “research which has focused on strategies impLies a conscious sustaining of relationships and continues a distinction between such strategies and the more automatic” or

3. MAINTAINING

ROMANTIC

RELATIONSHIPS

=+i-

55

“breezy allowance of the relationship to continue” (p. 46) that is the routine or nonstrategic behaviors. It is this implication that is at issue at hand. For at least some relational maintenance scholars the distinction between strategic and routine appears to be a meaningful, albeit perhaps intuitive one. (1994) distinction has already been alluded too. Acitelli (2001) a1so d rew a distinction and argued the degree to which a behavior is strategic or routine is contingent on several factors such as the development of the relationship and the situation. Indeed Dainton and Stafford (1993; Dainton, Stafford, & McNeilis, 1992; Stafford et al., 2000) proposed that the same behaviors may be invoked in both strategic and routine manners depending on many factors. Dindia (chap. 1, this volume) also adheres to the primary delineation of strategic and nonstrategic maintenance behaviors. However, she proposes the dichotomy between strategic and nonstrategic may be too rigid and activities may be more or less strategic or routine. Yet, she maintains the principle demarcation as one grounded in the intent of the actor. Dainton underscores the intent of the actor is the point of distinction between strategic and routine behavand has found little correlation between the strategic and routine use of maintenance behaviors; some behaviors may indeed be invoked more often in a strategic manner whereas others may be invoked more routinely (Dainton & Aylor, 2002). The foregoing definitional issue is not raised as a point of substantive theoretical division as both Stafford and Canary concur that both types of maintenance activities occur. This is clearly evidenced in their principle articulated earlier. Rather, the unease is with a potential ambiguity for others. Therefore, the recommendation is offered that future work should consider the terminology invoked and perhaps utilize the term maintenance behaviors in place of strategies as more definitely encompassing term. A final issue confounded with the earlier discussion is the extent to which routine or nonstrategic behaviors operate within an equity framework. It is unclear if nonstrategic maintenance efforts are also hypothesized to operate in accordance with equity principles, or if this is reserved for maintenance strategies. Duck (1994) contended that relationships continue, for the most part in a taken for granted manner; that partners unlikely continue a relationship only after explicitly sitting down with their calculators to determine their relative costs and benefits. Nonetheless he noted that some unconscious accounting of
‘The choice of the term routine was not perhaps the best one. Routine seems to imply regularity to actions or events. Duck (1992; Duck, Rutt, Hurst, & Strejc, 1991) discussed regularity and routines in interactions, or patterns of interactions in a daily realm. Although it is recognized that many such behaviors may be routine in a mundane day-to-day patterned manner, the distinction within this line of work has been on the intent of the actor, or perhaps lack of intent, rather than the regularity of the event. Possibly simply the term nonstrategic as the logical opposite may have been a better choice than routine.

?c7 -e=+ STAFFORD the overall fairness of the relationship is likely taken into consideration. Further, he proposed that such mental accounting may become more salient when a partner is considering changing the relationship. D. J. Canary (personal communication, August 2, 2001) offered a like opinion:
I do not think that exchange theorists, including equity theorists, believe that people constantly take into account rewards and costs (or inputs and outcomes). I think that most people have a vague running tab of who has done what, though some of us have high exchange orientations (where daily ledgers are taken) and others have low exchange (or communal) orientations. Equity is probably a vague collection of inputs and outcomes that leads to both intentionally performed and unintentionally performed actions. However, I would predict that it [equity theory] is a more powerful predictor of intentional actions and planning. It probably leaks through unintentional actions as well.

The extent to which relational participants view maintenance behaviors as intentional or unintentional and to which they accord a greater role in the preservation of their relationships is yet to be ascertained. Moreover, the extent to which intentional versus unintentional behaviors are affected by perceptions of in(equity) is also an empirical question. Nonetheless, a point of convergence is the recognition that individuals act both consciously and unconsciously to sustain their involvements and these activities are likely influenced to a greater or lesser degree of consciousness by overall perceptions of (in)equity regardless of the terminology invoked. Attention is now turned directly to the proposed model of maintenance.

CANARY

AND MAINTENANCE

RlELATlONAL MODEL

Canary and (1994) overall model of maintenance is comprised of three main components: maintenance behaviors, antecedents that may predict them, and salient relational characteristics that may be predicted by them (see Canary & Stafford, 1994, for a discussion of their central tenets.) These components are presented in Fig. 3.1. Although the model conceptually begins with antecedents, the maintenance behaviors are presented first as they have been at the heart of this line of inquiry. A discussion of the antecedents to maintenance as well as the outcomes of maintenance follows. This section concludes with the proposal for a revised model.

The Maintenance

Behaviors

This particular line of work began when Stafford and Canary (199 1) developed five factors (positivity, assurances, openness, sharing tasks, and social networks) that individuals purportedly used in a strategic manner to sustain

3.

MAINTAINING

ROMANTIC

RELATIONSHIPS

=a

2,;

Antecedent Factors Equity Underbenefited Equitably Treated --b

Maintenance Activities

Relational Type and Individual Differences
Fig. 3.1. Canary and model. Note: From Canary and Zelley (2000). Based on Canary and Stafford (1994).

desired relational characteristics. These five factors were refined and examined in conjunction with equity theory by Canary and Stafford (1992). Following this initial effort to define and operationalize maintenance strategies, efforts have been made to identify other maintenance behaviors. This has occurred in two primary ways. Sometimes an expanded conceptualization of maintenance as “routine” or “nonstrategic” has resulted in additional maintenance behaviors (e.g., Dainton & Stafford, 1993; Stafford, Dainton, & Haas, 2000). Other times, maintenance research moved outside the confines of White, middle-class heterosexual romantic couples living in the United States in an attempt to identify various maintenance behaviors used in various populations. Research has expanded to White, middle-class nonromantic relationships such as friends and family (e.g., Canary, Stafford, Hause, & Wallace, 1993; Messman, Canary & Hause, 2000), non-White romantic samples (e.g., Diggs & Stafford, 1998), Non-Western romantic samples (Young & Canary, chap. 13, this volume), and nonheterosexual Western romantic relationships (e.g., Haas & Stafford, 1997, 1998.) Table 3.1 presents the original five behaviors as well as the maintenance behaviors generated within this program. Upon examination of Table 3.1, it becomes readily apparent that category systems have at times overlapped. Exploration of behaviors occurred virtually simultaneously in two domains. On one front, using inductive analyses, Canary, Stafford, Hause,

TABLE 3.1
ReIationaI Behavior Maintenance Examples Behavior -

Positivity”

Try to act nice and cheerful. Attempt to make our interactions Ask how his or her day has gone.

enjoyable. -

Openness”

Encourage him or her to disclose thoughts and feelings to me. Seek to discuss the quality of our relationship. Remind him or her about relationship decisions we made in the past. Stress my commitment to him or her. Imply that our relationship has a future. Show myself to be faithful to him or her. Like to spend time with our same friends. Focus on common friends and affiliations. Show that I am willing to do things with his/her friends and family. Help equally with tasks that need to be done. Do my fair share of the work we have to do. Perform my household responsibilities. Apologize when I am wrong. Cooperate in how I handledisagreements. Patient and forgiving with my partner. Tell partner what I think she or he should do about her or his problems. Give him or her my opinion on things going on in his/her life. Working on a degree. Focusing on spiritual or religious I make sure I look good.

Assurancesa

Social Networka

Sharing Tasks”

Conflict

Managementb

Adviceb

Focus on Self

development.

Joint Activities

Spend time hanging out. Attend Saturday football games. Visit my brother when he is away at school. Write letters. Use e-mail to keep in touch. Communicate on the phone. (continued
on next page)

Mediated

Communication

TABLE Behavior Avoidance/Antisocial Examples

3.1 (continued)

Am not completely honest with him or her. Avoid him or her. Act badly so she or he want to get closer to me. Call him or her by a funny nickname. Tease him or her. Be sarcastic in a funny way. Avoid flirting with him or her. Do not allow myself to be in a romantic place with him or her. Do not encourage overly familiar behavior. Give advice. Seek advice. Comfort him or her in time of need.

Humor

No Flirting

Share Activity‘

Share special rituals with him or her. Share specific routine activities with him or her. Share time with him or her. Attend church together. Pray about our marriage. Talk to a minister or priest. Talk about our day. Talk about little things. Displays of fondness. We kiss each other goodbye

Religion

Small Talk

Affection

in the morning.

Gay/lesbian Supportive Environments

Living, working, or socializing in supportive settings. Being in nonjudgmental settings. Modeling similar values as heterosexual parents.

Same as Heterosexual Couples

Note. Table adapted and extended from Canary and Stafford (2001). Examples adapted from Canary and Stafford (1992); Canary et al. (1993): Dainton and Stafford (1993), Diggs and Stafford (1998), Messman et al. (2000), Stafford et al. (2000); and Haas and Stafford (1998). Categories are those directly from work with Stafford or Canary as an author or coauthor. Items without a superscript have not yet been developed into measurements. aThe five original factors from Stafford and Canary (1991). bAdditional factors from Stafford et al. (2000). ‘Additional factors from Messman et al. (2000).

53

60

-c=e

STAFFORD

and Wallace (I 993) extended the repertoire of strategic maintenance behaviors to those used not only in romantic relationships, but also those used among friends and relatives. In addition to the initial five categories, and a mediated mode (noncontent specific use of cards, letters, and the telephone), two more prosocial categories were derived (joint activities and humor) as well as two less socially positive strategies (avoidance and antisocial behaviors). Building directly on this work, Messman et al. (2000) developed a 6-factor measure designed to tap how individuals maintain platonic opposite-sex friendships. Two new factors were found: no flirting and supportiveness. The concept of supportiveness in general has emerged in other work. For example, it is implied in Haas and (1998) study of gay and lesbian romantic relationships. The examples or supportiveness offered by Messman et al. are also quite similar to the factor labeled advice by Stafford et al. (2000). Mirroring Canary et (1993) efforts was an inquiry, also utilizing inductive analyses, by Dainton and Stafford (1993). The primary difference was that Dainton and Stafford believed that the shift in the conceptualization of maintenance to include routine or nonstrategic behaviors would yield additional behaviors in romantic populations. The nine categories reported by Canary et al. (1993) were replicated and the repertoire of behaviors was extended with categories of affection and focus on self. The effort to tap routine behaviors continued with Stafford et al.‘s development of a 7-factor measure. This measure was constructed utilizing the items from the Canary and Stafford (1992) scale along with items developed from the deductive analyses of Dainton and Stafford (1993). They f ound the original five factors of assurances, positivity, sharing tasks, openness, and social networks. However, openness split into two factors. They retained the label openness for one of these as it seemed to reflect the self-disclosive aspect of openness. The other factor was labeled advice. Similarly, positivity broke into two factors: one that seemed to reflect the original conceptualization of being upbeat and positive and another that referred to conflict management such as apologizing and being cooperative in disagreements. This refinement of an instrument to assess romantic behaviors occurred virtually simultaneously with Messman et development of the 6-factor scale examining maintenance behaviors in friendships. Note in Table 3.1 the similarity between the items labeled by Stafford et al. (2000) as advice and those by Messman et al. (2000) as support. Indeed, several of the items labeled support by Messman et al. directly mention “advice.” A list of the maintenance behaviors that have evolved from their investigations was reported by Canary and Stafford (1994). Nix (1999) began with this list in an effort to examine potentially negative maintenance behaviors used to maintain friendships. He invoked Duck

3.

MAINTAINING

ROMANTIC

RELATIONSHIPS

+=+I-

(1994), who noted a bias toward positive strategies in maintenance work; although antisocial ones had been discussed in previous work, they had received little attention. Sustaining friendships in light of a romantic involvement, particularly through potentially negative strategies, was the heart of interests. In addition to the categories previously reported by Canary and Stafford (1994), Nix identified one other maintenance behavior: passive disassociation-emphasizing the “fun and excitement” of being romantically unattached. Furthermore, antisocial behaviors were found to be more direct and less covert than previous research had indicated. The attempt to identify maintenance behaviors has gone beyond White, middle-class heterosexual romantic relationships. As noted, research has sought to identify maintenance behaviors of friends and family members. Other studies involving family members include Vogel-Bauer, Kalbfleisch, and (1999) assessment of the factor measure of maintenance with a White middle-class parent-adolescent population and Hample and (2000) examination of the similarity of the maintenance behaviors, using the -/-factor measure, between and their adult children. Another realm of study is homosexual romantic relationships. Haas and Stafford (1998), using the same inductive method as Dainton and Stafford (1993), questioned 30 gay or lesbian individuals in long-term, committed, romantic and found the same behaviors as did Dainton and Stafford and two behaviors unique to this sample: being in a gay-lesbian supportive environment and being the same as heterosexual couples. Hass and Stafford (1997) created matched homosexual and heterosexual samples and found, in a direct comparison, that the two samples engaged in virtually identical maintenance behaviors. Maintenance has extended to non-White, middle-class romantic involvements as well. Diggs and Stafford (1998), again using inductive analyses, found middle-class African-American married couples to use maintenance behaviors virtually isomorphic to those found in previous research on Euro-American, middle-class marital relationships. One possible exception was the sharing of tasks as a salient maintenancebehavior. Additionally, this sample stressed the role of religion and the church. Confounding this finding however is the fact that much of African-American sample was recruited through church networks. Thus, although it has long been argued that the church may play a greater role in African-American marriages than in Euro-American marriages, this remains equivocal here due to the nature of the sampling. One similarity that emerges from the study of these two samples in conjunction with previous research is that, when using open-ended surveys, specific populations may mention behaviors that are particularly salient to them. Obviously a goal of open-ended research is to uncover

02

-t+

STAFFORD

aspects that might not have surfaced when a previously developed measure is applied. The possibility that certain features might be unique for differing populations is of course a major reason why measures previously designed for one population not necessarily appropriate for research in another population. However, the failure of one sample to mention certain behaviors, would not necessarily mean that such behaviors might be considered unimportant for that population. For example, Diggs and Stafford (1992) proposed that sharing tasks may be mentioned more by Euro-American participants than by African-American participants, not because sharing tasks is any less vital among Black marriages than among White ones, but because historically, Black marriages have had more egalitarian marital roles. Hence, sharing tasks may be more of a challenge or issue for White couples. Similarly, gay and lesbian samples have reported that participating in gay-lesbian friendly environments was important for the maintenance of their romantic relationships. Given current cultural biases, heterosexuals may not feel the need to mention a desire to be in environments that supported their sexual orientation. Thus, the development of measures of maintenance behaviors would ideally combine factors derived from the populations about which the researcher is making inferences. Whether friendships, romantic (heterosexual or homosexual), or kinships, these studies have focused on close relationships in the U.S. At least two studies have looked beyond the U.S. culture. Yum and Canary (chap. 9, this volume) compared maintenance behaviors of Koreans with those of North Americans. They found Koreans (versus U.S. participants) reported less reliance on maintenance strategies and found the association between maintenance strategies and relational characteristics to be less strong among the Korean sample. They propose that this may be due to a Korean cultural belief that the partners form one unit compared to a more individualized western belief. Finally, Ballard-Reisch, Weigel, and Zaguidoulline (1999) took the study of romantic maintenance behaviors to Tararstan, a part of the former Soviet Union. Utilizing the S-factor scale, they found moderate amounts of variance accounted for in the relational characteristics. It would be of interest to determine if even greater amounts of variance could be accounted for with additional of behaviors generated by a Tararstan sample.

-r-heAntecedents
Antecedents are theorized to influence the frequency and type of maintenance behaviors invoked. Canary and Stafford (1994) specifically include equity, type and history, and individual differences. Another focus has

3.

MAINTAINING

ROMANTIC

RELATIONSHIPS

++-

been social cognition, in terms of relational schemata (Dainton & Stafford, 2000; Weigel & Ballard-Reisch, 1999a) relational expectations (Dainton, 2OOO), gender-role orientation (Stafford et al., 2000), and perceptions of behaviors (Dainton & Stafford, 2000; Weigel & Ballard-Reisch, 1999b, 1999c). These social cognitive variables are interrelated with relationship type and individual difference variables and are discussed with those variables accordingly. @n)equity. The most theoretically critical antecedent is equity. The thrust of this research has been on the role equity plays in the prediction of maintenance behaviors. One of the central tenets is that individuals will adjust their maintenance efforts in accordance with their perceptions of relational equity. Canary and Stafford (1992) found support for the overall contention that perceptions of equity were related to maintenance behavior use. They found, for marriages defined as equitable by wives, both wives and husbands reported greater user of maintenance behaviors than in inequitable marriages. Support was not as strong for husband-defined equity. Vogel-Bauer, Kalbfleisch, and Beatty (1999) reported similar findings in that parental perceptions of equity-predicted maintenance behaviors; yet perceptions of equity did not predict maintenance behaviors. The hypothesis is offered that adolescents may expect to be overbenefited in relationship to their parents. A parallel unflattering hypothesis was offered by Canary and Stafford (1992) with regard to husbands. Just as teenagers simply may not expect to work as hard at their relationships with their parents as parents expect to work on their relationships with their teenagers, husbands may not expect to work on their marital relationships to the same extent that wives do. Such expectations thus attenuate the effects of being overbenefited. Messman et al. (2000) also examined perceptions of equity and found platonic friends who believed their friendships to be equitable reported a great user of positive maintenance behaviors than individuals in overbenefited or underbenefited friendships. Only one study, to date, has directly challenged the presumption that equity is a primary influence on maintenance behaviors (Ragsdale, 1996). Based in interdependence theory (Kelley & Thibaut, 1978), Ragsdale contended satisfaction as determined by a favorable comparison of partner or relationship against an imagined ideal partner or relationship would predict maintenance more strongly than equity. He also critiqued Canary and Stafford (1992) f or using an indirect assessment of equity. Several concerns are raised about this particular study. As, Canary and Stafford (2001) noted, Ragsdale did not conduct a comparison of equity verses interdependence; using (1984) Marital Comparison Level Index

&I- +==

STAFFORD

(MCLI) he only examined interdependence. Thus he was unable to test his own hypothesis that interdependence would be more influential that equity. Also he did not find support for his hypothesis that interdependence would predict maintenance behaviors in a linear manner. Finally he did not test for a potential curvilinear relationship between interdependence and maintenance behaviors. en To address (1996) c h a11 g e d irectly, Canary and Stafford (2001) conducted another examination of equity in conjunction with relational maintenance using two direct indices of equity along with (1985) MCLI. Th ey f ound both equity and satisfaction (i.e., interdependence) to predict perceptions of use of maintenance behaviors; both of these social exchange models appear relevant to maintenance. Canary and Stafford (2001) thus provided the most direct evidence that equity and satisfaction are not disjunctive; they work together to predict maintenance behaviors. Dainton (2000) a1so p rovided some support that interdependence theory may play a role in the prediction of maintenance behaviors. Dainton modified Stafford and (1991) measure of relational maintenance in order to test for comparison levels of relational maintenance. That is, participants were asked to rate their use of maintenance behaviors, but she also asked participants the extent to which their partners use of these behaviors meet their expectations. Dainton found a positive relationship between expectations about maintenance behaviors being exceeded and relational satisfaction. Yet she reported that performance of maintenance behaviors was a better predictor than the comparison level (performance versus expectations) and thus provides mixed support for the role of interdependence theory. Relationship Type. Stafford and Canary (199 1) began with relationship type referring to heterosexual “stages” of romantic relationship development (e.g., dating versus engaged versus married). They did find an association between relationship development and the frequency of use of various strategies. Specifically, Canary and Stafford (199 1) found seriously dating or engaged couples perceived their partners to be more open than did casually dating couples or marital partners. Canary and Stafford also found that individuals who were engaged or married perceived their partners to offer more reassurances than those in dating relationships. Attaching a different meaning to relationship type, Canary et al. (1993) found maintenance behaviors to vary among friends, romantic partners, and relatives. For example, relatives tended to offer assurances, share tasks, and use cards, letters, and phone calls more often than friends. Romantic partners appeared to offer more positivity, openness, and assurances than did frienrls.

3.

MAINTAINING

ROMANTIC

RELATIONSHIPS

==;r

6.5

A third manner in which maintenance behaviors have been explored in conjunction with relationship type is (1988) typology. Fitzpatrick developed a typology of marriages based on the ideologies individuals hold concerning marriage. Her typology is based upon the dimensions of ideology, communication, and interdependence. Traditionals hold conventional ideological values about family and marriage, report being moderately expressive with their spouses (e.g., they may discuss important issues and simultaneously attempt to manage conflict by avoiding interaction), and report a high degree of interdependence. Independents hold unconventional values, report a highly expressive communication style, and are moderately interdependent. Separates hold relatively conventional views about marriage, report little openness in the communication, and have very little interdependence. These ideologies are thought to act as marital schemata, internal cognitive models, which then frame their actions and perceptions within marriage (Fitzpatrick & Ritchie, 1994). Given relatively strong support from a programmatic line of research for the associations between these schemata and various communication behaviors, it seems logical that these same marital types might be related to maintenance behaviors (Weigel & Ballard-Reisch, 1999a). Indeed, Weigel and Ballard-Reisch found traditionals reported the most use of maintenance behaviors, followed by independents, then separates who used the least maintenance behaviors: Specifically, traditionalcouples were tended to use of tasks more than either separates or independents. Independent couples were more likely to use openness and assurances than separate couples. Another difference was that traditionals were also more prone to use networks than separates. Also examining the role of relational schemata or ideology, Dainton and Stafford (2000) invoked (1998) couple types to predict maintenance behaviors. Unlike Weigel and Ballard-Reisch (1999a), they did not find couple type to be a strong predictor of maintenance behaviors. Dainton and Stafford (2000) reported perceptions of behaviors to have more influential role on own behaviors than couple type. They offer the speculation that traditionals may report more maintenance behaviors because they reciprocate their behaviors. Several studies have sought to explore the link between perceptions of behaviors and own maintenance behaviors. As already discussed, Dainton and Stafford (2000) found the perception of a partparticular maintenance behavior to have a strong association with own use of that same behavior. Previously, Dainton and Stafford (1993 j noted relational partners tended to offer similar strategies. More directly, Weigel and Ballard-Reisch (1999c) reported maintenance strategies predicted strategies. Furthermore, Canary and Stafford (2001) f ound perceptions of maintenance behaviors to be predictive of self reported maintenance behaviors.

-+a

STAFFORD

Individual Differences. Sex as a predictor of maintenance use or perceptions of maintenance use has been investigated several times; women may use maintenance behaviors more frequently than men (e.g., Canary & Stafford, 1992; Dainton & Stafford, 1993; Ragsdale, 1996; cf., Stafford & Canary, 1991). Stafford et al. (2000) questioned these findings and noted reliance on sex-role stereotypes to explain them. In a direct comparison of sex verses gender, they found gender role orientation to be a significantly better predictor of maintenance use than biological sex. It may be the correlation between sex-role orientation and biological sex that accounts for the previous sex differences findings. Few individual differences have been studied aside from biological sex. However, Prisbell(l995) 1in k ed maintenance use to some aspects of communication competence. Stafford, Perry, Rankin, and Canary (1999) found personal dependency to be positively related to perceptions of partner positivity and openness for both husbands and wives. They found small to modest correlations between structural dependency perceptions of partner assurances and partner sharing in tasks. Finally, although the model presented does not consider relational characteristics as antecedents, a few studies have considered characteristics such as satisfaction and commitment, for example, as antecedent influences on maintenance behaviors. This begins then to raise questions about the direction of influence which will be returned to momentarily.

rhe dational characteristics
The final component of the Canary and Stafford (1994) model is relational characteristics. Maintenance behaviors are, by definition, supposed to “sustain desired relational definitions” (Canary & Stafford, 1994, p. 4). These desired definitions involve facets of the relationship considered important, and perhaps universal, to close relationships. Drawing primarily on previous research on relational topoi (Burgoon & Hale, 1984,1987) Canary and Stafford (1992, 1994) h ave maintained that numerous features may be fundamentals of relationships, not only the often research marital satisfaction. Features of romantic relationships that have been studied to date as outcomes in this line of inquiry include control mutuality, commitment, love, trust, liking and satisfaction. Prime consideration is given to these as outcomes of maintenance behaviors. Although satisfaction or some conceptual variation of satisfaction (adjustment, quality, etc.) is the most frequently studied outcome variable in research on marriage (Fitzpatrick, 1987), C anary and Stafford have chosen to examine additional relational features that may well be related to satisfaction instead of only examining the broad construct of relational satisfaction. The rational for the investigation of alternative relational characteristics is their stance that such features comprise relational satis-

3. MAINTAINING

ROMANTIC

RELATIONSHIPS

=+

67

faction. Moreover, they contend that various maintenance behaviors may be variously related to different relational characteristics. Research on nonromantic relationships has used simply keeping a friendship at the status quo as the meaning of the sustaining a relationship as desired. For example, Messman et al. (2000) examined strategies to keep friendships between opposite sex heterosexual friends from transitioning to a romantic interest. Nix (1999) a1so investigated keeping a friend as the desired outcome in light of a concern that one is losing that friend due to the arrival of a romantic partner on the scene. Such work is consistent with Canary and definition of maintenance as these efforts are aimed at preserving the relationship in the manner desired by the participants. In sum, the foci of this research include the identification of categories of behaviors utilized, in theory, to maintain relationships and exploration of antecedents-especially (in)equity as predictive of maintenance use in various populations. In the second half of this chapter, consideration is given to the third and most important focal point: the association between maintenance behaviors and relational characteristics.

DO MAINTENANCE BIEHAVIORS RlXATlONSHIPS?

MAINTAIN

It seems reasonable to pause at this juncture and reflect upon the obvious yet heretofore unasked question: Are maintenance behaviors related to the maintenance of relationships?

Are Maintenance Behaviors Associated with Relational Characteristics?
The majority of studies have examined the associations between original five maintenance behaviors and commitment, liking, control mutuality, and relational satisfaction. Subsequent work on romantic relationships has used both the original 5factor and the 7-factor scale in conjunction with these features and others, such as love and trust. Canary and Stafford (1994) summarized the consistent findings: positivity, sharing tasks, social networks, and assurances predict control mutuality and liking; assurances seem to have an especially strong link to commitment. Positivity and assurances are associated with trust (Canary & Stafford, 1993). Dainton, Stafford, and Canary (1994) found comparable patterns. Similarly, Weigel and Ballard-Reisch (1999c) found that both individual and joint perceptions of maintenance behaviors were predictive of the joint constructions of love, commitment, and satisfaction. Stafford et al. (2000), using the 7-factor measure, again found assurances to be a strong predictor of commitment and control mutuality and

68

+-

STAFFORD

liking and also found assurances to be predictive of satisfaction. A new finding was the association between conflict management and control mutuality. Dainton and Stafford (2000), also using the 7-factor measure, found assurances to be strongly linked to satisfaction. Research to date, as Dainton and Stafford (2000) no t ed sh ows that assurances may hold the most importance for sustaining a relationship. Positiveness seems to be central as well. Openness, albeit discussed as a maintenance behavior, may play a more equivocal role, as is discussed momentarily.

Esther-ea Len itudinabnkbetween Maintenance Behaviorsan $ Relational characteristics?
Most studies have examined relational characteristics and maintenance behaviors simultaneously. A welcome exception is Canary, Semic, and Stafford (1996) w h o assessed relational characteristics and maintenance strategies in heterosexual married couples at three points in time at approximately 1-month intervals. They did not find maintenance behaviors to be predictive of relational features at future times, nor did they find relational features to predictive or maintenance behaviors at future times. They found maintenance behaviors and relational characteristics to be associated with each other only when assessed concurrently. They argued the effects of maintenance behaviors are short lived so they must be continuously enacted. This seems quite plausible and comports to their contention that maintenance behaviors are necessarily ongoing activities because relationships must constantly be maintained. This also leaves open this possibility that the direction of causality runs from relational characteristics to enactment (or perception) of maintenance behaviors. Although they did not directly assess relational features, Guerrero, Eloy, and Wabnik, (1993) may h ave offered the best evidence to date that maintenance behaviors may affect relational outcomes. They investigated the connection between the five maintenance factors at Time 1 and relationship outcome at Time 2 (8 weeks later). Dating couples whose relationships had remained stable or whose relationships had escalated since Time 1 reported more positiveness, assurances, and sharing tasks at Time 1 than couples whose relationships had ended or de-escalated. Their overall conclusion was particular behaviors may play a facilitative role in sustaining or developing the relationship or the lack thereof may contribute to relational demise.

lslher-ea Reciprocal Association Between Behavior-sand Relational Characteristics?

Maintenance

Although a fundamental premise, as outlined in the model presented by Canary and Zelley (2000) is that maintenance behaviors influence relational characteristics, Stafford and Canarv (1991) speculated on the possi-

3. MAINTAINING

ROMANTIC

RELATIONSHIPS

=+t-

6.9

bility of the casual direction running the other way. Possibly relational characteristics serve as antecedents to maintenance behaviors, rather than, or in addition to, serving as outcomes. Despite this early speculation, this possibility has been relatively neglected. Given the continued implicit inclusion of bidirectional&y, inquiry into relational characteristics as antecedents, as well as the overall long recognized systemic nature of communicative and relational processes, the potential chicken-and-egg connection between maintenance behaviors and relational characteristics deserves further attention. Bidirectionality is implicitly theoretically evident in the inextricable link between equity and satisfaction. According to equity theory, the most satisfactory relationships are the most equitable ones and individuals adjust their efforts (in this case maintenance behaviors) in accordance to their perceived equity in the relationship (Adams, 1965; Walster et al., 1973). Thus, operating within an equity theory framework, level of perceived equity, and by definition, satisfaction, must be considered not only as an antecedent to the use of maintenance behaviors, it must also be considered an outcome of those behaviors. An examination of whether equity is restored with adjustments in maintenance behaviors is yet to be undertaken. Such an examination would provide for a more complete test of the manner in which equity operates in conjunction with maintenance behaviors and would be a welcome addition to this literature. Satisfaction has been considered both as an outcome and as an antecedent of maintenance behaviors. Adhering to the viewpoint that the perceptions people have about their marriages influence the efforts they put forth at maintaining them, Weigel and Ballard-Reisch (1999b) used a unique dyadic design to explore the extent to which perceptions of marital satisfaction, commitment, and love predicted the five maintenance behaviors. They reported perceptions of satisfaction, as well as commitment and love were predictive of maintenance behaviors. Specifically they found that wives appear to engage in more positivity, openness, reassurances, use more joint networks, and perform shared tasks when both they and their husband report higher levels of commitment, love, and satisfaction. Also, Dainton and Stafford (2000) f ound commitment to play a small role in predicting assurances, networks, and conflict management in addition to satisfaction as a predictor of assurances. However, given the minimal variance accounted for, they speculate that perhaps the direction is unidirectional-from maintenance behaviors to relational characteristics. In the Canary and Stafford (2001) investigation previously reported, they also concluded both equity and satisfaction predict perception of partner maintenance behaviors. In the Canary et al. (1996) longitudinal study discussed previously, links were not found in either direction leaving open the possibility that the direction of causality may run both ways.

70

-I+=+ STAFFORD

The model presented in Fig. 3.1 as outlined by Canary and Zelley (2000) needs to go a bit further to capture the implications of Stafford and program of work and implications from equity theory. If individuals do indeed adjust their level of maintenance efforts in accordance with equity that in turn changes assessments of equity, (and hence satisfaction) and maintenance behaviors must operate in a systemic fashion. Given satisfaction is conceptually both an antecedent of maintenance behaviors and a relational outcome and has received some support as both an antecedent and an outcome, it is not unreasonable that other relational characteristics may also be related to equity in a reciprocal fashion. The question is simply, which factors play a consequential role in this system? Fig. 3.2 presents a revised model to capture the proposed reciprocal systemic link between outcomes and maintenance behaviors and to illustrate that the outcomes may also serve as antecedents. The model has also been revised to include the two additional maintenance behaviors of advice and conflict management reflected in the Stafford et al. (2000) maintenance scale as well as relational features such as trust and love, which have been explored as outcomes of maintenance.

what Do ~eopIe Do to Maintain

Their dationships?

The thrust of this research reflects the continued endeavor to answer the simple question: What is it that people do to ensure the continuance of their relationships in the manner they so desire (Canary & Stafford, I994)? Unfortunately, the question that may have an answer is not the one of what

Antecedent Factors

Mamtenance Activmes

Control Mutuality + Social Networks Lhng ~pb TrustIndwdual Differences Contllct Management

Fig. 3.2

Revised

Model

to indicate

reciprocal

influence.

3.

MAINTAINING

ROMANTIC

RELATIONSHIPS

=+

71

people do to maintain their relationships? But rather: What is it that people think they do, or report they do, to maintain their relationships? Maintenance behaviors should, by definition, maintain relationships (see 1994, d iscussion of this tautology). It is noteworthy that in summarizing findings to that time, Canary and Stafford (1994) reported that associations between openness and relational characteristics have frequently been weakly inversely related to relational characteristics, after controlling for positivity and assurances. Since then, Stafford et al. (2000) also reported openness to be negatively associated with satisfaction and commitment, after controlling for positivity. In a like vein, Dainton (2000) found openness to be a negative predictor of relational satisfaction. Such findings naturally lead to (2000) deduction: Perhaps self-disclosure simply is not important to sustain desired relational features. This observation follows from Stafford and (1991) proposal that openness may be reported due to the widespread and deeply rooted cultural belief in self-disclosure as the hallmark of a successful relationship (see Parks, 1982). Weigel and Ballard-Reisch (1999b) also noted, self-disclosure is seen in the American culture as the sine qua non of a good relationship. They raised the possibility that men might use behaviors such as openness to fulfill such cultural expectations. Men may not be the only ones suspect of adhering to cultural expectations. When probed either inductively or in response to scale items on questionnaires, the cultural emphasis on self-disclosure may serve as an impetus for a social desirability effect by both men and women. Perhaps this strong cultural expectation is at least part of the reason openness is reported by both women and men. Despite the overwhelming evidence that openness is believed to operate to sustain relationships or at least reported to be believed to sustain relationships time after time openness, as previously noted, has not been related to positive relational characteristics. Numerous studies have reported slight negative associations between openness and relational features, when controlling for other maintenance behaviors. A curvilinear effect for openness has not been tested within this program. Yet this appears to be the logical relationship. Complete and indiscriminate openness has been questioned for some time in the field of interpersonal communication (see e.g., Bochner, 1982; Parks 1982). Research in marital satisfaction has long considered a curvilinear relationship between openness and satisfaction with the assumption that increases in self-disclosure include negatively valenced talk. A curvilinear relationship would also be in accordance with a dialectal perspective that hypothesizes a role for both openness and closedness in relationships (see Baxter & Montgomery, 1996, for a review) or when considering the boundaries of privacy or secrecy (Petronio, 199 1). Thus, two issues are embedded in the earlier discussion. One is whether individuals are reporting the behaviors they actually engage in (or perceive their

72

-is+

STAFFORD

partners engage in), or do the answers reflect socially desirable responses in accordance with cultural stereotypes. The other is the assumption of a linear relationships between maintenance behaviors and relational characteristics based in the perceived and self-reported frequency of the behaviors. Although the behavior of openness has served as the point of focus here, similar questions could raised with all of the behaviors. Do any of these behaviors actually play a role in the preservation of a relationship or of relational characteristics? Or perhaps are individual self-reports reflective of a cultural ideology of behaviors thought to maintain relationships and it is these behaviors that then are parroted back to researchers? And if they do play a role, is it in a linear manner based on pure frequency or at least for certain variables, should curvilinear relationships be examined? And finally, should the focus be upon frequency at all? Virtually every study to date considers the frequency of maintenance behaviors (see Dainton, 1998, for an exception using a diary based methodology). Yet, according to Gottman (1994), in summarizing his long-term efforts at predicting divorce, negative behaviors may play more of a destructive role than positive ones do a constructive role in relationships, indicating that frequency of use may not be as salient as other features such as perceived importance or valence. Perhaps the importance of the enactment of various maintenance behaviors should be explored in addition to the frequency of enactment. SUMMARY Canary and Stafford attempted to ascertain the communicative processes that fill the space between the end of beginning a relationship and the beginning of the end of the relationship. The specific behaviors of interest are those that may play a role in sustaining relationships. They have offered several tenets of their research (see Canary & Stafford, 1994) and proposed a unidirectional model wherein antecedents influence maintenance behaviors that in turn predict relational characteristics. The categories of behaviors have been extended well beyond the five originally posed and various types of relationships and populations have served as subjects of inquiry. Nonetheless, several points of clarification are needed within this program of work. The interrelationships among the characteristics and antecedents, especially the role of satisfaction and (in)equity as both an antecedent and outcome, must be clarified. Theoretically, if an equity framework is utilized equity and satisfaction must be considered reciprocally related to maintenance behaviors. Moreover, the terminology invoked should be carefully thought out. It is argued here that strategies is not an all encompassing term and should not be used interchangeably with the term behaviors. Strategies imply intent thus

3.

MAINTAINING

ROMANTIC

RELATIONSHIPS

=+-

,q

implicitly excluding routine or nonstrategic behaviors from consideration. Although position that strategies encompass both strategic and nonstrategic behaviors is consistent with many other views, position carries ecological weight (personal communication, August 3,2OOI): “I am against using terms with a scholarly definition that doescomport with everyday definitions . . . I believe in keeping definitions and so intentional behaviors ARE conscious, because what everyday people would say.” In short, the term strategy likely does not hold ecological validity as a broad definition. Although this distinction is relatively unimportant within the halls of academe, the implications of terms take on increasing importance as this line of study moves from theoretical to applied settings. Finally, at this time, strong evidence cannot be offered that these behaviors do indeed serve to sustain relational features across time. Obviously, it would be naive and overly simplistic to hope to divine one set of behaviors which serves to maintain relationships in all types of relationships in all contexts. As Canary and Stafford (1994) pointed out, “not all relationships may benefit from these strategies” (p. 19). Canary and Stafford have not directly claimed to have strong evidence these behaviors do indeed aid individuals in preserving or sustaining relationships in the manner they desire; they have consistently included caveats. It is uncertain, if at this point in time, increasing the sheer frequency of these five behaviors would serve to sustain desired relational features in most romantic relationships. Nonetheless, sightings in undergraduate texts of the five original factors as skills or competencies needed for successful relationships are not infrequent. Even research in academic journals (e.g., Prisbell, 1995) h as referred to these behaviors as relational competencies: “Maintaining personal relationships involves the use of five strategies: positivity, openness, assurances, sharing tasks, and social networks” (p. 63). Such global prescriptions are problematic and go beyond the claims put forth by Canary and Stafford at this time. This program of research has found that various behaviors may be differentially helpful pending the type of the relationship (e.g., engaged versus married or independent verus traditional marriage), may vary with the life-stage or length or the relationship, may be differentially linked to various relational characteristics, and may not operate in a similar manner among various cultural groups. Thus, although there is strong support of the overall linkages between equity, maintenance behaviors, and relational characteristics, sweeping prescriptions are not consistent with the extant findings. Openness, when advocated as global maintenance behavior, may be the most worrisome. It is difficult to imagine how sharing task activities, being positive, sharing in each social networks, or offering assurances might harm a relationship. However, the same cannot be said for the sim-

74

-is=+ STAFFORD

ple increase in frequency of openness. Overall, interpersonal communication and family scholars alike have retreated from prescriptions for self-disclosure, and although the scale representing the factor openness includes items other than self-disclosure, self-disclosure seems to be the crux of this factor labeled openness. Openness may well be virtually isomorphic with the construct of self-disclosure for a lay audience. Thus, however unintended, this program of work may be not only be reflecting the cultural myth of increased openness as healthy for relationships, it may also be inadvertently perpetuating the myth of self-disclosure as a relational panacea. Perhaps the Stafford et al. (2000) scale that isolates self-disclosure as a factor is a partial answer.

Notwithstanding the questions raised, several conclusions can be drawn from this corpus of work: (a) a set of maintenance behaviors have been derived using both inductive and deductive analyses to reflect the definition of maintenance set forth; (b) these behaviors, and perceptions of them, have been associated with equity in a theoretically meaningful manner; (c) these behaviors are, for the most part, strongly associated with central relational characteristics, especially positivity and assurances; and (d) longitudinal evidence supports the contention that these behaviors are intertwined with relational characteristics. Researchers are often their own best critiques and as such continue to refine their theories that may in turn contribute to application. It is anticipated this program will continue to evolve to address the concerns raised herein.

Acitelli, L. A. (2001). Maintaining and enhancing a relationship by attending to it. In J. Harvey &A. Wenzel (Eds.), Close romantic relationships: Preservation and enhancement (pp. 153-l 68). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Adams, J. (1965). Inequity in social exchange. In L. Berkowtiz (Ed.), Advances in experimentaz social psychology, (Vol. 2; pp. 267-299). New York: Academic Press. Ballard-Reisch, D. S., Weigel, D. J., & Zaguidoulline, M. G. (1999). Relational maintenance behaviors, marital satisfaction, and commitment in Tatar, Russian, and mixed Russian-Tartar Marriages: An exploratory analysis. Journal of Family Issues, 20, 677-697. Baxter, L. A., & Montgomery, B. M. (1996). ReZating: Dialogues and dialectics. New York: Guilford Press. Berger, C. R. (1997). Pl anning strategic interaction: Attaining goals through communicative action. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Bochner, A. (1982). On the efficacy of openness in close relationships. In M. Burgoon (Ed.), Communication Yearbook (Vol. 2; pp. 79-108). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Press. Burgess, E. W (1926). The familv as a unit of interacting; personalities. Familv. 7.3-9.

3.

MAINTAINING

ROMANTIC

RELATIONSHIPS

+=+

75

Burgoon, J. K., & Hale, J. L. (1984). Th e f un d amental topoi of relational communication. Communication Monographs, 51, 193-2 14. Burgoon, J. K., & Hale, J. L (1987). Validation and measurement of the fundamental themes of relational communication, Communication Monographs, 54, 19-4 1. Canary, D. J., Semic, B. A., & Stafford, L. (1996, June). Continuity of maintenance strutegies and their associations with relational characteristics. Paper presented at the biannual conference of the International Network of Personal Relationships; Seattle, WA. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1992). Relational maintenance strategies and equity in Monographs, 59, 243-267. marriage. Communication Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1993). Preservation of relational characteristics: Maintenance strategies, equity, and locus of control. In F?J. Kalbfleisch (Ed.), Interpersonal communication: Evolving interpersonal relationships (pp. 237-259). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1994). Maintaining relationships through strategic and routine interaction. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relutional maintenance (pp. 3-22). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (2001). Equity in the preservation of close relationships. In J. Harvey & A. Wenzel (Eds.), Close romantic relationships: Preservation and enhancement (pp. 133-l 5 1). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Canary, D. J., Stafford, L., Hause, K., &Wallace, L. (1993). An inductive analysis of relational maintenance strategies: A comparison among lovers, relatives, friends, and Research Reports, 10, 5-14. others. Communication Canary, D. J., & Zelley, E. D. (2000). C urrent research programs in relational mainteYearbook 23 (pp. 305-339). Thousand nance. In M. E. Roloff (Ed.), Communication Oaks: Sage. Dainton, M. (1998). Everyday interaction in marital relationships: Variations in relative importance and event duration. Communication Reports, 11, 101-l 10. Dainton, M. (2000). Maintenance behaviors, expectations, and satisfaction: Linking the comparison level to relational maintenance. Journal of Social and Personal Relutionships, 17, 827-842.

Dainton, M., & Aylor, B. (2002). Routine and strategic maintenance efforts: Behavioral patterns associated with relational length, and the prediction of relational characteristics. Communication Monographs, 52-66. Dainton, M., & Stafford, L. (1993). Routine maintenance behaviors: A comparison of relationship type, partner similarity, and sex differences. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 255-272.

Dainton, M., & Stafford, L. (2000). Predicting maintenance enactment from relational schemata, spousal behavior, and relational characteristics. Communication Research Reports, 17 1-l 80. Dainton, M., Stafford, L., & Canary, D. J. (1994). Maintenance strategies and physical affection as predictors of love, liking, and satisfaction in marriage. Communication
Reports, 7, 88-98.

K. S. (1992, November). The maintenance of rePaper presented at the annual convention of the Speech Communication Association, Chicago. Diggs, R. C., & Stafford, L. (1998). Maintaining marital relationships: A comparison between African American and European American married individuals. In V J. Duncan (Ed.), Towurds achieving Muut (pp. 192-292). Dubuque, IA: Kendall/Hunt. Duck, S. W (1985). S ocial and personal relationships. In M. L. Miller & G. R. Knapp (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication (pp. 655-786). London: Sage. Duck, S. W. (1988). Relating to others. Chicago: Dorsey.
lationships through routine behavior.

Dainton,

M., Stafford,

L., & McNeilis,

7~7 +=+

STAFFORD

Duck, S. W. (1992). H uman relationships. London: Sage. Duck, S. W (1994). Steady as s(he) goes: Relational maintenance as a shared meaning and relational maintesystem. In D. J. Canary &L. Stafford (Eds.), C ommunication nance (pp. 45-60). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Duck, S. W., Rutt, D. J., Hurst, M. H., & Strejc, H. (1991). Some evident truths about everyday conversation: All communications are not created equal. Human Communication Research, 18, 228-267. Fitzpatrick, M. A. (1987). Marital interaction. In C. R. Berger & S. H. Chaffee (Eds.), Handbook of communication science (pp. 564-618). Fitzpatrick, M. A. (1988). Between husbands and wives: Communication in marriage. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Fitzpatrick, M. A., & Badzinski, D. M. (1985). All in the family: Interpersonal communication in Kin Relationships. In M. L. Miller &G. R. Knapp (Eds.), Handbook ofinterpersonal communication (pp. 687-736). London: Sage. schemata within the family: Fitzpatrick, M. A., & Ritchie, D. (1994). C ommunication Multiple perspectives on family interaction. Human Communication Research, 20, 275-301. Guerrero, L. K., Eloy, S. V., & Wabnik, A. I. (1993) J ournal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 273-284. Gottman, J. M. (1994). What predicts divorce? The measures: Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Haas, S. M., & Stafford, L. (1997, November). Relationship maintenance behaviors in same-sex and heterosexual couples: An exploratory comparison. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association, Chicago. Haas, S. M., & Stafford, L. (1998). An initial examination of maintenance behaviors in gay and lesbian relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 846-855. Hample, D., & Dallinger, J. D. (2000, November). An investigation of taking confZict personally and relational maintenance strategies for parents and their adult children. Paper presented at the annual convention of the National Communication Association; Seattle, WA. Hatfield, E., Traupmann, J., Sprecher, S., Utne, M., & Hay, M. (1985). Equity in close relationships. In W Ickes (Ed.), Compatible and incompatible relationships (pp. 9 l-l 7 1). New York: Springer-Verlag. Kelley, H. H., & Thibaut, J. W. (1978). interpersonal relations: A theory of interdependence. New York: Wiley. Lewis, R. A., & Spainer, G. (1979). Theorizing about the quality and the stability of marriage. In W. Burr, R. Hill, F. I. Nye, & I. R. Reiss (Eds.), Contemporary theories about the family (Vol. 1, pp. 268-294). New York: Free Press. Messman, S. J., Canary, D. J., & Hause, K. S. (2000). Motives to remain platonic, equity, and the use of maintenance strategies in opposite-sex friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 17, 67-94. Nix, C. (1999, November). But a “real” friend treat me that way?: An examination of negative strategies employed to maintain friendship. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Convention; Chicago, IL. Parks. M. (1982). Ideology in Interpersonal Communication: Off the couch and into the world. In M. Burgoon (Eds.), Communication Yearbook 5 (pp. 79-108).New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books. Perlman, D. (2001). Maintaining and enhancing relationships: Concluding commentary. In J. Harvey &A. Wenzel (Eds.), Close romantic relationships: Preservation and Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. enhancement [pp. 357-378).

3. MAINTAINING

ROMANTIC

RELATIONSHIPS

=+-

boundary management: A theoretical model of Petronio, S. (1991). C ommunication managing disclosure of private information between marital couples. Communication Theory, I, 31 l-335. Prisbell, M. (1995). Strategies for maintaining relationships and self-rated competence in ongoing relationships. Psychological Reports, 76, 63-64. Ragsdale, J. D. (1996). G en d er, satisfaction level, and the use of relational maintenance strategies in marriage. Communication Monographs, 63, 354-369. Sabatelli, R. M. (1985). The Marital Comparison Index: A measure for assessing outcomes relative to expectations. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 46,65 l-662. Sprecher, S. (1986). The relation between equity and emotions in close relationships. Social Psychology Bulletin, 49, 309-32 1. Stafford, L. (1994). Tracing the threads of spider webs. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 297-306). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Stafford, L., & Canary, D. J. (1991). Maintenance strategies and romantic relationship type, gender, and relational characteristics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 8, 217-242. Stafford, L., Dainton, L., & Haas, S. M. (2000). Measuring routine and strategic relational maintenance: Scale revision, sex versus gender roles, and the prediction of relational characteristics. Communication Monographs, 3, 306-323. Stafford, L., Perry, B. J., Rankin, C., &Canary, J. (1999, November). Equity, relational dependency, and perceptions of relational maintenance. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association, Chicago. Vogel-Bauer, S., Kalbfleisch, I? J., & Beatty, M. J. (1999). P erceived equity, satisfaction, and relational maintenance strategies in parent-adolescent dyads. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 28, 27-49. Walster, E., Berscheid, E., & Walster, G. W. (1973). N ew directions in equity research. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2.5, 15 l-l 76. Weigel, D. J., & Ballard-Reisch, D. S. (1999a). All marriages are not maintained equally: Marital type, marital quality, and the use of maintenance behaviors. Personal Relutionships, 6, 29 l-303. Weigel, D. J., & Ballard-Reisch, D. S. (1999b). H ow couples maintain marriages: A closer look at self and spouse influences upon the use of maintenance behaviors in marriages. Family Relations, 48, 263-269. Weigel, D. J., & Ballard-R eisch, D. S. (1999c). Using paired data to test models of relational maintenance and marital quality. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 26, 175-191.

This page intentionally left blank

Marianne Dainton Elaine Zelley
La Salle University

Emily Langan
University of Texas, San Antonio

f the various relationships that people experience throughout their lives, friendships remain the most prevalent type (Blieszner & Adams, 1992). For example, a typical high-school student has four close friends (Weiss & Lowenthal, 1975). Thi s number tends to increase in college, with college students having relatively more friends than do young adults in the workforce. In fact, a curvilinear relationship exists between age and the number of friends identified in network, with the peak occurring during late adolescence (Blieszner & Adams, 1992; Weiss & Lowenthal, 1975). Despite its prevalence, however, friendship has received a secondary role in relationship research, overshadowed by marriage and family relationships. Indeed, the majority of the existing literature on relationship maintenance has focused on maintaining romantic or marital relationships (e.g., Canary & Stafford, 1992; Dindia & Baxter, 1987) with only limited attention given to the strategies used to preserve the voluntary, nonromantic bonds of friendship (e.g., Canary, Stafford, Hause, & Wallace, 1993; Messman, Canary, & Hause, 2000).

80

-c=+

DAINTON,

ZELLEY,

LANGAN

This chapter highlights the means by which friendships are maintained. First described is the nature and functions of friendship. Next, an overview is provided of prominent theories used to understand the maintenance of friendships before offering conclusions and areas of future research. Subsequent sections focus on sex differences in enacting friendships, cross-sex friendships, and variations across the lifespan. Finally, specific maintenance strategies identified in the research are discussed.

THE NATURE

AND l=UNCTIONS

Ol= l=RlENDSHlP

Definitional uncertainty plagues much of the research on friendship. For example, friendship has been defined as nonkin, Fehr (1996), nonromantic, Blieszner and Adams (1992), or nonprimary attachments, Weiss (1998). Hays suggested a succinct, although strategically liberal conceptualization of friendship, saying that friendship is “voluntary interdependence between two persons over time, that is intended to facilitate social-emotional goals of the participants, and may involve varying types and degrees of companionship, intimacy, affection, and mutual assistance” (p. 395). This definition aptly summarizes friendships and encompasses a variety of relational participants at various stages of life. Indeed, the variety of friendship types is a central issue in the literature. The four variables identified by Hays (1988)-companionship, intimacy, affection, and assistance-differentiate among friendship types. Berger, Weber, Munley, and Dixon (19 77), f or example, found distinctions between acquaintances, friends, and close friends based on the sociability and supportiveness of the relationship. Rose and Serafica (1986) argued for similar distinctions; they found that casual friends, close friends, and best friends varied in the extent to which the partners perceived the relationship as self-maintaining and based on affection, as well as the extent to which a reduction in contact affected these three relational types. Likewise, Wright (1984) suggested that such distinctions may be a function of whether the friendship is based on exchange needs (i.e., maintained based on mutual rewards) or communal needs (i.e., concern for the welfare; appreciation of the unique and irreplaceable qualities). Casual friends and acquaintances probably function more on an exchange basis, whereas close and best friends most likely function more on a communal basis. In short, varying types of friendships exist, which implies that likely distinctions occur in the ways that maintenance is achieved in these differing relational forms. Despite variations in friendship types, however, we find several areas of commonality across friendships. Fehr (2000) argued that four factors must exist for a friendship to emerge and develop. Specifically, friendship development requires environmental factors (e.g., initial contact), individual factors (e.g., attraction, skills), situational factors (e.g., anticipation of fu-

4.

MAINTAINING

FRIENDSHIPS

++i-

81

ture interaction), and dyadic factors (e.g., similarity and self-disclosure). Further, Rawlins suggested that friendships are distinguished from other relational types by their voluntary involvement; friends are chosen, not inherited or otherwise assigned. Unlike other relational types, friends often reactivate the relationship after experiencing periods of dormancy (Rawlins, 1994). Moreover, Wright (1998) argued, “friendship carries with it much less requiredness and urgency than do involvements in more clearly regulated personal and social relationships” (p. 57). That is, friendship transcends social and legal constraints, allowing the partners more freedom to cocreate a unique relationship. Because friendships cannot rely on structural forces for survival, relational maintenance must be an active enterprise, even if this means simply evoking memories of the friendship as a means of maintaining the relationship during aforementioned latent periods (Rawlins, 1994). Without social boundaries and increased vulnerability to dissolution, friends are responsible for defining, refining, and maintaining the parameters of their relationship. Finally, friendship boundaries are more fluid and defy discrete classification. Friends frequently play overlapping roles. For example, Rawlins (1994) distinguished between friendships for sake as compared to friendships that complement other relationships, such as marriage or work relationships. The focus of the present chapter concerns the former, although researching the complex ways in which relationships are maintained with partners who serve multiple roles in our lives should be undertaken. Next, presented are four theoretical frameworks commonly used in the study of friendship maintenance. THtEORETICAL UNDlERPINNINGS

Although research of friendship is not as plentiful as research of other relationship types (e.g., marriage, dating, kin relationships), four theoretical approaches to relationship maintenance have been applied successfully to the study of friends. Accordingly, the following section of this chapter focuses on how equity theory, a relational dialectics perspective, a social skills approach, and an attachment theory framework have been instrumental in guiding current knowledge of friendship maintenance. Equity Theory as App le d to Friendship Maintenance

Perhaps the most common theoretical approach used to explain friendship maintenance, equity theory posits that a balance of rewards and costs is necessary to continue a close relationship over time (for reviews, see Canary & Zelley, 2000). Based on the principle of distributive justice, Deutsch (1985) argued that individuals should receive relational rewards

82

-e=+

DAINTON,

ZELLEY,

LANGAN

equivalent to their own relational contributions. Accordingly, equitable relationships are those in which both partners perceive that their ratios of outcomes dived by inputs are equal. The ratio of outcomes to inputs can then be used to predict relational satisfaction, as well as the degree to which friendships will be favorably maintained. For example, when both friends believe that they both get out of the relationship (outcomes) as much as what they each put into the relationship (inputs), then the friendship is termed equitable. Also, one person might make more efforts but receive greater rewards relative to his or her friend, in which case the friendship remains equitable. However, if Friend A puts forth more effort into the friendship than does Friend B, and receives the same outcomes from the relationship, it can be said the Friend A is underbenefited because the ratio of outcome/inputs exceeds Friend Continuing with this example, Friend B is receiving more rewards but doing less as compared to Friend A; as a result, Friend B is overbenefited because Friend outcome/input ratio is less than Friend outcome/input ratio. Predictably, relational partners become distressed when either type of perceived inequity persists over time and report higher satisfaction when involved in equitable relationships (Canary & Stafford, 1994). Equity theory suggests, therefore, that not only must individuals be active in the maintenance of their friendships, they are also more motivated to maintain equitable as opposed to inequitable relationships (Canary & Stafford, 1994). A number of studies have used this understanding of equity to explore the maintenance of various types of friendships. In a study of motivations for maintaining cross-sex, platonic friendships, for example, Messman et al. (2000) noted that participants in equitable friendships reported a greater number of positive and proactive maintenance behaviors when compared with participants reporting on either overbenefited or underbenefited friendships. Coinciding with the marginalized nature of friendship in terms of research, however, a large majority of friendship studies compare friendships to other relationship types (e.g., romantic relationships). In their comparison of friends, family, and romantic relationships, for example, Canary et al. (1993) identified 10 strategies used by partners. Analyses revealed that friends reported significantly fewer uses of positivity, openness, and assurances when compared with romantic partners. Friends also reported using significantly fewer assurances; shared tasks; and (c) cards/letters/calls when compared to respondents describing the maintenance of family relationships. Likewise, (1997) study of long-distance relationships found that e-mail messages contained fewer assurances but more references to joint activities than did romantic email messages. Importantly, equity theory predicts friendship maintenance across the lifespan. For example, Pataki, Shapiro, and Clark (1994) compared first

4.

MAINTAINlNG

FRIENDSHIPS

+=$I- 83

and third graders and found that both groups divided shared tasks more equally among friends than with acquaintances. Significantly, third-grade friendship pairs were also more likely to distribute rewards equitably. Buunk and Prins (1998) examined the effect of friendship inequity on loneliness and found that college students in underbenefited and overbenefited friendships felt significantly more lonely than participants who reported providing and receiving equitable amounts of help. Equity also appears salient in older and elderly adult friendships. For example, Roberto and Scott (1986) f ound that individuals in equitable friendships perceived significantly fewer trouble in their friendships regarding aspects of helping, emotional impact, and the relationship overall. Clearly, research demonstrates the importance of perceived equity in the maintenance of friendship across the lifespan and in different types of friendships (e.g., long distance, cross-sex). A Dialectical

Look at Friendship Maintenance

Dialectical theories provide the second major theoretical approach to understanding the maintenance of friendships. A dialectical approach presupposes that change, opposing tendencies, and instability characterize all social relationships (see Baxter & Montgomery, 1996; Montgomery, 1993; Rawlins, 1989, 1994). U n 1-ke 1inear or causal models of relationship devel1 opment and maintenance (e.g., equity theory) wherein relational partners are thought to seek a specified state of satisfaction or level of interaction, a dialectical approach assumes that partners experience patterns of redundancy while spiraling between opposing, yet interdependent tendencies (Canary & Zelley, 2000). Th us, relational partners continuously realize and react to conflicting yet interdependent influences; in brief, partners are constantly being pulled together and simultaneously being pushed apart (Montgomery, 1993). Stated differently, a dialectical approach to relationship maintenance indicates that mutually negating, opposing tendencies are abundant within personal relationships such that relational partners seek autonomy and connection, openness and closedness (Baxter, 1990). Specifically, Baxter and Montgomery (1996, also see Rawlins, 1989) identified four key assumptions of a relational dialectics perspective: (a) contradiction, (b) change, (c) praxis, and (d) totality. Contradiction implies opposing, mutually negating, yet interdependent tendencies wherein one cannot experience one tendency, or pole, without understanding the presence of its counterpart, for example, needing both expression and privacy in close relationships (Baxter, 1990). With regard to change, because it is impossible to address these interdependent yet mutually negating tendencies simultaneously, tension and change are always present. Praxis implies that individ-

8-t-

+=s

DAINTON,

ZELLEY,

LANGAN

uals both create and react to their social worlds; unlike passive bystanders, intimates have choices and make decisions while also responding to partchoices and decisions. Last, totality represents the understanding that “social phenomena are defined by the relations among their characteristics, not by the characteristics themselves” (Montgomery, 1993, p. 206). Consequently, Montgomery argued that even the term relational maintenance inaccurately portrays relationships as static entities; instead, Montgomery and other dialecticians (e.g., Rawlins, 1994) observed that relationships are sustained. Extending a dialectical view of friendship, Rawlins (e.g., 1989, 1992, 1994) has investigated how friends sustain their relationships amid ever-present and ever-changing tensions. Looking across stages of young adult friendship in particular, Rawlins (1989) posited that two broad analytical classes of dialectic tensions exist: (a) contextual dialectics and (b) interactional dialectics. First, Rawlins stated that two contextual dialectics emerge based on how friendship is defined within American culture: Public-private and Ideal-Real. Because public roles constrain friendships, tension arises between the private negotiation of a close, voluntary relationship and the public display of the relationship within the confines of social appropriateness (Rawlins, 1989). This “double agency” of friendship is readily visible in cross-sex friendships where both friendship partners are married to others (Rawlins, 1982, 1989). Although definition of and closeness with the friendship is private, the friendship pair also must operate within culturally bound social conventions (Rawlins, 1989). Stated differently, some may view adult cross-sex friendships with suspicion, whereas no suspicion would likely arise if the same “friendship” were presented as a relationship between colleagues. The Ideal-Real dialectic refers to the discrepancies between what is desired from a friend and the daily realities of sustaining a voluntary relationship that must compete with more formal social ties. With regard to interactional dialectics, Rawlins (1989) offered f our specific tensions thought to characterize young friendships: Independence-Dependence, Affection-Instrumentality, Judgment-Acceptance, and Expressiveness-Protectiveness (Rawlins, 1989, 1992). Baxter et al. (1997) identified similar tensions in young adult friendships within the context of a Loyalty-Disloyalty dialectic. The two most frequently reported tensions with regard to conflicting loyalties within friendships were general time dilemmas and specific time demands. More specifically, perceived obligations (general) as well as previously made commitments (specific) appeared to constrain respondents, thereby creating a dilemma between wanting to be independent and feeling obligated to spend time with friends. In a similar vein, Rawlins (1994) a1so examined friendship dialectics within middle adulthood (30 to 40 years old). One central dialectic that

4. MAINTAINING

FRIENDSHIPS

+=a- 8,5

encompasses both the Independence-Dependence and the Public-Private tensions emphasized in young adult friendships is the notion of “being there” and “growing apart.” Specifically, descriptions of their middle-adult friendship experiences revealed that “friendship discontinuities are shaped by other social circumstances, like marital and family status, occupation, emerging interests, and friendship circles” (p. 285). Accordingly, middle-adult friendships appear to be strained by the desire to have friends who are there for each other while faced with life demands that prevent such closeness. (1989, 1994) and (e.g., Baxter et al., 1997; Wiseman, 1986) research gives some insight into how friendship maintenance is neither steady nor static. Instead, a dialectical view of friendship suggests that numerous interdependent contradictions tug at partners throughout the lifespan. However, dialectics in friendships have not been investigated. Instead, most dialectical research involves young and middle adults. A social

skills A ppr-oath to

Maintaining

Friendship

Turning to the third major theoretical approach to friendships, Burleson and Samter (1994) proposed a social skills similarity model to understand friendship maintenance. They argued that possessing the same communication skill level as friend has a greater impact on relational satisfaction than does the absolute level of skill sophistication. Stated differently, it is not the sophistication level of communication skills itself that predicts relationship satisfaction; rather, it appears more important that two friends demonstrate similar degrees of skill (or lack of skill). Unlike an equity approach to maintenance, a social skills perspective focuses on nonstrategic routines whereby “relationship maintenance occurs whenever persons enact behaviors that service the particular tasks or functions defining a particular relationship” (Burleson & Samter, 1994, p. 66). Furthermore, because individuals vary in their skillfulness in handling relationship tasks, the relationships themselves will be more or less maintained. Using close friendships as an example, Burleson and Samter (1994) held that a primary function of friendship is to give and receive social support. According to the skills similarity model, friendships would be maintained based on similar skill levels of support seeking and receiving. In other words, similarity of social skills should influence the extent to which the friendship is rewarding. Because relationships develop and change over time, expectations also change and thereby differentiate close friends from acquaintance friends (Burleson & Samter, 1994). Burleson and Samter posited that only when both partners fulfill the expectations of a particular friendship does the friendship remain intact for further development.

86

-c==

DAINTON,

ZELLEY,

LANGAN

Empirical studies have demonstrated support for this model; however, a meager amount of research has investigated the social skills similarity model and friendships. For example, Burleson and Samter (1996) found that among college students, not only were friendship pairs similar with regard to their skillfulness with affective expression and the management of emotional states but also, pairs of highly skilled friends were no more satisfied with the relationship than were friendship pairs in which both partners were equally unskilled. Burleson (1994) reported similar results in a study of third graders, noting that children were more attracted to peers with similar social skills as their own, and that pairs of friends showed similar skills in the expression and management of emotional states. Likewise, Burleson and Samter (1994) found that college coeds “were both attracted to and maintained reciprocated friendships with those having levels of social skills similar to their own” (p. 83). More precisely, Burleson and Samter found significant effects due to similarity in comforting and conflict management. The skills similarity approach to relational maintenance has also found support within marital relationships (e.g., Burleson & Denton, 1992).

/utachmentThecx-ynd

rriendshp

A final theoretical perspective is attachment theory. Initially framed within the infant-caregiver relationship (Bowlby, 1973, 1982), attachment theory (AT) posits that the bonds developed between a child and the primary caregiver provide a context from which all other close relationships must be understood (Collins & Read, 1990). Specifically, AT predicts that sense of security depends on the initial infant-caregiver bond whereby security and stimulus reduction are provided through consistent, comforting responses from the caregiver (attachment figure) during an intimes of need or distress, particularly as the infant develops and explores (Armstrong & Roth, 1989). The degree to which young children recognize and react to (in)consistent comfort from their attachment figure creates the foundation for understanding three primary attachment styles: secure, anxious or ambivalent, and avoidant (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters, & Wall, 1978; Bowlby, 1973, 1982). Whereas secure infants have confidence in their attachment ability to comfort or soothe based on the consistent support when needed, avoidant children have had limited exposure to comfort from the caregiver when distressed; subsequently, avoidant children display little desire to achieve closeness and do not seek comfort. In between these two styles, anxious or ambivalent infants perceive their caregivers to be unreliable sources of support and, therefore, are easily upset, are difficult to soothe, and demonstrate high degrees of separation anxiety.

4.

MAINTAINING

FRIENDSHIPS

++

8;

Somewhat differently, Bartholomew and Horowitz (199 1) developed a model to define attachment styles based on view of self versus view of others. In their model, four distinct styles emerge: secure (positive view of self and others), preoccupied (negative view of self; positive view of others), dismissive (positive view of self; negative view of others), and fearful avoidant (negative view of self and others) attachments. Despite classification differences, both views of attachment styles suggest that the initial bonding has a long-lasting influence on the attitudes and behaviors of individuals within close relationships, including friendships. For example, AT has also been used to explain adult relationships in terms of relationship attitudes, self-disclosure, and openness (e.g., Collins & Read, 1990); intimacy (Guerrero, 1996); conflict styles (Levy & Davis, 1988; Pistole, 1989); competitiveness (Zelley, 2001); and social support (Simpson, Rholes, & Nelligan, 1992). Although attachment clearly applies to the infant-caregiver relationship, research has investigated the influence of attachment style on other types of close relationships, including friendships. Children need extensive social and emotional skills to sustain friendships, and attachment to a parent or primary caregiver influences initiation and maintenance of friendships (Shulman, Elicker, & Sroufe, 1994; Wright, 1984). For example, observational analysis has revealed that attachment style differences surfaced along two primary dimensions that appear to influence the maintenance of friendship: affective tone and degree of closeness between friendship pairs, and nature of tasks friends jointly pursue (Shulman et al., 1994). Importantly, secure children appeared to display more positive affect as well as engaged in more joint, creative play than those with insecure attachment styles. Mikulincer and (2001) th ree-part study of attachment style and affiliation among best friendships revealed that anxious or ambivalent participants overemphasized attachment goals (e.g., security and management of distress), whereas avoidant participants minimized attachment goals. Further, Mikulincer and Selinger noted that anxious-ambivalent respondents reported greater difficulty in maintaining the friendship than either secure or avoidant participants. Among preschool children, Kerns (1994) found that attachment pairing significantly predicts friendship quality with secure-secure pairs having more positive and coordinated interactions than secure-insecure friendship pairs. Attachment style, at least to some degree, influences the development and maintenance of childhood and young adult friendships. AT has not been used widely to address individual differences in adult friendships, perhaps because attachment is largely a developmental theory, and, as discussed earlier friendship is not as heavily researched as romantic and kin relationship. However, a number of findings have shown attachment styles

58

+=s

DAINTON,

ZELLEY,

LANGAN

influence adult relationships such as marriage (e.g., Davila & Bradbury, 2001). It is quite likely that attachment style differences influence the maintenance of middle and older adult friendships. Having reviewed theoretical viewpoints common to friendship research, attention is now turned to the ways in which individuals maintain their friendships over time and distance.

MAINTENANCE

STKAT~GIES

Various definitions of maintenance imply alternative understandings of how friendships are sustained. For example, Dindia and Canary (1993) argued that one definition of maintenance is to keep a relationship in existence. This definition of maintenance as relationship existence corresponds with both (1988) and (1984) conceptualizations of maintenance in their studies of friendship. Other researchers focus on maintenance as keeping the relationship in a specified state or condition (e.g., Fehr, 1999; Messman et al., 2000). Finally, some scholars have focused on maintaining satisfactory friendships (e.g., Burleson & Samter, 1996; Cole & Bradac, 1996; Jones, 199 1). Despite variations in how maintenance is explicitly conceived, a tentative consensus exists regarding how relational maintenance might be achieved in friendships. Thus far, four strategies have consistently emerged as in the friendship maintenance literature: time together, openness, social support, and avoidance. First, several scholars have highlighted the importance of time together as a maintenance strategy (e.g., Canary et al., 1993; Fehr, 2000; Hays, 1984; Johnson, 2000; Messman et al., 2000; Rawlins, 1992; Rose, 1985). This research has emphasized the need for shared activity and ongoing interaction in order to sustain the relationship. Indeed, absence of interaction is consistently cited as a basis for termination in friendships (Hays, 1988; Rawlins, 1994; Rose, 1985). Interestingly, Rawlins found that middle-adult friendships could be sustained without frequent contact as long as friends were perceived as “being there” or “still there” for each other. However, he concluded that visitation and interpersonal contact afford the greatest chances for sustaining friendship, which suggests that spending time together serves as a central means by which friendships are maintained. A second consistent maintenance strategy identified in the literature is openness (e.g., Ayres, 1983; Canary et al., 1993; Fehr, 2000; Hays, 1984; Johnson, 2000; Messman et al., 2000; Rose, 1985). In short, self-disclosure and discussions about life events seem central to the maintenance of friendships, and the use of openness as a maintenance strategy is important for casual, close, and best friendships. Indeed, Hays (1984) found that openness predicted friendship intensity 3 months later for all types of friends.

4.

MAINTAINING

FRIENDSHIPS

=+I-

89

Although it is important for friends to talk about their own lives, research also suggests that the provision of social support (i.e., being other-oriented) offers a central means by which friendships are maintained (Barbee, Gulley, & C unningham, 1990; Burleson & Samter, 1994; Canary et al., 1993; Fehr, 2000; Hays, 1984; Messman et al., 2000; Nardi & Sherrod, 1994). Scholars have found that comforting, giving advice, and providing ego support are primary functions of friendships. The final strategy identified consistently in the literature is avoidance (e.g., Ayres, 1983; Canary et al., 1993; Messman et al., 2000; Nix, 1999). Although this strategy may be perceived as a less than ideal means to maintain relationships, research supports that avoiding particular topics or people might help to sustain relationships. Such a perspective is consistent with a dialectical perspective on maintenance (discussed previously), where time together might be balanced by time apart, and openness balanced by closedness (see Baxter, 1994). Although these four strategies appear consistently throughout the literature, several other strategies have emerged that might also function to sustain friendships. For example, several studies have noted that antisocial strategies can be used to maintain friendships (e.g., Canary et al., 1993; Nix, 1999), whereas others have explicitly identified affection as a maintenance strategy (e.g., Hays, 1984; Rose, 1985). 0 ne explanation for the inconsistent reporting of this latter strategy could stem from the assumption that friendships are affectionate simply by definition (Hays, 1988); therefore, it might appear redundant to list this as a maintenance strategy. Additionally, the inconsistent reporting of both strategies in the literature might be because such strategies are used less frequently to maintain friendships. Conversely, social desirability effects might explain why these strategies appear less frequently. Individuals responding to surveys might be unwilling to acknowledge their use of antisocial strategies with someone they presumably hold dear. On the other end of the spectrum, friends might not be willing to acknowledge the role of overt affection in their relationships due to social norms against displays of affection for same-sex relationships (Fehr, 1996). Several other maintenance strategies should be noted. Burleson and Samter (1994) argued that conflict management was a vital social skill in the maintenance of friendships. Canary et al. (1993) found that friends reported using humor, sharing tasks, social networks, assurances, positivity, and cards/letter/calls. In partial support for these categories, Messman et al. (2000) a1so f ound the reported use of positivity as a means for maintaining cross-sex friendships, and Johnson (2000) found the use of telephone calls and e-mail as a means for maintaining long-distance friendships. Future research should strive to ascertain the extent to which these additional strategies might be used to maintain friendships, as well as the extent to which such strategies foster desired relational characteristics such as satisfaction and commitment.

‘-?o

+e

DAINTON,

ZELLEY,

LANGAN

SEX Dlt=l=lXENCES

IN ENACTING

l=KIENDSHlP

One frequently studied topic in the friendship literature is sex differences in the enactment of friendships. Despite popular stereotypes of large differences in the ways that men and women maintain relationships, research results are far from consistent. This section highlights some of the research into sex differences and offers conclusions regarding what is known and where it might go from here. First, a number of studies have suggested that female friendships are emotionally closer than male friendships. Buhrke and Fuqua (1987) found that female friendships have more contact under stress, are closer, and are more satisfactory to the friends than are male friendships. Similarly, Hays (1988; Hays & Oxley, 1986) h as f ound that female friends are perceived as more supportive than are male friends. Indeed, both female and male friends reported being less lonely when they spend time with female friends (Wheeler, Reis, & Nezlek, 1983). In short, friendships that involve at least one woman were more satisfying than male-male friendships (Elkins & Peterson, 1993), primarily because of the provision of support and the openness associated with them. Regarding the maintenance of friendships, Johnson (1999) did not conduct a direct comparison, but she found that female-female student friendships were more likely to describe maintenance as being achieved by phone calls and discussion of life events and romantic interests, whereas male-male student friendships described discussion of romantic interests, talking about sports, and going to a bar or drinking as the most frequent ways of maintaining their relationships. In summarizing sex differences in friendships, Fehr (1996) argued that female friends prefer talking, and male friends prefer engaging in activities. This was partially supported by (1999) research. Fehr (1996) also suggested that when women talk they discuss personal and relational matters, whereas men talk about impersonal matters such as sports and work, which is also partially consistent with the results of (1999) study. Conversely, however, Barbee et al. (1990) found that both male and female friends preferred talking to a same-sex friend than an opposite sex friend, diminishing the proposed superiority of female friendship. Further, Derlega, Barbee, and Winstead (1994) f ound that male friends were more often sought as a source of support for achievement-related stressors. Finally, Jones (1991) f ound that although male friends self-disclosed less than do female friends, self-disclosure remained a significant indicator of male friendship satisfaction. Complicating these inconsistencies, several studies have found no significant differences in the maintenance of friendships (Ayres, 1983; Cole & Bradac, 1996; Rose & Serafica, 1986). Further, marital status likely in-

4.

MAINTAINING

FRIENDSHIPS

-+-

91

teracts with sex when looking at friendship maintenance. For example, Tschann (1988) f ound that married men disclose less than do unmarried men, married women, and unmarried women. In short, the picture of sex differences in the maintenance of friendships is opaque at best. Methodological differences may contribute to this muddled view. Derlega et al. (1994) proposed that sex differences might be a function of the self-report methods used to study friendships. In a series of laboratory studies, these authors found few sex differences in friendship enactment. Accordingly, it may be that people respond in stereotypical ways when responding to a survey but might not exhibit stereotypical behavior when observed. Moreover, although some sex differences might exist in the maintenance of friendships, similarities likely outweigh any differences (Wright, 1998). Wright also proposed that views of what constitutes affectionate and communal exchanges might be skewed toward feminine ideals (e.g., a weekend fishing trip can also be seen as communal). Accordingly, sex differences in such activities might not be experienced as such by relational participants. Finally, as with other relational types, gender probably plays a larger role in predicting maintenance enactment than does sex (e.g., Stafford, Dainton, & Haas, 2000). That is, gender (i.e., masculine, feminine, or androgynous) might influence friendship behavior more than does biological sex (i.e., male or female). CROSS-SEX l=RlENDSHIP.S

Although sex differences per se may not have a clear impact on the ways that relationships are maintained, clear differences emerge in the enactment of same-sex and cross-sex friendships. For heterosexual individuals, maintaining a cross-sex friendship involves the affection, companionship, intimacy, and assistance found in same-sex relationships, but it also involves downgrading sexuality (Monsour, 1992, 1996). Indeed, one of the fundamental challenges of cross-sex friendships is confronting the expectation that such relationships should ultimately lead to romantic or sexual relationships (Monsour, 1996). Yet, friendships themselves are typically exemplified by a lack of sexual intimacy (Gaines et al., 1998). Such is the paradox of cross-sex friendships. Werking (1997) argued that opposite-sex friendships (as compared to romantic involvements) can be characterized in four ways: They involve attraction of the spirit, not the body; they are more egalitarian than romantic relationships; they do not entail exclusivity, as do romantic relationships; and they are an end in themselves, not a means to an end. Buhrke and Fuquo (1987) found that both men and women have an average of three close opposite-sex friends, although, single women and married men and women tend to prefer same-sex friendships to opposite-sex friendships (Rose, 1985).

92

-is=+ DAINTON,

ZELLEY,

LANGAN

Women and men appear to perceive cross-sex friendships differently. For example, Rose (I 985) f ound that women perceive cross-sex friendships as providing less acceptance than do men in cross-sex friendships. Men, on the other hand, perceive cross-sex friendships as closer than do their female friends (Buhrke & Fuqua, 1987). Jones (199 1) found that although women reported greater trust in their male friends, a more communal orientation, and greater satisfaction, such differences were not apparent when considering the actual functioning of cross-sex friendships. Finally, regarding sex differences in the communication in cross-sex friendships, Egland, Spitzberg, and Zormeier (1996) found that women more often reported flirting in cross-sex friendships than did men. Interestingly, the avoidance of flirting was identified by Messman et al. (2000) as one means for maintaining platonic cross-sex friendships. When comparing the composition of the dyad (i.e., same-sex and cross-sex friends), some clear differences emerge. Rose (1985) reported that individuals in opposite-sex relationships more frequently reported few, if any, maintenance efforts and the use of affection as maintenance than did individuals in same-sex friendships. She found that same-sex friendships used rnore acceptance, effort, communication, and common interests as maintenance activities compared to cross-sex friendships. Conversely, Winstead, Derlega, Lewis, Sanchez-Hucles, and Clarke (1992) found that emotion-based talk occurred most frequently in cross-sex friendships and least frequently in female-female friendships, with the frequency of male-male emotion-based talk falling in between that of the other two friendship compositions. This clearly is against stereotypes of friendships. Despite these differences, Monsour (1992) found similarity in the meaning of intimacy for cross-sex and same-sex friends, although (predictably) sexual contact was viewed as appropriate for cross-sex friends and
--L -- ------f:not same-sex rrienus.1l?-ror _---example,-l-lLl-alrnougn.-le-l-L:mm-lmm relarlvely --.-uncommon--- I?-Ll ror -l- Dow

sexes, several scholars have found that men are somewhat more motivated by sexual attraction in their pursuit of cross-sex friendships than are women (Buss, 1994; Rose, 1985). Indeed, it appears that one of the major challenges in cross-sex friendships is dealing with sexuality. Some cross-sex friendships fail this challenge, as both men and women report having had sex with cross-sex, ostensibly platonic friends (Buhrke & Fuqua, 1987). Much of the research on cross-sex friendship suggests that sexual activity between opposite sex friends is a relatively infrequent occurrence, however (Messman et al., 2000). For example, according to Fuiman, Yarab, and Sensibaugh (1997), only one in seven respondents noted having engaged in sexual activity with a friend of the opposite sex. On the other hand, Afifi and Faulkner (2000) found that one half of participants (5 1%) had h ad sex with at least one platonic friend, and one third (34%) of those who had engaged in sex reported having had sex with a

4. MAINTAINING

FRIENDSHIPS

3t

93

friend on more than one occasion. The difference in these proportions is likely due to measurement; Afifi and Faulkner asked participants to report on the frequency of sexual activity with all cross-sex friendships, whereas other researchers typically ask participants to report on the frequency of sex with only one cross-sex friend. Moreover, the varying definitions of platonic friends could influence the reports of sexual behavior between friends. For example, Messman et al. (2000) defined platonic as “non-sexual involvement” (p. 73) thereby eliminating any cross-sex friendships in which there had been any physical involvement. Conversely, Afifi and Faulkner (2000) defined platonic friendship as a cross-sex relationship in which the participants were not dating and “had no intentions of dating” (p. 2 11). This more liberal definition may explain the large proportion of cross-sex friends who had reportedly engaged in sex with a friend on at least one occasion. A discussion of the role of sexual activity in cross-sex friendships relies on the presumption that the friends are heterosexual. Nardi and Sherrod (1994) argued that when focusing on the friendships of gay men and lesbian women, same-sex friendships are also challenged by the role of sexual activity. Yet, friendships in general are likely to play an even greater role in the lives of gay men and lesbians than in heterosexual individuals, as friendships often substitute for family in the gay and lesbian population. Nardi and Sherrod found that gay men were more likely than lesbian women to have had sex with casual and close friends, but not with best friends. Lesbians were more likely to say their best friend was a former lover, whereas gay men were more likely to say their best friend was their current lover (for more about the maintenance of gay and lesbian relationships, see Haas, chap. 10, this volume). In sum, it appears as though sexual activity does play at least a modest role in adult friendships for both heterosexual and homosexual individuals. However, it is important to emphasize that a vast majority of heterosexual cross-sex friendships lack sexual intimacy. Further, and discussed next, friendship composition preferences and appropriateness change throughout the lifespan; such changes in preference as well as social appropriateness may influence the degree to which sexuality is or is not emphasized between friends.

l=KllZNDSHlP

ACROSS

THE LIl=J5PAN

How friendships are enacted changes over the lifespan (e.g., Matthews, 1986; Patterson et al., 1993; Rawlins, 1992). If the nature of friendships changes as people age then it is important to highlight how the means to maintain friendships might also vary over time. The next section highlights variations in how friendships are sustained in four periods: childhood, adolescence and young adulthood, adulthood, and older adulthood.

‘74

-ee

DAINTON,

ZELLEY,

LANGAN

childhood
It is inappropriate to collapse all childhood friendships into one category because friendships themselves vary a great deal throughout the lifespan. Still, as a whole, children view friends as playmates, whereas individuals in other developmental stages view friends as confidants (Burleson & Samter, 1994). In the following paragraphs several views are presented that distinguish friendship during childhood from friendship occurring in other developmental stages. For instance, Burleson (1994) o b served that children count as friends virtually all people with whom they come in frequent contact, engage in mutual activities, and share material resources such as toys. In other words, children view friendship as consistent with repeated contact and mutual interest in playthings and pastimes. Similarly, Gottman and Mettetal(l986) f ound that early childhood peer relations focus on coordinated interaction. Even more precisely, Rawlins (1992) categorized the features of childhood friendship into three groupings based on age range and behavior. For example, he grouped the friendships of 3 to 7 year olds as momentary physical playmates, whereas the friendships of 6 to 9 year olds are characterized by activity and opportunity. The friendships of 8 to 12 year olds are characterized by equality and reciprocity. These distinctions coincide with the literature reviewed previously (e.g., Burleson, 1994; Gottman & Mettetal, 1986). In each of the above descriptions, young friendships appear as rather simple and lacking in sophistication. In fact, Rawlins (1992) suggested that friendships often end over quarrels and negative exchanges because young children lack the ability either to repair the damage or to imagine the friendship enduring beyond the conflict. Conversely, other researchers have suggested that friendships are more highly developed than they appear. For example, Whaley and Rubenstein (1994) argued that toddlers are quite capable of complex and committed friendships and that these young children worked at sustaining their relationships through rituals and routines. Similarly, Howes, Droege, and Matheson (1994) found that children in long-term friendships demonstrated more efficient communication. The children in Howes et study extended and clarified each behaviors; as a result, they had little need for negotiation or conflict. As children age, affective tone and degree of closeness between the children, as well as the nature of the tasks that they pursue suggests friendship closeness (Shulman, Elicker, & Sroufe, 1994). Moreover, younger children prefer same-sex partners, but by eighth-grade cross-sex preferences emerge, with boys preferred for telling jokes and stories, and girls preferred for giving advice and lifting spirits (Clark, 1994).

4.

MAINTAINING

FRIENDSHIPS

=+

95

Much of the research into friendships follows strong theoretical components. Although these theories were discussed earlier, some of the results of this research warrant additional discussion. First, Shulman et al. (1994) f ound that preadolescents with a secure attachment style are more competent at establishing and maintaining close friendships, whereas preadolescents with anxious attachment styles had difficulty making and keeping friends. Second, using a cognitive complexity approach, Burleson (1986) f ound that children lacking appropriate social skills are more likely to be rejected by their peers than were children who are more skilled. More importantly, Burleson (1994) found that similarity in social skills was a better predictor of friendship than were objective levels of such skills.

Ad&scence and voungAdulthood
The transition from childhood to adulthood brings with it a shift in notions of friendship. Tesch (1983) suggested that friendships during these years are defined by intimate disclosures and expectations for support. Likewise, Rawlins (1992) posited that mutuality and understanding constitute the sine qua non of adolescent and young adult friendships. He argued that this is a period of articulating identity and learning to develop intimacy, and friends provide the major resource for accomplishing these goals. In fact, adolescence and young adulthood represents a time of high contact with friends (Verbrugge, 1983). Much of the research on friendship maintenance has focused on adolescence and young adulthood. Not surprisingly, the four main maintenance strategies described earlier in this chapter (time together, openness, support, and avoidance) clearly align with maintaining the types of friendships most often experienced by individuals in this age group. That is, because young people experience high expectations for intimate communication, social support, and shared experiences (Rawlins, 1992), it is not a surprise that time together, openness, support, and even avoidance have been identified in the literature. All of these strategies can assist with the developmental goals of this period. Young adult friendships encounter challenges, however. Rawlins (1992) noted that this timeframe is associated with competition between friends, as well as competition between friends and their romantic partners. For example, Nix (1999) f ocused on the ways that individuals maintain friendships when the other friend is involved with a romantic partner. He found that romantic involvements challenge existing friendships, and that most friends actively seek to maintain the friendship bond despite this challenge.

93

-e-

DAINTON,

ZELLEY, LANGAN

The young adult timeframe is also associated with the complexities of transitioning to and away from college (Paul & Kelleher, 1995; Rawlins, 1992). Because of such transitions, Johnson (1999, 2000) has initiated a series of studies focusing on the maintenance of long-distance friendships. She has found that, like romantic relationships, long-distance friendships (LDFs) and geographically close friendships (GCFs) did not vary in the extent to which they reported closeness, satisfaction, or the expectation that the relationship would continue (for a discussion of long-distance romantic relationships, see Aylor, chap. 6, this volume). However, she did find variations in the types of routine and strategic maintenance behaviors that individuals utilized in LDFs and GCFs. Finally, Burleson and Samter (1996) focused on the maintenance of young adult friendships. They found that similarity in comforting and conflict management skills was important in friendships among young adults, whereas similarity in ego support and persuasion were less important.

Adulthood
The friendships of middle adulthood, defined by Rawlins (1992) as maturity to middle age (30 to 6.5 years old), are less frequently studied than those of the other age groups. However, several key areas of concern associated with relational maintenance can be identified. First, Rawlins (1992) argued that, for this age group, friendships can most clearly be distinguished as either communal (i.e., emotionally supportive) or agentic (e.g., socially facilitative, activity oriented). Many adult friendships are those of convenience, meaning that friendships are the byproducts of other roles such as co-workers, neighbors, or kin. This reliance on agentic friendships throughout middle adulthood most likely results due to the time constraints adults face in the wake of family and work pressures. Maintaining friendships becomes particularly problematic during adulthood as dating and marriage result in withdrawal from the friendship network (Milardo, Johnson, & Huston, 1983). Indeed, unmarried friends rely on time together as a maintenance strategy to a much greater extent than do married friends (Rose, 1985). On the other hand, married friends report greater use of affection as a maintenance strategy than do single friends (Rose & Serafica, 1986). Ironically, divorce also compounds the difficulties of maintaining friendships (Rawlins, 1992). Divorced individuals frequently feel isolated from the friendship networks they maintained when they were married. Given focus on romantic pair bonding during adulthood, adult friends have lower expectations regarding the need to spend time together to maintain their friendships (Rawlins, 1994). In terms of managing problematic events, adult friends argue over numerous issues including contrasting ideas, inappropriate disclosures, individual freedoms, rule violations, third parties, and time management

4.

MAINTAINING

FRIENDSHIPS

=a-

97

(Berger, Shaffer, Freeman-Witthoft, & Freund, 1998; Blieszner & Adams, 1992; Rawlins, 1992; Rose, 1985). Conversely, Tesch (1983) indicated that similarity, power, and acceptance become less important in adult friendships than they were previously.

older Adulthood
Researchers more frequently study friendship in older adulthood, most notably because of the presumed health benefits associated with friendship. Patterson et al. (1993) f ound that friendships between elderly people are most often characterized by devotion, reciprocity, closeness, understanding, shared experience, and attraction. These authors argued that elderly people have more complex views of friendship than do younger people, as older adults focus both on reciprocity and the consequences of friendship loss. Moreover, given a lessening of time constraints, as well as the opportunities that retirement communities and nursing homes provide, older adulthood may offer a time where friendships are more active and numerous (Matthews, 1986). Of course, these opportunities are also tempered by the more frequent deaths of those in friendship circle (Matthews, 1986). Finally, and relative to younger cohorts, older adults report fewer cross-sex friendships, and their friends also tend to be similar in terms of age (Matthews, 1986). Older friendships fall into three categories (Matthews, 1986; Rawlins, 1992). First, independent friendship types are agentic; that is, they are activity oriented and socially facilitative. Those with discerning friendships are characterized by deep attachments to the friend. Finally, acquisitive types include friends from the past, as well as new relationships. Importantly, Matthews (1986) f ound that elderly people may maintain established friendships differently than new friendships. Specifically, the maintenance of established relationships involved more self-disclosure and the provision of more services.

CONCLUSIONS
The maintenance of friendship is complicated by several factors. First, few social or legal constraints affect the enactment of friendships, making it an amorphous relational type that is likely to be a unique construction for the relational partners. Second, there are numerous levels and types of friendships. Just as variations exist in the ways that casual daters, serious daters, and married couples maintain their relationships (e.g., Canary & Stafford, 1994), variations likely occur in the ways that casual friends, close friends, and best friends maintain their friendships. Third, whether sex differences exist in friendship enactment or not, biological sex and gender influence

,Q8

-!+a

DAINTON,

ZELLEY,

LANGAN

the friendship process, as same-sex friendships confront different challenges and tensions than do cross-sex friendships. Finally, the meaning and enactment of friendship changes over the lifespan, and our understanding of friendship maintenance must take these changes into account. Numerous areas for future research abound. First, scholars should coalesce and collapse existing maintenance typologies into a clear typology that can be applied with some consistency. The four consistent strategies described in this chapter, for example, are probably not exhaustive. Once a clear typology is created, perhaps research should turn to variations in the use of these maintenance strategies across friendship levels and over the life span. Finally, the four theories described in this chapter provide a preliminary means for understanding maintenance processes. Nevertheless, more programmatic research using these theories will likely yield more focused and clear answers regarding the various simple and complex ways that friendships are maintained.

Adams, R. G., & Blieszner, R. (1994). An integrative conceptual framework for friendship research. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 11, 163-l 84. Afifi, W. A., & Faulkner, S. L. (2000). On being “just friends”: The frequency and impact of sexual activity in cross-sex friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 17, 205-222. Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the strange situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Armstrong, J. G., & Roth, D. M. (1989). Attachment and separation difficulties in eating disorders: A preliminary investigation. International Journal of Eating Disorders,

8, 141-155.
Ayres, J. (1983). Strategies to maintain relationships: Their identification and perceived usage. Communication Quarterly, 3 1, 62-67. Barbee, A. P, Gulley, M. R., & Cunningham, M. R. (1990). Support seeking in close relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationship, 7, 531-540. Bartholomew, K., & Horowitz, L. M. (1991). Attachment styles among young adults: A test of a four-category model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 61,

226-244.
Baxter, L. A. (1990). Dialectical contradictions in relationship development. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 7, 69-88. Baxter, L. A., Mazanec, M., Nicholson, J., Pittman, G., Smith, K., & West, L. (1997). Everyday loyalties and betrayals in personal relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 14, 655-678. Baxter, L. A., & Montgomery, B. M. (1996). Relating: Dialogues and dialectics. New York: Guildford. Berger, C. R., Weber, M. D., Munley, M. E., & Dixon, J. T. (1977). Interpersonal relationship levels and interpersonal attraction. In B. Rubin (Ed.), Communication yearbook 1 (pp. 245-262). N ew Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books. Berger, H. A., Shaffer, L. S., Freeman-Witthoft, B., & Freund, H. A. (1998). Friends and lovers. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 623-636.

4.

MAINTAINING

FRIENDSHIPS

3t,

y?

Blieszner, R., & Adams, R. G. (1992). Adult f riendship. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Bowlby, J. (1982). Attachment and loss, Vol. I : Attachment (2nd ed.). New York: Basic Books. (Original work published 1969) Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and loss, Vol. 2: Separation. New York: Basic Books. Buhrke, R. A., & Fuqua, D. (1987). S ex d i ff erences in same- and cross-sex supportive relationships. Sex Roles, 17, 339-352. and communicaBurleson, B. R. (1994). F riendship and similarities in social-cognitive tion abilities: Social skill bases of interpersonal attraction in childhood. Personal Relationships, 1, 371-389. Burleson, B. R., & Denton, W H. (1992). A new look at similarity and attraction in marriage: Similarities in social-cognitive and communication skills as predictors of attraction and satisfaction. Communication Monographs, 59, 268-287. Burleson, B. R., & Samter, W. (1994). A social skills approach to relationship maintenance: How individual differences in communication skills affect the achievement of relationship functions. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 61-90). New York: Academic Press. Burleson, B. R., & Samter, W. (1996). S imilarity in the communication skills of young adults: Foundations of attraction, friendship, and relationship satisfaction. Communication Reports, 9, 127-l 39. Buss, D. M. (1994). Th e evolution of desire. New York: Basic Books. Buunk, B. & Prins, K. S. (1998). L oneliness, exchange orientation, and reciprocity in friendships. Personal Relationships, 5, 1-14. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1992). Relational maintenance strategies and equity in marriage. Communication Monographs, 59, 243-267. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1994). Strategic and routine interaction. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), C ommunication and relational maintenance (pp. 3-22). San Diego, CA: Academic. Canary, D. J., Stafford, L., Hause, K. S., &Wallace, L. A. (1993). An inductive analysis of relational maintenance strategies: Comparisons among lovers, relatives, friends, and others. Communication Research Reports, 10, 5-14. Canary, D. J., & Zelley, E. D. (2000). C urrent research programs on relational maintenance behaviors. Communication Yearbook, 23, 30.5339. Clark, R. A. (1994). 1 and gender preferences for conversational partners for specific communicative objectives. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 11, 313-319. Cole, T., & Bradac, J. J. (1996). A lay theory of relational satisfaction with best friends. 13, 57-83. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Collins, N. L., & Read, S. J. (1990). Adult attachment, working models, and relationship quality in dating couples. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 644-663. Davila, J., & Bradbury, T. N. (2001). Attachment insecurity and the distinction between unhappy spouses who do and do not divorce. Journal of Family Psychology, 15, 371-393. Derlega, V J ., Barbee, A. I?, & Winstead, B. A. (1994). Friendship, gender, and social support: Laboratory studies of supportive interactions. In B. R. Burleson, T. L. Albrecht, & I. G. Sarason (Eds.), Communication of social support: Messages, interactions, relationships, and community (pp. 136-l 72). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Deutsch, M. (1985). Distributive justice: A social-psychological perspective. New Haven, CT Yale University Press. Dindia, K., & Baxter, L. (1987). Strategies for maintaining and repairing marital relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 4, 143-l 58.

loo

s=+

DAINTON,

ZELLEY, LANGAN

Dindia, K., & Canary, D. J. (1993). Definitions and theoretical perspectives on maintaining relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, IO, 163-l 73. Egland, K. L., Spitzberg, B. H., & Zormeier, M. M. (1996). Flirtation and conversational competence in cross-sex platonic and romantic relationships. Communication Reports, 9, 105-l 17. Elkins, L. E., & Peterson, C. (1993). Gender differences in best friendships. Sex Roles, 29, 497-508. Fehr, B. (1996). Friendship processes. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Fehr, B. (1999). Stability and commitment in friendships. In J. M. Adams & W. H. Jones (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal commitment and stability (pp. 259-280). New York: Academic/Plenum Press. Fehr, B. (2000). The life cycle of friendship. In C. Hendrick & S. S. Hendrick (Eds.), Close relationships: A sourcebook (pp. 7 l-82). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Fuiman, M., Yarab, P, & Sensibaugh, C. (1997, July). Justfriends?An examination ofsexual, physical, and romantic aspects of cross-gender friendships. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the International Network on Personal Relationships, Oxford, OH. Gaines, S. O., Bledsoe, K. L., Farris, K. R., Henderson, M. C., Kurland, G. J., Lara, J. K., Marelich, W. D., Page, M. S., Palucki, L. J., Steers, W N., & West, A. M. (1998). Communication of emotion in friendships. In P A. Andersen & L. K. Guerrero (Eds.), Hundb oo k of communication and emotion: Research, theory, applications, and contexts (pp. 5 1 O-53 1). New York: Academic. Gottman, J., & Mettetal, G. (1986). Sp eculations about social and affective development: Friendship and acquaintanceship through adolescence. In J. M. Gottman& J. of friends (pp. 192-237). New York: Cambridge G. Parker (Eds.), Conversations University Press. Guerrero, L. K. (1996). Attachment-style differences in intimacy and involvement: A test of the four-category model. Communication Monographs, 63, 269-292 of friendship. Journal of Social Hays, R. B. (1984). Th e d eve 1o p ment and maintenance and Personal Relationships, 1, 75-98. Hays, R. B. (1985). A longitudinal study of friendship development. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 48, 909-924. Hays, R. B. (1988). Friendships. In S. W. Duck (Ed.), Handbook of personal relationships: Theory, research, and interventions (pp. 391-408). Chichester: Wiley. Hays, R. B., & Oxley, D. (1986). S ocial network development and functioning during a life transition. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 305-3 13. Howes, C., Droege, K., & Matheson, C. C. (1994). Pl ay an d communicative processes within long- and short-term friendship dyads. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1 I, 401-410. Johnson, A. J. (1999, November). Using routing and strategic communication and activities to maintain friendships: Examining geographically close and long-distance friendships. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Conference; Chicago, IL. Johnson, A. J. (2000, July). A role theory approach to examining the maintenance of geographically close and long-distance friendships. Paper presented at the International Network on Personal Relationships Conference; Prescott, Arizona. Jones, D. C. (1991). Friendship satisfaction and gender: An examination of sex differences in contributors to friendship satisfaction. Journal of SociaZ and Persona2 Relationships, 8, 167-l 86. Kerns, K. A. (1994). A longitudinal examination of links between mother-child attachment and friendships in early childhood. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 11, 379-381.

4.

MAINTAINING

FRIENDSHIPS

-a-

101

Levy, M. B., & Davis, K. E. (1988). L ovestyles and attachment styles compared: Their relations to each other and to various relationship characteristics. Journul ofSocial ?X Personal Relationships, 5, 439-471. Matthews, S. (1986). Friendships through the life course. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Messman, S. J., Canary, D. J., & Hause, K. S. (2000). Motives to remain platonic, equity, and the use of maintenance strategies in opposite-sex friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 17, 67-94. Mikulincer, M., & Selinger, M. (2001). Th e interplay between attachment and affiliation systems in same-sex friendships: The role of attachment style. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 18, 81-l 06. Milardo, R. M., Johnson, M. I?, & Huston, T. L. (1983). Developing close relationships: Changing patterns of interaction between pair members and social networks. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 44, 964-976. Monsour, M. (1992). Meanings of intimacy in cross- and same-sex friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 9, 2 77-295. and cross-sex friendships across the life-cycle: A Monsour, M. (1996). C ommunication review of the literature. In B. Burleson (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 20 (pp. 375-414). Th ousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Montgomery B. M. (1993). Relationship maintenance versus relationship change: A dialectical dilemma. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 205-223. Nardi. P M., & Sherrod, D. (1994). Friendships in the lives of gay men and lesbians. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 11, 185-200. Nix, C. L. (1999, November). But a “real” friend treat me that way?An examination of negative strategies employed to maintain friendship. Paper presented at the National Communication Association Convention; Chicago, IL. Pataki, S. P, Shapiro, C., & Clark, M. S. (1994). Ch i Id acquisition of appropriate norms for friendships and acquaintances. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 11, 427-442. Patterson, B. R., Bettini, L., & Nussbaum, J. F. (1993). The meaning of friendship across the life-span: Two studies. Communication Quarterly, 41, 145-160. Paul, E. L., & Kelleher, M. (1995). Precollege concerns about losing and making friends in college: Implications for friendship satisfaction and self-esteem during the college transition. Journal of College Student Development, 36, 5 13-52 1. Pistole, M. C. (1989). Attachment in adult romantic relationships: Style of conflict resolution and relationship satisfaction. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 6, 505-510. Rabby, M. K. (1997, November). Maintaining relationships via electronic mail. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association; Chicago, IL. Rawlins, W K. (1982). Cross-sex friendship and the communicative management of sex-role expectations. Communication Quarterly, 30, 343-352. Rawlins, W. K. (1989). A dialectical analysis of the tensions, functions and strategic challenges of communication in young adult friendships. In J. A. Anderson (Ed.), Communication yearbook, 12 (pp. 157-l 89). Newbury, CA: Sage. Rawlins, W. K. (1992). F riendship matters: Communication, dialectics, and the lifecourse. Hawthorne, NY Aldine de Gruyter. Rawlins, W K. (1994). Being there and growing apart: Sustaining friendships during adulthood. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relutionul maintenance (pp. 275-294). New York: Academic Press. Roberto, K. A., & Scott, J. l? (1986). Equity considerations in the friendships of older adults. Journal of Gerontology, 41, 241-247.

102

w

DAINTON,

ZELLEY,

LANGAN

Rose, S. M. (1985). S ame- and cross-sex friendships and the psychology of homosociality. Sex Roles, 12, 63-74. Rose, S. M., & Serafica, F. C. (1986). Keeping and ending casual, close, and best friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 3, 275-288. Shulman, S., Elicker, J., & Sroufe, L. A. (1994). Stages of friendship growth in preadolscence as related to attachment history. Journal of SociaZ and Personal Relationships, 1 I, 341-361. Simpson, J. A., Rholes, W. S., & Nelligan, J. S. (1992). Support-seeking and support-giving within couples in an anxiety-provoking situation. Journal of Personality
and Social Psychology, 62, 434-446.

Stafford, L., Dainton, M., & Haas, S. (2000). M easuring routine and strategic relational maintenance: Scale development, sex versus gender roles, and the prediction of relational characteristics. Communication Monographs, 67, 306-323. Tesch, S. A. (1983). R eview of friendship development across the lifespan. Human Development, 26, 266-276.

Tschann, J. M. (1988). Self-disclosure in adult friendship: Gender and marital status differences. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 5, 65-81. Verbrugge, L. M. (1983). A research note on adult friendship contact: A dyadic perspective. Social Forces, 62, 78-83. Weiss, R. S. (1998). A taxonomy of relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 67 l-683. Weiss, L., & Lowenthal, M. F. (1975). 1 e - course perspectives on friendship. In M. F. Lowenthal, M. Thurnher, & D. Chiriboga (Eds.), Four stages of life. San Francisco: Jossey Bass. Werking, K. J. (1997). just good friends: Women and men in nonromantic relationships. New York: Guilford Press. Whaley, K. L., & Rubenstein, T. S. (1994). H ow toddlers friendship: A descriptive analysis of naturally occurring friendships in a group child care setting. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 11, 383-400.

L., Reis, H., & Nezlek, J. (1983). L oneliness, social interaction, and sex roles. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 943-953. Winstead, B. A., Derlega, V J., Lewis, R. J., Sanchez-Hucles, J., & Clarke, E. (1992). Friendship, social interaction, and coping with stress. Communication Research, 19, 193-211. Wiseman, J. I? (1986). F riendship: Bonds and binds in a voluntary relationship. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 3, 191-211. Wright, P H. (1984). S e If- re f erent motivation and the intrinsic quality of friendship. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1, 115-l 30. Wright, P H. (1998). Towards an expanded orientation to the study of sex differences in friendship. In D. J. Canary & K. Dindia (Eds.), Sex differences and similarities in communication: Critical essays and empirical investigations of sex and gender in interaction (pp. 41-64). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Zelley, E. D. (2001, July). Friend or foe: The relationship between competitiveness in close friendships and the occurrence of disordered eating. Paper presented at the International Conference on Personal Relationships, Prescott, AZ. Wheeler,

hIps
Jon A. Hess LTriversity of Missouri-Columbia

ndes‘ire

s social creatures, we spend our lives in the company of others, rather i than in isolation. Consequently, we maintain many relationshps out of need rather than desire. Unfortunately, some of these relationshps are ones that we would not maintain if given a choice. Although a considerable amount of research on relational dynamics can be applied to unwanted relationshps, scholars have made little attempt to generate an integrated overview of what communication characteristics typify such relationshps, how they differ from desirable relationshps, or how they should best be maintained. The maintenance of unwanted relationshps piques public interest. Articles with titles such as You Bug Me! (Precker, 2000) and Do YouAttract People You’d Rather Repel? (Finello, 2000) that are scattered throughout the pages of newspapers and magazines, and books such as Dealing With People You Can’t Stand (Blvlkman & Kirschner, 1994), serve as a testament to the attraction such relationshps have on people’s attention. But unwanted relationshps should catch scholars’attention as well because a closer examination of these relationships could broaden and enrich our understandmg of personal relationshps. Relationshps people want to maintain pose challenges (e.g., managing dalectical tensions or dealing with confict), but greater challenges can arise in relationshps that one or both parties wish &d not exist. It seems llkely that at both an indi-

vidual and societal level, more problems arise from relationships people would not maintain if given a choice than from relationships that people choose to nurture. The widely documented tensions in Ireland, the Middle East, and the former Yugoslavia may illustrate some problems that result from social groups being unwillingly forced to coexist. At an interpersonal level, individuals face undesirable relationships on a regular basis and often experience negative consequences from them (Hess, 2000; Levitt, Silver, & France, 1996). Research on unwanted relationships and their challenges offers an opportunity for theoretical advances in the study of personal relationships. Unwanted relationships provide a rich context for the study of many communication challenges, and they offer a venue assessing the generalizability of theory. At present, some theories of relational phenomena apply only to voluntary and desired relationships (Wiseman & Duck, 1995). Studying unwanted relationships can help scholars learn more about communication under difficult circumstances and can help scholars discern which principles of relational maintenance are universal and which are context-specific. Duck (1994b) argued that “the and sides of relationship need to be incorporated together theoretically into one set of principles that can deal with both” (p. 4). Doing so entails testing theories in a wide range of relational contexts (Wood & Duck, 1995), especially those that differ in significant ways from the more traditional contexts studied by researchers. This chapter provides a foundation from which to study such relationships. A diverse set of constructs and theories are pulled together to help illuminate the characteristics that differentiate undesired relationships from their more desirable counterparts. This chapter examines the assumptions that underlie the study of undesired relationships, delineates the factors that give rise to such relationships, discusses the nature of communication processes in such relationships, and suggests directions for future research.

ASSUMPTIONS

l=OR STUDYING

UNDESIRED

The study of undesired relationships is founded on a set of assumptions that may differ from ones scholars often make when studying maintenance of more traditional relationships. These assumptions are as follows.

Assumption I: Relationships d-ten as Nonbohntary Associakons

Exist

Few scholars would deny that some relationships are nonvoluntary, but the majority of relational communication theory focuses on relationships formed by voluntary association (Galvin & Cooper, 1990). Family scholars (e.g., Coleman SKGanong, 1995; Galvin & Cooper, 1990) often discuss the impact that nonvoluntary association has on families, but by and large, the

5.

MAINTAINING

UNDESIRED

RELATIONSHIPS

3t-

102

relational maintenance literature focuses on what forces can hold relationships together or tear them apart, how relationships develop, or how they deteriorate, rather than on how people sustain a relationship when separation is not an option. If scholars approach the study of relational maintenance from an assumption that relationships are often nonvoluntary associations, then a broader range of relationships must be studied so that the theory developed can be applied to all relationships.

Assumption~:closeand Ongoin Relationships % y NegativeAffect canSometimesbeCharacterized
Many scholars suggest that liking is an essential quality of close relationships (e.g., Bell, Daly, & Gonzalez, 1987; Byrne & Murnen, 1988; Dickens & Perlman, 1981; Rubin, 1973). This stipulation is unwarranted. Undoubtedly, the majority of close relationships are affectively positive, as are the relationships that people most highly value, so the characterization of close relationships as involving liking is often appropriate. However, the assertions that liking constitutes a necessary condition for a close relationship or that all close relationships are affectively positive inaccurately represent the social milieu of most lives. As Berscheid (1983) noted:
It is clear that strong negative affect experienced more or less regularly, perhaps even exclusively, in a relationship many would consider as close on other grounds is not unusual. At the least, a classification scheme that excluded such relationships from the domain of close relationships would exclude many family relationships. (p. 115)

In attempt to delineate the factors that make relationships close, Kelley et al. (1983) f ocused on causal interdependence rather than liking. In their definition, relationships are close when they have frequent, strong, diverse, and enduring causal interconnections. Although some of these authors later questioned the necessity of duration in this definition (Berscheid, Snyder, & Omoto, 1989), they stated explicitly that affect was irrelevant to the definition of closeness.

Assumption 3: Relational Development and Maintenance Sometrmes Involve Fluctuatingor Even Decking Levels of Intimacy
Many theories of personal relationships have stated that relational development and dissolution are characterized by increases or decreases in intimacy level (e.g., Altman & Taylor, 1973). These theories typically saw relationships as continuously in a process of growth, and thus, gradually in-

creasing in intimacy, unless they were left to stagnate or deteriorate. Ayres (1983) suggested that instead, relationships develop to a certain level of intimacy and then enter a maintenance phase of stable intimacy levels. The common assumption among all these theories is that intimacy increases or stabilizes during relational development and maintenance, and that a reduction in intimacy signals relational deterioration. More recent perspectives (e.g., Baxter & Montgomery, 1996) propose that many relational qualities are dialectical in nature, and thus they vary over time as relational partners attempt to satisfy competing tensions between opposing forces. For example, the needs for autonomy and interdependence may drive partners to increase or decrease intimacy at different points of their relational lives. Thus, intimacy may go through periods of increase and decrease during the maintenance phase of a long-term relationship. Research on relationships with disliked partners suggests that people often try to minimize intimacy throughout the course of an ongoing relationship (Hess, 2000). Although existing evidence suggests that most healthy and desired personal relationships do indeed experience steady or increasing levels of intimacy throughout their development and maintenance, theory and research also show that some relationships may be characterized by partattempts to minimize or reduce intimacy as one way of maintaining the relationship (Hess, 2000). Such a trend might seem like evidence of relational decline, but reduction of intimacy as a coping mechanism for an undesired relationship may be seen as a way of reducing conflict and thus, preventing relational dissolution.

Assumption+:U-wanted Relationships Can be HeaIthy Relationships
A substantial amount of research suggests that unpleasant or undesired relationships have detrimental effects on people. For example, unpleasant relationships at work and school have been linked to workplace cynicism, decreased work effectiveness, and decreased psychosomatic well-being (Fritz & Omdahl, 1998; Kinney, 1998; Schwartz & Stone, 1993). Is this negative impact inevitable? Unwanted relationships will probably never be pleasant, but it seems realistic to believe that researchers can identify the causes of negative impacts and provide ways to minimize their effects so that some of these relationships can be maintained without such unhealthy consequences. Duck (1987) observed that:
For something like 10,000 years, people have been warring with each other, fighting other nations, sparring with their neighbors, hating their colleagues, quarreling with their loved ones, arguing with one another, and suffering the pangs of despised love without the benefit of scientific research into relationships and their problems. (p. 278)

5. MAINTAINING

UNDESIRED

RELATIONSHIPS

3t,

107

The study of unwanted relationships is one area where research has the potential for significantly improving the quality of human life. One purpose of this chapter is to suggest research directions that might help people learn how to make undesired relationships healthy relationships.

CONCIZPTUAL

FXAMIEWORK

The investigation of undesired relationships must begin by answering two fundamental questions: What conditions cause a relationships to be unwanted?; Why do people maintain unwanted relationships? These questions define the context in which the undesired relationship exists. Understanding the conditions that create unwanted relationships allows us to better understand their internal forces, because these relationships develop within the constraints defined by those conditions.

why Certain

ReIationships

Are Perceived asunwanted

Relationships can be unwanted for rational and/or emotional reasons. The rational reasons can be described as interference with personal goals, and the emotional reasons share the common factor of negative affect. Goal Interference. The rational side of human behavior is governed by logical thought processes. The purpose of cognition is to formulate alternative choices for behavior and to select among those options (Greene, 1984). Scholars characterize the rational thought process as being goal-driven in nature, noting that our rational choices are made to achieve certain goals (e.g., Berger, 1997; Bogdan, 1994). These goals encompass a wide range of objectives. Task-related goals, such as getting a job done, come to mind easily, but virtually all other reasoned and intentional human behavior can be described in terms of goals. For example, social behaviors such as maintaining a certain identity, interacting in socially appropriate ways, maintaining or increasing valued resources, and regulating arousal are all goal-driven processes (Dillard, Segrin, & Harden, 1989). Thus, any relationship that poses an ongoing obstruction to the accomplishment of these goals can become unwanted. Relational partners who disconfirm a desired identity, cause anxiety, or deplete a desired resources may be unwanted. Sometimes this goal interference is brought about because of mutually conflicting goals between two people. The perception of a relationship as unwanted emerges from a goal-directed perspective as follows. Goals are hierarchically organized (Berger, 1997), meaning that some goals supersede others. Overtly avoiding another person or terminating a relationship goes against social etiquette and may have negative consequences for people. In lieu of reason to

108 -ii=+ HESS eliminate social ties with someone, people are likely to interact with that person when social norms make such behavior expected. However, when maintaining a relationship interferes with higher-order goals, such as accomplishing a task or presenting a certain face, the relationship becomes undesired. For example, a student who was talking in class about undesired relationships reported an incident with a friend who needed temporary housing, but became a nuisance after moving in. When this lifestyle began interfering with the plans, the relationship became unwanted. Another student mentioned a work relationship that was undesired because the co-worker interfered with the objectives she was trying to accomplish (task goals). Other people have spoken of relationships that were unwanted because friends and family did not approve (social interaction goals) or because they were publicly embarrassed by the other behaviors (impression management goals). For goal interference to make a relationship unwanted, the interference must have a lasting effect over time. Goals are not always consistent, and they can change suddenly from one time to another (Berger, 2000). If a relationship interferes with a goal on one or two occasions, then it is more likely to be an interaction that is undesired rather than the relationship itself. For instance, a person may wish to avoid talking to a close friend when he or she has pressing deadlines, but still value the relationship. More enduring objectives must be obstructed for the relationship to be undesired on the basis of goals. Negative Affect. It would be a mistake to describe behavior only on the basis of rational thought (i.e., choices based on goal assessments) . One of the hallmarks of human behavior is that people often base actions on emotional impulses, behaving in ways that defy any sane reason. This tendency can cause unwanted relationships. Relationships that are neutral or even beneficial with respect to goal success may be unwanted because of negative affect. Fritz and (Fritz, 1997; Fritz & Omdahl, 1998) research on negative coworkers provides a good example. Despite the importance of coordinating work for task effectiveness, many people report relationships in the workplace that they would prefer not to maintain. While this chapter was being written, a department at a university received a large donation from a wealthy alumnus to endow a program that would host business executives for annual seminars. However, when the donor visited the department he was so offensive that the faculty hoped he would not return. Despite the goal-related benefits (funding a program to improve education), the negative affect he aroused meant that people did not want to have a personal relationship with him. Although disliking may result in seemingly irrational behavior, the desire for dissociation in such circumstances makes rational sense. Theories of cognitive consistency (e.g., Heider, 1958; Newcomb, 1968) state that

5. MAINTAINING

UNDESIRED

RELATIONSHIPS

+=a- 109

people prefer that their perceptions fit together harmoniously. For relationships, two perceptions are relevant: affect and relational association (Heider, 1958). Wh en affect is negative, people prefer a lack of relational association. Thus, continued maintenance of the relationship is seen as undesirable. Negative affect can arise from a variety of sources. Wiseman and Duck (1995) reported that when asked to describe friends and enemies, people typically reported endearing qualities of friends (e.g., loyal, caring) and malicious actions by enemies (e.g., inflicted emotional pain, lied to others). When discussing the subject of relationships with disliked partners, students often talk about disliking others because of incompatible personalities, antisocial behavior, or heinous actions by the other, such as being judgmental, pushy, or harassing. Once people develop an enduring dislike for another person, relational interaction with that person becomes unwanted.

why undesired

Relationships

Are Maintained

If people would prefer not to associate with certain others, why do they continue to maintain these relationships? It is because these relationships are seen as nonvoluntary associations (Hess, 2000). Many scholars (e.g., Levinger, 1965, 1976; Rusbult, 1987; Thibaut & Kelley, 1959) have suggested that relationships are held together by barriers that prevent them from coming apart. This explanation makes good sense-the forces tearing the relationship apart are overcome by forces holding it together. The forces that act as barriers to relational dissolution can be classified into two broad categories, external and internal.

External Barriers. External barriers are forces that originate outside the individual and make the person feel constrained to that relationship. These forces of connection can come from at least three sources: social ties, work ties, and proxemic ties. Social ties refer to elements of social life that bind people together, such as friendships, family relations, and marriages. In a review of external barriers that hold marriages together, Attridge (1994) cited financial burdens of divorce (e.g., lack of economic self-sufficiency), difficulty in disentangling networks of mutual friends, and legal ties that must be severed as forces that can hold a marriage together when it might otherwise have broken apart. In addition to these social barriers, people may maintain relationships because of their work. The desirability of the present job or the difficulty of finding a new one may make it worthwhile for a person to endure an unwanted relationship. Athletic teammates can face this situation acutely because the two may work together very closely and there might be no opportunity for a person to be traded, especially in high school or college athletics.

110 +

HESS

Finally, people are often constrained to relationships by physical proximity. Whether it is due to residential area (e.g., residing in a small town) or living arrangements (e.g., family member, roommate), people can be forced into relationship just by the inevitability of encountering each other. A student once talked about how she maintained an undesired relationship throughout high school because she lived in a small town and could not avoid the other person. She was happy when she could end the relationship by moving away from home for college. Undesired relationships caused by external ties cause a collision of psychological and social forces. Internally, the person may prefer not to have the relationship, but external pressures force the interaction. Such a situation is bound to be stressful, as research has demonstrated (Hess, 2000). Ultimately, though, these situations can often be tolerable if handled in a constructive manner. Despite the conflict between the desire not to relate and the externally generated need to do so, these situations are ultimately resolved through the rational prioritization of goals. Regardless of whether the relationship is unwanted because of goal interference or negative affect, people in these circumstances choose to subordinate their disdain for maintaining the relationship to their desire to satisfy more important objectives or social needs. Those needs may range from providing for dependents to presenting a socially desirable face or treating people according to certain moral standards, but in all cases the external barriers are constraints only because other goals override the desire to terminate the relationship. Recalling (2000) point that goals are hierarchically organized, it can be said that what happens in cases of external constraints is that the goal of ending the relationship is subordinated to some higher-level goal. At face, the discussion of goal subordination calls into question whether any but a few atypical relationships (e.g., people who have been institutionalized) are truly unwanted. After all, if people choose to maintain these relationships because of higher-order goals then the relationship seems to be at least partially desired. However, if the term unwanted relationship were restricted to relationships that were undesired to the degree that ending the relationship overrode all other considerations, then the term would encompass so few relationships that it would be practically useless. The term unwanted relationship is used in this chapter to describe a relationship that a person would choose to discontinue if nothing extraneous to the relationship were taken into account. internal Barriers. In contrast with external barriers, these forces arise from within the individual. In these cases, people experience conflict with their own desires. Attridge (1994) identified factors such as self-identity goals, religious beliefs, and sense of commitment. As with the external ties, these forces hold a relationship together because relational

5.

MAINTAINING

UNDESIRED

RELATIONSHIPS

31,

111

satisfaction is subordinated to goals that are perceived as being more important. Some internal barriers function in a different way. These barriers primarily center on safety and security, fear of making changes, or a lack of faith in the ability to leave the relationship. For example, one student talking about such a situation discussed how she sustained a relationship because it was difficult for her to deviate from the history of closeness she had with the person. Another recalled maintaining a relationship with a mutual friend whom she disliked. In attempting to explain why she continued in this relationship, she could only say that she did not know why she did it. It was an unidentified fear of ending the relationship that propelled ongoing interaction. In other cases, fear of making changes or desire not to hurt the other led to relationships that were unhealthy for the individual who found the relationship undesirable. In these cases, peoreasons for maintaining undesired relationships seem less rational and sometimes even dysfunctional. Relationships maintained under such circumstances might have little chance of being healthy for the individual who sees it as undesirable.

IMPLICATIONS

l=OR THEORY

AND RESlEARCH

“P ecial characteristics of undesiredtdationships
Unwanted relationships are characterized by the goal conflict or negative affect that makes them undesirable and the barriers that keep them together. As a result, these relationships cause discomfort to those who find the relationship undesirable, whether that is only one person or both partners. Because undesired relationships are sustained by forces counteracting the pressures that would otherwise tear the relationship apart, they exist in the battleground of opposing forces. That tension creates an emotionally-strenuous situation. Although any relationship may be a source of discomfort from time to time, undesired relationships cause discomfort throughout their entire existence (e.g., Hess, 2000). Undesired relationships are also characterized by a number of communicative behaviors that seem to set them apart from other relationships. Most notable among these behaviors is a greater tendency to create distance with relational messages (Hess, 2000). Because these relationships, by virtue of their existence, are closer relationships than people want, they are characterized by attempts to make themselves more distant from the unwanted partner. This characteristic and other communication behaviors that seem to differ from those in more desired relationships are discussed later when specific communication characteristics of unwanted relationships are addressed.

112

-I+=+ HESS

One assumption made in this chapter is that a relationship need not be unhealthy (or dysfunctional) just because it is unwanted. A relationship is dysfunctional when its interactions have harmful effects on its members. These harmful effects can include psychological trauma, physiological symptoms of stress, or physical injury from abuse (Gottman, 1994; Kinney, 1998; West, 1995). 0 ne worthwhile objective in the study of undesired relationships is to address the question of what factors cause dysfunctions and what can be done to make such relationships healthier. The conceptual framework proposed in this chapter suggests one factor that may be finked to relational dysfunction is the creation of an undesired relationship due to self-contradictory internal barriers (e.g., fear of making changes, a lack of faith in the ability to leave the relationship, low self-esteem, etc.). These barriers represent self-supplied impulses to sustain the relationship that contradict the self-supplied desire to escape from it. This set of contradictory beliefs seems likely to result in a high rate of dysfunctional relationships because self-contradiction is a common factor associated with psychological pathologies (Krippendorff, 1989; Watzlawick, Beavin, & Jackson, 1967). The account of one survivor of an abusive relationship typifies this situation. She recalled, “by the time the whole thing ended, I just felt like a rag. I feel attractive at all.. . . I felt totally worthless. How could I possibly get out of this marriage, I was worthless. How could I possibly have any kind of life outside of him now?” (Lempert, 1997, p. 156). When external barriers create an undesired relationship, the situation is out of the control, at least in the present and immediate future (actors may plan long-term strategies to change the situation and eliminate the undesired relationship). At face, that contrast suggests that relationships that are unwanted due solely to external barriers might be less likely to be unhealthy than those maintained because of internal barriers. However, research on abusive relationships shows that both internal barriers (e.g., feelings of commitment) and external barriers (e.g., economic dependence, lack of child care) play a role in decisions to stay in abusive relationships (e.g., Rusbult & Martz, 1995; Strube & Barbour, 1983). So, the question of whether certain types of barriers more strongly predispose a relationship to be unhealthy is unanswered at present. This question is worth addressing with future research, because if certain types of barriers can be identified as leading to more or less healthy outcomes, then scholars can begin to form a set of risk factors for negative outcomes from unwanted relationships. In addition, researchers may also wish to examine what per-

5. MAINTAINING

UNDESIRED

RELATIONSHIPS

+=+I- 113

sonality traits or interactive behaviors predict health-related outcomes from unwanted relationships. It seems likely that a combination of all three factors will predict the healthiness or unhealthiness of these relationships. For instance, Thomsen and Gilbert (1998) found that neuroticism was associated with negative marital outcomes (e.g., satisfaction), but also that a combination of neuroticism (a personality trait) and dominance (an interactive behavior) “explained more variance in marital dissatisfaction than did either factor separately” (p. 85 1). s e&c Communicative Relations Processes hips in the Maintenance

o P ti ndesired

Coping. Research applicable to unwanted relationships suggests that at least two behaviors should be universal in this context. The first of these is coping. Unwanted relationships cause stress, and stress demands some form of coping by the individual. Coping is “a stabilizing factor that can help individuals maintain psychosocial adaptation during stressful periods; it encompasses cognitive and behavioral efforts to reduce or eliminate stressful conditions and associated emotional distress” (Holahan, Moos, & Schaefer, 1996, p. 25). W iseman and (1995) study of enemies showed that people coped by shaping perceptions in ego-protective ways, which helped reduce stress and cognitive dissonance. For instance, they reported that most people saw enmity as unilateral-they were innocent, and the malice was solely due to the actions and intentions. Wiseman and Duck also noted that people were more likely to focus their energy on maintaining their own self-esteem than on reducing the enmity. In many cases, people responded with self-pity and other forms of nonproductive reflection on the situation. Another method of coping people may use in unwanted relationships is drawing support from social networks (Pierce, Sarason, & Sarason, 1996), For example, talking with others is a common way people cope with enemy relations (Wiseman & Duck, 1995). Several consequences of this strategy are noteworthy. First, such communication can serve as a catalyst to improve matters or it may actually aggravate the problem. Talking with others about an enemy might provide a more neutral perspective or ideas for reconciliation, but it can also strengthen a convictions about mistreatment. As Wiseman and Duck noted, talking with others “may cement enmity by making it impossible to ‘talk out (p. 70). Second, utilization of social support can cause the impact of an undesired relationship to spill out into other parts of a social network. Involving others in the matter may change their relations with those parties, and may even create challenging situations when the involved third parties must interact with the recipient of the disinterest.

114 -c=+ HESS

Distance. The other behavior that seems to be universal in undesired relationships is effort to distance oneself from the unwanted partner. Distance can be seen as a coping behavior, because people use it to reduce stress (e.g., Hess, 2000). H owever, it is addressed separately from coping, because distancing can result from causes other than stress. People seeking greater separation reported many ways of distancing themselves from the relational partner (Hess, in press). Some of these were avoidant strategies, such as making interactions shorter in duration, staying away from the other person as much as possible, or simply ignoring the other. When avoidance was not an option, people reported trying to make the interaction as disengaged as possible. For example, people reported using nonverbal cues that indicated dissociation (e.g., less smiling, standing further away, less eye contact, less touch), restricting the amount of information they shared about themselves, or focusing their attention away from the disliked partner. Finally, people indicated that sometimes they simply tried to alter their perceptions of the interactions, such as by feeling detached or by mentally degrading the person (Hess, in press; see Table 5.1). Wiseman and Duck (1995) f ound that people preferred avoidance whenever possible when dealing with enemies, but also used disengaging behaviors when necessary. For example, people reported disclosing less information, becoming involved in different social circles, and trying to show the enemy that they have less in common with each other. Interestingly, few people reported trying to resolve differences with their enemy. The challenge people face in these circumstances is that a certain degree of relational closeness is necessary to maintain the relationship. So, people must find ways to achieve distance without sacrificing the minimal levels of closeness required to sustain the relationship. In some cases, such as with disliked relatives, avoidance might often be a feasible distancing behavior. But in a case such as a blended family where siblings might dislike step-siblings who live in the same household, avoidance can be difficult to do. In cases such as those, dissociative behaviors or even just perceptual strategies might prove most effective. Antagonism. One interactive behavior that warrants attention in the study of unwanted relationships is antagonism. Antagonism can range from negative remarks or jokes at another expense to verbal and physical abuse. Although justified revenge is sometimes socially sanctioned (Axelrod, 1984; Tripp & Bies, 1997), overt and ongoing hostility is rarely acceptable unless the relationship involves members of hostile social groups, in which case hostility against the outgroup is approved by ingroup members (although not necessarily by third parties). Despite the general disapproval of antagonism, such behavior is quite common in our society. Many scholars talk about the prevalence of relational or family violence (e.g., Johnson, 1995; Rusbult & Martz, 19951, and Berscheid (1983) con-

TABLE 5.1
Distancing Tactics ldent&ed by Hess (in press)

Tactic Avoidance Deception

Definition Trying not to be in the presence of the other person Lying to or misleading the other person on information about oneself Perceiving the other person as less than human, such as by ignoring her/his feelings, or seeing the other person as incompetent Perceiving other message Disregarding says Avoiding or feeling a lack of attachment with the

Degrade

Detachment

Discount

or minimizing

what the other person

Group

interaction

one-on-one

interactions

with the person and

Humoring

Considering the other person to be eccentric someone just to be tolerated, but not taken seriously Acting as if the other person is not there

Ignoring Impersonal

Treating the other person like a stranger; that is, interacting with her/him as a role rather than as a unique individual Giving as little person attention as possible to the other

Inattention

Nonimmediacy

Displaying verbal or nonverbal closeness or availability

cues that minimize

Reserve

Being unusually quiet and uncommunicative with the other person

when

Restraint

Curtailing social behaviors that one would normally do, which (if done) would have led to greater relational closeness topics Limiting intimate to conversation to topics that are not

Restrict

Shorten

interaction

Doing what it takes to end the interaction quickly as possible

as

115

tended that the family is one of the most violent institutions an ordinary person is likely to encounter. Berscheid claimed that most of the anger and hostility people experience in daily life is directed toward a relative. Well-documented communication behaviors that are antagonistic or hostile include chronic disconfirmation and double-binds (Watzlawick et al., 1967), verbal aggressiveness (Infante & Wigley, 1986), and boundary violations (Peterson, 1992). One study on the maintenance of relationships with disliked partners found that all respondents reported using hostile tactics from time to time (Hess, 2000). Although most people reported antagonizing their disliked partners only occasionally (possibly only when most frustrated or when an enticing opportunity presented itself), a few respondents indicated favoring antisocial tactics more often. Research suggests that such behavior will often invite counterattacks and escalation (DeRidder, Schruijer, & Rijsman, 1999), w h ic h means that it is not usually the most rational interaction strategy. So, it may be that people interact this way when they feel immune to retaliation or when they cannot control their anger. It is also possible that some people use antisocial acts as a way of expressing or achieving control, as is often the case with abusive relationships (Johnson, 1995). Closer examination of these relationships might reveal the causes of hostility and the effects it has on the people involved. Although the research on verbal and physical abuse makes it clear that such behavior has detrimental outcomes in relationships (Cahn, 1996), the range of impacts that small to moderate degrees of nonabusive hostility has in unwanted relationships is less clear. Communication and Self-Image. Another factor that seems likely to have an important impact on communication in unwanted relationships is the management of meaning related to self-presentation and self-image. Because unwanted relationships put people into situations that contradict their interactional preferences, they may face situations that test their self-concepts and pose difficulties with presentation of face more than in ordinary relationships. These situations can entail contradictory goals or feelings, and they impact how people communicate with each other. People who consider themselves good people but act antagonistically toward an undesirable person, people who consider themselves tolerant but find themselves being short with an unwanted co-worker, or people who consider themselves loving but find themselves stewing in anger at an annoying relative all may face cognitive dissonance about their own definition of self. The challenge to manage meanings in these circumstances may impact the communication that happens between the actor and the undesired relational partner. As Duck (1994a) noted, “the disembodied social psychological concepts that we read about as impression management, self-disclosure, interdependence, and social exchange are also created or served mostly in talk” (p. 10).

5. MAINTAINING

UNDESIRED

RELATIONSHIPS

++i-

117

Task and Social Balance. One aspect of undesired relationships that seems especially salient in the workplace is the difficulty of maximizing task effectiveness when that task forces participation in an unwanted relationship. Unpleasant peer relationships in the workplace interfere with successful task outcomes (Fritz & Omdahl, 1998). A case could be made that this outcome should not necessarily follow, because keeping interactions focused on task, rather than relational issues, is one way people create distance (Hess, 2000). However, simply interacting on a task level is impossible. First, the general consensus among scholars is that virtually all communication involves both content and relational information, so it is impossible to remove the relational component from a communicative exchange (e.g., Burgoon & Hale, 1984; Watzlawick et al., 1967). Second, effective social interaction is a contributing factor in task success (Bormann, 1990). research shows that groups that tried to focus exclusively on task concerns and eliminate any social dimension to their interaction were less effective than counterpart groups that effectively balanced task and social elements in their work. So, to maximize task success, interactants in undesired relationships must find a balance between social interaction and disengagement. Multiple Audience Problem. The multiple audience problem is a challenge for relational communication, whether the interaction happens in the workplace or a social setting. It refers to a communicative situation in which a speaker needs to simultaneously meet different, and usually mutually exclusive, purposes with a single message (Fleming & Darley, 199 1; Fleming, Darley, Hilton, & Kojetin, 1990). The challenge is to address the conflicting purposes in message construction so that all parties are treated in ways that meet the social goals. Although this problem is not unique to undesired relationships, it is likely to present itself when a mutual acquaintance is present for whom the relationship with the target person is desired. In this case, a person may want to distance herself or himself from the undesired partner without simultaneously suggesting a desire to do so to the favored relational partner. The reverse can also occur. If a third party is present who considers a relationship with the target person unwanted, an individual may wish to show the third party their dissociation from the target person (to avoid perceptions of affiliation) while concealing that message from the target. Researchers have found many creative ways that people attempt such deceit. For example, people can word messages in a way that the target and the third party would interpret differently, display nonverbal cues visible only to the third party, or convey relational messages using indirect references that the target person could not interpret (e.g., Clark & Schaefer, 1987; Fleming & Darley, 1991).

118 -E=+ HESS

CONCLUSIONS AND DIRECTIONS l=OR I=UTURlZ RlES~AKCH
Undesired relationships present a challenging context for communication because they force people into situations that are uncomfortable at best, dangerous at worst. Negotiating the competing tensions of contradictory goals, emotional temptations, and social constraints requires successfully dealing with complex challenges in relational communication. So many variations in relational definitions and demands, personality traits, and social demands exist that it is difficult to propose a small set of conclusions about such relationships or recommendations for productive actions. However, one conclusion seems reasonable: that these relationships bring a greater than average share of communicative challenges. Thus, they should be a rich ground for extending our knowledge about the communicative phenomena that can be observed there. What we do know about undesired relationships can be summarized as follows. They may be caused by obstruction of goals, negative affect, or both. People see them as essential to maintain despite their undesirability due to barriers that arise from external forces, internal forces, or both. Unwanted relationships cause stress to those people who would prefer not to maintain them. Although people are likely to act antagonistically at least some of the time, distance is the primary way people cope with the stress these relationships create, and thus, sustain the relationship. Other communicative aspects of these relationships vary widely, but such issues as image management, task-social balance, and multiple audience problems seem to be likely tensions for a person to face. The combination of input variables (personality traits and the conditions making a relationship both unwanted and nonvoluntary) and process variables (interactive behaviors by the two people) determine the personal and social outcomes from the relationship. Closer examination of these issues seems to offer the possibility of improving the quality of lives. How, then, might research best proceed? One of the important contributions the study of undesired relationships can make is to create a better understanding of what communication behaviors best contribute to the well-being of those involved, and what people must do to achieve that type of communication. Such communication not only benefits psychological and physical health (Gottman, 1994), it also reduces the chances of negative experiences leading to increased hostility among the partners or others in their social networks (Berscheid, Boye, & Walster, 1968). Th us, a useful first step in research would be identification of what communication behaviors are associated with relational health or dysfunction in these relationships. Wright and Wright (1995) did this type of work for the study of codependent relation-

5.

MAINTAINING

UNDESIRED

RELATIONSHIPS

++

11T

ships. They argued that although codependency is usually studied as a personality syndrome, it is more useful to study codependent interaction as it exists within a certain relationship. Although certain people might be more predisposed to enter codependent relations (valuable information in its own right, they noted), it may be more informative to first understand what makes a relationship codependent. Such knowledge can help people identify and change the behaviors that cause unhealthy outcomes. The same approach could work well with undesired relationships. Are there identifiable patterns of communication that are common to such relationships, perhaps associated with certain causes of the undesirability or reasons for maintenance, that signal problematic outcomes? If so, identifying them will have both practical and theoretical benefits. Another avenue of research that could be productive is to identify personality traits that are associated with either the likelihood of maintaining undesired relationships or the enactment of certain communication behaviors. Several factors seem ripe for investigation. For example, having an external locus of control may predict the likelihood or prevalence of undesired relationships in a social life. People who have an external locus of control see themselves as being helpless to control many things that happen to them (Hewitt & Flett, 1996; Rotter, 1966). So, these people are less likely to pursue some valued goals, and research suggests that they have less ability to cope with stressful experiences in their lives (Lefcourt, 1991). A factor that might predict a propensity to stay in an undesirable relationship is risk aversion (Kahneman & Tversky, 1984). Research has suggested that high aversion to risk taking may prompt people to compromise their relational desires (e.g., as in maintaining a platonic relationship; Messman, Canary, & Hause, 2000). For some people, the safety and security of what is known may form an internal barrier, causing them to stay in undesired relationships, despite any negative outcomes that result. Emotional intelligence is another personality trait that may relate to how people respond to undesired relationships. Salovy, Bedell, Detweiler, and Mayer (1999) argued that people with higher emotional intelligence can cope better in relationships and may be less stressed than those with lower emotional intelligence. Although these personality traits seem theoretically justified as factors that impact unwanted relationships, such a conclusion is premature without empirical evidence. Levitt et al. (1996) examined personality traits such as self-esteem and attachment style in relation to troublesome relationships and found that those traits “were generally associated more strongly with modes of coping than with whether or not the individual had had a difficult relationship” (p. 533). So, both theoretical and empirical evidence must be examined before drawing conclusions about the impact of

120 -e=s HESS personality traits on the likelihood of developing unwanted relationships or the manner in which a person maintains them. A third avenue of research that might provide useful information is an examination of whether certain social behaviors can reduce chances of finding themselves in undesired relationships. In their examination of coping, Pierce et al. (1996) asked why researchers seem to focus more on how people handle difficult situations than on why some people find themselves in dire straights more often than others. Certainly, personality traits and bad luck are factors. But, Pierce et al. noted that the own behaviors can also play an important role. For example, if one person fears a depression and saves money whereas another spends it freely, these people would face different situations in an economic downturn. They noted that “coping researchers investigating only those persons who have faced or are facing major economic hardship would identify only the latter person, thus overlooking that the former person avoided the problem by with the event prior to its occurrence” (p. 434). Analogously, some people might find themselves in more undesired relationships than others in part due to social choices they made prior to such relationships forming or becoming undesirable. Researchers might be able to determine whether behaviors can actually affect the number of undesirable relationships they face, and if so, what behaviors those are. One way that behaviors might affect their propensity to find themselves in undesired relationships relates to satisfaction of needs. Drigotas and (1992) argued that people stay in unsatisfying relationships to the extent that they depend on that relationship to meet certain needs (e.g., emotional involvement, sex, companionship). It may be that some people invest too heavily in certain relationships (perhaps ignoring warning signs that others would observe) and allow such relationships to become the only channels for meeting those needs. Doing so could make such relationships nonvoluntary to them because of their inability to meet their needs without it. If the relationship later becomes undesired, the person feels trapped. People could avoid the problem by cultivating additional relationships that meet the same need, that is, by creating a “need satisfaction redundancy” across relationships. Of course, while doing so can insulate a person from becoming trapped in certain unwanted relationships, it risks reducing a ability to maintain extremely close relationships. Making a relationship ordinary and replaceable as a way of keeping oneself “safe” from becoming trapped makes the relationship less special because uniqueness and irreplaceability are hallmarks of close relations. So, people who wish to avoid becoming entrapped in a relationship that cannot be replaced must be careful that their strategies do not subvert their ability to maintain close and meaningful relations.

5.

MAINTAINING

UNDESIRED

RELATIONSHIPS

=+-

121

Undesired relationships are, and always will be, one of the more difficult relationships that people encounter. Because they are an inevitable aseveryone must face such relationships pect of social interaction, throughout the course of their lives. It is for challenging relations such as these that the relational research holds much promise. Learning how to manage such relationships in productive ways provides benefits for theory construction and for practical application.

Altman, I., & Taylor, D. A. (1973). Social penetration: The development of interpersonal relationships. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston. Attridge, M. (1994). Barriers to dissolution of romantic relationships. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), C ommunication and relational maintenance (pp. 141-164). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Axelrod, R. (1984). Th e evolution of cooperation. New York: Basic Books. Ayres, J. (1983). Strategies to maintain relationships: Their identification and perceived usage. Communication Quarterly, 3 1, 62-67. Baxter, L. A., & Montgomery, B. M. (1996). Relating: Dialogues and dialectics. New York: Guilford. in marriage and its Bell, R. A., Daly, J. A., & G onzalez, C. (1987). Affinity-maintenance relationship to marital satisfaction. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 49, 445-454. Berger, C. R. (1997). PI anning strategic interaction.. Attaining goals through communicative action. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Berger, C. R. (2000). Goal detection and efficiency: Neglected aspects of message production. Communication Theory, IO, 156-l 66. Berscheid, E. (1983). Emotion. In H. H. Kelley, E. Berscheid, A. Christensen, J. H. Harvey, T L. Huston, G. Levinger, E. McClintock, L. A. Peplau, & D. R. Peterson (Eds.), Close relationships (pp. 110-168). New York: W. H. Freeman. Berscheid, E., Boye, D., & Walster, E. (1968). Retaliation as a means of restoring equity. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 10, 370-376. Berscheid, E., Snyder, M., & Omoto, A. (1989). The relationship closeness inventory: Assessing the closeness of interpersonal relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 792-807. behavior shapes the Bogdan, R. J. (1994). G rounds for cognition: How goal-guided mind. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Bormann, E. G. (1990). Small g rou p communication: Theory and practice. New York: Harper & Row. Burgoon, J. K., & Hale, J. L. (1984). Th e f un d amental topoi of relational communication. Communication Monographs, 51, 193-2 14. Brinkman, R., & Kirschner, R. (1994). Dealing with people you stand: How to bring out the best in people at their worst. New York: McGraw-Hill. Byrne, D., & Murnen, S. K. (1988). Maintaining loving relationships. In R. J. Sternberg & M. L. Barnes (Eds.), The psychology of love (pp. 293-310). New Haven, CT Yale University Press. Cahn, D. D. (1996). Family violence from a communication perspective. In D. D. perspective (pp. Cahn & S. A. Lloyd (Eds.), Family violence from a communication I-l 9). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

122

w

HESS C oncealing meaning from overhearers.
JournaL

Clark, H. H., & Schaefer, E. F. (1987).
of Memory and Language,

26, 209-225.

following divorce. In. S . Coleman, M., & Ganong, L. H. (1995). Family reconfiguring relationship challenges (pp. 73-108). ThouDuck &J. T. Wood (Eds.), Confronting sand Oaks, CA: Sage. DeRidder, R., Schruijer, S. G., & Rijsman, J. B. (1999). Retaliation to personal attack. Aggressive Behavior, 2.5, 91-96. Dickens, W J., & Perlman, D. (1981). Friendship over the life-cycle. In S. Duck & R. VOL. 2. Developing personal relationships Gilmour (Eds.), Personal relationships: (pp. 91-122). New York: Academic Press. Dillard, J. P, Segrin, C., & Harden, J. M. (1989). P rimary and secondary goals in the production of interpersonal influence messages. Communication Monographs, 56,
19-38.

Drigotas, S. M., & Rusbult, C. E. (1992). Should I go or should I stay? A dependence model of breakups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 62-87. Duck, S. (1987). H ow to lose friends without influencing people. In M. E. Roloff & G. R. Miller (Eds.), lnterpersonalprocesses: New directions in communication research (pp. 278-298). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Duck, S. (1994a). Meaningful relationships: Talking, sense, and relating. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Duck, S. (1994b). Stratagems, spoils and a tooth: On the delights and dilemmas of personal relationships. In W R. Cupach & B. H. Spitzberg (Eds.), The dark side of interpersonal communication (pp. 3-24). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Finello, K. (2000, November). Do you attract people rather repel? Self p. 134. Fleming, J. H., & Darley, J. M. (1991). Mixed messages: The multiple audience problem and strategic communication. Social Cognition, 9, 25-46. Fleming, J. H., Darley, J. M., Hilton, J. L., & Kojetin, B. A. (1990). Multiple audience problem: A strategic communication perspective on social perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 58, 593-609. Fritz, J. M. H. (1997). Responses to unpleasant work relationships. Communication Research Reports, 14, 302-311. Fritz, J. M. H., & Omdahl, B. L. (1998, November). Effects of negative peer interactions on organizational outcomes. Paper presented at the annual convention of the National Communication Association, New York, NY. Galvin, K. M., & Cooper, P J. (1990, June). Development of involuntary relationships: The stepparent-stepchild relationship. Paper presented at the annual convention of the International Communication Association, Dublin, Ireland. Gottman, J. (1994). Why marriages fail. The Family Therapy Network, 41-48. Greene, J. 0. (1984). Evaluating cognitive explanations of communication phenomena. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 70, 241-254. Heider, F. (1958). The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York: Wiley. Hess, J. A. (2000). Maintaining nonvoluntary relationships with disliked partners: An investigation into the use of distancing behaviors. Human Communication Research, 26, 458-488. Hess, J. A. (in press). Distance regulation in personal relationships: The development of a conceptual model and a test of representational validity. Journal of Social and
Personal Relationships.

Hewitt, P L., & Flett, G. L. (1996). Personality traits and the coping process. In M. Zeidner & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Handbook of coping: Theory, research, applications (pp. 410-433). New York: Wiley.

5.

MAINTAINING

UNDESIRED

RELATIONSHIPS

+=a-

123

Holahan, C. J., Moos, R. F., & Schaefer, J. A. (1996). Coping, stress resistance, and growth: Conceptualizing adaptive functioning. In M. Zeidner & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Handbook of coping: Theory, research, applications (pp. 24-43). New York: Wiley. Infante, D., & Wigley, III, C. J. (1986). Verbal aggressiveness: An interpersonal model and measure. Communication Monographs, 53, 6 1-69. Johnson, M. I? (1995). Patriarchal terrorism and common couple violence: Two forms of violence against women. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 57, 283-294. Kahneman, D., & Tversky, A. (1984). Choices, values, and frames. American Psychologist, 39, 341-350. Kelley, H. H., Berscheid, E., Christensen, A., Harvey, J. H., Huston, T L., Levinger, G., McClintock, E., Peplau, L. A., & Peterson, D. R. (1983). Analyzing close relationships. In H. H. Kelley, E. Berscheid, A. Christensen, J. H. Harvey, T. L. Huston, G. Levinger, E. McClintock, L. A. Peplau, & D. R. Peterson (Eds.), Close relationships (pp. 20-67). N ew York: W. H. Freeman. Kinney, T. A. (1998). The psychosomatic effects of negative interactions. Psychosomatic Medicine, 60, 114. Krippendorff, K. (1989). The power of communication and the communication of power: Toward an emancipatory theory of communication. Communication, 12, 175-196. Lefcourt, H. M. (1991). L ecus of control. In J. F! Robinson, P R. Shaver, & L. S. Wrightsman (Eds.), Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes (Vol. 1, pp. 4 13-499). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Lempert, L. B. (1997). The line in the sand: Definitional dialogues in abusive relationships. In A. Strauss &J. Corbin (Eds.), G rounded theory in practice (pp. 147-l 70). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Levinger, G. A. (1965). Marital cohesiveness and dissolution: An integrative review. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 2 7, 19-28. Levinger, G. A. (1976). A social psychological perspective on marital dissolution. Journal of Social Issues, 32, 2 l-47. Levitt, M. J., Silver, M. E., & France, N. (1996). Troublesome relationships: A part of human experience. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 13, 523-536. Messman, S. J., Canary, D. J., & Hause, K. W (2000). Motives to remain platonic, equity, and the use of maintenance strategies in opposite-sex friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 17, 67-94. Newcomb, T. M. (1968). Interpersonal balance. In R. I? Abelson, E. Aronson, W. J. McGuire, T M. Newcomb, M. J. Rosenberg, &I? H. Tannenbaum (Eds.), Theories of cognitive consistency: A sourcebook (pp. 28-5 1). Chicago: Rand McNally. Peterson, M. R. (1992). At personal risk: Boundary violations in professional-client relationships. New York: W. W. Norton. Pierce, G. R., Sarason, I. G., & Sarason, B. R. (1996). In M. Zeidner & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Handbook of coping: Theory, research, applications (pp. 434-451). New York: Wiley. Precker, M. (2000, September 19). You bug me! Dallas Morning News, pp. lC-2C. Rotter, J. B. (1966). G eneralized expectancies for internal versus external control of reinforcement. Psychological Monographs, 80 (1, Whole No. 609). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Rubin, Z. (1973). Likingandl oving: An invitation to social psychology. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston. Rusbult, C. E. (1987). R esp onses to dissatisfaction in close relationships: The “exit-voice-loyalty-neglect” model. In D. Perlman & S. Duck (Eds.), Intimate relationships: Development, dynamics, and deterioration (pp. 209-237). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

124 -c=+ HESS
Rusbult, C. E., & Martz, J. M. (1995). R emaining in an abusive relationship: An investment model analysis of nonvoluntary dependence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 558-571. Salovy, P, Bedell, B. T., Detweiler, J. B., & Mayer, J. D. (1999). Coping intelligently: Emotional intelligence and the coping process. In C. R. Snyder (Ed.), Coping: The psychology of what works (pp. 14 l-l 64). New York: Oxford University Press. Schwartz, J. E., & Stone, A. A. (1993). Coping and daily work problems: Contributions of problem content, appraisals and person factors. Work and Stress, 7, 47-62. Strube, M. J., & Barbour, L. S. (1983). Th e d e&ion to leave an abusive relationship: Economic dependence and psychological commitment. Journal ofMarriage and the Family, 45, 785-793. Thibaut, J. W, & Kelley, H. H. (1959). The social psychology of groups. New York: Wiley. Thomsen, D. G., & Gilbert, D. G. (1998). Factors characterizing marital conflict states and traits: Physiological, affective, behavioral and neurotic variable contributions to marital conflict and satisfaction. Personality and Individual Differences, 25, 833-855. Tripp, T. M., & Bies, R. J. (1997). good about revenge? The perspective. In R. J. Lewicki, R. J. Bies, &B. H. Sheppard (Eds.), Research on negotiation in organizations (Vol. 6, pp. 145-160). Greenwich, CT JAI Press. Watzlawick, I?, Beavin, J., & Jackson, D. D. (1967). Pragmatics of human communication. New York: W W Norton. West, J. T. (1995). Understanding how the dynamics of ideology influence violence between intimates. In. S. Duck & J. T. Wood (Eds.), Confronting relationship challenges (pp. 129-l 49). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Wiseman, J. P, & Duck, S. (1995). H aving and managing enemies: A very challenging relationship. In. S. Duck & J. T. Wood (Eds.), Confronting relationship challenges (pp. 43-72). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Wood, J. T., & Duck, S. (1995). Off the beaten path: New shores for relationship research. In J. T. Wood & S. Duck (Eds.), Under-studied relationships: Off the beaten track (pp. 1-21). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Wright, I? H., & Wright, K. D. (1995). Codependency: Personality syndrome or relational process? In. S. Duck & J. T. Wood (Eds.), Confronting relationship challenges (pp. 109-128). Th ousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Contextual in Maintaining M

Variations RelationstfiPs -+

This page intentionally left blank

+” * *2

+“:,

Maintaining -Distance Relations a $35

Brooks A. Aylor La Salle University

he majority of relational maintenance research has focused on behaviors enacted to maintain geographically close relationships (GCRs); that is, relationships in which the partners are able to see each other, face-to-face, most days. Long-distance relationships (LDRs), in which daily face-to-face contact is not possible, are increasingly common in the United States, yet we know relatively little about the processes used to maintain these relationships. The study of LDRs holds the promise of extending previous relational maintenance theory and research in this important relational context. Reviewed in this chapter is the small but growing body of literature examining maintenance processes in LDRs. Although long-distance friendships have received some attention in this literature (for a review, see Rohlfing, 1995), the focus here is on romantic LDRs; individuals who define their relationships as casually dating, seriously dating, engagement or married. There are many reasons to extend our study of relationships to distance relationships. Among these are the growing number of distance relationships, the disproportionate number of college students in LDRs, and the unique characteristics of distance relationships relative to geographically close relationships. Accordingly, this chapter first describes the growing number of LDRs, unique characteristics of LDRs, and competing defini127

128

-e-

AYLOR

tions of distance relationships. Further, work on relational characteristics of satisfaction, commitment and trust in LDRs is reviewed. Taken as a whole, this work suggests a paradox in LDRs, a picture of partners reporting comparative levels of relational satisfaction as their GCR counterparts, yet simultaneously facing the very real challenges inherent in distance relationships. The final focus of the chapter is to help explain this paradox via research on relational maintenance and communication modes in LDRs, while offering future research directions.

PFXVALENCIZ

Of= LDRs

Distance relationships have become increasingly common in this country. Research suggests that as many as 1 million people annually report being in a long-distance romantic relationship (Maines, 1994). Armour (1998) noted that changes in technology and the workforce have led to record numbers of commuter marriages and other types of distance relationships. Armour presented a 1998 report from the Employee Relocation Council showing that approximately 10% of all job relocations in the United States resulted in LDRs, and 52% of employers in 1998 expected to see the number of job transfers increase. Distance relationships are particularly prevalent among college students. Nationally, 25% to 40% of college students reported being in a LDR (Dellman-Jenkins, Bernard-Paolucci, & Rushing, 1993). Studies of first-year college students suggest that LDRs are even more common among these students, with as many as one half of first-year students in LDRs (Knox, 1992). My ongoing work with Marianne Dainton further supports the idea that distance relationships are prominent in college populations. In our samples, we have consistently found that approximately one third of dating college students consider their relationship to be long distance, and about one half of first-year students report being in a romantic distance relationship. This work is also consistent with Stafford, Daly, and (1987) c 1aim that “as many as one third of premarital relationships in university settings may be long-distance ones” (p. 274).

UNIQUE

CHARACTWWiTICS

Ol= LDRs

It is my contention that LDRs are qualitatively different from GCRs and present partners with unique challenges to maintain such relationships. By definition, partners in LDRs face geographic separation and lack of face-to-face contact. Rohlfing (1995) reviewed research by Westefeld and Liddell (1982) suggesting the following unique challenges for those in distance relationships:

6.

LONG-DISTANCE

RELATIONSHIPS

+=a-

129

l l

l

l

l

Increased financial burdens to maintain distance relationships. Difficulty defining and negotiating “in-town” (i.e., geographically close friendships) relationships while maintaining a long-distance romantic relationship. High expectations by partners for the quality of limited face-to-face meetings afforded in the relationship. Difficulty assessing the degree and state of the relationship from a distance. More extreme range of emotions experienced by partners in distance relationships.

In addition, it should be noted that the financial burdens and geographic separation in LDRs often lead to a greater reliance on mediated communication (Aylor & Dainton, 2002; Canary, Stafford, Hause, & Wallace, 1993; Gerstel & Gross, 1984; Stephen, 1986). Further, Ficara and Mongeau (2000) suggested that the physical absence of relational partner may increase levels of general and relationship-specific uncertainty relative to GCRs. Rohlfing (1995) correctly noted that married couples that are separated geographically may face the unique challenge of cultural expectations to live together and sacrifice personal goals for the relationship. Given these characteristics, it is important to examine the way research on LDRs has been conducted and what information we currently have about relational maintenance processes in distance relationships.

WHAT IS AN LDR?
Controversy exists concerning how to measure distance relationships. Those studying LDRs have generally taken one of three approaches to defining them. The first approach is to use the number of miles separated to distinguish between distance and geographically close relationships. That is, researchers have established a minimum number of miles necessary for a relationship to be operationalized as a distance relationship. For example Carpenter and Knox (1986) operationalized LDRs as partners separated by more than 100 miles, but Schwebel, Dunn, Moss, and Renner (1992) established a criterion of only 50 miles separated. Still others (e.g., Stafford & Reske, 1990) reported the average number of miles separating partners in LDRs, yet did not report how they distinguished LDRs from GCRs. Others have specified geographical boundaries (e.g., state lines) to define an LDR. Instead of the miles that separate residences, these researchers have focused on the city or state of residence as the criterion to determine distance relationships. Helgeson (1994), in her examination of relational dissolution in LDRs, defined an LDR as one in which one partner

130 -t++ AYLOR lives outside the city limits of the other residence, whereas Stephen (1986) re q uired that partners live in different states or different parts of the same state. Canary et al. (1993) defined LDRs as relationships in which the partners lived in separate towns. A third school of thought has been to allow respondents to define if the relationship is a distance relationship, regardless of the number of miles or geographic boundaries that separate partners. Some studies (e.g., Dainton and Aylor, 2001) h ave included a question similar to the following:
A geographically-close relationship is one in which partners are able to see each other, if they choose, face-to-face, most days. A long-distance relationship is one in which both partners are not able to see each other, face-to-face, most days. Would you consider your relationship a distance relationship?

A version of this approach was used by Ficara and Mongeau (2000). They asked respondents to indicate if they were not able to see each other “as much as they would like primarily due to geographic separation.” Maguire (1999) allowed respondents to indicate “if they were unable to see each other on a regular basis (e.g., daily or weekly) due to time and/or distance constraints.” Guldner and Swensen (1995) posed the statement, “my partner lives far enough away from me that it would be very difficult or impossible for me to see him or her every day.” Researchers such as Dellman-Jenkins et al. (1993) argued that allowing respondents to define if their relationship is a distance relationship is more valid than “miles separated” or “geographic boundary” standards because a self-defined approach “is based on definitions, and their own sense of reality in dating situations. To paraphrase W I. Thomas: If people define a situation as real, it becomes real in its consequences (p. 2 13) .” As was previously noted, “miles separated” standards vary considerably across studies. Additionally, respondents often have difficulty accurately reporting the number of miles separating themselves. Thus, a strict application of a “miles separated” criterion may not accurately measure all distance relationships.

RELATIONAL

CHAKACT~KISTICS

IN LDRs

Because a common conceptualization of relational maintenance includes efforts to continue a relationship in a particular state or condition (Dindia & Canary, 1993), much research on relational maintenance has focused on perceptions of satisfaction with and commitment to the relationship. The majority of research on geographically close relationships has established clear relationships between relational maintenance behaviors and relational satisfaction, and between commitment and relational stability (see e.g., Dainton, Stafford, & Canary, 1994; Lund, 1985; Stafford & Canary, 1991).

6. LONG-DISTANCE

RELATIONSHIPS

+=a- 131

Although most of this research has focused on GCRs, some research has examined these characteristics in LDRs. Taken together, these findings suggest that, contrary to popular opinion, individuals in LDRs experience the same or even greater levels of satisfaction and commitment relative to their GCR counterparts. For example, Guldner and Swensen (1995) found no differences between those in LDRs and GCRs on satisfaction or commitment. Similarly, Govaerts and Dixon (1988), in their study of commuter marriages, found no significant differences in satisfaction between the two groups. Stafford and Reske (1990) reported that individuals in LDRs were more satisfied with and committed to the relationship (defined as more in love) than their counterparts in GCRs. They argued that this might be explained by the tendency of those in LDRs to idealize their partners due to restricted face-to-face communication. Although the majority of studies seem to suggest that LDR partners experience the same or greater levels of satisfaction and commitment, an exception was the work of Holt and Stone (1988). They reported negative relationships between both distance apart and satisfaction and time between visits and satisfaction. Additionally, in a longitudinal study of long-distance and geographically close marriages, Rindfuss and Stephen (1990) found that couples that were geographically separated at the time of the study were significantly more likely to be divorced after 3 years. It should be noted, however, that the generalizability of these findings has been questioned because much of the sample consisted of military couples, a population that experiences higher divorce rates than the general population (Guldner & Swensen, 1995; Rohlfing, 1995). In addition to satisfaction and commitment, Dainton and Kilmer (1999) argued that trust is an important relational characteristic, particularly among partners who are geographically separated. Less attention has been given to trust relative to satisfaction and commitment in geographically close relationships, but research does suggest that trust is critical to relational quality (Canary & Cupach, 1988) and is positively related to relational maintenance (Canary & Stafford, 1993). Interestingly, as Dainton and Kilmer (1999) noted, trust has rarely been a focus of studies of LDRs. Westefeld and Liddell (1982), in their qualitative analysis of coping strategies of partners in LDRs, did imply that trust was critical for the long-term success of LDRs. But this relationship has not been empirically tested. This is particularly puzzling given the geographical separation and increased uncertainty levels in distance relationships. In summary, research on relational characteristics in distance relationships suggests an interesting paradox. On the one hand, LDR partners face the previously mentioned challenges and unique relational demands relative to their GCR counterparts based on the nature of a distance relationship. On the basis of this research, one might conclude that distance

132 +==+ AYLOR relationships often require more effort to successfully maintain relative to geographically close relationships. On the other hand, however, most studies suggest few if any differences between partners in LDRs and GCRs on satisfaction or commitment, and some research suggests greater levels of satisfaction and commitment among those in LDRs. The rest of this chapter is devoted to this paradox as research on maintenance processes, communication channel use, and partner expectations is examined.

MAINTENANCE

PROCl5SES

IN LDRs

One of the first investigations of strategies used to successfully maintain LDRs was the work of Westefeld and Liddell (1982). Their report was the product of workshops conducted at Iowa State by the student YWCA and counseling services program designed to explore the nature of romantic distance relationships. Participants in the workshops were students currently involved in LDRs. From conversations with workshop participants, Westefeld and Liddell reported nine maintenance strategies commonly used to maintain successful LDRs. Rohlfing (1995) summarizes these: Recognizing the prevalence of LDRs. Developing support systems for partners who are separated. Developing alternative ways to communicate, including sending gifts, videotapes, and audiotapes. Discussing relational expectations and relationship “ground rules” prior to separation (e.g., will we date other people, how often will we spend time with friends, how will we communicate with each other). Using face-to-face time wisely by dealing with affection and other needs. Being open and honest with their partner. Developing and maintaining trust. Focusing on positive aspects of LDRs. Some years later, Holt and Stone (1998) and Wilmot and Carbaugh (1986) performed quantitative examinations of the effectiveness of certain behaviors in LDRs. Holt and Stone suggested that two strategies were effective in maintaining LDRs, including frequent visits and visualizing (i.e., daydreaming about the partner). They noted that visualizing positively affected relational satisfaction among partners with a “preference for visual or verbal response modes of cognitive processing” (p. 137) but that frequent visits benefited partners regardless of processing modes. Although more empirical in nature than the typology offered by Westefeld and Liddell (1982), the scope of this investigation was limited to two behaviors. It can also be argued that visiting partner is a general

6.

LONG-DISTANCE

RELATIONSHIPS

=a

133

behavior as opposed to specific maintenance activities that may or may not be performed during those visits. Wilmot and Carbaugh (1986) examined strategies used by partners in LDRs to deal with physical separation. The coping behaviors reported are typically distinguished from maintenance behaviors in that coping behaviors tend to focus on one partner, whereas maintenance behaviors are more interactive in nature. These researchers identified self-development, independence, adopting a religion, and high levels of self-disclosure as strategies used to cope with physical separation. Canary et al. (1993) conducted a study using subjects in romantic, platonic and family relationships. Forty-two percent of their sample consisted of subjects in LDRs, and the researchers analyzed open-ended responses concerning strategies for maintaining various relationships. Subjects responded to the question, “What are the communication behaviors that I use to maintain my various relationships ?” They were required to address three different types of relationships and to address both positive and negative behaviors used. In all, 10 maintenance strategies were reported including positivity, openness, assurances, sharing tasks, social networks, joint activities, cards/letters/calls, avoidance, antisocial, and humor. This study did not, however, distinguish between LDR and GCR partners in frequency of use of each strategy. This inductive analysis supplemented previous work (Stafford SK Canary, 1991) and f o 11 owed an original flurry of work on relational maintenance in geographically close relationships by communication scholars in the 1980s and early 1990s (see, e.g., Ayres, 1983; Bell, Daly, & Gonzalez, 1987; Dindia & Baxter, 1987; Duck, 1988; Shea & Pearson, 1986). More recently researchers have used the Canary and Stafford typology of maintenance strategies to examine relational maintenance in LDRs. For example, Ficara and Mongeau (2000) used an uncertainty reduction framework in their examination of maintenance in LDRs. They focused on the relationship between relational uncertainty and the use of three of Canary and maintenance behaviors, including positivity, assurances, and openness. All three strategies were significantly and negatively related to relational uncertainty in this study. Of the 170 subjects in this study, however, only 55% were currently in an LDR. The remaining 45% reported having terminated an LDR within the past 6 months. CHANNEL USE AND MAINTENANCE IN LDRs

Most studies of LDR maintenance acknowledge that restricted communication and geographic separation lead partners to rely more on mediated communication relative to their GCR counterparts. Stephen (1986) was among the first to note that if either verbal or nonverbal communication is restricted, relational maintenance should be primarily dependent on the

134

w

AYLOR

unrestricted channel. In the case of distance relationships, the unrestricted channel is verbal communication, and geographic separation dictates that the majority of this must be mediated. Given the obvious importance of channel use in any relationship, particularly distance relationships, research on channel use in LDRs is reviewed separately here. Generally, previous literature suggests that phone calls are the most important mediated form of communication to partners in distance relationships (Carpenter & Knox, 1986; Gerstel & Gross, 1983; Stafford & Reske, 1990). These studies also indicate the importance of cards, letters, audiotapes, and videotapes. More recently, LDR scholars have examined the use of computer mediated communication to maintain distance relationships (Aylor & Dainton, 2002; Maguire, 1999). Although by definition distance relationships provide limited face-to-face communication, the face-to-face contact that is afforded has emerged in almost every examination of LDRs as a critical channel. In my recent work with Marianne Dainton (Aylor & Dainton, 2002) we found that face-to-face contact is not only a critical communication channel in LDR maintenance, but can also differentiate between types of distance relationships and can serve as a moderating variable for important relational outcomes. For example, in our study of jealousy experience, expression, in LDRs, we asked 114 individuals currently in LDRs indicated how much face-to-face contact they had during a typical week. Thirty-three percent of participants reported no face-to-face contact, whereas 67% reported periodic face-to-face contact with a mean of 1 to 2 days. This variable was instrumental in differentiating between distance relationships with regard to jealousy experience, expression, and goals that partners had in jealousy situations. When we compared LDRs as a whole to GCRs, we noted few differences in jealousy experience, expression, or goals. However, we found significant differences between GCRs, LDRs with no periodic face-to-face contact, and LDRs with periodic face-to-face contact. The pattern was for those in LDRs with no face-toface contact to experience more jealousy than those with periodic face-to-face contact or those in GCRs. Further, in our examination of the relationships between mediated communication and maintenance behaviors in LDRs (Aylor & Dainton, 2002), individuals with periodic face-to-face contact used three of five maintenance behaviors (shared tasks, positivity, and assurances) more frequently than individuals with face-to-face contact or in geographically close partners. Those without periodic face-to-face contact were more likely to use the Internet to communicate with their partner, and the use of computer-mediated communication was a significant predictor of trust for these individuals but not for those with periodic face-to-face contact.

6.

LONG-DISTANCE

RELATIONSHIPS

+==a

133

We also found the presence of periodic face-to-face contact to be an important factor in the satisfaction, commitment, and trust of LDR partners. Those in LDRs who experienced periodic face-to-face contact reported significantly higher levels of satisfaction, commitment, and trust than did those with no face-to-face contact. We found no differences in satisfaction, commitment, or trust when we compared distance relationships as a whole with GCRs. It seems then that the presence of some face-to-face interaction may be one explanation for the paradox noted earlier; namely that individuals in LDRs encounter more difficulties and challenges to relational survival, yet report similar or higher levels of satisfaction and commitment as their GCR counterparts. Distance alone should make LDRs less likely to succeed, as relationships that are more difficult to maintain are morelikely to be terminated (Lloyd, Cate, & Henton, 1984). Yet previous research suggests that LDRs are not terminated sooner than GCRs. The previous studies did not distinguish between types of distance relationships. Distinguishing between those with face-to-face contact and those without is consistent with (1999) argument that distance relationship should not be viewed as homogenous relational types. Another effort to explain this paradox comes from the work of Dainton and Kilmer (1999). They posited that the differing expectations of relational partners in LDRs and GCRs might help explain the longevity of distance relationships. Their study of 485 subjects suggested that those in LDRs and GCRs have similar expectations for the relationship and that having these expectations met predicted satisfaction, commitment, and trust in LDRs and GCRs. However, those in LDRs met or exceeded expectations for relational maintenance to a greater extent than those in GCRs. The authors noted that it is unclear if this finding suggests that LDR partners work harder to meet expectations or if, as Stafford and Reske (1990) claimed, individuals in distance relationships tend to idealize their partners.

I=UTURE

Rl3EAKC.H

DIRKTIONS

Relational maintenance researchers have taken important first steps toward a better understanding of the maintenance processes enacted in distance relationships. This chapter reviewed this work, including research on the unique challenges of LDRs; relational characteristics of satisfaction, commitment, and trust among individuals in LDRs; maintenance behaviors and channel use critical to maintaining LDRs; and partner expectations for those in LDRs. Several avenues are worthy of future examination in an attempt to further this growing body of research. First, and most obviously, it is important that more maintenance research focus on distance relationships. The increasing numbers and

types of distance relationships alone should encourage more research in this context as we increasingly view knowledge of relational processes in LDRs as an important extension of previous work on geographically close relationships. Second, it is important that researchers not consider distance relationships as homogenous relational types. Research noted previously in this chapter suggests that face-to-face contact is one variable that distinguishes types of distance relationships. Others have argued that the reasons partners separate (e.g., attending college, starting a new job, enlisting in the military) make certain types of distance relationships qualitatively different (Rohlfing, 1995; Sahlstein, 1999). Further, partners who have a definite idea of how long they will be geographically separated may differ in maintenance processes relative to LDR partners who have no idea when, or if, they will unite permanently. Clearly, distinctions do exist within distance relationships; all LDRs are not the same type of relationship. Many of these differences seem significant and should be recognized in future research if our examinations of maintenance processes are to be as productive as possible. Third, more research needs to focus on communication channel use in LDRs, particularly the use of computer-mediated communication, and the relationships between channel use and maintenance behaviors in LDRs. Many of the studies that have examined channel use predate the explosion of the Internet. Today, more people have knowledge of, and access to, the Internet and e-mail than ever before. As Clemente (1998) noted, more than 50 million people use the Internet worldwide and 91% use the Internet for personal reasons. Clemente also noted that 8 7% of users communicate via e-mail, and 44% have multiple e-mail accounts that are simultaneously active. Stafford, Kline, and Dimmick (1999) found that 61% of home e-mail users reported using e-mail specifically for relationship maintenance purposes. In addition to the use of conventional, asynchronous forms of computer-mediated communication such as e-mail to maintain LDRs, it will become increasingly important to examine geographically separated use of synchronous computer-mediated communication (e.g., instant messaging, computer conferencing, real-time chat rooms). Increasingly individuals are able to use their computers in a way that provides instant feedback and more closely mirrors the dynamics of face-to-face interaction. Finally, not enough attention has focused on expectations of LDR partners. The work of Dainton and Kilmer (1999) in this area is rare and to be applauded. Relational maintenance researchers, particularly those guided by a social exchange perspective, have long acknowledged the importance of relational expectations in relational maintenance and development. One might argue that partner expectations may be even more telling in distance

6.

LONG-DISTANCE

RELATIONSHIPS

3r,

l-j7

relationships. Although distance relationships are gaining in popularity, the majority of popular and academic information regarding relational maintenance focuses on geographically close relationships. Because information sources are less prevalent for those in LDRs, own experience in a distance relationship becomes increasingly important in explaining maintenance activities and relational perceptions. Future examinations of LDRs should examine a previous experiences with distance relationships, the outcomes of that relationship, and the expectations they hold based partially on those past experiences. In summary, as the number of distance relationships in this country continues to increase, we understand more about these relationships than ever before. Using a variety of theoretical frameworks, we have begun to explore the unique nature and demands of LDRs; perceptions of satisfaction, commitment and trust; maintenance behaviors used to successfully maintain distance relationships; communication channel use in LDRs; and relational expectations for those involved in distance relationships. It is my hope that as the number and types of distance relationships increase, so too will serious empirical examinations of the communication processes that facilitate the maintenance and development of these relationships. Indeed, it is hoped that rather than distance making the heart grow fonder, in this case, distance will make the researcher work harder.

Armour, S. (1998, November 23). Married . . . with separation: More couples live apart as careers put miles between them. USA Today, C2-C4. Aylor, B., & Dainton, M. (2002). Patterns of communication channel use in the maintenance of long-distance relationships. Communication Research Reports, 19, 118-129. Ayres, J. (1983). Strategies to maintain relationships: Their identification and perceived usage. Communication Quarterly, 31, 62-67. Bell, R., Daly, J., & Gonzalez, M. (1987). Affinity-maintenance in marriage and its relationship to marital satisfaction. JournaZ of Marriage and the FumiZy, 49, 445-454. Canary, D., & Cupach, W (1988). Relational and episodic characteristics associated with conflict tactics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 5, 305-325. Canary, D., & Stafford, L. (1993). P reservation of relational characteristics: Maintenance strategies, equity, and locus of control. In P J. Kalbfleisch (Ed.), Interpersonal communication: Evolving interpersonal relationships (pp. 237-259). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Canary, D., Stafford, L., Hause, K., &Wallace, L. (1993). An inductive analysis of relational maintenance strategies: Comparisons among lovers, relatives, friends, and others. Communication Research Reports, 10, 5-l 4. Carpenter, D., & Knox, D. (1986). Relationship maintenance of college students separated during courtship. College Student Journal, 28, 86-88. Clemente, F?(1998). The state of the Net: The newfrontier. New York: McGraw-Hill.

138

+=+

AYLOR

Dainton, M., & Aylor, B. (2001). A relational uncertainty analysis of jealousy, trust, & maintenance in long-distance versus geographically close relationships. Communication Quarterly, 49, 172-l 88. Dainton, M., & Kilmer, H. (1999). Satisfaction, commitment, trust and expectations in the maintenance of long-distance versus geographically-close relationships. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association; Chicago. Dainton, M, Stafford, L., & Canary, D. (1994). Maintenance strategies and physical affection as predictors of love, liking, and satisfaction in marriage. Communication Reports, 7, 88-98. Dellmann-Jenkins, M., Bernard-Paolucci, T., & Rushing, B. (1993). Does distance make the heart grow fonder? A comparison of college students in long-distance and geographically-close dating relationships. College Student Journal, IO, 2 12-2 19. Dindia, K., & Baxter, L. (1987). Strategies for maintaining and repairing marital relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 4, 143-158. Dindia, K., & Canary, D. (1993). Definitions and theoretical perspectives on maintaining relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 163-l 73. Duck, S. (1988). Relating to others. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole. Ficara, L., & Mongeau, I? (2000, November). Relational uncertainty in long-distance college student dating relationships. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association; Seattle, WA. Gerstel, N., & Gross, H. (1984). Commuter marriages: A study of work and family. New York: Guilford Press. Govaerts, K., & Dixon, D. (1988). “. . . Until careers do us part”: Vocational and marital satisfaction in the dual-career commuter marriage. international Journal for the Advancement of Counseling, 11, 265-28 1. Guldner, G., & Swensen, C. (1995). T ime spent together and relationship quality: Long-distance relationships as a test case. Journal of social and Personal Relationships, 12, 313-320. Helgeson, V (1994). Long-distance romantic relationships: Sex differences in adjustment and breakup. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20, 254-265. Holt, I?, & Stone, G. (1988). Needs, coping strategies, and coping outcomes associated with long-distance relationships. Journal of College student Development, 29, 136-141. Knox, D. (1992). Ch oices in relationships. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing. Lloyd, S., Cate, R., & Henton, J. (1984). Predicting premarital relationship stability: A methodological refinement. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 46, 71-76. Lund, M. (1985). Th e d evelopment of investment and commitment scales for predicting continuity of personal relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 2, 3-23. Maguire, K. (1999). Does distance make the heart work harder? A comparison of the maintenance strategies of long-distance and proximal relationships. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association; Chicago. Maines, J. (1994). Long-distance romances. American Demographics, IS, 47. Rindfuss, R., & Stephen, E. (1990). Marital noncohabitation: Separation does not make the heart grow fonder. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 52, 259-270. Rohlfing, M. (1995). anybody stay in one place anymore?” An exploration of the under-studied phenomenon of long-distance relationships. In J. Wood & S. Duck (Eds.), Under-studied relationships: Off the beaten track (pp. 173-196). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

6.

LONG-DISTANCE

RELATIONSHIPS

+=a

139

Sahlstein, E. (1999, November). Presences, quasi-presences and absences: An investigation of long-distance relational types. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association, Chicago. Schwebel, A., Dunn, R., Moss, B., & Renner, M. (1992). Factors associated with relational stability in geographically separated couples. Journul of CoZZege Student Development, 33, 222-230. Shea, B., & Pearson, J. (1986). The effects of relationship type, partner intent, and gender on the selection of maintenance strategies. Communication Monographs, 53, 334-364. Stafford, L., & Canary, D. (1991). Maintenance strategies and romantic relationship type, gender, and relational characteristics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 8, 217-242. Stafford, L., & Reske, J. (1990). Idealization and communication in long-distance premarital relationships. Family Relations, 39, 274-279. Stafford, L., Daley, J., & Reske, J. (1987, N ovember). The effects of romantic relationships on friendship networks. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Speech Communication Association, Boston. Stephen, T (1986). C ommunication and interdependence in geographically separated relationships. Human Communication Research, 2 3, 191-2 10. Westefeld, J., & Liddell, D. (1982). Coping with long-distance relationships. Journal of College Student Personnel, 23, 5 SO-5 5 1. Wilmot, WI, & Carbaugh, D. (1986). Long-distance lovers: Predicting the dissolution of relationships. Journal of Northwest Communication Association, 14, 43-59.

This page intentionally left blank

Compute Mediated Communication IEFfects on Relationship I Formation an d Maintenance

Michael K. Rabby The University of Central Florida Joseph B. Walther Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

ethnology affects lives in both predictable and unpredictable ways. When one considers the influence that computers have (and will have) on the way people engage in relationships, it is important to understand that people are just starting to assimilate them into their daily lives. People have only begun to scratch the surface of the extent to which computers will affect their lives and the relationships within them. Today, computer-mediated communication (CMC) has infiltrated a variety of aspects of lives. People use it to communicate with each other at work (Constant, Sproull, & Kiesler, 1997), in educational settings (Brandon & Hollingshead, 1999), in friendships (Parks & Floyd, 1996), and in romantic relationships (Merkle & Richardson, 2000). Negroponte (1995) made perhaps the strongest claim for the importance of one type of CMC, electronic mail (e-mail),< when he asserted that it will be the domi. nant interpersonal telecommunications medium, approaching if not over-

142

-I+=+ RABBYAND

WALTHER

shadowing voice within the next 15 years. Yet communication via e-mail seems exotic to those just discovering it, banal to those who have used it for a while, and acts as a lifeline to those who use it on a daily basis to communicate with others at work and home. Although e-mail has not achieved the universality that the telephone has, the signs point to a similar pattern of assimilation. For example, people presumed both would have dehumanizing effects at first, but that has not proven to be the case. As Mitchell (1995) noted, “Telephony did not replace face-to-face contact.. . . Rather, it created a new form of contact; it extended and redefined the sphere of interaction and cohabitation” (p. 35). Scholars are only starting to construct the introduction in the tome of research on CMC. As with the telephone, early theories about CMC, such as the cues-filtered-out approaches (Culnan & Markus, 1987), assumed that CMC would be less socially oriented and personal then face-to-face communication. However, this has not proven true. In fact, communication via the Internet often reaches levels referred to as hyperpersond communication: communication that is more intimate and sociable than that found in equivalent, offline interactions (Walther, 1996). With the movement toward increasing use, CMC has proven to be a valuable tool for many people to initiate, develop, and maintain relationships. CMC offers people a venue through which they can meet new people with whom they share similar interests (Rintel & Pittam, 1997). Often, people meet and form relationships online that hold great importance in their lives (Turkle, 1995). CMC h as also provided a new forum for people to maintain previously established relationships with friends and family (Rabby, 1997). This chapter focuses on the ways that CMC affects personal relationships. We will review how CMC affords new ways to meet people to form relationships, and affects the way they come to know one another. The manner. in which relationships develop is subject to some similarities and some differences than the trajectories of face-to-face dynamics, which some research has described, although not in ways that entirely fit with a focus on personal relations. Finally, this chapter examines how CMC may be used in the maintenance of ongoing relationships-its role and evaluation of its potency-and in social support online.

TYPES

OF- CMC

Computer-mediated communication represents the wide spectrum of media that use some form of digital encoding, and in many ways, it is a misnomer to discuss CMC as a unifying concept. Most studies exploring CMC focus on a single aspect or context, such as newsgroups (Parks & Floyd, 1996), Multi-User Dungeons, or MUDS (Curtis, 1997; Utz, 2000), Multi-User Dungeons, Object-Oriented, or MOOS (Parks & Roberts,

7.

RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

VIA CMC

++

14f,

1998), e-mail (Stafford, Kline, & Dimmick, 1999), and Internet Relay Chat or IRC (Rintel & Pittam, 1997). One distinction that can be made among these forms is that some are asynchronous and others are synchronous. Asynchronous forms are those in which the message sender and message reader are not online at the same time, where there is some kind of store-and-forward capacity. The most common of these is e-mail, a computerized letter delivered instantly to another person at the choosing, but that is read by the receiver at his or her convenience. Usenet Newsgroups are a second type of asynchronous channel. These consist of a series of electronic bulletin boards that enable people to post messages on a wide variety of topics, which can be read by as many as thousands of other people. To communicate on Usenet, instead of communicating to specified addressees, one posts a message to the topic, that is, for anybody who can access it in a public forum. Other types of asynchronous bulletin boards are becoming common via Web sites, for facilitating group discussion. Synchronous, or real-time CMC, includes chat rooms and MUDS/ MOOS. Like newsgroups, chatrooms remain open to anybody who can access them, may be topically organized, and are text-based. Chatrooms appear in a variety of forms, such as IRC and in proprietary systems like America Online. As a user types a message on the screen, and sends it to the system, the message appears to all others connected to the same virtual space. MUDS are game-oriented participatory chats, with rich text-based descriptions of rooms and scenes. They feature programmable objects (represented in text), and text-based descriptions each player selects as users compete or socialize with one another. MOOS, similarly, feature descriptions of architecture and decor, as well as other players, although MOOS tend to be more oriented to socializing than game playing. Instant messaging services represent a recent addition to the family of synchronous CMC media. Popularized by the ICQ network and the AOL Instant Messenger service, instant messaging combines features of e-mail and chatrooms. Instant messaging is frequently used as a one-to-one medium. Like a chatroom, communication occurs in real time if both parties are present. Instant messaging lets users know instantly when messages appear for them, allowing them to respond to partners immediately. It also lets one know who among friends are online at a given time. DlSTlNGUlSHlNG

I=EATURE

Ol= CMC

Not all of these types of CMC are the same, although research has paid insufficient attention to the effects that the differences among them may have (see Nass & Mason, 1990). One distinction mentioned earlier is the degree of synchrony and asynchrony. Although more research is needed, one study has found, insofar as relational communication is concerned, that synchronous

I++

+=

RABBYAND

WALTHER

CMC and face-to-face discussion resemble one another, whereas asynchronous CMC, and (asynchronous) paper-and-pencil exchange resemble each other, in their sensitivity to relationship longevity and other factors (Walther, 2001). Another distinction exists in the audience of the message. In e-mail, the user controls who will receive the message (at least at first), knowing who will read the message. Other forms of CMC blur the line between interpersonal and mass media. Newsgroups allow the sender to post to a variety a board that anyone who has access to it can read. The audience is limitless. Finally, CMC forms differ from each other-and from Face-to-Face (FtF) communication-in the extent to which they reveal the user. Most CMC uses text-based messages, without the nonverbal signals and involuntary messages people emit while in the physical presence of another. The anonymity and simplicity of text-based messages hold a great appeal to many people (Cutlip, Friedman, & Wolicki, 1996), and as discussed later, have important implications for the relational dynamics of online interaction. Other forms of CMC, however, such as on the Activeworlds site, allow the user to select an avatar, a graphic object that represents the user. Avatars can take the form of people, animals, and robots. They move in a simulated three-dimensional environment (on the computer screen) that people can create and manipulate. This form gives users a sense of nonverbal space and placement. Users can also manipulate their avatars to make nonverbal motions such as waving, kicking, dancing, and jumping. In all of these cases, there is more or less of a digital barricade: The user is not shown as she or he appears in real life, and the presentation of self online may be highly selective (if not, in some cases, downright deceptive). Invariably, differences in the way people develop and maintain relationships may exist between these technical characteristics, and the social contexts with which they are associated (Roberts, Smith, & Pollack, 1996). With that in mind, the remainder of this chapter focuses on the primary theories that speak directly to forming and maintaining relationships on the Internet, unique characteristics of CMC, and future directions for studying the impacts of CMC on ongoing relationships.

CMC AND VIRTUAL

RELATIONSHIPS

The first role that CMC serves in relationships is that of a medium for initial exchange. Although many relationships that begin online migrate offline, the majority of the research in this area has explored entirely pure virtual relationships. Some scholars such as Wellman (1994) have explored the possibilities of strong communities rising up in the wake of online interaction. Wellman et al. (1996) suggested that the Internet has replaced the semiprivate meeting spaces of coffee shops, cafes, pubs, and parks. Now, people interface with each other entirely in private. Entire communities

7.

RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

VIA CMC

++t-

143

have formed as a byproduct of the Internet and other types of CMC (e.g. Baym, 1997; Curtis, 1997; Parks & Roberts, 1998; Sproull & Faraj, 1997). Within these communities, personal relationships frequently emerge. Meeting People is Easy

The Internet provides fertile ground for starting relationships. Anecdotal accounts of spontaneous friendship development are noted in some of the earliest, pre-Internet CMC studies (e.g., Johansen, DeGrasse, & Wilson, 1978). Because people often encounter each messages within well-defined topical discussions, there is a well-founded presumption of similarity. According to Rheingold (199 1) :
In a virtual community we can go directly to the place where our favorite subjects are being discussed, then get acquainted with people who share our passions . . . Your chances of making friends are magnified by orders of magnitude over the old methods of finding a peer group. (p. 27)

Willie Nelson fans find other fans on alt.music.willienelson. Movie fans can gossip about the latest news rumors in the forum pages on the Web site. People having difficulties with depression can gather in a variety of places to share and compare experiences. Within this context, it is easy to take note of attitudes, style, wit, and experiences in a manner that one finds attractive. As Baker (1998) reported from her interviews with romantic couples who first met online, “What did they like about each other right from the start? Sense of humor, response time, interests, qualities described online, and writing style were prominent, along with having ‘something in Thus, people meet in the same manner that many people in FtF do-they initiate an interaction because they have something in common. However, unlike FtF first meetings, these commonalities and verbal impressions are all that communicators have to go by. Rather than filter through physically borne indicators of age, physical attractiveness, vocal characteristics and behaviors, and other ephemera that are part and parcel of FtF first impressions, currency online may be, as Rice (1987) suggested, the quality of information and the wit with which one presents it. Some of these relationships are fleeting, and last the duration of a conversation. Others develop into friendships and romantic relationships. Everywhere on the Internet, people can meet and form relationships. Research has documented the course of such relationship developments in several online arenas. Parks and Floyd (1996), for instance, surveyed 528 users from 24 Usenet newsgroups, receiving 176 responses. They found that 60.7% had formed a personal relationship with someone they had met through a newsgroup. More women than men had formed a rela-

146

-es

RABBYAND

WALTHER

tionship in this manner (72.2% vs. 54.5%). The frequency of contributions to the newsgroups helped predict the relationship formation, again indicating the importance of familiarity with the medium. They further discovered that prospective partners first note each postings in a newsgroup, then send each other private e-mail; they often call one another on the phone after that, and many then send photographs. A minority, but a significant proportion, go on to meet one another FtF. These relationships, according to the research, were as intimate in several dimensions as people commonly experienced in parallel FtF relationships. Parks and Roberts (1998) extended this research in the context of MOOS. In contrast to the static, asynchronous messages posted in newsgroups, MOOS feature synchronous communication. Like the newsgroup users, the MOO users migrated to other media after getting to know the other person online. MOO users also reported longer duration of their relationships. Nearly all of the MOO respondents (93.6%) had formed an ongoing interpersonal relationship during their MOO interactions. Furthermore, 90% of them had moved that relationship to another channel in addition to the MOO. Parks and Roberts (1998) speculated that MOOS are more dynamic and social in nature; unlike newsgroups, MOOS do not have a set topic. Many MOOS seem to have meeting and socializing, rather than information exchange, as their primary purpose. Utz (2000) found, in contrast, that the likelihood of forming a relationship within a MUD (game-playing) environment depended in part on the expectation that such relationships could be supported by CMC, echoing Jacob(1999) findings that some people join MOOS for the technical challenges, whereas others gravitate to the social challenges. Another study focused on romantic couples who had met online and successfully maintained their relationships offline (Baker, 1998). A majority of these couples had first met in some topical discussion group or game site, rather than in electronic venues devoted to finding partners. The sample in this study included only couples who did have online-to-offline relationships, so it is hard to know how critical a factor this is in virtual relationship formation; as in offline relationships, there are a million reasons not to like someone whom one meets under favorable circumstances. Communication Dynamics in O-dine Relationships

The presence of online relationship formation is, on the one hand, no surprise; Parks and Floyd (1996) concluded that the Internet provides just another place to meet and talk, like so many venues in the offline world. On the other hand, it is still a curious idea that people may develop relationships in an environment in which they cannot see, hear, or verify the physical existence of their partners. Although not theoretically necessary for

7.

RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

VIA

CMC

3t.

147

relationships to form (Lea & Spears, 1996), physical exposure and co-presence are so common a precursor to conversation and relationship initiation that making friends or falling in love without physically meeting partner is conventionally unthinkable. The question arises, how do people get to know one another online, and do the mechanisms by which they do so affect their relationships in unusual ways? One approach to this process has been articulated in Social Information Processing theory (Walther, 1992). This theory assumes that peodesires to get to know one another are not thwarted by the lack of nonverbal cues, but rather, should nonverbal cues be lacking, people adapt to the medium they have in order to exchange the information they need to develop impressions. The content, timing, and style of the verbal message affects impressions, and should they be motivated to escalate them, their relationships. However, when using text-based communication-especially asynchronously-more time is needed for information to exchange and attributions to form. Research has documented that online interpersonal impressions are slower to form than FtF groups, but given sufficient time, the depth of these impressions is no less in CMC than among FtF partners in the end (Walther, 1993). Moreover, levels of relational intimacy, trust, and informality also accrue similarly in CMC as in FtF groups over time (Walther & Burgoon, 1992). Other research has found that relational intimacy can start off quite high, when partners anticipate that for some reason they are likely to continue their interactions over time, rather than have a chance meeting, never to communicate again (Walther, 1994, 1997). Detailed analyses of how CMC users get to know one another reveals that the mechanisms they have at their disposal might predispose them to intimate communication. Tidwell and Walther (2000) examined the uncertainty reduction strategies available to CMC users and the ways they were used. FtF partners, on first encounter, have a variety of means to find out about one another and tend to use the most polite, or unobtrusive, means to do so-passive observation, and seeing how prospective partners interact with the physical and social environment (Berger, Gardner, Parks, Schulman, & Miller, 1976; Berger & Kellermann, 1983). Over e-mail, however, such passive means are unavailable, and communicators must turn to more obtrusive methods-asking personal questions, and self-disclosure. In a lab experiment, CMC and FtF pairs engaged in first meetings, and their comments were recorded and analyzed. CMC partners exchanged proportionately more self-disclosures and questions than did FtF partners. Moreover, the questions they asked were about more personal topics than those that FtF partners exchanged. At the same time, the deeper the disclosures and questions used by partners in CMC, the more effective they were rated by their partners, in comparison to those who met in FtF discussions. CMC us-

148 -I++ RABBYAND

WALTHER

ers have few alternatives when it comes to finding out about each other, aside from such interrogatives and self-disclosures, although doing so nevertheless involves a greater degree of intimacy than FtF strangers have reason to develop. These initial, innocuous exchanges may be the foundation for the intensity that some online relationships acquire. Despite the differences in the how people initially meet, if the relational partners feel close enough to each other they will use a variety of media and even FtF contact to maintain their relationships. In fact, the development of relationships online may simply be temporally retarded in comparison to FtF relationship development. At this point, research on CMC as both a primary means of communication, and as a supplement, starts to overlap.

SPK.ll=lC

COMMUNICATION

STKATlEGItES

Given the shifting dynamics of CMC, it is not surprising that the communication strategies that people use in CMC also vary. The one consistent feature of all types of CMC is the lack of formal rules. Some informal rules do hold throughout a variety of CMC. For example, when a person shouts (WRITING EVERYTHING IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS), it is said to indicate anger. However, other communication behaviors do not carry such universal meanings, such as writing in all lower-case letters. To some, this indicates laziness and powerlessness. In other cases, such as between two close friends, it translates more positively. Likewise, the well-known group of emoticons, or typed-out, sideways representations of facial expressions, are almost universally described as functioning like nonverbal behavior and substituting for the comparative lack of nonverbal cues that is part of CMC. Recent research has found, however, that despite highly consensual recognition among CMC users of the semantic meanings associated with several emoticons, they have very little syntactic effect on message interpretation. That is, in combination with affectively valenced verbal messages, they do not consistently add positive or negative meaning. Rather, a negativity effect obtains: A negatively-valenced verbal message or a negative (frowning) emoticon skews message interpretation negatively, whereas positive emoticons (smiles, winks) have no combinatorial effect (Walther & 2001). Other language and cue variations that have potency in the offline world also resonate online. For instance, Selfe and Meyer (199 1) d emonstrated that the linguistic patterns traditionally associated with power and status are also conveyed in text-based CMC. Adkins and Brashers (1995) demonstrated that such powerful versus powerless speech variations affect interpersonal impressions online. Users of powerless language (operationalized as

7.

RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

VIA

CMC

+=a-

14?

hedges, qualifiers, and tag questions) were perceived as less credible, attractive, and persuasive than users of powerful language. Different politeness, or face-saving strategies are also present in online discussions (Hiemstra, 1982). Witt, Wheeless, Reyna, and Swigger (2000) found that variations in verbal immediacy corresponded to ratings of conversational effectiveness. The time of day at which messages are sent, and the speediness of replies interact with message content to affect the perceived dominance/submissiveness and intimacy of e-mail exchanges walther & Tidwell, 1995). F or instance, an affectionate e-mail message sent after normal business hours conveys greater intimacy than it does as if sent during the day, whereas an e-mail task request sent at night conveys more dominance than a daytime task request. Perhaps the most distinctive differences in the ways that people communicate occur in asynchronous communication and synchronous communication. In asynchronous types of CMC, the user has the opportunity to carefully construct the message and can even edit and change it at well before sending it. Thus, e-mail messages are frequently well organized and contemplated. At other times, they have sentences that would sound appropriate orally but not written. As one sender wrote in an e-mail: “On Monday Bob and I are going to the Bush concert then on Thursday I turn 21 but I really wait for the semester to be over.” This reflects the conversational tone that many messages take. Ferrara, Brunner, and Whittemore (1991) identified the tone of CMC as featuring an emergent register- a hybrid form of language between spoken and written prose. In synchronous communication, the rules vary even more. People often talk in fragments, and ignore punctuation except when they want to indicate emphasis. Rintel and Pittam (1998) published several excerpts from dialogues in a public IRC room, and discovered numerous instances of this. In this excerpt, they show an IRC member exiting an interaction: Big Bunny: Big Bunny: Reaper: Big Bunny: Reaper: Big Bunny: well, i got to go . . . lots of work to do . . . big: email me someday or something email me first big: will do then respond to ya (p. 525)

As this example illustrates, the participants ignore conventional grammar, and instead concentrate on firing off quick fragments of dialogue. Unlike the monologues frequently featured in asynchronous interactions, this interaction demonstrates the dynamic style frequented by users of synchronous mediated communication.

120

-ts+

RABBYAND

WALTHER

Other research has revealed that exaggerated intimacy can become part of the fun of online interaction. Just as flaming may become a norm in some online groups (Lea, Fung, & Spears, 1992), so may signals of affection. In the groups studied in Walther and (1992) research, it became common for one group to sign each message with the and signifying hugs and kisses; another group signed, “Love, Kara,” or whatever their names were. Although clearly jocular in tone, no such jocular affection was exchanged in parallel FtF groups. The question arises as to what effect, if any, these stylistic differences have on relationships. In other words, how does this tendency to exaggerate emotional messages in CMC influence the relationship? Although research still awaits, it seems reasonable to expect some effect. The major theories that describe relational effects of CMC are consistent with this expectation.

~ociaI I&rrnation

and Deindivuduation

(SIDE)

Theory

The SIDE theory of CMC (Lea & Spears, 1992; Spears & Lea, 1994) examines the development of relationships online not as interpersonal ones, but as social relationships. This distinction, which is often overlooked in relationships research (cf. Sanders, 1997), is a fundamental one in SIDE. Lea and Spears defined interpersonal cues as those cues that distinguish one person from another. Such cues are most apparent in FtF interaction visually; that is, when we see another person, it is immediately apparent that the target person is individually different from oneself. Because CMC is, in most cases, visually anonymous-that is, it does not present visual, identifying cues-CMC users can become deindivuated online. The deindividuation dynamic interacts with whatever identity may be most salient to a communicator. Whether that identity is role-based or based on some salient social category (e.g., both students, both Dutch, etc.), if it is a social rather than an individually oriented identity, we experience greater attraction to others who share that identity. On the other hand, when the salient identity is individualistic-one is aware of onesself as an individual and is looking for individual differences in others online-the deindividuation dynamic is muted, or even leads to dislike or disparagement of the other (since we generally like similar and dislike dissimilar others). Moreover, when a common social identity is active, CMC participants more closely adhere to the norms of the group, and value those who reciprocate those norms. The SIDE approach has been used to explain how CMC participants, especially in groups (and more especially where there is an outgroup as well as an ingroup) become attracted to one another. It is important to note, however, that this attraction is considered to be social in nature-social attraction-rather than interpersonal attraction: One is just as attracted to any member of the group, and the members are essentially

7.

RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

VIA

CMC

=a

131

equivalent and substitutable. This attraction, however, may be (falsely) perceived to be personal in nature-an illusory reflection of interpersonal love-by the perceiver. Falsely, because it is based in social instead of interpersonal cues. To detect interpersonal differences, even within an attraction cycle, would be to undermine and potentially dismantle the very dynamic that led to the attraction. The theory has also been applied to negative affect in CMC-flaming (i.e., hostile comments, swearing, and insults)-quite effectively. SIDE theory classifies flaming as a behavior that can come to be valued in an online group, if that group is cohering along SIDE principles. Should that behavior become normative, it should be reciprocated by group members, and further valued. Thus a flame war may become quite common in some CMC associations, yet most uncommon in others, depending on the norms of the group.

H~perpersona~

CMC

Using salient social identities as a starting point that can lead to an electronic personal relationship, the Hyperpersonal Perspective (Walther, 1996) draws together several theories to explain how online relations may become particularly intense and intimate. Acknowledging SIDE theory, it is expected that users make overattributions about their online partners, and when facilitating conditions are present (e.g., expected future interaction, and some perceived similarity), users “fill in the blanks” in desirable ways, interpreting messages favorably and constructing commensurate impressions of online partners. When creating messages, CMC users are posited to engage in selective self-presentation. A wired variant of normal, offline impression management, the selectivity of CMC affords communicators even greater leverage than FtF interaction does. Online one can present oneself as one wishes, withholding or revealing what they want, when they want. Moreover, users may refocus their cognitive efforts to the task of writing, ignoring the ambient stimuli, turn-taking, physical self-monitoring, and other tasks that accompany FtF communication. The channel allows them to stop and choose phrases, and to edit and rewrite in a way that FtF interaction does not. Finally, the reciprocal influences of idealized perception and selective presentation may create a self-confirming prophecy among sender and receiver, leading to unexpected reward and intensity. This perspective has received some confirmation in educational and group settings (e.g., Chester & Gwynne, 1998; Walther, 1997), and its approach suggests that it should pertain in dyadic personal relations, albeit empirical verification in the latter domain still awaits. A recent test in the context of groups shows promise across domains, however. Walther, Slovacek, and Tidwell(2001) examined whether CMC

152

+s+

RABBYAND

WALTHER

partners sustained greater intimacy and attraction when they got to know each other over time through electronic text alone, or whether photographs of their partners either helped or hindered their affinity. Reasoning that short-term partners needed a head start but that long-term partners would achieve hyperpersonality via text, half of some long-term groups and short-term groups were shown photos of one another prior to an online discussion, whereas the other half of the long-term and short-term groups saw only text. Results revealed that the short-term partners achieved greater intimacy and attraction with a photo but that the long-term partners had less. Overall, the greatest affinity was achieved among those long-term partners who never saw each other. The old aphorism that “a picture is worth a thousand words” seems not to be the case when it comes to relationships online. Although CMC may be surprisingly useful for forming intimacy online, CMC may not seem as useful to those for whom relationships originate offline. There appears to be a self-serving bias in the evaluation of CMC as a method to get to know someone, based on where the relationship began. In unpublished research by Dodds, Frost, Knudson, Smith, and Thompson (1995), a questionnaire was posted for members of an electronic discussion list for persons in long-distance relationships who used CMC to keep in touch with their partners. Thirty participants replied, 44% of whom were male, and 56%, female. Two-thirds of the participants had first met their partners online, whereas the other third met offline; all used e-mail as the primary method of communication with their partners at the time of the study. The way in which the relationship started had significant effects on evaluation of CMC and their beliefs about relationships. Those who met their partners via the Internet more strongly agreed with the statement, “on-line relationships feel just as real as relationships I have had off-line,” than did those who met offline. Likewise, they felt more strongly that “it is good that e-mail offers the opportunity of getting to know character before any physical involvement, ” than did those who met conventionally. Those who met online were more likely to disagree with the statement, “you cannot realistically say that you love someone who you have never met in real life.” Ironically, the origination bias seemed to drop when asked about the potential for misunderstanding: It was those who had met FtF who more strongly agreed with the statement, “there is more opportunity for misunderstanding in the physical presence of a loved one than there is via E-mail.” These responses suggest that the hyperpersonal attraction potential of CMC may not be universal, but tightly bounded to strictly or originally virtual relationships. To the extent that it brings added dimensions to the maintenance of existing relationships is unclear. At the same time, the message management aspects of CMC appeal to those in a variety of relational contexts (see also Walther & Boyd, 2002).

7.

RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

VIA CMC

-+

153

CMC AS A SUPPLEMENT: RW-ATIONSHIP MAINTENANCE
These theories demonstrate the various implications of CMC for forming relationships. But CMC generally serves one of two capacities in a relationship. In most cases, people use it as a supplement to FtF conversation. It functions alongside phone calls, letters, and FtF interactions to keep the relationship going. What does a relationship maintained using CMC look like? Although relationships that begin online may feature different bases of attraction or evolution than do FtF relationships, research is mixed with respect to whether maintenance behaviors really differ much from the standard repertory of maintenance behaviors discovered in other contexts. CMC serves as a supplemental medium that allows relational partners familiar to each other in a variety of contexts to stay in touch. As mentioned earlier, e-mail represents the most popular type of CMC. Friends, family members, and romantic partners use e-mail as a means of staying in touch with each other between face-to-face meetings and phone calls. E-mail messages (and other types of CMC for that matter) facilitate relational maintenance on three different levels. First, the simple act of sending a message helps keep the relationship in existence. It lets the other relational partner know that he or she is in the other mind. Second, each message can be considered as an attempt at openness. In an e-mail message, the author tells the reader about something that is on his or her mind. At a third level, one can look at the function of this openness, or what the communication act appears to accomplish. In other words, the purpose of each message (or the sentences and phrases therein) can be analyzed to determine its maintenance strategy. E-mail messages often contain statements that hint at the importance of nonvirtual contact. Indications of past contact (“oh, by the way, i just wanted to tell you that i am really proud of how mature you were last night when I told you about this guy . . . “) as well as future contact (“Maybe I can even meet you at the train station. talk to you about it more tonight”) abound (Rabby, 1997). Th e issue is not if CMC helps to maintain relationships (it does). Instead, more pertinent questions reside in the types of behaviors that people exhibit there. One glimpse into the maintenance communication partners exchange online is found in a content analysis of e-mail messages among ongoing couples (Rabby, 1997). The study employed Canary, Stafford, Hause, and (1993) typology to explore relational maintenance strategies exhibited in electronic mail messages. That typology included the categories positivity, openness, assurances, shared tasks, social networks, joint activities, cards/letters/calls, avoidance, antisocial, humor, and miscellaneous. A twelfth category, narratives, was added to the typology to indicate the sharing of stories

124

++

RABBYAND

WALTHER

and objective descriptions of everyday life. Duck (1994) suggested that these day-to-day, banal conversations bind relationships together. With the addition of the category of narratives, 100% of the data could be categorized as a specific relational maintenance strategy, with less than 0.1% coded as miscellaneous. Overwhelmingly, the messages contained openness (38% of the total thought units) and narratives (22% of the total thought units). In essence, both of these categories involved the sharing of self, with openness covering the subjective observations and narratives covering the objective observations. Openness includes subcategories such as self-disclosure, metarelational communication, advice, and opinion expression. Narratives includes generic mentions of topics such as school, work, going to the store, and other routine activities. Perhaps the most interesting results come from the maintenance strategies not used. The messages contained only a small percentage of negative thought units (avoidance had 1.7%, antisocial had O.O%, and negative humor had 0.5%). These low frequencies exist largely because of the nature of the medium studied. To compose a message to another person contradicts the intention of avoiding him or her or being antisocial. Although these behaviors are negotiated both directly and indirectly in face-to-face interactions, relational partners negotiate them indirectly via e-mail, usually by responding infrequently or not at all. In a few instances, individuals used the nature of the technology as an excuse for avoidance. “I checked my e-mail in a long time” and “I never received that message” have become common excuses in our day and age. Another report of this behavior can be seen in the following excerpt from the data sample:
[ G]uess what I got in the mail yesterday? it was an easter card from me to richard in san francisco. it was return to sender - wrong address. that really sucks. i recently asked him if his address was still the same and he told me it was. i try to keep in touch and look what happens? i think i am going to write you anymore either . . . just kidding?

Simply put, people avoid each other by not communicating, which then signals avoidance and antisocialness. This emphasis on the positive, proactive relational maintenance strategies also comports with (1986) study, which suggests that people tend to idealize their long-distance relationships. The potential for the distanciation imposed by CMC has a similar effect, at least in personal relationships. When one communicates largely through e-mail he or she loses the sense of that bad manners, slow speech, frequent cursing, and other undesirable habits. In essence, the content of these messages held no real surprises. In these cases the messages used in CMC resembled the messages used in FtF interactions. The relational partners know each other, they have already formed

7. RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

VIA CMC

-+t-

135

an impression of their relational partner, and they typically continue to see that person in other contexts. Stafford et al. (1999), among others, made the call to consider CMC as a part of interpersonal relationships, rather than a false dichotomy between the mediated and the interpersonal. Indeed, in these relationships CMC simply functions as a tool for relational maintenance. At the same time, using taxonomies from traditional interaction to analyze electronic exchanges may hide whether novel strategies or new permutations of maintenance messages may evolve with the medium, and future research must be alert to such changes. In any case, the differences in the way people maintain relationships emerges when CMC is the primary point of contact for the participants. One indication that CMC alters relationship maintenance is seen in the results of a recent large-scale survey by the Pew Charitable Trust (2000). Findings indicate that many Americans-women particularly-use the Internet quite regularly to stay in touch with family members and with friends. Among the findings are that women feel they can be more honest and direct with family members online than they would via FtF or telephone communication, no doubt due to the digital barricade, and the message management aspects of the hyperpersonal dynamics previously described. A final perspective on the role of CMC in relational maintenance is seen in research by Gunn and Gunn (2000), w h o compared the effects of using CMC versus other forms of contact on existing long-distance relationships. Their results indicated that those who used CMC to stay in touch with their partners reported greater love and closeness to their partners, and less relationship insecurity than those who did not. Although Gunn and Gunn suggested that communication frequency (a factor supported by CMC) is the key variable underlying these dynamics (a factor supported by CMC), it would not be surprising to find a hyperpersonal aspect within the findings as well (i.e. an aspect by which online partnerships are more intimate than parallel offline relationships): CMC users also disclosed more to their online partners. Gunn and Gunn reported that “people who were online preferred their long-distance relationships to their local (unmediated) relationships, whereas people who were not online preferred their local relationships to their long-distance (letter or telephone based) relationships” (p. 2).

CONCLUSIONS
Although scholars have only begun to explore relationships that use CMC as well as the influence it has on relational maintenance strategies, some information about the nature of CMC interactions and their contributions to relational maintenance emerges. First, from one perspective, despite some unique features, there is really nothing radical about CMC. It simply offers people another opportu-

156

-I+-

RABBYAND

WALTHER

nity to meet and communicate with others. Given that CMC can often represent simply another context in which people can maintain their relationships, it is not too surprising that behaviors do not deviate much from the behaviors exhibited in other contexts. CMC might be more notable for its banality than anything else. Very often, the messages contain recounting of daily life, such as in this example: “I am going to one of concerts tonight. He plays in the Blue Band and some concert band. Anyways, the concert is outside and if it rains, which it is right now, we have to go. Other than that, everything is same old-same old.” Most CMC interactions in developed relationships tend to involve minor issues. The evidence thus far indicates that major relational events (e.g., conflict) are usually reserved for other types of media and FtF interactions. Yet in other respects, CMC turns relationship processes upside down. It is conventionally inconceivable to start a conversation with a stranger before having seen the person, at least without some telecommunication. Well-known theories about impression and relationship formation such as Uncertainty Reduction Theory (Berger & Calabrese, 1975) are premised in face-to-face contact. The potency of interpersonal revelations and discoveries -whether in new or existing relationships-may take greater weight online without the usual nonverbal mechanisms to buffer them. And such surprises may be just as likely constitute enticements as frustrations, as seen in this e-mail message captured midway through a virtual student project in Walther (1997):
Hey Mayte, I just wanted to thank you for taking the time to compile the reading list for everyone. By the way, this may sound crazy, but you a guy? We tell from your name; the “Oliver” part looks masculine, but the “bel” nickname could be feminine. Sorry for such an offensive question. I guess that when you mentioned naked, I just stand the suspense any longer. Erica (p. 365)

The adjustment that people make to these ambiguous situations will remain a phenomenon to track as researchers continue to unfurl the dynamics of interpersonal relationships. The specific roles that CMC play in relationships continue to increase and change. The literature thus far has barely scratched the surface of the specific role that e-mail and other forms of CMC play in relationships. Stafford et al. (1999) reported that people use e-mail from home for four primary reasons: interpersonal relationships, gratification opportunities, personal gain (e.g., learning and information exchange), and business reasons. Participants in (1997) study noted the advantages of using e-mail over the telephone. They suggested that the low-cost of the medium was the greatest advantage (52.9%). Other popular answers included convenience (17.9%), the ease with which it allows one to keep in touch

7. RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

VIA CMC

3L

with people (8.8%), and the ability to manipulate text (5.9%). It is not the characteristics of the medium that people consider an advantage of using the medium. Instead, the atheoretical and pragmatic reasons of low-cost and convenience hold the appeal for most. The precedent of these pragmatic reasons over preferential reasons is also visible when researchers have investigated what people would choose if price was no object. With all things being equal, people tend to indicate they will choose as rich a medium as possible. Sellen (1995) noted this when she compared satisfaction with long-distance meetings conducted using audio and visual communication versus audio-only equipment. She found that, although both were relatively equivalent in terms of how people handled interactions when using them, participants felt the video component was important for conversation, and given a choice, would choose to include it. Despite how people say they feel, actual usage may depart from such ideals. In other domains of CMC research, participants also consistently rate face-to-face, or at least the telephone, superior to text-based messages for interpersonally involving encounters. Yet such findings are consistent only amongprojective tests, that is, questionnaire studies that ask respondents to indicate what medium would be best to use, given a full range of choices for every situation (Rice, 1993). Studies that actually observe media selection in organizations almost never support what the projective tests suggest (e.g. Fulk, Schmitz, & Ryu, 1995; Markus 1994a), and find instead that users select media opportunistically, or based on local social conventions that emerge in specific relationships. Where a medium might be lean, they work to make it richer (e.g. Markus, 1994b). M oreover, studies of personal media such as the AT&T Picturephone (Noll, 1992) have concluded that, although people like to see others, they do not like being seen, for routine communication. There seems to be a symbolic component to what media are best and most personal-the more cues the better-which does not stand up to the demands of the moment when people cannot be in each presence, cannot be available to talk at the same time, or can not afford the gas, time, airfare, or phone bill that would make such choices actionable. Ironically, despite the avowed preference for higher-bandwidth media, CMC may nevertheless contribute to more intimate and satisfying relationships than richer media or face-to-face conversations. Despite its lower preference rating, the dynamics of CMC might improve relations, perhaps unbeknownst to its users. It appears that people, aware of shortcomings but less cognizant of its benefits, overaccommodate in strategic and highly coded ways the potential weaknesses of the medium. Users, not systems, are what make a medium rich or lean. The contemporary questions have to do with whether the unique properties of CMC enhance, diminish, or otherwise alter the dynamics of these

158

+a

RABBYAND

WALTHER

relationships through communication. Given the findings in this review, the preliminary evidence of the role that CMC might play in relationships indicates it to be a combination between the pragmatic and strategic. It remains to be seen if e-mail becomes the dominant medium Negroponte (1995) predicted, or simply remains a convenient option.

I=UTURE DIRKTIONS l=OR CMC AND RIELATIONAL MAINTENANCE
Future research on relationship formation and relational maintenance in CMC will reform not only the study of contemporary relationship dynamics, but help to extend our understanding of CMC across a variety of domains. Significant weaknesses exist in the dominant theories that describe CMC relationships, especially insofar as relationship maintenance is concerned. The SIDE and Hyperpersonal models both fit best when there is exclusivity of channels. That is, each explains particularly well how people form impressions of each other online and how users come to relate to each other within the online environment. theoretical assumptions about missing visual or personal cues, however, dictates that at the point where a physical encounter occurs, the theory is no longer applicable. In the Hyperpersonal model as well, reciprocation of flattering cues and relational escalation are premised on advantageous exploitation of the selectivity that text-only cues provides. Although purely online relationships may exist for a time, many cross over into face-to-face encounters; and although many relationships begin off-line, they are maintained via the Internet. These theories, although powerful within the boundaries of virtual relationships, do not explicitly address such movements across modalities. This is not to say that they cannot pertain, but the extent to which their theoretical dynamics may come into play at different stages deserves greater attention. For instance, it may be that couples who have gone for some time without physical exposure begin to idealize and hyperpersonalize; the results of Gunn and (2000) study of relational maintenance online would seem to suggest this is so, as would (1986) and Stafford and (1990) studies of geographicallyseparated couples using conventional media. The applicability of these dynamics as temporary states in ongoing relationships that are sometimes mediated deserves further study. As such, the question of how well these theories hold up when relational partners converse through both mediated and FtF environments remains. Moreover, improvements in our understanding of impacts in mixed modality romantic relationships may also inform our study of use in other domains-education, group work, and organizational relations-in which more and more commonly people work together both online and offline.

7. RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

VIA CMC

*

159

We conclude with a cautionary note. We are often asked whether CMC relationships, or whether the use of CMC in relationships, is helpful or harmful. In the extreme, we are asked whether CMC can really be adequate for relating to one another, that is, is CMC rather than face-to-face interaction a critical factor in the success or failure of relationships (i.e., for relationships to be successful, long lasting, or real). Despite the findings reviewed earlier, which suggest, at times, helpfulness or harmfulness, we believe the process of maintaining relationships over time is far too complex a process for CMC to shoulder too much of the burden. We know too little about these media, not because, as some would say, the media are changing so rapidly, but because the field is very young and can barely keep up with the normative and innovative uses to which millions of new users put them. More importantly, however, we know too little about how people fall in and out of love, manage multiple commitments, obligations and alternative attractions, and deal with their relationships over time to predict the critical success factors for any relationship to succeed, mediated, face-to-face, or mixed. We caution readers, before putting too much burden on CMC to make or break relationships, to consider the baseline: Most relationships are temporary. Rather than to look for the drastic changes media are unlikely to produce, we urge the curious to look for the subtleties, the surprises, the delights, and fluctuations promise to teach us little about media but a lot about how humans pursue relationships, no matter how many miles of geography or network connections lie between them.

Adkins, M., & Brashers, D. (1995). The power of language in computer-mediated groups. Manugement Communication Quarterly, 8, 289-322. Baker, A. (1998, July). Cyberspace couples finding romance online then meeting for the first time in real life. CMC Magazine. Retrieved December 1, 2000, from: http://www.december.com/cmc/mag 1998/jul/baker. html Baym,-N. K. (1998). Interpreting soap operas and creating community: Inside an electronic fan culture. In S. Kiesler (Ed.), Culture of the Internet (pp. 103-l 20). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Berger, C. R., & Calabrese, R. J. (1975). S ome explorations in initial interaction and beyond: Toward a developmental theory of interpersonal communication. Human Communication Research, 1, 99-l 12. Berger, C. R., Gardner, R. R., Parks, M. R., Schulman, L., &Miller, G. R. (1976). Interpersonal epistemology and interpersonal communication. In G. R. Miller (Ed.), Explorations in interpersonal communication (pp. 149-l 7 1). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Berger, C. R., & Kellermann, K. A. (1983). T o ask or not to ask: Is that a question? In R. N. Bostrom (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 7 (pp. 342-368). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Brandon, D. P, & Hollingshead, A. B. (1999). Collaborative learning and computer-supported groups. Communication Education, 48, 109-l 26.

160

+a

RABBYAND

WALTHER

Canary, D. J., Stafford, L. S., Hause, K. S., &Wallace, L. A. (1993). An inductive analysis of relational maintenance strategies: Comparisons among lovers, relatives, friends, and others. Communication Research Reports, IO, 5-14. Chester, A., & Gwynne, G. (1998). 0 n 1ine teaching: Encouraging collaboration through anonymity. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 4(2). Retrieved December 1, 2000, from: http://www.ascusc.org/jcmc/vol4/issue2/chester.html Constant, D., Sproull, L., & Kiesler, S. (1997). Th e in d ness of strangers: On the usefulness of electronic weak ties for technical advice. In S. Kiesler (Ed.), Culture of the Internet (pp. 303-322). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Culnan, M. J., & Markus, M. L. (1987). I n f ormation technologies. In F. M. Jablin, L. L. of organizational communiPutnam, K. H. Roberts, & L. W Porter (Eds.),Handbook cation: An interdisciplinary perspective (pp. 420-443). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Curtis, P (1998). Mudding: S ocial phenomena in test-based virtual realities. In S. Kiesler (Ed.), Culture of the Internet (pp. 121-142). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Cutlip, J ., Friedman, R., & Wolicki, J. S. (1996, J anuary 22). The joys and drawbacks of e-mail. LegaZ Times, S32. Dodds, D., Frost, K., Knudson, K., Smith, J., & Thompson, S. (1995). Investigating the phenomenon of on-line relationships: A review and questionnaire study. Unpublished paper, University of Manchester at Northwestern University. Duck, S. (1994). Steady as (s) he goes: Relational maintenance as a shared meaning system. In D. J. Canary & L. S. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 45-60). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Ferrara, K., Brunner, H., & Whittemore, G. (1991). Interactive written discourse as an emergent register. Written Communication, 8, 8-34. Fulk, J., Schmitz, J., & Ryu, D. (1995). Cognitive elements in the social construction of technology. Management Communication Quarterly, 8, 259-288. Gunn, D. O., & Gunn, C. W (2000, September). The quality of electronically maintained relationships. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Association of Internet Researchers; Lawrence, KS. Hiemstra, G. (1982). Teleconferencing, concern for face, and organizational culture. In M. Burgoon (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 6 (pp. 874-904). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Jacobson, D. (1999). Impression formation in cyberspace: Online expectations and offline experiences in text-based virtual communities. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, .5(l). Retrieved January 3 1, 2001, from: http://www.ascusc.org/jcmc/vol5/issuel/jacobson.html Johansen, R., DeGrasse, R., & Wilson, T. (1978). Group communication through computers: Vole. 5. Effects on workingpatterns. Menlo Park, CA: Institute for the Future. Lea, M., & Spears, R. (1992). Paralanguage and social perception in computermediated communication. Journal of Organizational Computing, 2, 32 l-34 1. Lea, M., T., Fung, I?, & Spears, R. (1992). “Flaming” in computer-mediated communication: Observations, explanations, implications. In M. Lea (Ed.), Contexts of computer-mediated communication (pp. 89-112). London: Harvester-Wheatsheaf. Markus, M. L. (1994a). El ec t ronic mail as the medium of managerial choice. Organization Science, 5, 502-527. Markus, M. L. (1994b). Finding a happy medium: Explaining the negative effects of electronic communication on social life at work. ACM Transactions on Information
Systems, 12, 119-l 49.

Merkle, E. R., & Richardson, R. A. (2000). Digital dating and virtual relating: Conceptualizing computer mediated romantic relationships. Family Relations, 49.
187-192.

7. RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

VIA CMC

s=+

161

Mitchell, VI! J. (1995). City of bits: Space, place, and the infobahn. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. Nass, C., & Mason, L. (1990). On the study of technology and task: A variable-based approach. In J. Fulk & C. Steinfield (Eds.), Organizations and communication technology (pp. 46-67). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Negroponte, N. (1995). Being digital. New York: Knopf. Noll, A. M. (1992). Anatomy of a failure: Picturephone revisited. Telecommunications Policy, 16, 307-316. Parks, M. R., & Floyd, K. (1996). Making friends in cyberspace. Journal of Communication, 46, 80-97. Parks, M. R., & Roberts, L. D. (1998). ‘Making The development of personal relationships on-line and a comparison to their off-line counterparts. Journal of Social and Personal ReLationships, 1.5, 517-537. Pew Research Center. (2000). Tracking online life: How women use the Internet to cultivate relationships with family and friends. Retrieved May 10, 2000, from: http:// www.pewinternet.org/reports/toc.asp?Report= 11 Rabby, M. K. (1997, N ovember). Maintaining relationships via electronic mail. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the National Communication Association, Chicago, IL. Rheingold, H. (1993). Th e virtual community: Homesteading on the electronic frontier. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley. Rice, R. E. (1987). New patterns of social structure in an information society. In J. R. Schement & L. Lievrouw (Eds.), Competing visions, complex realities: Social aspects of the information society (pp. 107-l 20). Norwood, NJ: Ablex. Rice, R. E. (1993). Media appropriateness: Using social presence theory to compare traditional and new organizational media. Human Communication Research, 19, 45 l-484. Rintel, E. S., & Pittam, J. (1997). Strangers in a strange land: Interaction management on Internet Relay Chat. Human Communication Research, 23, 507-534. Roberts, L. D., Smith, L. M., & Pollack, C. (1996, September). A model of social interaction via computer-mediated communication in real-time text-based virtual environments. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Australian Psychological Society, Sydney, Australia. Sanders, R. E. (1997). Find y our partner and do-G-do: The formation of personal relationships between social beings. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 14, 387-415. Selfe, C. L., & Meyer, P R. (1991). Testing claims for on-line conferences. Written Communication, 8, 163-l 92. Sellen, A. J. (1995). R emote conversations: The effects of mediating talk with technology. Human-Computer Interaction, 10, 401-444. Spears, R., & Lea, M. (1994). Panacea or Panopticon? The hidden power in computermediated communication. Communication Research, 21, 427-459. Sproull, L., & Faraj, S. (1997). Atheism, sex, and databases: The net as a social technology. In S. Kiesler (Ed.), Culture ofthe Internet (pp. 35-51). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Stafford, L. S., Kline, S. L., Dimmick, J. (1999). H ome e-mail: Relational maintenance and gratification opportunities. Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, 43, 659-669. Stafford, L. S., & Reske, J. R. (1990). Idealization and communication in long-distance relationships. Family Relations, 39, 274-279.

102

-ii=+

RABBYAND

WALTHER

Stephen, T. (1986). C ommunication and interdependence in geographically separated relationships. Human Communication Research, 13, 191-2 10. Tidwell, L. C., & Walther, J. 8. (2000, July). Getting to know one another a bit at a time: Paper presented at the International Conference on Language and Social Psychology; Cardiff, Wales. Turkle, S. (1995). L i f e on the screen: Identity in the age if the Internet. New York: Simon & Schuster. Utz, s. (2000). s ocial information processing in MUDS: The development of friendships in virtual worlds. Journal of Online Behavior, 2 (1). Retrieved October 1,2000, from: http://www. behavior.net/JOB/vlnl/utz.html Walther, J. B. (1992). Interpersonal effects in computer-mediated interaction: A relational perspective. Communication Research, 19, 52-90. Walther, J. B. (1993). Impression development in computer-mediated interaction. Western Journal of Communication, 57, 381-398. Walther, J. B. (1994). Anticipated ongoing interaction versus channel effects on relational communication in computer-mediated interaction. Human Communication Research, 20, 473-501. Walther, J. B. (1996). Computer-mediated communication: Impersonal, interperCommunication Research, 23, 3-43. sonal, and hyperpersonal interaction. Walther, J. B. (1997). Group and interpersonal effects in international computer-mediated collaboration. Human Communication Research, 23, 342-369. Walther, J. B. (2001). Synch ronicity, interactivity, and entrainment in computer-mediated, oral, and written communication. Manuscript submitted for publication. Walther, J. B., & Boyd, S. (2002). Attraction to computer-mediated social support. In C. A. Lin & D. Atkin (Eds.), Communication technology and society: Audience adopPress. tion and uses of the new media (pp. 153-l 88). Cresskill, NJ: Hampton Walther, J. B., & Burgoon, J. K. (1992). R e 1a t ional communication in computer-mediated interaction. Human Co&munication Research, 19, 50-88. Walther, J. B., & K. I? (2001). The impacts of emoticons on message interpretation in computer-mediated communication. Social Science Computer Review, 19, 323-345. Walther, J. B., & Slovacek, C., & Tidwell, L. C. (2001). Is a picture worth a thousand words? Photographic images in long term and short term virtual teams. Communication Research, 28, 105-134. Witt, P. L., Wheeless, L. R., Reyna, J., & Swigger, K. (2000, November). An initial ex-

Computer-mediated sonal evaluations.

communication

effects on disclosure,

impressions,

and interper-

amination of observed verbal immediacy and opinions of communication effectiveness in on-line group interaction. Paper presented at the annual meeting
of the National Communication Association, Seattle, WA. Wellman, B. (1994). I was a teen-age network analyst: The route from the Bronx to the information highway. Connections, 17, 28-45. Wellman, B., Salaff, J., Dimitrova, D., Garton, L., Gulia, M., & Haythronite, C. (1996). Computer networks as social networks: Collaborative work, telework, and virtual communitv. Annual Review of Sociolodt, 22, 213-238.

Rela tionshi I

aintena rice in 0 rganizational Setti “gs

Vincent R. Waldron Arizona State University West

I was friends with my supervisor and had a pretty good relationship with this other employee and his family. We had all worked together for several years, through some challenging times, helping each other out, kind of like a team. When he (the other employee) got a bad review and protested it, I was in the middle and know what to do. Who should I stick-up for? What would the other employees think if I defended him but not them? I had to be careful because the supervisor was my friend, but she was my boss too! The other employee ended up not talking with me anymore. He ended up leaving and partly blamed me for a lack of loyalty to him. I lost my friendship with him and his wife. They never even invited me to their house after that. It took a long time for things to become “normal” again around the office. --Wald?-on (2002)

his quote, from a state government employee, illustrates the complexities of relationship maintenance in organizational settings. At work, relationship maintenance efforts must take into account differences in power, the blending of work and personal relationships, task and role requirements, potential career implications, and third-party perceptions, among other factors. This chapter begins with a discussion of some of the unique characteristics of organizational settings. Then, selected theoretical perspectives employed by researchers studying work relationships are briefly reviewed. Next, research on relationship maintenance tactics and processes is described. Both supervisory and peer relationships are considered in this section. The fourth section emphasizes the individual, relational, and

I&

-E==+ WALDRON

organizational consequences associated with relationship maintenance. Upward mobility and perceptions of sexual harassment are among the consequences addressed here. In a brief fifth section, conclusions are presented. Finally, directions for future research are discussed. The increasing prevalence of temporary workers, telecommuting, and team-based organizing are among the themes discussed in this concluding section.

UNIQUE

f”l?ATURE Ol= ORGANIZATIONAL RIXATIONSHIPS

Work relationships are unique in a number of ways when compared to purely personal relationships. To illustrate this point, several organizational characteristics that influence relationships are discussed in this section: power differences, multiple relationship forms, networks, task characteristics, and procedural structure.

Power Differences
Power differences are commonplace in work relationships. Those enacting leadership and management roles bring to the relationship a degree of formally sanctioned position power. Status inequalities also result from differences in technical knowledge, differential access to key information, and location in the social network, among other factors. Moreover, members have a vested interest in the maintenance of relationships with leaders and other powerful individuals. Most employees are aware that poorly maintained relationships can eventually result in reduced promotion opportunities, smaller salary increases, less rewarding work assignments, and other unpleasant consequences. Even in presumably status-neutral work teams, members can exert power through peer pressure (what Barker, 1993, called “concertive control”), if not raw coercion, and thus raise the stakes of the relationship maintenance process. Accordingly, relationship maintenance in work contexts, at least for the less powerful, may be more mindful, strategic, and cautious than in the personal realm.

Work relationships take numerous forms. A hypothetical, but not atypical, employee may tend to relationships with a supervisor, several subordinates, members of a work team, formal and informal mentors, any number of co-worker peers, customers or clients, suppliers, and so on. Organizations with complex structures add another level of difficulty to this challenge, requiring in matrix organizations, for example, that relationships be maintained with multiple supervisors simultaneously. Of course, many

8.

=+-

165

work relationships are personal-professional hybrids, complicating the relationship maintenance picture even further (Sias & Cahill, 1998). The potentially complicated intersections between the personal and the professional become obvious in some familiar instances, as when an employee is suspected of gaining undeserved rewards from the boss through excessive “schmoozing” or when an office romance develops.

Networks
Any given work relationship is nested within a complex system of vertical and horizontal networks. The communication of co-worker peers is influenced in part by their individual relationships with those in power and their perception of the supervisory relationships their peers enjoy (Sias & Jablin, 1995). Who is in favor? Who can I trust? Also, the relationship with his or her leader has consequences for the larger Workgroup (Lee, 1998a, W aId ron & Hunt, 1992). Will positive or negative career consequences flow from a close association with the boss? Lee (1997) demonstrated the importance of this updated version of the Pelz effect on peer communication patterns. Finally, the networked nature of organizational communication means that relationship maintenance is not merely a dyadic process; it extends to the maintenance of informal information networks and power-enhancing coalitions (Albecht & Hall, 199 1; Waldron, 1999). Employees must tend to a far-flung web of, sometimes, involuntary relationships, the characteristics of which are determined in part by the work they do.

?-askcharacteristics
Indeed, task characteristics enhance or constrain opportunities for unscripted communication (Waldron, 1994). Simple, well-defined, compartmentalized tasks (e.g., assembly work) may reduce motivation and opportunity for relationship-sustaining interaction. Of course, some manufacturing environments create opportunities for social interaction as well, particularly if the task lends itself to small talk among peers (Waldron, Foreman, & Miller, 1993). In contrast, complex, ambiguous, or interdependent tasks can magnify the importance of relationships with co-workers and supervisors (Thacker &Wayne, 1995). The quality of maintenance communication, particularly the degree to which it can occur opportunistically, is a product of work arrangement. In some workplaces (e.g., credit card processing centers) the ratio of supervisors to workers can be quite large, and informal relationship talk with supervisor is almost impossible. The relationship is instead based on formal reporting (Waldron, 199 1). Yet, when work is organized around small creative teams

(i.e., advertising agencies), maintenance of relationships is largely informal, and absolutely critical to team success (Graen & Wakabayashi, 1994).

Procedural

Structure

Another unique feature of work relationships concerns the role of procedural structure (formal rules) in the maintenance process. The frequency, content, and tone of some maintenance communication can be dictated by formal guidelines (Waldron, 1999). For example, team members may be required to meet regularly to discuss task coordination, address grievances, and head-off simmering conflicts. Supervisors may request certain types of information in weekly status reviews, including feedback about the social climate of the Workgroup. Some of this required relationship talk overtly problematizes issues related to relationship maintenance. (“So, how is everyone getting along this week?“). Moreover, performance evaluations and 360 degree feedback sessions involve the formal assessment of relationship management skills (Atwater, Roush, & Fischthal, 1995). Through this process, employees can be advised to engage in relational communication that is more or less frequent, directive, or formal. These assessments not only comment on relationship maintenance efforts, but also constitute relational communication of a formal kind. So, in work settings, aspects of relationship maintenance activity are often regulated, compulsory, and subject to scrutiny. In this sense, maintenance is not simply a dyadic phenomenon but instead reflects a property of the larger collective. In keeping with structuration theory (Giddens, 1994), maintenance communication is part expression and part reinforcement of organizational structures that shape relationships.

THlEORrTTICAL

ASSUMPTIONS

AND KAMEWORKS

The existing research on relationship maintenance processes in the workplace is fed by at least four theoretical streams. These approaches differ in basic assumptions about the nature of communication. For example, some approaches (e.g., leader-member exchange theory) construe communication primarily as a transaction of social resources. From this perspective, the behavioral patterns that convey and preserve relational resources come under scrutiny, as do the rewards accrued by relationship partners. A second approach adopts the assumptions and language of systems theory, with an attendant focus on how communication functions to restore or upset equilibrium in relational systems. In contrast, a third perspective views relationship maintenance as one of several strategic goals sought by individual communicators. The communicative plans and tactics used by individuals to manage these goals are the subject of this research. A fourth

8.

-?1-

Id7

and final approach concerns the management of identity and social roles. From this point of view, relationship maintenance is integrated with the larger process of preserving work roles and avoiding threats to the self-definitions offered by others. These four theoretical perspectives are considered in more detail below. Exchange: Leader-Member-Exchange Theory Leader-member exchange theory, invoked in the literature for 30 years, is perhaps the most pervasive of exchange-based approaches (for a review, see Graen & Uhl-Bien, 1995). Grounded in social exchange and role-management perspectives, the theory holds, in part, that work relationships are defined by the quantity and quality of social resources invested by the leader. Leaders are presumed to have at their disposal limited amounts of time, effort, and communicative resources that must be apportioned among multiple members. Typically, leader-member relations are stabilized by the formal set of rules and procedures that govern workplace interactions. For example, task responsibilities and communication rules (e.g., reporting requirements) are standardized and followed with minimal variation. Maintenance of such supervisory exchanges is relatively efficient, requiring little negotiation and limited investment of social resources. However, more flexible and resource-intensive leadership exchanges are developed with selected members, often those the leader regards as unusually proficient, loyal, likable, or promising. In these cases, the leader invests considerably more informal communication, shares insider information, and grants considerable autonomy to the member to shape his or her role. This role-making process, in contrast to the role taking that characterizes supervisory relationships, is maintained through more frequent and informal communication between leader and member, discussion of personal as well as task related information, the exercise of mutual influence, and in general, a more extensive investment of social resources by both parties. Maintenance as a Systems Maintenance as Sociaf

Property

Lee and Jablin (1995) ex pl ained workplace relationship maintenance from a systems perspective. For these authors, work relationships are subsystems embedded within larger organizational systems. Communicative behaviors function to maintain the character of the relational system, that is, to maintain a steady state, particularly during times of system disturbance (entropic moments). Efforts by one party to accelerate or deaccelerate the

lo8

+==

WALDRON

relationship represent moments of this kind, as when a member tries to become more personal in his or her interactions with the supervisor. Invoking the systems metaphor, Lee and Jablin drew on the idea of requisite variety to explain how multiple forms of communication behavior can maintain relationship equilibrium, depending on the nature of the disturbance. Maintenance as an Interaction Goal

Researchers use the concept of interaction goals to explain the relationship maintenance practices of members and leaders (Waldron, 199 1). Organizational researchers too often assume that task objectives, like obtaining influence or sharing information, are the primary objectives of workplace communication. From this perspective, task objectives are interdependent with, and sometimes subordinate to, the maintenance of acceptably defined relationships and work identities. In cases where status differences complicate the efforts of members to achieve task goals, maintenance behavior is thought to be crucial in reducing (or magnifying) relational threat. For example, members of a supervisory dyad that is maintained through chronic avoidance will find open sharing of negative performance feedback highly threatening. In contrast, a history of more explicit talk about relational expectations might minimize threat perceptions. This line of research continues to examine the conceptual and empirical connections between maintenance behavior and other forms of potentially threatening workplace communication, including the expression of emotion and upward influence tactics (Waldron, 1994, 1999, 2000). Maintenance as the Management

of Social Identity

Relationship maintenance processes are also implicated in a loosely connected set of theories concerned with the management of work identities through relational communication. In general, these approaches suggest that relational upset can be managed by anticipating and avoiding messages which threaten the identity of the self or the co-worker. For example, Larson (1989) argued that employees take advantage of reluctance to deliver negative performance feedback. Supervisors sometimes fear the relational consequences of negative evaluation. By cautiously and selectively seeking positive or vague feedback and by asking for advice rather than inviting criticism, members reinforce positive relationship definitions. Over time it becomes increasingly inconsistent and face threatening for the supervisor to offer highly negative feedback within this mutually constructed and apparently positive relationship. The maintenance of the relational status quo is a side-effect of this identity manage-

8.

WORKSETTINGS

+a-

ment dilemma. According to Larson, apparently cordial relations persevere under these conditions but so does poor performance. Employees are ultimately surprised when negative performance feedback can be delayed no longer.

MAINTlZNANC.E

PROCl3SES

AND TACTICS

Research on maintenance communication traditionally has focused on vertical (supervisory) relationships, with peer relationships becoming important only in recent years. This section examines studies of both relationship types. In addition, it seeks insight from research on forms of workplace communication that have obvious relevance, but have yet to be conceptualized as relationship maintenance by researchers.

Maintenance

Communication

in Supervisory

ReIationships

In an early case study set in a communal setting, Kaplan (1978) conceived of relationship maintenance as largely a matter of expressing or suppressing feelings or perspectives. In subsequent studies, researchers have made finer distinctions among tactics and the circumstances under which they are used. Several authors, acknowledging the status differences inherent in most leader-member relationships, have described the upward maintenance tactics initiated by members (see Table 8.1). Waldron (1991, 1997; Waldron & Hunt, 1992, Waldron, Hunt & Dsilva, 1993) inductively derived a four-factor taxonomy from a survey of 5 18 working adults. Direct tactics are communicative actions that overtly comment on relational expectations, question relationship injustices, and invite discussion of relationship status. Regulative tactics are defensive in nature. They involve careful management of impressions, messages, feedback, and emotions. Contacts with the leader are minimized and characterized generally by avoidant, superficial communication. Persond/InformaZ tactics appear to foster friendship ties with the supervisor. Frequent informal chat, personal content, sharing of jokes and stories, compliments, and small talk define this relationship maintenance approach. Finally, contractual communication involves rule following, clarifying performance expectations, advice seeking and accepting, and abiding by informal and formal agreements. In the management literature, Tepper (1995) confirmed these four tactic types and identified a fifth. An extension of contractual category, these extracontractual tactics communicate the willingness to exceed relationship and role expectations. They communicate unexpected levels of accessibility, personal investment, and commitment to the relationship.

TABLE 8.1
Categories of Maintenance T&tics with Behavioral ExampIes

Author Waldron

[Date) (199 1)

Category/Subcategory Personal/Informal

Behavioral 1. We share small talk 2. I treat him/her like a friend

Examples

Contractual

1. I am careful to follow the rules he/she has established 2. I remain polite toward him/her 1. I sometimes stretch the truth to avoid problems with him/her 2. I make sure the supervisor is in a good mood before discussing important work matters with him/her 1. I speak up when I feel I am treated 2. I frequently offer my opinions unjustly

Regulative/Defensive

Direct

Tepper (1995)

Extra-contractual

1. I try to exceed what is required of me at work 2. I offer to relieve burdens on my boss

Escalating

Situations Avoidance Interaction of 1. I sit as far away as possible in meetings 2. I Plan my schedule so as not to encounter

Lee & Jablin (1995)

him/her

Conversational refocus: indirect

1. I try to focus my conversation with him/her on work-related issues 2. I sometimes act like I do not know what he/she is talking about

Conversational direct Openness

refocus:

1. 1 tell him/her 2. I tell him/her

that I do not want to discuss his/her personal not to talk so much about me in public

life

1. I express my feelings in a forthrightly manner 2. I discuss what I perceive to be important aspects of my work 1. I tell him/her 2. I tell him/her that I need more time to think about a matter when it is not a good time for me to help him/her

Procrastination

Deteriorating Situations Direct/Open 1. In a nonthreatening manner, I let him/her consequences if things change 2. I speak up when I felt treated unjustly know that there will be negative

Creating

closeness

1. I talk to him/her as I would a good friend 2. I express my willingness to help him/her out 1. I pretend that a dissatisfying work situation with him/her is over 2. I withhold communicating undesirable information to him/her 1. I avoid saying anything that may embarrass him/her 2. I avoid the expression of extreme negative emotions

Deception/Distortion

Circumspectiveness

toward

him/her

Self-Promotion

1. I make sure that he/she knows how hard I am working 2. I let him/her know about my past successes on the job (Continued on next page)

TABLE 8.1 (Continued)
Categories of Maintenance Tactics with Behavioral BarnpIes

Author Routine

(Date) Situations

Category/Subcategory

Behavioral

Examples

Avoidance

1. I avoid delivering bad news to him/her 2. I try to look busy when he/she is around 1. I encourage him/her to discuss problems he/she 2. I inquire about his/her progress on the job 1. I remain polite toward him/her 2. I am honest in what I say to him/her 1. I do not interrupt 2. I avoid appearing when he/she is engaged in conversation too anxious when we talk is experiencing

Supportiveness

Positive regard

Restrained

expression

Small talk

1. I engage in small talk with him/her 2. I ask him/her how things are going

8.

WORKSETTINGS

=+-

r,q

Lee (1997,1998a, 1998b; Lee & Jablin, 1995) examined tactics used in deteriorating, escalating, and stable supervisory relationships. As can be seen in Table 8.1, these two independent lines of research yield fairly consistent tactic categories. However, list of tactics is more extensive and reported at a finer level of granularity. Such tactics as conversational refocusing, distortion, and circumspection (Lee & Jablin, 1995) add behavioral detail to the Regulative category proposed by Waldron (199 1). As is common in taxonomic research, differences in grouping terms and level of analysis account for much of the variance in maintenance behaviors reported in these studies. For example, Small Tulle tactic resembles one of the behaviors associated with PersonaZ/Informal category. work makes clear that the occurrence of certain maintenance tactics depends on the state of the supervisory relationship and the relational intentions. For example, in escalating situations, in which a supervisor sought to personalize the relationship beyond the comfort level, a distinct set of tactics emerged. In such cases, the members forestalled escalation through procrastination and conversational refocusing. These tactics were less evident when the relationship was perceived to be stable or deescalating. Maintenance in Peer ReIationships

Relationship maintenance in peer relationships has received less explicit attention from researchers, although the importance to workers of peer relationships is often noted in the literature (Kram & Isabella, 1985; Odden & Sias, 1997). Using a revised version of a survey reported by Ayres (1983), Shea and Pearson (1986) examined maintenance tactics used by 370 working adults in their relationships with friends, acquaintances, and co-workers. Ayres originally suggested three types of maintenance tactics among friends. Avoidance tactics attempted to control behavior that might harm the relationship. Balance tactics compensated for relational problems. Direct tactics explicitly commented on relationship expectations. A factor analysis by Shea and Pearson confirmed the three-factor structure. The study found no difference between the relationship types. However, due to methodological limitations, these groundbreaking studies left room for considerable refinement in methodology and conceptualization. The original Ayres taxonomy was not developed inductively. Students rather than workers were the participants. As Shea and Pearson noted, their results were influenced by the potentially overlapping relational status of friends and co-workers. Recent studies of workplace friendship have made important contributions, although relationship maintenance behavior has not been the primary objective of interest. Fine (1986) observed that friendships in the

17-f -e-

WALDRON

workplace are characterized by shared humor, extra-organizational activities, and the equitable sharing of tasks. More recently, Sias and Cahill (I 998) examined the development of peer relationships in the workplace, comparing co-workers, friends, close friends, and “almost best” friends. They stressed that communication with workplace friends was an important source of social support and mentoring. Sias and Cahill found that shared socializing and close proximity were features of workplace friendship, whereas closer relationships were constituted by activities like talking through important life events (unrelated to work) and sharing major work challenges. Cox (1999) took a different approach, examining the role of peer communication in worker decisions to maintain or terminate their association with the group. Such tactics as encouraging self-evaluation, criticism, and the reduction of interpersonal support were among the behaviors reported by peers.

Related Types

OF Relational

Communication

Although not explicitly concerned with the process of relationship maintenance, organizational researchers have studied extensively other forms of interpersonal behavior with obvious relevance. For example, the vast literature on workplace compliance-gaining tactics (for extensive reviews see Barry & Watson, 1996) has demonstrated that workers establish conditions of friendliness, liking, and similarity as a relational precondition for seeking compliance, particularly when the target is a more-powerful person. These behaviors are typically classified as a form of ingratiation (Gordon, 1996; Thacker & Wayne, 1995). Similar to tactics associated with personal relationships (e.g., Canary & Stafford, 1994), exchange tactics involve compromise, worksharing, and equitable contributions. These behaviors may sustain work relationships by creating a sense of mutual obligation. Consultation tactics, although typically conceived of as a form of compliance gaining, may also foster commitment to the relationship by acknowledging the potential contributions of the partner and mitigating resentments stemming from status inequality. In each case, these tactics make salient and reinforce particular relational qualities, typically as a precondition to future requests for behavioral change. The regulation of emotion has become increasingly important in research on work relationships (e.g., Fineman, 2000). Rules governing emotional display serve in part to stabilize professional relations among co-workers and with customers. For example, workers sometimes report editing positive emotions during the performance appraisal process (Wayne & Kacmar, 199 1). An employee might suppress the joy of an unexpected raise in pay to minimize the envy of less fortunate co-workers. Maintaining good relations with more powerful supervisors may require

8. WORKSETTINGS

w

175

the suppression of anger or the false production of enthusiasm (Lee & Jablin, 1995; Waldron, 1991). Further, team players express or repress their irritation with other members to sustain group commitment and harmony (Barker, 1993). Th e management of emotion is critical in maintaining personal relationships as well. But, as these examples illustrate, it is complicated at work by emotional strictures built into work relationships, organizational cultures, and group norms valdron, 1994).

OUTCOME

Ol= RIELATIONSHIP

MAINTIENANCE

The extent to which employees succeed in relationship maintenance efforts may have personal and career consequences. Several of these are addressed below.

Career Advancement
At least in the popular imagination of employees, relationship maintenance behavior is closely linked to career advancement. Above and beyond meritorious performance, remaining on good terms with the boss is believed to be a prerequisite for workplace success. However, the complexity of the relationship maintenance task is illustrated by the negative slang terms used to characterize those who sacrifice task performance or personal integrity in the process. Those accused of “brownnosing” or “sleeping your way to the top” among other denigrating labels, are thought to have taken a strictly relational route to career success. Avoiding these negative perceptions may require sophisticated maintenance behavior, as employees find the right mix of tactics. In doing so, they may rely on the behaviors typically used in supervisory, friendship, and even romantic relationships, while managing third-party perceptions. This balancing act was noted in (1991) study of approximately 500 full-time workers. Some employees appeared to combine informal/personal maintenance tactics (used to maintain friendship ties with supervisors) with contractual tactics, which legitimized the members access to the boss. These tactics call attention to the conformity to performance expectations and role requirements. In this way, employees take advantage of friendship ties but also minimize perceptions of favoritism. Promotions and other positive recognition can always be explained to skeptical or jealous colleagues by referencing the history of meeting expectations and being a “good soldier” rather than his or her friendship with the boss. Specific relationship maintenance tactics have in fact been linked to indicators of upward mobility. For example, behaviors like sharing confidences, expressions of support and similarity, and flattery have been statistically associated with supervisor evaluations and promotability

176

-c==

WALDRON

judgments (Gordon, 1996; Wayne & Kacmar, 1991). Relationally oriented influence behaviors affect performance ratings indirectly over time, by first establishing negative or positive affective responses in the target. These subjective reactions subsequently shape evaluations of performance. In addition, the frequent use of exchange tactics in upward influence situations, which have conceptual similarities to the task sharing used to maintain personal relationships (Canary & Stafford, 1994), has been linked with salary attainment in at least one study (Dreher, Dougherty, & Whitely, 1989). A skill in maintaining relationships with powerful people may determine the extent to which he or she will receive opportunities to customize the work role, access to resources that facilitate individual or team success, and presumably, advancement in his or her career (Graen & Wakabayashi, 1994). M oreover, the benefits associated with the leadership-type relationship are apparently enhanced as the relationship matures and is maintained over time (Graen & Uhl-bien, 1995). Variation in maintenance behavior has been documented not just in formal supervisory relationships, but also in mentoring relationships, which in turn have been linked to career success (Tepper, 1995). Sexual Harassment

The workplace creates opportunities for maintenance behavior to be perceived as intrusive, inappropriate, and possibly illegal. This is most obvious in cases where apparently inappropriate relational communication has lead to charges of sexual harassment. One such instance, still part of the collective memory of many Americans, gained national attention in controversial nationally televised hearings conducted by the Judiciary Committee of the United States Senate to confirm the Supreme Court appointment of Clarence Thomas (see Waldron, Foreman, & Miller, 1993). Senators dissected the relational behavior of Thomas and former employee Anita Hill, who had charged him with sexual harassment. A host of third-party witnesses were questioned about the relationship maintenance practices of Thomas and Hill. Witnesses speculated about such matters as whether or not Ms. “expectation of access” and “expressions of admiration” were evidence of proprietary rather than a professional interest in her boss. relational behavior was subject to similar scrutiny, and gave rise to questions: Did he raise sexual topics that were inappropriate in a supervisory relationship? Did he act in other ways that implied a sexual interest? In essence these questions concern whether behavior was intended to maintain or alter his professional relationship with Hill. Because women are more often the victim of harassment and gender bias, they may work harder to maintain accept-

8.

WORK

SETTINGS

-+I-

177

ably defined relationships, using relationship maintenance communication more frequently and employing more varied tactics. Waldron et al. (1993) found that women reported using contractual tactics more frequently than males, apparently as a means of reducing relational ambiguity and the potential for biased perception. Men were particularly careful not to engage in personal communication when the supervisor was a female. The result of these patterns of behaviors may be a reduction in relational risk and generally more cautious communicative climate.

well-Being .satisFaction and
Maintenance communication at work may be associated with personal well-being, work satisfaction, and a favorable psychological climate (Odden & Sias, 1997). Stable, supportive relationships with co-workers can provide a protective buffer when employees are faced with stressful tasks, personal trauma, burn out, or difficult co-workers (cf., Sias & Cahill, 1998). The potentially turbulent processes of accepting new work roles and workplace changes may be eased for individuals who have maintained supportive work relationships (K-am & Isabella, 1985; Kramer, 1995, 1996). Indeed, f or some, the maintenance of friendships with co-workers may be among the most important motives for remaining in a particular job. Organizational

Outcomes

In addition to personal outcomes, the successful maintenance of work relationships can have organization-wide effects. For example, when supervisors maintain relationships with subordinates differently, perception of inequity and dissatisfaction can spread across the Workgroup (Sias & Jablin, 1995). Th e extent to which personal relationships are maintained appears to affect the flow of innovative information across an organization (Albrecht & Hall, 199 1). Employee turnover may be reduced when workpersonal relationship networks are strong. Employees who maintain regular, informal communication with supervisors are more likely to communicate negative information up the chain of command (Waldron, 199 1) so the organization can react quickly to problems.

CONCLUSIONS
The literature reviewed thus far lends itself to several conclusions regarding relationship maintenance tactics and outcomes. After discussing several of these conclusions here, directions are presented for new research in
the next sclctinn.

$78

+==

WALDRON

Several trends are obvious in the research on relationship maintenance behavior. First, at least some of the behaviors used to maintain work relationships, such as (199 1) contractual tactics, vary from those reported in the literature on personal relationships. This is in part due to the unique features of the workplace, including power differences and formal role requirements. Perhaps most important, relationship maintenance at work is conducted in front of an audience of interested peers. Tactics that manage the perceptions of co-workers (e.g., avoiding perceptions of favoritism) become an important part of the maintenance equation. This surveillance factor, when coupled with significant power differences, makes relationship maintenance at work a mindful and strategic process. A second conclusion is that relationship maintenance in the workplace is not entirely a dyadic process. Relationships are maintained in part through reporting structures, role requirements, and procedures that compel communication, add stability, and sometimes provide feedback to employees about the success of their relationship maintenance efforts. Interestingly, these macrovariables are embedded in the taken-forgranted business practices and cultural norms that form the backdrop of organizational life. Employees may not consciously question or even reflect on the fact that they are required by organizational protocol to communicate with their supervisor in a particular format, using a respectful form of address, at particular times of the day or week. So, despite the previously mentioned claim that relationship maintenance at work is potentially strategic and mindful, it may be true as well that the stabilizing constraints on work relationships remain unnegotiated and predetermined by forces beyond the control of the partners. A third conclusion is that this area of research is rife with conceptual overlap. Behaviors and tactics associated with impression management, upward influence, and emotional regulation, among other processes are similar to those reported in relationship maintenance taxonomies. Conceptual integration of tactic taxonomies is needed. More important, theoretical frameworks are needed to explain how these seemingly related communication activities function together as work relationships evolve and stabilize. A fourth conclusion from this research is that relationship maintenance behavior has truly important consequences at work, for individuals and for organizations. The research confirms what many workers know intuitively-that tending to their network of relationships is an integral part of doing the work. The tactics used for this purpose are linked reliably to relational outcomes and at least indirectly to such factors as performance evaluation and upward mobility. Information transfer, the development of innovation, and workplace effectiveness may be enhanced when workplace relationships are suitably maintained. The research confirming these trends provides a most compelling rationale for continued research on rela-

8.

WORKSETTINGS

-+t-

17~

tionship maintenance at work: It can help improve the quality of lives and the effectiveness of their organizations. l=UTURlE DIRlECTlONS

The pace of research on work relationships is accelerating with the rapidly changing nature of work in the U.S. and elsewhere. In the future, researchers must explain how workers manage relationships that are increasingly complex, diverse, and fluid. In addition, theoretical perspectives must be modified to more fully explain the contribution of macro-forces like organizational structure, economics, and technological trends in maintaining associations among workers. TheChangingSocial Organizationand Contract Employee Between

Work relationships are becoming harder to maintain. Organizations have been relentless in recent years in their efforts to streamline, outsource, and otherwise downsize their workforces. At least hypothetically, these steps allow organizations to respond more rapidly to changes in the external environment. Of course these moves have significant implications for workers who lose their jobs and for those who remain. Some of these are economic (loss of income), some physical (longer work hours), and some psychological (job stress). Of interest here are relational effects. Consider, for example, outsourcing of work traditionally performed by in-house employees. Outsourcing increases an reliance on temporary workers and creates an expanding class of impermanent work relationships. What are the psychological and behavioral characteristics of relationship maintenance under these conditions? One effect may be that temporary employees and those who work with them are increasingly cautious about investing resources in work relationships in which the future is short-term or unpredictable. Another could be a reduction in the valuable social support that comes from long-term relationships with co-workers (cf., Sias & Cahill, 1998). H ow do workers compensate for these relationship-threatening trends? Do they invest relatively more resources in maintaining familial relationships and personal friendships? Do they manage to sustain relationships with former co-workers, perhaps through professional associations or informal professional networks? The communication patterns of temporary workers have only recently begun to receive research attention (Sias, Kramer, & Jenkins, 1997). In general, it would appear that the reduced commitment of employers to life-long employment and the reciprocal reduction in worker loyalty would dramatically alter and (perhaps) negatively affect maintenance

180

-I+=+ WALDRON

communication. But, well-maintained work relationships may provide protective effects in stressful and uncertain times. Researchers have barely begun to address how the changing social contract between employers and employees affects relationship maintenance behavior. Clearly this is a research area of critical importance for workers and society at large. The ~oIe OF Communication Technology

In yet another trend, communication technology continues to create improved opportunities for physically isolated workers to maintain relationships with individual co-workers and networks (see Rabby & Walther, chap. 7, this volume). Indeed, the rise of telecommuting and the advent of virtual organizations threaten to reinvent the relationship maintenance process. For example, the potency of dyadic maintenance behaviors like small talk can be magnified exponentially when shared across electronic networks. The force of destructive relational behaviors, like the unauthorized sharing of confidences, can be magnified in a similar manner. The capacity to access relational partners is altered in the virtual world of work. On the plus side, choosing not to read your e-mail from the home office may be an effective way of avoiding nosy co-workers (especially when the alternative is an open cubicle in a crowded work area). On the down side, pagers, e-mail, and cell phones more frequently tether employees to their work, making it more difficult to maintain social distance between the individual and co-workers. Relationship maintenance may necessarily become a more deliberate and mindful process when one is unable simply to “drop in” to a physical workspace. Even so, some of the benefits accrued from opportunistic maintenance may be lost when face-to-face interaction is minimized. Are informal, unplanned opportunities for relationship maintenance, such as small talk around the office coffee pot, critical in keeping work relationships vital? Is face-to-face maintenance a better option if one hopes to increase visibility, foster trust, convey assurances, and ultimately gain the cooperation of the supervisors and peers who influence career outcomes? These are questions researchers have yet to address fully. Increasingly Diverse Relationship Types

The complexity and blended nature of work relationships hinted at in this chapter will only increase in coming years. The almost exclusive emphasis by researchers on maintenance of supervisory relationships must be altered to acknowledge this reality. Several researchers have examined the interpersonal communication patterns that characterize peer based (&am & Isabella, 1985) and hierarchical mentor@ relationships

8.

-+

181

(Tepper, 1995). It is clear even from preliminary studies reported earlier, that peer relationships and the social support they provide are crucial in work and life satisfaction (Odden & Sias, 1997). This will become increasingly evident as organizations continue the retreat from traditional hierarchies to decentralized structures based on self-directed work teams and loosely organized networks. In this environment, strategies for long-term maintenance of team relationships should become a focus of communication researchers. As workplace peers are increasingly of different cultures, ethnicities, and genders, researchers should also examine maintenance practices in diverse relationships (Graen & Wakabayashi, 1994). Moreover, the blurring boundaries of work and personal life create new opportunities for relationship maintenance failures in one realm to have cross-over effects. The anecdote that introduced this chapter provides an example of just this problem, as a strained work relationship apparently spread to relationships with family members.

Theory

Development

Waldron (1999) recently urged management researchers to expand their theoretical perspectives regarding communication in work relationships. The incorporation of developmental and dialectical perspectives has been encouraged, in part because these approaches draw attention to long-lasting patterns of work relationships rather than the less frequent conflict management and compliance-gaining episodes that have consumed attention to date. As has long been noted by social theorists like Giddens (1991), work relationships are embedded within and reproduce larger social structures. But until recently maintenance researchers have tended to isolate the work relationship as a microphenomenon onto itself. Theory development in this area needs to expand beyond the dyad to consider existing research on networks, coalitions, and interdependent systems. Network approaches characterize relationships as nodes in larger social structures or systems designed to propagate or process information about values, tasks, personal relationships, and innovations. Relationship maintenance can be conceptualized as a process of stabilizing and reinforcing properties (like interdependence) of communication systems (see e.g., Harrison, 1994). During times of change, increased dialogue and connectivity across a network of co-workers might help reduce uncertainty and increase predictability. Ultimately, this may allow the system to sustain itself over time. At the level of individuals, maintaining central positions in this web of relationships becomes critical. Networking is the means by which power, information, new ideas, and other benefits are sustained.

182

-c=+

WALDRON

Organizational researchers have studied workplace relationships for many years. But at a time when such relationships are becoming more diverse, maintenance researchers can bring a new vitality to this work. As this chapter makes clear, traditional assumptions about the nature of work relationships are under scrutiny. Also clear at this juncture is this: Traditional perspectives on interpersonal communication as strictly a microphenomenon will not transfer well to the study of work relationships. Maintenance researchers must take into account the structural, economic, social, and political forces that affect the character of relations among co-workers. At the same time, we must acknowledge that the boundary between personal and work life is in part illusory. Finally, researchers should approach this area of research with a sense of both excitement and urgency. Arguably, there has been no time in industrial history when the maintenance of work relationships has been more challenging, more complex, and more consequential for workers and their organizations.

Albrecht, T. A., & Hall, B. (1991). Facilitating talk about new ideas: The role of personal relationships in organizational innovation. Communication Monographs, 58, 273-289. Atwater, L., Roush, I?, & Fischthal, A. (1995). The influence of upward feedback on self and follower ratings of leadership. Personnel Psychology, 48, 35-59. Ayers, J. (1983). Strategies to maintain relationships: Their identification and perceived usage. Communication Quarterly, 3 1, 62-67. Barker, J. B. (1993). Tightening the iron cage: Concertive control in self-managing teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, 38, 408-437. Barry, B. &Watson, M. R. (1996). C ommunication aspects of dyadic social influence in organizations: A review and integration of conceptual and empirical developments. Communication Yearbook 19, 269-3 17. Canary, D., & Stafford, L. (1994). C ommunication and relationship maintenance. New York: Academic Press. Cox, S. (1999). Group communication and employee turnover: How co-workers encourage peers to voluntarily exit. Southern Communication Journal, 64, 18 l-l 92. Dreher, G., Dougherty, T., & Whitely, W (1989). I n fl uence tactics and salary attainment: A gender-specific analysis. Sex Roles, 20, 535-550. Fine, G. A. (1986). F riendships in the workplace. In V I. Derlaga & B. A. Winstead (Eds.), Friendship and social interaction (pp. 185-206). New York: Springer-Verlag. Fineman, S. (2000). Emotion in organizations (2nd ed.). London: Sage. Giddens, A. (1984). The constitution of society. Berkeley: University of California Press. Gordon, R. A. (1996). Impact of ingratiation on judgments and evaluations: A metaanalytic investigation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 54-70. Graen, G., & Uhl-Bien, M. (1995). Relationship-based approach to leadership: Deveiopment of leader-member exchange (LMX) theory over 25 years: Applying a multi-level, multi-domain perspective. Leadership Quarterly, 6, 2 19-247. Graen, G., & Wakabayashi, M. (1994). Cross-cultural leadership-making: Bridging American and Japanese diversity for team advantage. In H. C. Triandis, M. D.

8.

WORKSETTINGS

-+-

183

Dunnette, & L. M. Hough (Eds.), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (Vol. 4, pp. 4 15-446). N ew York: Consulting Psychologists Press. Harrison, T. (1994). C ommunication and interdependence in democratic organizations. In S. Deetz (Ed.), Communication Yearbook I7 (pp. 247-274). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Kaplan, R. E. (1978). Maintaining relationships openly: A case study of “total openness” in a communal setting. Human Relal;~ns, 31, 375-393. Kram, K. E., & Isabella, L. A. (1985). Mentoring alternatives: The role of peer relationships in career development. Academy of Management Journal, 28, 110-l 32. Kramer, M. (1995). A longitudinal study of superior-subordinate communication during job transfers. Human Communication Research, 22, 39-64. Kramer, M. (1996). A longitudinal study of peer communication during job transfers: The impact of frequency, quality, and network multiplicity on adjustment. Human Communication Research, 23, 59-86. Larson, J. R. (1989). The dynamic interplay between feedback seeking strategies and delivery of bad news. Academy ofManagement Review, 14, 409-422. Lee, J. (1997). Leader-member exchange, the “Pelz Effect,” and cooperative communication between group members. Management Communication Quarterly, 1 I, 266-287. Lee, J. (1998a). Effective maintenance communication in superior-subordinate relationships. Western Journal of Communication, 62, 181-208. Lee, J. (1998b). Maintenance communication in superior-subordinate relationships: An exploratory investigation of group social context and the “Pelz Effect.” Southern Communication Journal, 63, 144- 159. Lee, J., & Jablin, F. (1995). Maintenance communication in superior-subordinate work relationships. Human Communication Research, 22, 220-257. Odden, C., & Sias, P (1997). Peer communication relationships and psychological climate. Communication Quarterly, 45, 152-l 66. Shea, B. C., & Pearson, J. C. (1986). The effects of relationship type, partner intent, and gender on the selection of relationship maintenance strategies. Communication Monographs, 53, 352-364. Sias, I? M., & Cahill, D. (1998). F rom co-workers to friends: The development of peer relationships in the workplace. Western Journal of Communication, 62, 273-299. Sias, P M., & Jablin, F. M. (1995). D i ff erential superior-subordinate relations, perceptions of fairness, and co-worker communication. Human Communication Research, 22, 5-38. Sias, I? M., Kramer, M. W, & Jenkins, E. (1997). A comparison of the communication behaviors of temporary employees and new hires. Communication Research, 24, 731-754. tactics in supervisory mentoring and Tepper, B. (1995). Up ward maintenance nonmentoring relationships. Academy of Management Journal, 38(4), 1191-1205. Thacker, R. A., &Wayne, S. J. (1995). An examination of the relationship between upward influence tactics and assessments of promotability. Journal of Management, 21, 739-756. Waldron, V (199 1). Achieving communication goals in superior-subordinate relationships: The multi-functionality of upward maintenance tactics. Communication Monographs, 58, 289-306. Waldron, V (1994). Once more, with feeling: Reconsidering the role of emotion in work. In S. A. Deetz (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 17, 388-416.

I&I-

-E=+

WALDRON

Waldron, V. (1999). C ommunication practices of followers, members, and proteges: The case of upward influence tactics. In M. Roloff (Ed.). Communication Yearbook 22 (pp. 251-299). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Waldron, V (2000). Relational experiences and emotion at work. In S. Fineman (Ed). Emotion in Organizations (2nd ed., pp. 64-82). London: Sage. Waldron, VI (2002). [S urvey responses regarding communication, emotion and relationships] Unpublished raw data. Waldron, V., Foreman, C., & Miller, R. (1993). Managing gender conflicts in the supervisory relationship: Relationship definition strategies used by women and men. In G. Crepes (Ed.), Sexual harassment: Communication implications (pp. 234-256). Cresskill, NJ: Hammond Press. Waldron, V, & Hunt, M. H. (1992). H ierarchical level, length, and quality of supervisory relationship as predictors of use of maintenance tactics. Communication Reports, 5, 82-89. Waldron, H., Hunt, M., & Dsilva, M. (1993). Towards a threat management model of upward communication. A study of influence and maintenance tactics in the leader-member dyad. Communication Studies, 44, 254-272. Wayne, S. J., & Kacmar, K. M. (199 1). The effects of impression management on the performance appraisal process. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 48, 70-88.

Whenpa
Repair After

rs Falter: a Transgression

Tara M. Emmers-Sommer University of Arizona

MAINTENANCE

AND RH?AIR

e might wonder why a chapter addressing relational repair exists in a book on maintenance in close relationships. Indeed, a close relationship with an intimate partner is something that many people strive for as it brings fulfillment to their lives (Duck, 1988). Similarly, many theories and models of relational development address closeness as a desired product in our relationships (e.g., Altman &Taylor, 1973). In a word, individuals value and cherish their close, personal relationships. It seems to follow, then, that examining the maintenance of such valued relationships is in order. And, it is necessary to examine relational repair within those very same close, personal relationships. In fact, it might be somewhat more necessary to examine repair in close relationships, in part because people tend to treat close relational partners more poorly than they treat complete strangers (e.g., Birchler, Weiss, & Vincent, 1975). Thus, a seeming paradox exThe author wishes to thank Rachel Rainwater McClure for her assistance with this chapter and Dan Canary and Marianne Dainton for their very helpful suggestions on an earlier draft of this chapter.

186

-ii=+

EMMERS-SOMMER

ists: If we value and cherish our close relationships, why would we threaten their maintenance? According to Miller (1997), several sources of ammunition exist that influence engagement in undesirable, adverse behavior toward their relational partners. These sources of ammunition, if you will, include use of intimate information against the partner, learning undesirable information about the partner, the erosion of illusion about the partner, the loss of novelty, reduction of maintenance strategies in the relationship, interdependence, loss of gains from the relational developmental period, and exclusion. Miller (1997) furthered that additional elements can fuel negative behavior in close relationships. For example, the interjection of culture might affect behavior adversely if partners hail from different cultures with different cultural values and goals. If opposing goals exist, conflict is likely to ensue. Similarly, individual differences such as differences in personality reflected through varied levels of assertiveness, aggressiveness, or self-esteem (to name a few) between the partners can affect behaviors negatively. Given that partners do not always treat one another well, the focus of this chapter is the processes of relational maintenance and repair in close, personal relationships. As the truism states, “if it broke, fix it.” Indeed, within ongoing close relationships, the process of maintaining is often not so clearly recognized as when partners are not maintaining, when aspects of the relationship are broken, distressed, challenged, or the like than when the relationship is stable. This truism, however, implies that relationships are self-sustaining and effortless, and that effort is not necessary until a problem arises. This assumption is problematic, as lack of effort to maintain a relationship will inevitably result in the need for repair at some point in time (Duck, 1988; Guerrero, Eloy, & Wabnik, 1993). For this reason, it is nearly impossible to think of maintenance without considering repair. Although both maintenance and repair are separate constructs, they nevertheless exist within the context of the other. Relational repair can, in fact, be conceptualized as a type of relational maintenance. For instance, Dindia (1994) labeled relational repair as “corrective maintenance” (p. 100). The coexistence notion of maintenance and repair is further elaborated later in the chapter. The purpose of this chapter is to examine: (a) the notions of relationship maintenance and repair and how the constructs are brought together by the presence of a relational transgression; (b) assumptions regarding relational repair in close relationships; (c) communication strategies used to repair close relationships; (d) conclusions drawn from the extant literature; and (e) directions for future research. To begin, the constructs of relational maintenance and repair are addressed within a definitional framework. This definitional framework is to be considered for the remainder of this chapter as issues regarding relational transgressions and repair are addressed.

9.

REPAIR AFTER TRANSGRESSION

-=a- 187

A variety of definitions of relational maintenance and relational repair exists. Whereas relational maintenance is often conceptualized as attempts to preserve the relationship in its current state (e.g., Baxter, 1994; Canary & Stafford, 1992; Dindia & Baxter, 1987; Stafford & Canary, 1991), reZationa2 repair involves partners engaging in behaviors to restore the relationship to its former condition, which assumes that something has disrupted the relationship (e.g., Aune, Metts, & Ebesu Hubbard, 1998; Davis, 1973; Dindia & Baxter, 1987). Repair has been approached in the literature from both individual and dyadic standpoints (e.g., Duck, 1984; Roloff & Cloven, 1994) as well as from a position of social networks and the role they play in enabling the couple repair their relationship (Duck, 1984). For the purposes of this chapter, relational maintenance and repair is later addressed with a focus on the relational partners. This focus does not imply that social networks do not and cannot play a salient role in the repair of a relationship. Indeed, they can and do. However, this chapter conceptualizes the partners comprising the couple as the primary unit and the social network as a source of support secondary to that primary relationship. Given this focus, Roloff and (1994) definition of relational maintenance (and repair) is most appropriate for the direction of this chapter. Specifically, this chapter focuses on the partners in the close, personal relationship and their efforts, both individually or dyadically, to maintain or repair their close relationship. Second, and as argued earlier, this chapter conceptualizes maintenance and repair as coexisting entities. That is, it is necessary to consider repair within the context of maintenance and vice versa. Roloff and definition of relational maintenance best suits the direction of this chapter because it melds the constructs of relational maintenance and repair, and it recognizes and addresses the constructs similarly. Further, Roloff and definition of maintenance focuses on individuals in intimate relationships and identifies maintenance as an individual or joint activity. Second, Roloff and definition of maintenance acknowledges the role of relational transgressions as disrupting relational maintenance and recognizes the actions an intimate partner or partners take in an effort to repair a close relationship that has been threatened by a transgression or series of transgressions. Specifically, Roloff and Cloven defined relational maintenance as, “the individual or joint approaches intimates take to limit the relational harm that may result from prior or future conflicts and transgressions” (p. 27). Their conceptualization of relational maintenance is adopted because it involves efforts to correct past problems as well as engage in preventative measures to keep the relationship going as smoothly as possible. This framing of relational maintenance closely aligns with Dindia and (1987) research on relational maintenance and repair, which crafted relational maintenance strategies as composing of corrective strategies (i.e., repair) and preventative strategies. In essence, preventative maintenance strategies are

188

-e=+

EMMERS-SOMMER

affected by prior relational repair episodes. With this framework in mind, the following section examines a phenomenon that can conjoin the constructs of maintenance and repair, relational transgressions.

TRANSGRi3SlONS
This section of the chapter addresses three aspects of relational transgressions. First, a higher order discussion of transgressions is presented. It is argued that transgressions can be incidental or incremental. That is, a transgression can comprise a single incident or episode or reflect a cumulative process. Second, specific types of transgressions are presented. Third, responses to transgressions are addressed. To begin, the various forms of transgressions are presented. Transgressions can take the form of a social transgression or a relational transgression (Metts, 1994). Social transgressions involve the violation of some socially accepted rule, convention, or practice. For example, not accepting hand to shake when it is extended in a greeting represents a social transgression. Relational transgressions, on the other hand, involve the violation of relational rules and expectancies (e.g., Emmers & Canary, 1996; Metts, 1994; Roloff & Cloven, 1994). Examples of these rules and expectancies might be explicit or implicit (Metts, 1994). Although certain rules exist that generalize to most close, romantic relationships (e.g., monogamy), other rules can be negotiated between relational partners that are relationship specific. For example, many couples in close relationships accept and practice monogamy as rule in their relationships. Beyond those implicit rules and expectancies, partners can negotiate rules and expectancies that are specific to their relationship. Examples of such rules and understandings might include not discussing past partners or relationships, not discussing in-laws, not going to bed angry, or not discussing relational problems with friends or co-workers. Interestingly, what can be drawn from the definitions of what constitutes a relational transgression is that an act or series of acts that might qualify as a transgression need not necessarily be negative. Indeed, a positive act or event might nonetheless violate a relational rule and represent a transgression. Research by Afifi and Metts (1998), f or example, examined relational expectancy violations and responses to such violations. The authors argued and found that relational expectancy violations can be positive or negative in valence. They created a nine-category typology of violations that included both positive and negative expectancy violations. One category of Afifi and typology involved relational transgressions. The authors noted that their conceptualization of relational transgressions involved “behaviors that involve a clear violation of taken-for-granted relational rules” (p. 377). Yet, this author contends that a positive expectancy violation can constitute a

9.

REPAIR

AFTER

TRANSGRESSION

++t-

18:

relational transgression. An illustration of this argument might involve a couple that has negotiated a relational rule to keep things “out in the open” and to “not have any surprises.” Yet, one partner organizes a surprise party for the other to celebrate a landmark birthday. Whereas many would perceive such a gesture as kind and generous, the partner on the receiving end of this gesture might interpret the surprise party as violating the no-surprises rule. This notion is further addressed in a latter section on transgression types.

R&tiot-d

Transgressions

as Incident

or Increment

As previously identified, transgressions can take on a variety of forms. It must also be recognized that transgressions can take the form of a single incident or represent a cumulative process. Duck (1994), for instance, argued that events can represent ongoing relational processes constituted in everyday talk. Emmers (1995) f ound that both positive and negative events in romantic relationships took the form of either an isolated incident or a process that evolved over time (see Table 9.1 for a listing of events). Thus, the violation of a relational rule could occur in the form on an instantaneous behavior (e.g., an act of infidelity). Alternately, a relational rule could slowly be chipped away over time. For example, assume that a couple has negotiated the rule to be open and honest with one another. Over time, this rule slowly erodes as disclosures become more infrequent and less detailed; this erosion would constitute a relational transgression. Similarly, research on responses to troubled relationships also suggests that behavior can be instantaneous or cumulative. (1984, 1985) research on termination strategies, for example, illustrates that termination behaviors can be long in the coming (e.g., cost escalation) or instantaneous (e.g., fait accompli). Cost escalation involves an individual making the relationship costly over time for the partner. For example, the individual might become increasingly distant or difficult toward the partner. Fait accompli, on the other hand, involves ending the relationship in an abrupt manner. In sum, what can be concluded from the literature on what instantly affects relationships adversely or what slowly erodes at relational maintenance is that transgressions can be framed as either an incident or as an incremental process. In addition to the violation of relational rules, it is important to note that the culmination of everyday interaction in close relationships can also be trying because the interactions are often adverse in some respect (e.g., Miller, 1997). Similarly, Afifi and Metts (1998) concurred that relational expectancy violations need not necessarily constitute a single event. Miller contended that the everyday interaction between intimates, although not intentional, can be fraught with unexpected “hassles,

TABLE 9.1
supraordinate and Subordinate Events Categories of Positive and Processes and Negative

Positive Events 1. Commitment

Cohabiting Future together Loss of virginity Commit to each other marriage

Propose/plan
2. Physical

Separation

Can manage Partner is “Mr./MS. Managed Right”

dating others work,

Balanced relationship, school Abstinence Managed third parties

3. Realize Relationship is Temporary

Partner is not “Mr./MS. 4. Expression Expressed Expressed
5. Acceptance

Right”

of Feelings feelings love
from Network

Family/friends
6. Break Up/Trial

were accepting
Separation

Broke up 7. Trial separation Unfaithfulness/Infidelity Unfaithfulness -Infidelity Negative 1. Substance Abuse Illicit Alcohol 2. Deceptive Practices drugs Events

Unfaithfulness Infidelity Lying Flirting 3. Distance Physical separation Psychological separation (avoidance, ignoring, break up) Psychological separation (fear of intimacy) 4. Deviant Behavior

Sexual practices Personal past 5. Inhibiting Jealousy Suspicion/lack of trust (continued on next page) emotions

191

I,$?. -is+

EMMERS-SOMMER TABLE 9.1 (continued)

Worries Stress J,ack of motivation Possessiveness 6. Aggression Violence Attitude 7, Third Third Others 8. Miscellaneous Rekindling No identity Pornography Rape Boredom Stealing Pet died Party party

frustrations, nuisances, and disappointments that relational partners impose on one another” (p. 14). 0 ver time, these oversights and unintentional behaviors can challenge the preservation of a close relationship. Indeed, it could be argued that everyday irritants and hassles provide strong fodder for a transgression to erupt. Similarly, everyday nuisances could evolve into a transgression.

9.

REPAIR

AFTER

TRANSGRESSION

+=s-

193

Types 06 Relational

Transgressions

Within the context of personal relationships, a variety of relational transgression types have been identified. Transgressions have been described using an abundance of terminologies, including uncertainty arousing events (e.g., Emmers & Canary, 1996; Planalp & Honeycutt, 1985; Planalp, Rutherford & Honeycutt, 1988), negative events (e.g., Emmers-Sommer, 1999), negative relational turning points (e.g., Baxter & Bullis, 1986), betrayals (Jones, Moore, Schratter, & Negel, ZOOO), face threats (e.g., Metts, 1997) relational expectancy violations (Afifi & Metts, 1998), and problematic events (e.g., Samp & Solomon, 1998), to name a few. Although various forms of relational transgressions exist, the literature is consistent in identifying infidelity and unfaithfulness as the most frequently reported relational transgressions in close, romantic relationships (Metts, 1994). Indeed, a variety of messages conveyed in our close relationships are perceived as hurtful (Vangelisti, 1994). In particular, individuals experience hurt when a person close to the communicates a message that reflects a devaluation of the relationship (Leary, Springer, Negel, Ansell, & Evans, 1998). Both intentional and unintentional messages hurt, but intentional messages have more of a distancing effect on the relationship (Vangelisti & Young, 2000). Research examining intentional versus unintentional transgressions indicates that intentional transgressions are perceived more negatively (e.g., Manstead & Semin, 198 1). The fact that offenders experience less guilt when their transgression is intentional (vs. accidental) likely adds to the violated sting (McGraw, 1987). Overall, such behavior contributes to relational breakdown and the need for reparation.

Responses

to Relational

Transgressions

Duck (1984) offers two key questions regarding the situations that correspond with relational breakdown and the processes by which individuals rebuild the relationship: “What breaks down when a relationship breaks down? How does the answer to that question help to define the corresponding goals of repair interventions?” (p. 163). These issues are important when considering responses to a transgression. Specifically, who or what broke down the relationship in some respect affects goals regarding repair interventions (Samp & Solomon, 1998). Similarly, emotional response to the transgression might affect how reparation might be approached. As noted earlier, transgressions can take a social form or a relational form (Metts, 1994). Emotional responses to the transgression also vary, depending on whether the transgression was social or relational in nature. Specifically, in the event of a transgression, an individual could feel embar-

I$-?4 +-

EMMERS-SOMMER

rassed, could experience guilt or shame, or not really care at all. It is likely that an emotional experience in light of a transgression will relate to how he or she responds to it in terms of reparation. In a phenomenological examination of guilt and shame, Tangney (1998) observed the two emotions to be distinct such that shame involved a focus on the self, and guilt resulted in a focus on particular behaviors. Tangney also found that motivations in interpersonal relationships differed due to experiencing either of these emotions, with guilt leading to more adaptation in response to transgressions. In an empirical study, Tangney (1992) found that guilt was typically aroused by moral transgressions whereas shame was aroused by both moral (e.g., engaging in deception) and nonmoral transgressions (e.g., personal failure in a performance situation). Although both shame and guilt aroused concern about how this might affect the partner, only shame was related to concern about the partevaluation of the offender. This conclusion makes sense given that someone who committed a moral transgression was not being sensitive to the feelings in the first place, thus the offender is likely not concerned with the evaluation of him or her. On the other hand, if an individual commits a nonmoral transgression (e.g., being late in attending an important occasion for the partner) the individual is likely ashamed for his or her tardiness and is concerned that the partner will think less of him or her for the lack of consideration. In an empirical investigation examining embarrassment, guilt, and shame, Keltner and Buswell (1996) f ound results similar to (1992). Specifically, the authors found that embarrassment was most often associated with transgressions involving social rules and conventions that guide public interaction. Guilt most often occurred when the transgression involved behaviors that violated responsibilities or behaviors that harmed others. Similarly, Jones, Kugler, and Adams (1995) found that guilt was associated with relational transgressions but not nonrelational transgressions. Finally, shame resulted when the transgression involved a failure to meet salient personal standards (e.g., being reliable, being prompt; Keltner & Buswell, 1996). Other research also suggests that associating shame with personal failure is consistent across individualistic (i.e., values individual goals over group goals) and collectivistic (i.e., values group goals over individual goals) cultures (Stipek, 1998). Overall, the emotions experienced by the offender could affect the repair strategies enacted. It appears that experience of shame or embarrassment most often results in the repair of the self. That is, shame results from a personal failure and embarrassment results from the failure to adhere to a social convention. Accordingly, personal adjustments must be made so as not to embarrass or shame oneself. The experience of guilt, however, rethe partner and repair of the relafleets a situation whereas reparation tionship are in order as guilt is typica experienced due to harm infl icted

9.

REPAIR

AFTER

TRANSGRESSION

31,

y/5

on others, also, guilt feelings are abated when the transgression is intentional (McGraw, 1987). Overall, of the three emotions aroused due a transgression, guilt is most tied to a relational transgression, although various emotions are experienced depending on the type of transgression committed. Below, various repair strategies enacted in response to a relational transgression are reviewed. Ri3-ATIONAL RIYAIR STKATEGIEi

This section focuses on several aspects of repair. First, a variety of relational repair strategies will be offered. Second, the relationship between the form of relational transgression committed and repair strategy chosen to manage the transgression is addressed. Finally, the efficacy of relational repair strategies enacted is reviewed. Research suggests that if there was ever a relationship type in which partners need to possess a vast repertoire of repair strategies, close romantic relationships certainly qualify. Specifically, the research is clear that close relational partners do not treat each other well (Birchler et al., 1975; Miller, 199 1, 1997). Specifically, close relational partners often engage in behaviors toward one another that they would make a conscious effort not to engage in when in the company of nonintimates (e.g., being impolite, insensitive, irresponsible, unreliable). And, despite the obvious need for relational repair strategies, the research indicates that partners possess a greater array of relational maintenance than relational repair strategies (Dindia & Baxter, 1987). Types 06 Relational Repair Strategies

Little exists on relational repair in terms of typologies of relational repair (Dindia, 1994). D in d ia argued that her and work (Dindia & Baxter, 1987) as well as (1973) work examined maintenance and repair in the same breath. “Both Davis (1973) and Dindia and Baxter (1987) defined rekztiond maintenance to include both strategies to maintain the relationship (preventative maintenance) and strategies to repair the relationship (corrective maintenance)” (Dindia, 1994, p. 100). Dindia and (1987) work rendered 11 supraordinate categories of maintenance and repair strategies: changing the external environment, communication, metacommunication (e.g., relational talk), avoid metacommunication, antisocial strategies, prosocial strategies, ceremonies, antirituals/spontaneity, seeking/allowing autonomy, and seeking outside help. Of these strategy types, prosocial, ceremonial, communication and togetherness strategies were used most. However, metacom-

136

-I+-+

EMMERS-SOMMER

munication strategies were used more when partners wanted to repair the relationship, whereas spontaneity was more prevalent when the desire is to maintain the relationship. Although not labeled relational repair strategies per se, (e.g., 1980a, 1980b) work examined responses to periodic episodes of decline in close relationships. Inspired by interdependence theory, Rusbult argued in her investment model of responses to relational decline that partners choose responses depending on the levels of investment and satisfaction in their close relationships as well as quality of alternatives to their close relationship. Collectively, Rusbult argued that these indicators affect an indilevel of commitment to their partner and relationship. In turn, level of commitment affects an response to periodic relational decline. Specifically, in the event of relational decline, a partner can choose to: (a) voice his or her dissatisfaction, (b) remain loyal to the partner and relationship, (c) approach the partner and relationship in a neglectful manner, or (d) engage in exit behaviors, which involve actually leaving the partner and relationship or threatening to do so. Rusbult argued that each response falls onto a constructive-destructive axis and a passive-active axis at they relate to the preservation of the relationship. In a word, voice involves an active response that is constructive to the preservation of the relationship. Loyalty entails a passive response that is also constructive to the preservation of the relationship. On the other hand, neglect reflects a passive response that is destructive to the preservation of the relationship and exit involves an active response that is destructive to the preservation of the relationship. It is important to note that the notions of constructive and destructive within the context of model refer only to the preservation of a relationship. Indeed, in the event of a dysfunctional relationship, exiting might be the most constructive behavior one could enact in terms of personal well-being. Nevertheless, the action of exiting is destructive to the preservation of the relationship. Relational Repair Strateg Selection

A variety of issues affect response choices when a relational transgression occurs. For example, attributions for the transgression and severity of the offense are considered when examining response options to a transgression (Metts, 1994). Similarly, goals after a transgression vary and such goals affect response (e.g., Samp & Solomon, 1998). Specifically, Samp and Solomon found that responses to a problematic event in close relationships included maintaining the relationship, accepting fault for the event, managing positive face, addressing the event, managing the conversation, managing emotion, and restoring negative face. Accepting fault for the event was the most frequent goal in both friendships and dating rela-

9.

REPAIR

AFTER

TRANSGRESSION

==+

l,?;l

tionships. The authors also found that the goal to accept fault for the event was intense and frequent, whereas the goal to avoid addressing the event was not frequent. As mentioned earlier, Rusbult (e.g., 1980a, 1980b, 1983) and Rusbult and others (e.g., Rusbult, Drigotas, &Verette, 1994; Rusbult, Johnson, & Morrow, 1986a; Rusbult & Verette, 199 1) clearly demonstrated that factors such as relational commitment, satisfaction, and alternatives to the relationship affect choices partners make in response to a transgression. Specifically, Rusbult (1987) indicated that partners who experience low satisfaction, low investment, and a high quality of alternatives are inclined to respond to dissatisfaction with the response of exit. Partners who experience low satisfaction, low investment, but a poor quality of alternatives are inclined to respond with neglect. Conversely, partners who experience high satisfaction, high investment, and a poor quality of alternatives are likely to respond to dissatisfaction with loyalty. Finally, partners who experience high satisfaction with their close relationship, high investment, and high quality of alternatives are likely to respond to relational dissatisfaction with voice. It is important to note, however, that the relationship between quality of alternatives and the responses of voice or neglect are weak at best (Rusbult, 1987). Finally, aspects of an personality, such as levels of self-esteem, affect repair strategies (Rusbult, 1987). For example, assertive individuals are more likely than responsive individuals to assume control and exercise optimistic strategies when trying to repair a relationship. Assertive partners were less likely to use sensitivity strategies, whereas responsive partners were more likely to engage in listening strategies (Patterson & Beckett, 1995). Strategies for managing relational problems can also vary by relationship type (e.g., Canary & Stafford, 1994). For example, Emmers-Sommer (1999) found that individuals were most likely to use integrative strategies, as opposed to distributive or avoidance (i.e., passive and indirect) strategies, when their goal was to repair their closest relationship after a negative event. Integrative strategies involve partners discussing the matter in a constructive manner, not seeking concessions, and offering a neutral evaluation of the partner. Distributive strategies involve engaging in destructive behaviors that do seek concessions from the partner and can involve behaviors such as negative attributions or threats. Finally, avoidance strategies involve not discussing the issue. Sillars (1980a, 1980b), however, found that individuals in less close relationships (i.e., college roommates) were more inclined to use avoidance or distributive strategies than integrative strategies in response to conflict. Thus, the type of relationship one is engaged in as well as the importance of that relationship affect relational repair choices. Specifically, one can choose to begin dissolving the relationship (e.g., Duck, 1984; Rusbult, 1983), to break off the relationship

108

+=s

EMMERS-SOMMER

(e.g., Baxter, 1984, 1985), or to repair the relationship (e.g., Dindia & Baxter, 1987; Duck, 1984). Aune et al. (1998) examined a variety of relationship types varying in closeness and found that repair strategies exercised varied by closeness. Specifically, in a study of responses to the transgression of deception, Aune et al. found that close partners (e.g., marrieds) were more likely to engage in behaviors that communicated the positive aspects of their relationship in an attempt to repair than were less close relational partners (e.g., coworkers). Other research also demonstrates that deception is managed differently according to relationship type (e.g., Metts, 1989). Relational Repair Strateg Efficacy

Research on relational repair strategies indicates that partners do not perceive all strategies equally and that some strategies are more effective than others in remedying the ill brought about by a relational transgression. For example, research indicates that voicing feelings in a constructive manner to be beneficial to the preservation of close relationships (e.g., Gottman, 1994). For example, Gottman clearly demonstrated that partners who respond to relational dissatisfaction and conflict in a constructive manner experience more satisfactory relationships. Constructive conflict management behaviors include refraining from the use of behaviors such as defensiveness, criticism, contempt, avoiding the issue, mindreading, or making negative attributions toward the partner. Instead, Gottman argued the benefits of engaging in voicing dissatisfaction without blaming, paraphrasing a feelings to ensure accurate understanding of the partperspective, and focusing on behaviors rather than the individual (e.g., avoiding negative personal attacks). Other research findings concur that discussing the issues and the relationship in a constructive manner are beneficial to the preservation of the relationship. Guided by an uncertainty reduction perspective, Emmers and Canary (1996) examined what uncertainty reduction strategies (passive, active, and interactive) were enacted by couples in an effort to repair their relationship. Interactive strategies involve directly talking to the partner; active strategies involve seeking information from the partner from a knowing third party or manipulating the environment to observe how the partner reacts; finally, passive strategies involve observing the partner. The authors added a fourth strategy category, assumed acceptance, for those individuals who seemingly accepted the uncertainty arousing event and made no efforts to reduce uncertainty. The authors found that romantic couples most often engaged in the interactive communication strategy of relational talk when the goal was to repair the relationship after experiencing a negative event. This finding is similar to Dindia and

9.

REPAIR AFTER TRANSGRESSION

~“77 199

(1987) finding that couples most often engage in relational talk strategies when their goal is to repair the relationship. Similarly, Guerrero, Andersen, Jorgensen, Spitzberg, and Eloy (1995) found that use of integrative strategies to communicate jealousy resulted in more satisfying relationships. Finally, Courtright, Millar, Rogers, and Bagarozzi (1990) examined eight couples undergoing counseling due to their distressed marriages. Following the 6-week counseling sessions and three taped marital discussions, these researchers found that the spouses who engaged in direct communication and negotiation behaviors repaired their marriage. However, the couples that engaged in avoidant, indirect, and decreased involvement behaviors terminated their marriages. use of apologies, excuses, or justifications used in response to a transgression has also been examined in the literature. Apologies entail the offender admitting fault and expressing regret for the wrongdoing (Hunter, 1984). E xcuses involve the offender admitting that the offense occurred, but not accepting responsibility for the offense. Finally, justifications involve the offender admitting responsibility for the act, but denying that the act was an offense (Hunter, 1984; Scott & Lymon, 1968). Hupka, Jung, and Silverthorn (1987), f or example, found that apologies (e.g., “I am sorry I was insensitive”) were the preferred response to a transgression, regardless of intent. Excuses were perceived as weak accounts to a transgression (e.g., been under a lot of stress”). Interestingly, justifications (e.g., “Everyone loses their temper sometimes and is insensitive, no different”) were rated the most negatively when the intent was to maintain the relationship. However, justifications were rated more highly than excuses when the intent was to terminate the relationship. Transgressors appraised justifications and apologies higher than the violated partners. Hupka et al.‘s study only examined intent to maintain or terminate the relationship, however, and did not examine when the intent was to repair the relationship. Overall, the prescription appears simple: Be nice to your partner to maintain your relationship, and if you transgress, engage in prosocial, communicative behaviors to repair the relationship. Indeed, the research evidence overwhelmingly suggests that engaging in some type of prosocial behavior (e.g., being positive, talking about the relationship positively) and engaging in direct, metacommunicative behavior strongly affects close relationship repair (and maintenance) positively (e.g., Aune et al., 1998; Canary & Stafford, 1992; Dindia, 1989; Dindia & Baxter, 1997; Emmers-Sommer, 1999; Emmers & Canary, 1996; Samp & Solomon, 1998; Stafford & Canary, 1991). Yet, we are well aware that relationships are complex and are constantly evolving. Thus, a simple elixir to relational problems is nonexistent. Nevertheless, the aforementioned findings do suggest that certain reparations are more effective than others.

LOO

-I+=+ EMMERS-SOMMER

CONCLUSION
The purpose of this chapter is to examine aspects of relational transgressions and relational repair strategies. In doing so, evidence from the extant research was presented and some extending arguments were offered. The purpose of this section is to briefly offer conclusions from what was reviewed and presented in this chapter. First, both relational transgressions and reparation strategies are prevalent in close, personal relationships. As argued in this chapter, it is necessary to perceive maintenance and repair in a coexistent fashion as repair is corrective maintenance and maintenance strategies represent preventative strategies such that the need for repair is lessened. Despite many quest to find a close, intimate partner, they nonetheless often treat that close partner adversely or insensitively. This negative treatment often involves one or both engagement in relational transgressions. Second, what constitutes a relational transgression can be implicit or explicit in nature. That is, a transgression can involve the violation of an implicit relational rule or expectancy such as monogamy or an explicit, negotiated relational rule or expectancy (e.g., to not keep secrets from one another, to not go to bed angry). Third, and related, a transgression can constitute a single incident or an incremental process. That is, a single event might (e.g., an act of infidelity) represent a transgression. On the other hand, a transgression might represent the cumulative or incremental process of actions and interactions. For example, the negotiated rule and expectancy to remain open and honest with one another erodes over time. Fourth, a transgression can be positive or negative in valence. That is, an act that might be perceived as positive in nature might nevertheless violate a relational rule or expectancy and thus constitute a transgression. Fifth, varied emotional reactions to the transgressions can be experienced depending on the nature of the transgression. Specifically, embarrassment is often experienced due to a social transgression, whereas shame is often experienced due to a relational transgression due to a personal incompetence and guilt is often experienced when a relational transgression affects the partner adversely. Sixth, perceptions of the transgression within the context of the importance of the relationship affect repair strategies enacted. That is, individuals in close relationships who value and want to preserve their relationships often engage in constructive, prosocial, metacommunicative strategies when relational reparation is the goal. Finally, and related, the efficacy of relational repair strategies varies. Specifically, admission of fault and willingness to be open in discussing the problem and the relationship is more efficacious than not taking responsibility for a transgression and avoiding discussing the situ-

9.

REPAIR AFTER TRANSGRESSION

+

201

ation. In sum, it is evident that communication plays a central role in the maintenance and repair processes of close relationships.

l=UTUR!E DIRKLTIONS
Dindia (1994) argued that numerous relational strategies are multiphasic in nature. That is, certain strategies (e.g., relational talk) are useful during various stages of relational development (e.g., initiation, development, maintenance, repair). This contention assumes a phase or stage approach to relationships. Yet, because relationships do not occur in a vacuum, there is also movement within stages. Within the context of relational transgressions in close relationships, one future direction of research might want to examine how relational rules are negotiated and renegotiated over the course of a relationship. Specifically, this chapter addresses how transgressions occur when a relational rule or expectancy is violated by one or both relational partners. Given the evolution of relationships, what might have qualified as a transgression during one phase of a close relationship might not qualify at a later phase of the relationship. For example, partners might have negotiated “not talking about past partners” as a relational rule early in their relationship. However, as the relationship develops and strengthens, a topic that might have been perceived as a threat is no longer perceived in that fashion. In fact, partners might eventually refer to past relationships openly in their present relationship. Future research should examine the negotiation and renegotiation of relational rules and how that process affects perceptions of transgressions. Another area worthy of consideration involves the burgeoning area of new technologies and the onset of online relationships (see Rabby & Walther, chap. 7, this volume). This new area in the interpersonal literature provides fertile ground for researchers to test existing interpersonal theories, models, and typologies in an online environment. Several possible questions exist that are worthy of exploration. For example, how do online relational partners negotiate relational rules? How do online partners identify and manage a transgression ? Also, how do individuals in primary, face-to-face relationships perceive a “involvement” with someone online? Research suggests that whereas some individuals perceive online relationships as real (e.g., Parks & Roberts, 1998), others perceive them as nonreal (e.g., Walther, 1996). Depending on the nature of the face-to-face relationship, then, the perception of whether or not a transgression has been committed in the primary relationship due to a actions in the online relationship will vary. Overall, the development, maintenance, and repair of online relationships are fast-growing aspects of society and provide a new environment (i.e., the online domain) in which to examine relational processes.

202

w

EMMERS-SOMMER

Afifi, W A., & Metts, S. (1998). tions in close relationships.
365-392.

Characteristics and consequences of expectation violaJournal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1.5,

Altman, I., & Taylor, D. A. (1973). Social penetration. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston. Aune, R. K., Metts, S ., & Ebesu Hubbard, A. S. (1998). Managing outcomes of discovered deception. The lournul of Social Psychology, 138, 677-689. Baxter, L. A. (1984). Trajectories of relationship disengagement. Journal of Social and
Personal Relationships, 1, 29-48.

relationship disengagement. In S. Duck & D. Baxter, L. A. (1985). A ccomplishing personal relationships: An interdisciplinary apPerlman (Eds.), Understanding proach (pp. 243-265). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Baxter, L. A. (1986). Gender differences in the heterosexual relationship rules embedded in breakup accounts, Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 3,289-306. Baxter, L. A. (1994). A dialogic approach to relational maintenance. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 233-254). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Baxter, L. A., & Bullis, C. (1986). T urning points in developing romantic relationships.
Human Communication Research, 12, 469-493.

Birchler, G. R., Weiss, R. L., &Vincent, J. I? (1975). M u It imethod analysis of social reinforcement exchange between martially distressed and nondistressed spouse and stranger dyads. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 31, 349-360. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1992). Relational maintenance strategies and equity in marriage. Communication Monographs, 59, 239-267. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1994). M am t aining relationships through strategic and f routine interaction. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 3-22). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Courtright, J. A., Millar, F. E., Rogers, L. E., & Bagarozzi, D. (1990). Interaction dynamics of relational negotiation: Reconciliation versus termination of distressed rela54, 429-453. tionships. Western Journal of Speech Communication, Davis, M. S. (1973). Intimate relations. New York: The Free Press. Dindia, K. (1994). A multiphasic view of relationship maintenance strategies. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 99-l 12). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Dindia, K., & Baxter, L. A. (1987). Strategies for maintaining and repairing marital relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 4, 143-158. Duck, S. W (1994). Meaningful relationships: Talking, sense, and relating. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Duck, S. W (1984). A perspective on the repair of personal relationships: Repair of what, when? In S. W. Duck (Ed.), Personal relationships 5: Repairingpersonal relationships (pp. 163-l 84). London: Academic Press. Duck, S. W (1988). Relating to others. Monterey, CA: Brooks/Cole. Emmers, T. M. (1995). Th e p revalence of uncertainty in romantic relationships: Examining instrumentality in the uncertainty reduction process. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Ohio University. Emmers, T. M., &Canary, D. J. (1996). Th e e ff ec t o f uncertainty reducing strategies on Communication Quarterly, 44, young relational repair and intimacy. 166-182.

9.

REPAIR AFTER TRANSGRESSION

++i-

203

Emmers-Sommer, T M. (1999). Negative relational events and event responses across relationship-type: Examining and comparing the impact of conflict strategy-use on intimacy in same-sex friendships, opposite-sex friendships, and romantic relationships. Communication Research Reports, 16, 286-295. Gottman, J. M. (1994). What predicts divorce? Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Guerrero, L. K., Eloy, S. V, & Wabnik, A. L. (1993). Linking maintenance strategies to relationship development and disengagement: A reconceptualization. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 273-283. Guerrero, L. K., Andersen, I? A., Jorgensen, P F., Spitzberg, B. H., & Eloy, S. V: (1995). Coping with the green-eyed monster: Conceptualizing and measuring communicative responses to romantic jealousy. Western Journal of Communication, 59, 270-304. Hunter, C. H. (1984). Aligning actions: Types and social distribution. Symbolic Interaction, 7, 155-174. Hupka, R. B., Jung, J., & Silverthorn, K. (1987). P erceived acceptability of apologies, excuses, and justifications in jealousy predicaments. Journ.& ofBehavior and Personality, 2, 303-313. Jones, W H., Kugler, K., & Adams, I? (1995). Y ou always hurt the ones you love: Guilt and transgressions against relational partners. In J. I? Tangney & K. W Fischer (Eds.), Self-conscious emotions: The psychology of shame, guilt, embarrassment, and pride (pp. 301-321). N ew York: Guilford. Jones, W H., Moore, D. S., Schratter, A., & Negel, L. A. (2001). Interpersonal transgressions and betrayals. In R. M. Kowalski (Ed.), Behaving badly: Aversive behaviors in interpersonal relationships (pp. 233-256). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. Keltner, D., & Buswell, B. N. (1996). E vi d ence for the distinctiveness of embarrassment, shame, and guilt: A study of recalled antecedents and facial expressions of emotion. Cognition &: Emotion, 10, 155-l 71. Leary, M. R., Springer, C., Negel, L., Ansell, E., & Evans, K. (1998). The causes, phenomenology, and consequences of hurt feelings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1225-1237. Manstead, A. S ., & Semin, G. R. (198 1). Social transgressions, social perspectives, and social emotionality. Motivation and Emotion, 5, 249-261. of responsibility McGraw, K. M. (1987). Guilt following transgression: An attribution approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53, 247-256. Metts, S. (1989). An exploratory investigation of deception in close relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 6, 159-l 79. Metts, S. (1994). Relational transgressions. In W R. Cupach & B. H. Spitzberg (Eds.), The dark side of interpersonal communication (pp. 217-239). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Metts, S. (1997). Face and facework: Implications for the study of personal relationships. In S. W Duck (Ed.), Handbook ofpersonal relationships: Theory, research and interventions (2nd ed., pp. 373-390). Chichester, England: Wiley. Miller, R. S. (1991). 0 n d ecorum in close relationships: why we polite to those we love? Contemporary Social Psychology, 13, 74-76. Miller, R. S. (1997). We always hurt the ones we love: Aversive interactions in close relationships. In R. W. Kowalski (Ed.), Aversive interpersonal behaviors (pp. 1 l-29). New York: Plenum Press. Parks, M. R., & Roberts, L. D. (1998). “Making MOOsic”: The development of personal relationships on line and a comparison to their off-line counterparts. lournal of Social and Personal Relationships, 1.5, 5 17-537.

LOS

w

EMMERS-SOMMER

Patterson, B. R., & Beckett, C. S. (1995). A re - examination of relational repair and reconciliation: Impact of socio-communicative style on strategy selection. Communication Research Reports, 12, 235-240.

Planalp, S., & Honeycutt, J. M. (1985). E vents that increase uncertainty in personal reResearch, 11, 593-604. lationships. Human Communication Planalp, S., Rutherford, D. K., & Honeycutt, J. M. (1988). Events that increase uncertainty in personal relationships II: Replication and extension. Human Communication Research, 14, 5 16-547. Roloff, M. E., & Cloven, D. H. (1994). When partners transgress: Maintaining violated relationships. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 23-43). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Rusbult, C. E. (1980a). Commitment and satisfaction in romantic associations: A test of the investment model.JournaZofExperimentaZSociaZPsychoZogy 2 6, 172-l 86. Rusbult, C. E. (1980b). Satisfaction and commitment in friendships. Representative Research in Social Psychology, 11, 96-l 05. Rusbult, C. E. (1983). A longitudinal test of the investment model: The development (and deterioration) of satisfaction and commitment in heterosexual involvements. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 45, 10 l-l 17. Rusbult, C. E. (1987). Responses to dissatisfaction in close relationships: The exit-voice-loyalty-neglect model. In D. Perlman & S. Duck (Eds.), Intimate rela(pp. 209-237). Thousand tionships: Development, dynamics, and deterioration Oaks, CA: Sage. Rusbult, C. E., Drigotas, S. M., & Verette, J. (1994). The investment model: An interdependence analysis of commitment processes and relationship maintenance phenomena. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 115-l 39). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Rusbult, C. E., Johnson, D. J., & Morrow, G. D. (1986). Impact of couple patterns of problem solving on distress and nondistress in dating relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50, 744-753.

Rusbult, C. E., & Verette, J. (199 1). An interdependence analysis of accommodation processes in close relationships. Representative Research in Social Psychology, 19, 3-33. Samp, J. A., & Solomon, D. H. (1998). C ommunicative responses to problematic Reevents in close relationships I: The variety and facets of goals. Communication
search, 25, 66-95.

Scott, M. B., & Lymon, S. M. (1968). Accounts. American Sociological Review, 33, 46-62. Sillars, A. L. (1980a). The sequential and distributional structure of conflict interactions as a function of attributions concerning the locus of responsibility and stability of conflicts. In D. Nimmo (Ed.), C ommunication Yearbook 4 (pp. 217-235). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books. Sillars, A. L. (1980b). Attributions and communication in roommate conflicts. Communication Monographs, 4 7, 180-200. Stafford, L., & Canary, D. J. (1991). Maintenance strategies and romantic relationship type, gender and relational characteristics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 8, 217-242. Stipek, D. (1998). D i ff erences between Americans and Chinese in the circumstances Psychology, 29, of evoking pride, shame, and guilt. Journal of Cross-Cultural 616-629. Tangney, J. P (1992). Situational determinants of shame and guilt in young adulthood. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 18, 199-206.

9.

REPAIR

AFTER

TRANSGRESSION

+=s

205

Tangney, J. l? (1998). How does guilt and shame differ? In J. Bybee (Ed.), Guilt and children (pp. l-l 7). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Vangelisti, A. L. (1994). Messages that hurt. In W. R. Cupach & B. H. Spitzberg (Eds.), The dark side of interpersonal communication (pp. 53-82). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Vangelisti, A. L, & Young, S. L. (2000). Wh en words hurt: The effects of perceived intentionality on interpersonal relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relutionships, 17, 393-424. Walther, J. B. (1996). Computer-mediated communication: Impersonal, interpersonal, and hyperpersonal interaction. Communication Research, 23, 3-43.

This page intentionally left blank

Cultural in Maintaining +t++

Variations ReIationships w

This page intentionally left blank

Stephen

M. Haas

University of Cincinnati

n the past 15 years, communication scholars have begun to explore the strategies and behaviors that couples use to maintain romantic relationships (see Canary & Stafford, 1992, 1994; Dainton & Stafford, 1993; Dindia & Baxter, 1987; Stafford & Canary, 1991; Stafford, Dainton, & Haas, 2000). Relationship maintenance in romantic relationships can be understood as employing communicative strategies and behaviors that prevent relationship dissolution through efforts to sustain a dynamic equilibrium in their relationship definition and satisfaction levels as they cope with the ebb and flow of everyday relating” (Baxter & Dindia, 1990, p. 188). The existing research has done much to increase our understanding of romantic relationship maintenance, but primarily in one demographic group-American, White, middle class, heterosexual married or dating couples. Many questions remain concerning the generalizability of this research to couples that differ by class, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. Gay and lesbian relationships have been recognized as being understudied by researchers across academic disciplines (Huston & Schwartz, 1995; Ossana, 2000). Clark and Serovich (1997), for example, highlighted that studies of gay, lesbian, and bisexual issues make up roughly 0.006% of the family therapy literature. A primary reason for this lack of research is that

20.9

gay and lesbian relationships have been viewed as deviant in U.S. society. As a result, lesbian and gay male couples experience social stigma and discrimination throughout their lives (Goffman, 1963; McWhirter & Mattison, 1984). Also Huston and Schwartz (1995) observed that:
The lack of institutional recognition for homosexual couples plays a very powerful role in their stability. Heterosexual unions are sanctioned by the church and the state through the marriage ceremony. The state rewards such unions with family health insurance, property rights when breakups occur, and institutional prerogatives such as untaxed inheritance and the right to distribute property after a death. (p. 114)

Four forms of stigma most profoundly affect gay and lesbian relationships: (a) ignorance-a lack of knowledge of gay and lesbian lifestyles, (b) homophobia-a persistent fear of homosexuals based in ignorance, (c) prejudice-forming negative attitudes towards gays and lesbians as a group, and (d) oppression-legal and social actions that deny equal treatment and rights to gays and lesbians (McWhirter & Mattison, 1982). All of these stigmatizing attitudes and behaviors can have a serious impact on the lives of gay and lesbian couples, such as loss of employment or housing; rejection from family, friends, and co-workers; as well as, verbal or physical assault. What can be particularly damaging is when stigma is internalized by lesbians and gay men (Lynch, 1987; McWhirter & Mattison, 1982). Self-oppression (learned and internalized antigay prejudice) can result in devastating emotional effects for gays and lesbians (e.g., low self-esteem, embarrassment, social isolation, unwillingness to self-disclose, and even a lack of comfort in their intimate relationships; Laird, 1993; Ossana, 2000). These forms of stigma may create internal barriers to establishing and maintaining successful, long-term, same-sex relationships. Also, lacking the legal and social validation that binds married couples forces same-sex relationships to rely largely on emotional commitment to maintain them. Moreover, gay and lesbian individuals may refrain from disclosing their sexual orientation to others for fear of rejection. A lack of openness (popularly referred to as being “in the closet”) can cause particular problems for same-sex couples in the form of added relational stress and isolation (Berger, 1990; Haas, 2002; Patterson & Schwartz, 1994). Thus, the absence of legal and social barriers that help prevent relationship termination in marital couples make relationship maintenance all the more challenging in same-sex relationships (Attridge, 1994; Patterson & Schwartz, 1994). Because research on relationship maintenance in same-sex couples has been sparse to date, this chapter first focuses on research that has explored characteristics of gay and lesbian relationships that impact maintenance (e.g., relational quality and satisfaction, sex-role ideology, power dynamics, etc.,). In addition, study findings that address societal assumptions concerning differences between heterosexual and same-sex relationships

10. RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

IN SAME-SEX COUPLES

-+I-

211

are discussed. Furthermore, a discussion of communication-based relationship maintenance research is addressed; highlighting three recent studies, in particular, that have explored the communicative strategies and behaviors utilized in maintaining same-sex relationships. Finally, suggestions for future research on relationship maintenance in same-sex couples will be proposed.

REXARCH

ON GAY AND LESBIAN

RELATIONSHIPS

Early studies viewed gay men and lesbian women as “perverts” and “deviants” within society. It was not until 1973, when the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from its list of pathological illnesses, that researchers began to rethink the study of gays and lesbians. In the late 197Os, researchers began to shift their focus away from “studying homosexuality exclusively from the perspective of toward studying homosexuality as part of work on ‘alternative or ‘sex (Peplau, 1982, p. 3). Despite this shift, much of the early research was grounded in heterosexist assumptions regarding gay and lesbian lifestyles. One assumption was that gays and lesbians were more sexually promiscuous than heterosexuals and were unable to establish and maintain meaningful, long-term, intimate relationships. The language used in early studies to describe ongoing same-sex relationships was indicative of this underlying assumption. For example, in studies by Saghir and Robins (1973) and Bell and Weinberg (1978), ongoing same-sex relationships were referred to merely as affairs. In their survey of 4,639 gay men and women, Bell and Weinberg (1978) ex pl ained that “virtually all of the male respondents had been involved in at least one affair (defined as a ‘relatively steady relationwith another man) [italics added] during the course of their lives” (p. 86). These researchers also considered only gays and lesbians who lived together to be “coupled,” and even then, they described these subjects as “roommates” (p. 9 1). In yet another study, Weinberg and Williams (1974) interviewed 1,057 gay men about their sexual activity but failed to ask if any of the men considered their relationships to be long-term. Despite the fact that most gay men and lesbian women in these early studies reported wanting to establish a relationship (Bell & Weinberg, 1978; Harry, 1982; Jay & Young, 1977), researchers operated under the assumption that long-term gay and lesbian relationships were rare. By the 198Os, researchers began to realize that gays and lesbians do establish long-term relationships (Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983; Kurdek & Schmitt, 1986b; Mendola, 1980). For instance, in a sample of 405 gay men and lesbian women, Mendola (1980) f ound that 63% of the men and 70% of the women reported being in a committed, “marriage-like” relationship.

Peplau and Cochran (1981) and Lewis, Kozac, Milardo, and Grosnick (198 1) found that gays and lesbians seek out long-term relationships for the same reasons as heterosexuals: love, commitment, and companionship. Furthermore, Dailey (1979) investigated the heterosexist assumption “that homosexuals may love each other, but the love expressed is and really not love at all” (p. 155). Using the Caring Relationship Inventory (CRI), Dailey f ound no difference between same-sex and heterosexual assessments of love within these relationships. Furthermore, Dailey found that married heterosexual couples showed greater discrepancy in dyadic cohesion than the same-sex couples. Similarly, Peplau and Cochran (198 1) found that in comparing a sample of 50 lesbians, 50 gay men, 50 heterosexual women, and 50 heterosexual men, there were no differences in feelings of love or relationship satisfaction. Also, in comparing relationship adjustment and degree of love and liking, again they found no differences (although lesbians and gay men reported higher degrees of positive feelings for their partners than heterosexuals). In addition, Peplau (1991) found that gay, lesbian, and heterosexual relationship likes and dislikes were very similar. In fact, a panel of judges blinded to the sexual orientation of respondents were unable to differentiate between open-ended responses in this study. In general, gay men, lesbian women, and heterosexuals have reported fairly equivalent levels of relational satisfaction on standardized measures such as Dyadic Adjustment Scale (see Dailey, 1979; Duffy & Rusbult, 1986; Kurdek & Schmitt, 1985-1986, 1986a, 1986b, 1987). Kurdek and Schmitt (1986b) also found that relationship quality for same-sex and heterosexual couples revolved around similar dimensions: a high level of dyadic attachment, few relationship alternatives, shared decision making, and holding few beliefs that disagreements are destructive to the relationship. For gay and lesbian couples, Kurdek (1988, 1989) found that the most important predictors of relationship quality were a focus on trust, similarity, and intrinsic motivation. Emotional expressiveness and equality of power were particularly important for relationship quality in lesbian couples, but overall, no significant differences in relationship commitment or quality were found between gay male and lesbian couples (Kurdek, 1988, 1989).

Sexual PXClUSi”itLJ
The societal assumption that gays and lesbians are more sexually promiscuous than heterosexuals has been fueled by findings in several studies that some gay and lesbian relationships negotiate open sexual agreements (Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983; Kurdek & Schmitt, 1985-1986; Wagner, Remien, & Carballo-Dieguez, 1998). Sexual exclusivity, or monogamy, has long been applied as the model for heterosexual relationships by church and state. Despite this ideal, studies of heterosexual sexual behavior indicate that rates of marital

10.

RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

IN SAME-SEX

COUPLES

+=+I- 213

infidelity range from 26% to 70% for women and from 33% to 75% for men (Buss, 1994; Fisher, 1987; Kinsey, Pomeroy, & Martin, 1948; Kinsey, Pomeroy, Martin, & Gebhard, 1953; Shackelford & Buss, 1997). Like heterosexuals, research has found that many same-sex couples strive to maintain monogamous relationships as a model (Berger, 1990; Bell & Weinberg, 1978; Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983; Kurdek, 1986b; Mendola, 1980; Peplau, 1991). For example, Mendola (1980) found that 83% of the lesbian women in her study reported being monogamous. Similarly, in their study, Fitzpatrick, Jandt, Myrick, and Edgar (1994) found that “70 percent of gay males and 80 percent of lesbians had never broken their monogamy agreement” (p. 273). According to Tuller (1978), the question of whether to maintain a monogamous relationship:
is more likely to come up in a homosexual relationship than in a heterosexual one because homosexuals have no model to imitate as do heterosexuals. Further, the socialization process does not teach what a good gay marriage should be like as it does with heterosexual marriages. Some gay people use the heterosexual model and remain monogamous; some are influenced by religious doctrines and remain monogamous; and others simply do whatever works best for their particular relationships. (p. 336)

Berger (1990) f ound that gay male monogamy may have been increased by fear of HIV infection since the onset of the AIDS epidemic. Berger (1990) reported that “Of 83 couples who responded . . . 96.4% described their relationships as monogamous. This differs from pre-AIDS surveys which showed that only a minority of gay couples were strictly monogamous” (p. 44). The AIDS crisis has less directly affected monogamy among lesbian women because they are at lower risk for HIV infection within their relationships (Carl, 1986; Fitzpatrick et al., 1994). However, AIDS has lead to the loss of friends and relatives for many lesbian women, and as a result, AIDS-related causes have become a human rights issue for many politically active lesbians and gay men in general. Nonmonogamy has been found to be more prevalent in gay male couples than lesbian relationships (Green, Bettinger, & Zachs, 1996). In a recent study of 75 gay male couples in New York City in which one partner was HIV positive, Wagner et al. (1998) f ound that 50 of the couples (67%) reported engaging in at least one sexual encounter outside of the primary relationship in the last year. Mendola (1980) found that 49% of the gay males in her study admitted to having an occasional sexual experience outside their primary relationship, which is quite similar to the 43% of heterosexual married men in Pietropinto and (1979) study who admitted infidelity. Regardless of sexual orientation, studies have found that some men do not view outside sexual activity as being tied to emotional commitment to their primary relationship (Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983; Glass & Wright, 1985; Ossana, 2000; Thompson, 1984; Wagner et al.,

1998). Lee (199 1) pointed out that the ability of same-sex couples to negotiate open or closed sexual agreements may increase levels of trust and relational satisfaction, as well as helping to reduce feelings of betrayal often experienced with marital infidelity. Overall, research is suggesting that the predominant focus by researchers on the dichotomy of open versus closed relationships may in fact be of less significance in understanding same-sex relationships. For instance, studies on relationship quality have indicated no difference between sexually-open versus monogamous gay male couples (Blasband & Peplau, 1985; Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983; Kurdek & Schmitt, 1985-l 986). Specifically, Kurdek and Schmitt (1985-l 986) found that sexually open and closed gay male couples were actually more similar than different in psychological adjustment, dyadic attachment, a positive belief in partner changability, and relationship quality. Similarly, some studies have shown no difference in relationship satisfaction or stability between sexually open versus closed heterosexual marriages (Knapp, 1976; Knapp & Whitehurst, 1977; Ramey, 1975; Watson, 198 1). In investigations of heterosexual couples who “swing” (an open agreement), no evidence was found that swinging was harmful to marital or family stability (Cole & Spanier, 1974; Gilmartin, 1972; Paulson & Paulson, 1971). In fact, when Rubin (1982) sampled 130 sexually open and 130 sexually exclusive married and divorced individuals, he found that those who were in sexually open marriages were no more poorly adjusted than those that were not. For the divorced couples, those who had been in sexually open marriages were no more unhappy after the divorce than those in monogamous relationships. Rubin (1982) concluded that “nothing in this data argues for the view that sexual openness or exclusivity, in and of themselves, make a difference in the overall adjustment of a married couple” (p. 107). In general, the research on both same-sex and heterosexual couples provides evidence that when relational expectations for sexual behavior are shared by partners, relationship quality and satisfaction are fairly equivalent across sexually open and sexually exclusive couples. Despite societal assumptions to the contrary, it appears that nonmonogamy becomes problematic in relationships only when that value is not shared by partners.

Another common assumption pertaining to gay and lesbian relationships is the belief that stereotypical, heterosexual “hutch-femme” role-playing occurs. The assumption that same-sex couples model themselves after heterosexual relationships so that one partner assumes a masculine role and the other a feminine role has not been supported by research (Kurdek, 1987, 1993; Kurdek & Schmitt, 1985-1986, 1986a; Lynch & Reilly,

10.

RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

IN SAME-SEX

COUPLES

3f

215

19851986). I n reviewing several studies, Peplau (1982) asserted that “most contemporary gay and lesbian relationships do not conform to traditional (masculine and roles; instead role flexibility and turn-taking are more common patterns” (p. 4). Across the studies, Peplau found that, “traditional heterosexual marriage is not the predominant model or script for current homosexual couples” (p. 4). In an early study, Tuller (1978) f ound “all of the couples claimed that they did not have any hutch-femme roles in their relationships-that, in fact, they shared household tasks and definitely did not sexually imitate conventional heterosexual roles” (p. 340). In addition, Dailey (1979) found no evidence of increased cross-gender endorsement in gay male or lesbian couples. findings revealed that in instances when cross-gender roles were found, they existed equally across same-sex and heterosexual couples. In yet another study, Marecek, Finn, and Cardell (1983) found that when cross-gender roles were present in same-sex couples, the frequency was lower than within the heterosexual couples in the study. In general, masculine and feminine sex roles have been found to be blended in gay and lesbian relationships toward more androgynous roles (Schullo & Alperson, 1984). In a direct comparison study, Kurdek (1987) found that lesbian women tended to be more instrumental (task oriented) than heterosexual women in their sex-role orientation; whereas gay and heterosexual men were equivalent. Gay men were more expressive than heterosexual men, but heterosexual and lesbian women were equivalent. Also, Kurdek and Schmitt (1986a) f ound a fairly random and equal distribution of pairings of gay, lesbian, and heterosexual partners across sex-role inventory categories of masculine, feminine, undifferentiated, and androgynous orientations. According to (1974) measure, masculine individuals are more task oriented, hostile, dominant, egocentric, temperamental, and low in nurturance. Feminine persons are more submissive, dependent, and nurturing. Undifferentiated individuals tend to be self-centered, withdrawn, depressed, possess underdeveloped social skills, and are lacking in intimacy. Androgynous persons are more extroverted, empathic and flexible in their social skills, and high in self-disclosure. In addition, Kurdek and Schmitt (1986a) found that androgynous and feminine partners reported the highest levels of relationship functioning in same-sex couples. Couples in which one or both partners were undifferentiated or masculine reported the lowest relationship quality (Kurdek & Schmitt, 1986a), and Reece and Segrist (1981) found that more androgynous same-sex couples remained together longer than those scoring low on cooperation. Overall, the studies indicate that gay men and lesbian women tend to be more androgynous in their gender-role orientation, and as such, the hutch-femme myth in gay and lesbian relationships has not been supported. Marecek, Finn, and Cardell (1983) asserted that gender roles (e.g.,

instrumental vs. expressive) are likely not linked to biological sex, but rather lie on a continuum much like personality traits. In a similar vein, Schullo and Alperson (1984) suggested the need to relabel the poles of this continuum from sex-related terms (i.e., masculine-feminine) to more accurately reflect the instrumental and expressive qualities being assessed. Power

Dyna rrlics

Gay male and lesbian relationships seem to be based in relational expectations of equality and reciprocity (Blumstein & Schwartz, 1983; Kurdek & Schmitt, 1986a; Lynch & Reilly, 1985-1986; McWhirter & Mattison, 1984; Peplau, Padesky, & Hamilton, 1982; Reilly & Lynch, 1990). Because gay and lesbian relationships tend not adhere to traditional sex roles, issues surrounding “power imbalances manifested in unequal influence in decision making, unfair division of household labor, or biased allotment of rights, resources, and privileges” (Huston & Schwartz, 1995, p. 108) must be negotiated in same-sex couples. In heterosexual couples, adherence to sex-based role assignments often serve as relational scripts regarding power and decision making (e.g., males assume the role of primary financial supporter and females adopt primary responsibility for household duties). In gay and lesbian relationships, however, roles and relational duties often are negotiated based on individual desires, skills, and schedule constraints (Kurdek, 1993). Gay male and lesbian couples also have expressed equity in power dynamics as a relational ideal (Kurdek & Schmitt, 1986b; Peplau, Padesky, & Hamilton, 1982; Reilly & Lynch, 1993). Th e means of establishing equity, however, may differ slightly in gay and lesbian couples. For example, Blumstein and Schwartz (1983) f ound that mutual dependency and egalitarian power sharing were important for relationship quality; whereas, gay male couples reported that having similar education levels and values and sharing financial responsibilities were important to their relationship quality. Like heterosexual couples, Blumstein and Schwartz (1983) found that gay male couples tended to use financial contribution to the relationship as a guide for establishing decision-making power. They found that male partners who earned more took on a more dominant role in the relationship; although gay male couples were not satisfied if earnings and power dynamics were greatly imbalanced. Additionally, in couples where one partner was at least 5 years older or more, the older partner tended to assume more power in couple decision making (Harry, 1982). In lesbian couples, money apparently does not play as important a role in determining decision making and power dynamics (Lynch & Reilly, 1985-l 986; Reilly & Lynch, 1990). Lesbian couples have been found to go out of their way not to construct their relationships based on financial is-

10.

RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

IN SAME-SEX

COUPLES

++t-

217

sues. Instead, lesbian couples describe more of a focus on emotional closeness (McCandlish, 1982), interdependence of lives, and relational equity (Lynch & Reilly, 1985-l 986). For example, Reilly and Lynch (1990) found that power tended to be shared equally by lesbian partners, and in instances when power imbalances did occur, lesbian couples worked hard to resolve the issue and reinstate equality. Regarding issues of power in the distribution of household labor, both gay men and lesbian women tend to share in household tasks (Kurdek, 1993). For gay men, McWhirter and Mattison (1984) indicated that couples tended to distribute household duties based on skill, interest, and work schedules. Kurdek (1993) f ound that same-sex couples worked to balance household tasks, but that each partner did not perform every task equally. Lesbian couples, however, more often were found to attempt to share in household tasks equally. This emphasis on sharing in all tasks may be related to the strong emphasis on interdependence in lesbian couples. In addition, lesbians reported slightly stronger degrees of expressiveness and equality of power in their relationships than gay males (Kurdek, 1989). Overall, though, household tasks were negotiated by both gay and lesbian couples on an individual basis rather than relying on role-based assignments.

Kelationship

Stages

Only one longitudinal study has explored relationship stages in same-sex couples. Over the course of a 5year period, McWhirter and Mattison (1982, 1984) d eve 1op e d a stage model from counseling long-term, gay male relationships lasting between 1 and 3 7 years (average length was 8.7 years). The stage model consists of six stages: (1) Blending, (2) Nesting, (3) Maintaining, (4) Building, (5) Releasing, and (6) Renewing. According to McWhirter and Mattison, the stages are dynamic and couples may move quickly through one, several, or even skip stages. Their stage model may serve as a useful framework for understanding relationship maintenance in same-sex couples, therefore, each stage is discussed briefly here. In the first stage, Blending (first year), partners experience a very intense sense of togetherness. Their similarities draw them together and they tend to ignore their differences. They spend a large amount of time together, almost to the exclusion of others. Feelings of falling in love are very intense in this stage, but vary by individual. Equality is preferred in financial concerns and household chores. And sexual activity is frequent, and almost always sexually exclusive. In the second stage, Nesting (2-3 years), gay couples turn their attention increasingly to their surroundings. The desire to establish a home together becomes a goal. Couples begin to notice each short comings and discover ways to cope with them, or complement each other to in-

crease compatibility. This stage also involves a gradual decline in the intense feelings of love felt in the Blending stage. McWhirter and Mattison (1982, 1984) o b served that the combination of searching for compatibilities, and a lessening of intense feelings of love, often create what they termed ambivalence. Maintaining (4-5 years) involves couples learning to manage relational dialectics of togetherness versus independence. After the intense togetherness of the blending stage, partners in this stage begin to try to re-establish their own sense of personal identity within the relationship. Risk-taking begins to occur-sometimes through outside sexual encounters, more time apart, increased self-disclosure concerning the relationship, and new separate friends. This increased risk taking often results in high conflict that must be negotiated and resolved. The quality that seems to maintain the relationship in this stage is the sense of both time and emotional investment, and the feeling that the relationship had taken on a life of its own. Additionally, it was found that outside recognition of the relationship by family and friends on average did not occur until after 3 years together. During Building (6-l 0 years), gay couples tend to enter a stage of cooperation. By this time, the couple has developed a sense of security in the relationship. However, this stage may also bring feelings of boredom and entrapment. But at this point in the relationship couples have usually developed coping mechanisms for dealing with these types of relational threats. Complementarity is successfully managed, and the individualization of the maintaining stage is strengthened by partner support. In stage five, Releasing (1 l-20 years), the couple has established mutual trust and conviction to the relationship as time has strengthened positive mutual regard for each other. By this time, partners have merged their financial assets and possessions completely. But gay men in this stage express less caring and concern for both self and other, which sometimes leads to increased isolation. Also, by this stage, both partners may become guilty of taking the relationship for granted. The final stage, Renewing (20 years and beyond), marked a special time for couples around or beyond their twentieth anniversary. Couples in this stage experienced a renewal of their relationship. Partners focused on enjoying each company more. Also, establishing future financial security and professional achievements became a focus. These couples assumed they would be together until death. However, partners did worry about health, financial security, fear of loneliness, and death of partners or themselves. Overall, gay male couples who worked with McWhirter and Mattison (1984) were quite satisfied and capable of maintaining long-lasting relationships. McWhirter and Mattison observed, however, that gay relationships do lack role models and often have expectations based on heterosexual couples that may cause distress when the relationship does

10. RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

IN SAME-SEX COUPLES

+e

219

not match those expectations. There was common curiosity and worry concerning how other gay couples functioned in day-to-day life and deal with finances, family, outside relationships, etcetera. Scholarly researchers also have become interested in exploring the everyday communication behaviors and strategies that gay and lesbian couples use to maintain their relationships. The area of relationship maintenance, as well as, the limited research on maintaining same-sex relationships, is the focus of the remainder of the chapter.

RWATIONSHIP

MAlNTlZNANCE

REXARCH

As previously defined, relationship maintenance refers to employing communicative strategies and behaviors to prevent relationship dissolution through efforts to sustain a dynamic equilibrium in their relationship definition and satisfaction levels as they cope with the ebb and flow of everyday relating” (Baxter & Dindia, 1990, p. 188). Interest in relationship maintenance in romantic relationships has increased among communication researchers over the past 15 years. Romantic relationships have been found to provide particular relational benefits such as love, affection, sexual activity, emotional intimacy, advice, encouragement, as well as social support (Coyne & Delongis, 1986; Cutrona & Suhr, 1994; Prager, 1995; Stafford, Dainton, & Haas, 2000). In fact, Coyne and Delongis (1986) found that other confiding relationships (e.g., parent, sibling, or friend) could not compensate for the confiding intimacy of a romantic partner. Social exchange theory has formed the basis of much of the research on relationship maintenance. According to social exchange theory, a relationship consists of resources that are exchanged between two persons (Homans, 1950; Thibaut & Kelly, 1959). Preferred resources are considered to be rewards and lost resources are costs. In its basic form, the theory proposes that as long as there are excess rewards, or profit, for both partners after incurring relational costs, they will seek to maintain the relationship. In applying social exchange theory, Stafford and Canary (1991; Canary & Stafford, 1992, 1994) d eve 1 oped a typology of strategic behaviors that both married and dating couples perceive exchanging in maintaining their intimate relationships. Stafford and Canary proposed five primary relationship maintenance strategies (defined as purposive maintenance behaviors) resulting from their analysis: (a) positivity (e.g., cheerfulness and being positive); (b) openness (e.g., self-disclosure and meta-relational communication); (c) assurances (e.g., expressions of love and comfort); (d) shared tasks (e.g., household duties and relationship responsibilities); and (e) social networks (e.g., seeking mutual friendships and kinship ties). Two additional behaviors-Advice (e.g., helping a partner problem solve) and Conflict Management (e.g., using empathy and val-

idation behaviors)- recently were added by Stafford, Dainton, and Haas (2000) in expanding Canary and original typology to include seven behaviors. Canary and Stafford (1992) a1so f ound that equity is an important relational characteristic underlying these behaviors. Equity is relational exchange where the overall ratio of each costs to rewards is roughly equal. Equity was found to be a salient predictor of both personal use and perception of relationship maintenance behaviors for married couples. In addition, self-reported and perceived maintenance strategies combined to predict several other relational characteristics. Positivity was the primary predictor of both control mutuality (i.e., amount of agreement on relationship control of partners) and liking of partner. Perceptions of maintenance behaviors, in general, were especially predictive of liking, whereas, sharing tasks and social networks were correlated with commitment to the relationship. Dainton and Stafford (1993) extended this work by examining behaviors partners report enacting that may be routine in addition to being strategically planned. Seven primary routine behaviors (defined as intentional or unintentional habitualized maintenance behaviors) emerged: (a) joint activities (e.g., spending time together and rituals); (b) small talk (e.g., discussing daily events); (c) affection (e.g., touching, kissing, and sexual intimacy); (d) avoidance (e.g., avoiding topics and conflict); (e) antisocial (e.g., acting jealous); (f) focus on self (e.g., watching weight and furthering career); and (g) mediated communication (e.g., leaving notes or phone calls). In addition to a social exchange approach, Baxter and colleagues (Baxter 1994; Baxter & Simon, 1993) have examined relationship maintenance from a dialectical perspective. Relational dialectics are tensions between polar opposites, which are central and necessary within all relationships. Three primary relational dialectics that occur internally and externally in relationships have emerged. The internal dialectic of integration-separation (connection-autonomy) is the tension individuals feel to establish inclusion in relationships, and at the same time, maintain a sense of self-identity. The external dialectic of integration-separation is the conflicting pull a couple feels to maintain outside relationships that connect them with society, and yet, isolate themselves to increase relational intimacy. The internal dialectic of stability-change (predictability-novelty) reflects the conflicting needs to feel secure in a predictable relationship, but also, avoid boredom through seeking out novelty. Externally, the dialectic of stability-change represents a struggle to mange enactment of cultural norms, and also, maintain a unique relational identity. The dialectic of expressiveness-privacy (openness-closedness) manifests itself internally as conflicting needs for open self-disclosure of self, and yet protection of self and other from being hurt. Externally, in the dialectic of expressiveness-privacy a couple must

10. RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

IN SAME-SEX COUPLES

=a

221

manage their privacy from family and members of society, and also, connect with others revealing their life as a couple. Baxter and colleagues applied a dialectical perspective in analyzing how relational partners communicatively manage these relational tensions in order to maintain their relationship over time.

Relationship Maintenance

in Same-Sex

Couples

Research exploring the communication strategies and behaviors used to maintain gay and lesbian relationships has only recently been undertaken. Three studies specifically in this area will be discussed here. In the first study, Haas and Stafford (1998) replicated the open-ended questionnaire format of Dainton and Stafford (1993) to explore the relationship maintenance behaviors and strategies of gay and lesbian couples. In a small sample of 15 gay men and 15 lesbian women, Haas and Stafford found very similar maintenance behaviors as those in the Canary and Stafford (1992) and Dainton and Stafford (1993) studies. Specifically, the behaviors of positivity, openness, assurances, shared tasks, and social networks were reported as basic maintenance behaviors within the gay and lesbian relationships. In addition, two unique maintenance behaviors emerged in the Haas and Stafford (1998) study as means for same-sex couples to deal with social stigma and the lack of wide spread acceptance in society. These behaviors included: being “out” as a couple and seeking gay and lesbian supportive environments. Being “out” as a couple utilizes social network support for validation and support of the couple relationship. Seeking gay and lesbian supportive environments was described as seeking social environments that are accepting and supportive of gays and lesbians and their relationships (e.g., gay and lesbian bars, gay and lesbian vacation guest houses, gay-pride events, and the like). Because same-sex couples currently cannot obtain legal validation of their relationships (except in the state of Vermont, but the national ramifications remain unclear at this time), being open or “out” to the networks and seeking supportive social environments were described as serving important relationship maintenance functions in these relationships. In a second follow-up study, Haas and Stafford (1997) performed a direct matched-sample comparison between the 30 lesbians and gay men in Study I and 30 heterosexual married individuals who were part of a larger maintenance study. Participants were matched according to age and length of relationship (within 2 months). Open-ended responses describing maintenance strategies and behaviors were compared for similarity and frequency reported. Results indicated that maintenance strategies and behaviors were very similar across gay, lesbian, and heterosexual participants. This direct comparison design goes beyond proposing similarities, as in previous studies,

and offers more direct support for the use of basic maintenance behaviors across relationship types. A second goal of this follow-up study was to examine the frequency with which maintenance behaviors were mentioned by respondents. Several interesting similarities and differences emerged between the gay and lesbian and heterosexual response frequency. For heterosexual participants, the five most frequently mentioned maintenance behaviors were: (1) Shared Tasks (83%), (2) Positivity-proactive (67%) and reactive (67%) prosocial behaviors, (3) Positivity-favors and gifts (60%) and Comfort and Support Behaviors (60%), (4) Openness (54%), and (5) Affection (50%). I n comparison, the five most frequently mentioned maintenance behaviors by gays and lesbians were: (1) Shared Tasks (73%), (2) Metarelational Communication (53%), (3) Joint Activities (50%), (4) Positivity-reactive prosocial behaviors (47%), and (5) Assurances (43%) and Empathetic Behaviors (43%). What is interesting is that both groups most frequently mentioned engaging in shared tasks as a relationship maintenance behavior. Dainton and Stafford (1993) argued that much of maintaining relationships likely consists of mundane, routine activities through engaging in relational duties and tasks (e.g., making coffee, taking out the garbage, buying groceries, etc.). The fact that both lesbians and gay men and heterosexuals mentioned sharing tasks most frequently provides further evidence that these behaviors may be some of the most basic communicative behaviors in maintaining couple relationships. Beyond the similarity of using shared tasks, some important differences emerged between same-sex and heterosexual couples in the most frequently mentioned behaviors. The second most frequently mentioned behavior by the lesbians and gay men was metarelational communication (i.e., talk about the relationship); whereas a focus on positivity ranked second for heterosexuals. This finding likely underscores a need of same-sex couples to continue to discuss the status of their relationships (e.g., the desire of partners to maintain the relationship) to compensate for the lack of legal and social validation. Married heterosexual couples often may take their relationships for granted and rely on legal sanctions as a maintaining force. Thus, married persons likely perceive little need to discuss their desire to be in the relationship on regular basis. For gays and lesbians, however, there is a continuing need to validate and confirm both relational commitment through metarelational talk as an important means of relationship maintenance. McWhirter and Mattison (1982), however, found that some gay couples may run the risk of over metacommunicating to the detriment of their relationships. They observed that some gay couples “at times, process their feelings and behaviors ‘to causing relationship fatigue and distress” (p. 88). Therefore, an over-emphasis on metarelational communication could actually undermine same-sex efforts at relationship maintenance. Additional research is needed to explore this area further.

10.

RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

IN SAME-SEX

COUPLES

t

223

Differences also occurred in the third, fourth, and fifth most frequently mentioned behaviors. Joint activities, positivity, and relational assurances, respectively, accounted for the next most frequently mentioned gay and lesbian responses; whereas positivity (favors and gifts, openness, and affection) were mentioned by heterosexuals. This may indicate that same-sex couples spend more time engaging in the same activities together and focus on reassuring their partner through verbal expressions of love and caring. Heterosexual couples, on the other hand, may place more emphasis on doing favors or giving gifts, engaging in self-disclosure, and showing physical affection. Due to the small sample size of this study, however, these findings require further replication. Finally, in a third study of 20 gay male couples (N = 40) in which one or both partners were HIV positive or had AIDS (Haas, 1999a, 1999b), a grounded theory of communicative normalization of illness emerged to explain the process of maintaining relationships dealing with chronic illness. More specifically, normalization of illness primarily was found to be achieved in these gay couples through the communicative management of two relational dialectics: managing HIV-related communication engagement and avoidance, and communicating to negotiate health autonomy versus partner involvement. Managing HIV-related communication involves the need for couples to negotiate and balance discussions of HIV-related health concerns in order to keep the relationship from being overwhelmed by the illness in day-to-day interactions. In these drive for normalization, they frequently utilized a combination of balance and cyclic alternation in managing the dialectic of openness and closedness of HIV-related communication. Cyclic alternation appeared to be used more often because it allows couples to focus completely on HIV when issues arise or attempt to downplay its influence when symptoms are not present. Couples did appear to lie on a continuum regarding the actual amount of engagement or avoidance of HIV-related communication overall. Following are some examples of participant comments reflecting the frequency of communication about HIV within their relationships. Alex, an HIV-positive participant, stated, “We talk about my health almost every day. Probably every day. We ignore it .” Jerry, another HIV-positive partner, described similar HIV-related communication patterns. He commented, “Daily we talk of HIV bring stress to either one of us. I keep asking. He says, ‘No, it bother How couples manage openness about HIV with the other end of the dialectic, communication avoidance of HIV-related topics, was equally important. Most of the participants in this study reported that there are times when they intentionally avoid communication about HIV or AIDS. Helgeson and Taylor (1993) argued that individuals need to be able to release themselves from the stress and worry of chronic illness. William, an

224

+s

HAAS

HIV-positive partner, described times when his partner did not always want to be informed because it is a reminder of terminal illness. For discordant couples, there was a great tension to manage the dialectic of HIV openness and closedness because any HIV-related communication is a reminder of “abnormality” in their struggle to establish normalization. Another HIV-negative partner, Larry asserted, “Quite honestly, say we try to not talk about it [HIV] more than we try to talk about it.” Adam, who is HIV positive, thinks of avoiding HIV-related communication as a positive strategy in his relationship. He stated, “a lot of times I just take a positive approach and if nothing new, you know, I even say anything. And so, luckily there been a lot new lately.” Avoiding communication about HIV or AIDS also could be problematic for couples. Ed, an HIV-positive partner, explained that his avoidance of HIV communication had caused arguments in their relationship: there if an emergency. Day to day not real interested in it [HIV] . . . I keep my meds where I would use them. I know the kind of stuff he like to see very much. And if complaining, it really bothers him. had arguments about it. ” In a similar way, relational partners have to communicatively manage the degree of HIV-negative involvement in monitoring the health of their HIV-positive partner, so that the positive partner maintains a sense of autonomy, and yet still feels that the HIV-negative partner cares and is concerned for their health. Among the discordant couples in this study, the amount of partner involvement in the healthcare of the HIV-positive partner ranged on a continuum from almost total noninvolvement (e.g., knowing nothing about what drugs partner is prescribed or what times he takes them) to complete involvement (e.g., monitoring complete partner adherence with his drug regimen). However, due to the drive for normalization, there was a predominant sentiment among HIV-negative partners that HIV was the positive primary domain. For example, Alan, an HIV-positive partner, addressed how his HIV-negative partner is not very involved in the daily management of his health. Alan described feeling that his health care is his own responsibility:
my ballpark. Again, since not working those things I have to do myself for myself. So I care of them.. . . So as far as the pills and those very much there, except for his concern once in appropriately. at this point, a big part of have to manage them, and I take regimens, he really done a while that not taking them

On the other hand, Phil, an HIV-negative partner, explained his partner involvement this way: “I read everything. I think I read more than he does. I always want to know what this is about, or what this is going to do, or the side effects. And try to keep on him about taking his medicine regularly, without being bitchy.”

10. RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

IN SAME-SEX COUPLES

++-

225

In general, it was found that too little partner involvement indicates disinterest and a lack of concern, whereas over involvement can be interpreted as being overbearing, smothering, and untrusting of the competence for self-care. How well couples communicated in managing these extremes had an impact on effectively maintaining their relationships. In addition to the emergence of these dialectics, evidence was found for use of the Canary and Stafford (1992) and Dainton and Stafford (1993) maintenance behaviors. The specific maintenance behaviors these gay male couples reported were equity in shared tasks, openness, positivity and favors, assurances, affection, sharing time together, social networks, talk of day, and use of calls and letters and e-mail. Particular importance was mentioned in maintaining equity of shared tasks. Equity was reflected through a tendency to capitalize on the interests of each partner. Similar to past research, duties and tasks were performed by one partner or the other based on personal interest and ability to perform the task, not by role assignments. Also, equity was stressed as an important relational feature helping to avoid establishing a caregiver-receiver relationship that was rejected by all couples in this study (see Haas, 2002, for a more detailed discussion of rejecting notions of “caregiving” by gay male couples). The reported use of these behaviors by gay male couples coping with HIV provides additional support for the generalizability of the maintenance behaviors in more diverse populations than previously have been studied. Finally, concerns surrounding same-sex relationship validation and support were described in this study to be as important to the gay male couples as HIV-related social support. In other words, social stigma related to HIV and homosexuality were both major relational stressors in maintaining these same-sex relationships. Importantly, these couples reported that HIV-related social support from family, friends, and others functioned both as illness-related support and relationship maintenance support (Haas, 2002). is in d ing, yet again, highlights the need for social validation and support as an important factor in same-sex relationship maintenance.

CONCLUSION
Existing research indicates that gay and lesbian relationships do not differ overall in levels of quality and satisfaction from heterosexual couples (although lesbian couples have scored highest across several studies). Some differences also are indicated in the research such as more androgynous sex roles and egalitarian relational ideals within same-sex couples. In addition, the lack of social and legal validation of same-sex relationships has emerged as having a large impact on same-sex couples and may require gays and lesbians to establish greater relational commitment and effort at maintenance to overcome these barriers. Despite the barriers, gay men and lesbian

women have been found to establish and maintain long-term relational commitments. Importantly, Schmitt and Kurdek (1987) found that being in a relationship strengthened positive gay identity, increased self-concept over those not in a relationship, and that maintaining a relationship led to a greater belief in ability to have control over life events and lowered levels of anxiety and depression. These relational benefits underscore the need for additional research in further understanding relationship maintenance in same-sex couples. Understanding the communicative strategies and behaviors that gays and lesbians use to create and maintain relationships in the face of social stressors also expands our understanding of relational communication in general. Twenty years ago, Peplau (1982) proposed that studies of same-sex couples:
provide an opportunity to test the generalizability of social science theories of “human behavior” which have been derived almost exclusively from heterosexual models and tested on heterosexual samples. In this way, research on lesbian and gay male couples contributes not only to our knowledge about homosexuality but also to our more general knowledge about close human relationships. (p. 7)

To date, gay and lesbian relationship maintenance research has been sparse and further studies are required. Much of the current research has been based on small sample sizes. This is partly due to the challenge of data collection in community-based minority, and stigmatized groups such as gay men and lesbian women. Adding to this difficulty, same-sex couples tend to be a hidden segment of the gay and lesbian community (Tuller, 1978). Once in a relationship, many couples tend to spend less time in gay and lesbian public environments (e.g., singles bars). Even at bars, individuals often are not interested in participating in research during their entertainment and leisure time. All of these factors contribute to the complexity of studying relationship maintenance in same-sex couples. Research in this area, however, does require further research; for instance (a) replication of past research findings in larger samples must be undertaken, (b) dyadic analysis of same-sex couples should be explored, and finally (c) longitudinal studies of long-term relationships have yet to be attempted. Much remains to be learned. This chapter serves as a call for relational scholars to pursue maintenance research in this understudied population.

Attridge, M. (1994). Barriers to dissolution of romantic relationships. In D. J. Canary & and relational maintenance (pp. 187-2 17). San L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication Diego, CA: Academic Press. Baxter, L. A. (1994). A dialogic approach to relationship maintenance. In D. J. Canary &L. Stafford (Eds.), C ommunication and relationship maintenance (pp. 233-254). New York: Academic.

10. RELATIONSHIP
Baxter, L., & Dindia, strategies. Journal Baxter, L., & Simon, contradictions in
ships, 10, 225-242.

MAINTENANCE

IN SAME-SEX COUPLES

i71

22,T

K. (1990). Marital perceptions of marital maintenance of Social and Personal Relationships, 7, 187-208. E. l? (1993). Relationship maintenance strategies and dialectical personal relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relation-

Bell, A. P, &Weinberg, M. S. (1978). H omosexualities: A study of diversity among men and women. New York: Simon & Schuster. Bern, S. L. (1974). Th e measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155-l 62. Berger, R. M. (1990). Men together: Understanding the gay couple. Journal of Homosexuality, 19, 3 l-49.

Blasband, D., & Peplau, L. A. (1995). S exual exclusivity versus openness in gay male couples. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 14, 395-412. Blumstein, P., & Schwartz, P (1983). A merican couples. New York: William & Morrow. Buss, D. M. (1994). The evolution of desire. New York: Basic Books. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1992). Relational maintenance strategies and equity in marriage. Communication Monographs, 59, 243-267. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1994). Maintaining relationships through strategic and routine interaction. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and Relational Maintenance. New York: Academic Press. Clark, W M., & Serovich, J. M. (1997). Twenty years and still in the dark? Content analysis of articles pertaining to gay, lesbian, and bisexual issues in marriage and family therapy journals. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 23, 239-253. Cole, C. L., & Spanier, G. B. (1974). C o-marital mate-sharing and family stability. Journal of Sex Research, 10, 2 l-3 1. Coyne, J. C., & Delongis, A. M. (1986). Going beyond social support: The role of social relationships in adaptation. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 54, 454-460. Cutrona, C., & Suhr, J. (1994). S ocial support communication in the context of marriage: An analysis of supportive interactions. In B. R. Burleson, T. L. of social support: Messages, interAlbrecht, & I. G. Sarason (Eds.), Communication actions, relationships, and community (pp. 113-l 35). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Dailey, D. M. (1979). Adjustment of heterosexual and homosexual couples in pairing relationships: An exploratory study. Journal of Sex Research, 15, 143-l 57. Dainton, M., & Stafford, L. (1993). Routine maintenance behaviors: A comparison of relationship type, partner similarity, and sex differences. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 255-272.

Dindia, K., & Baxter, L. A. (1987). Strategies for maintaining and repairing marital relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 4, 143-158. Duffy, S. M., & Rusbult, C. E. (1985/l 986). Satisfaction and commitment in homosexual and heterosexual relationships. Journal of Homosexuality, 12, l-23. Fisher, H. (1987). The four year itch. Natural History, 10, 22-29. Fitzpatrick, M., Jandt, F. E., Myrick, F. L., & Edgar, T (1994). Gay and lesbian couple relationships. In R. J. Ringer (Ed.), Q ueer words, queer images: Communication and the construction of homosexuality (pp. 265-277). New York: NYU Press. Gilmartin, B. D. (1972). S ome social and personal characteristics of mate-sharing swingers. In J. Smith & L. Smith (Eds.), Co-marital sex: Recent studies of sexual alternatives in marriage (pp. 21-30). Boston: Little, Brown, & Co. Glass, S. P, & Wright, T. L. (1985). S ex d i ff erences in extramarital involvement and marital satisfaction. Sex Roles, 12, 1101-l 119. Goffman, E. (1963). Stigma Notes on the management of spoiled identity. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

228 -e-

HAAS

Green, R., Bettinger, M., & Zachs, E. (1996). Ar e 1esb ian couples fused and gay male couples disengaged? In J. Laird & R. Green (Eds.), Lesbians and gays in couples and famiZies (pp. 185-230). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass. maintenance in gay male couples coping with Haas, S. M. (1999a). Relationship HIV/AIDS. Ann Arbor, MI: UMI Dissertation Services, Bell & Howell Co. Haas, S. M. (1999b, November). A theory of communicative normalization in the relationship maintenance of couples coping with chronic illness: The case of male couples with HIV Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association; Chicago. maintenance in gay male couples Haas, S. M. (2002). S ocial support as relationship coping with HIV Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, I9( l), 87-111. Haas, S. M., & Stafford, L. (1998). An initial examination of maintenance behaviors in gay and lesbian relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 846-855. Haas, S. M., & Stafford, L. (1997, November). Relationship maintenance behaviors in same-sex and heterosexual couples: An exploratory comparison. Paper was presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association; Chicago, 1997. Harry, J. (1982). D ecision making and age differences among gay male couples. Journal of Homosexuality, 8, 9-2 1. Helgeson, V S., & Taylor, S. E. (1993). Social comparisons and adjustment among cardiac patients. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 23, 117 l-l 195. Homans, G. C. (1950). The human group. New York: Harcourt, Brace, & World. Huston, M., & Schwartz, P (1995). Th e relationships of lesbians and of gay men. In J. T. Wood & S. Duck (Eds.), Under-studied relationships: Off the beaten track (pp. 89-l 2 1). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Jay, K., & Young, A. (1977). The gay report: Lesbians and gay men speak out about sexual experiences and lifestyles. New York: Summit Books. Jones, R. W., & Cecco, J. I? (1982). Th e f emininity and masculinity of partners in heterosexual and homosexual relationships. Journal of Homosexuality, 8, 37-49. Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W B., & Martin, C. E. (1948). Sexual behavior in the human maze. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders. Kinsey, A. C., Pomeroy, W. B., Martin, C. E., & Gebhard, P. H. (1953). Sexual behavior in the human female. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders. Knapp, J. J. (1976). An exploratory study of seventeen sexually open marriages. Journal of Sex Research, 12, 206-2 19. Knapp, J. J., &Whitehurst, R. N. (1977). S exually open marriage and relationships: Issues and prospects. In R. W. Libby & R. N. Whitehurst (Eds.), Marriage and alternatives: Exploring intimate relationships (pp. 147-l 60). Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman. Kurdek, L. (1987). S ex role self schema and psychological adjustment in coupled homosexual and heterosexual men and women. Sex Roles, 17, 549-562. Kurdek, L. (1988). Relationship quality of gay and lesbian cohabitating couples. Journal of Homosexuality, 15, 93-l 18. Kurdek, L. (1989). Relationship quality in gay and lesbian cohabitating couples: A 1 -year follow-up study. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 6, 39-59. Kurdek, L. (1993). The allocation of household labor in gay, lesbian, and heterosexual married couples. Journal of Social Issues, 49, 127-l 39.

10. RELATIONSHIP

MAINTENANCE

IN SAME-SEX COUPLES

*

rZ:T

Kurdek, L. A., & Schmitt, J. I? (1985-l 986). Relationship quality of gay men in closed and open relationships. Journd of Homosexuality, 22, 85-99. Kurdek, L. A., & Schmitt, J. P (1986a). Interaction of sex role self-concept with relationship quality and relationship beliefs in married, heterosexual cohabitating, gay, and lesbian couples. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 365-370. Kurdek, L. A., & Schmitt, J. P (1986b). Relationship quality of partners in heterosexual married, heterosexual cohabitating, gay and lesbian couples. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 7 1 l-720. Laird, J. (1993). W silences. In E. Imber-Black (Ed.), Secrets in families and family therupy (pp. 243-267). New York: Norton. Lee, J. A. (1991). Can we talk? Can we really talk? Communication as a key factor in the maturing homosexual couple. Journal of Homosexuality, I 7, 143-l 68. Lewis, R. A., Kozac, E. B., Milardo, R. M., & Grosnick, W. A. (1981). Commitment in same-sex love relationships. Alternative Lifestyles, 4, 22-42 Lynch, F. R. (1987). Non-ghetto gays: A sociological study of suburban homosexuals. Journal of Homosexuality, 13, 13-42. Lynch, J. M., & Reilly, M. E. (1985-1986). R o 1e relationships: Lesbian perspectives.
JournuZ of Homosexuality, 12, 53-69.

Marecek, J., Finn, S. E., & Cardell, M. (1983). G en d er roles in the relationships of lesbians and gay men. Journal of Homosexuality, 8, 45-50. McCandlish, B. M. (1982). Therapeutic issues with lesbian couples. JournaZ of Homosexuality, 8, 71-78. McWhirter, D. P, & Mattison, A. M. (1982). Psychotherapy for gay male couples. Journal of Homosexuality, 8, 79-9 1. McWhirter, D. P, & Mattison, A. M. (1984). The male couple: How relationships develop. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. Mendola, M. (1980). The Mendolu report:A new look at guy couples. New York: Crown. Ossana, S. M. (2000). Relationship and couples counseling. In R. M. Perez, K. A., with DeBord, & K. J. Bieschke (Eds.), Handbook of counseling and psychotherapy lesbian, gay, and bisexual clients (pp. 275-302). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association Patterson, D. G ., & Schwartz, I? (1994). The social construction of conflict in intimate same-sex couples. In D. D. Cahn (Ed.), Conflict in personal relationships (p. 3-26). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Paulson, C., & Paulson, R. (1972). Swing in wedlock. Society, 9, 28-37. Peplau, L. A. (1982). Research on homosexual couples: An overview. Journal of Homosexuality, 8(2), 3-8.

Peplau, L. A. (1991). L es b ian and gay relationships. In J. C. Gonsiorek &J. D. Weinrich (Eds.), HomosexuaZity: Research implications for public policy (pp. 177-l 96). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Peplau, L. A., & Cochran, S. D. (198 1). Value orientations in the intimate relationships of gay men. Journal of HomosexuaZity, 6(3), l-19. Peplau, L. A., Padesky, C., & Hamilton, M. (1982). Satisfaction in lesbian relationships. JournaZ of Homosexuality, 8, 23-3 1. Pietropinto, A., & Simenauer, J. (1979). H us b an d s and wives: A nationwide survey of marriage. New York: Times Books. Prager, K. J. (1995). The psychology of intimacy. New York: Guilford Press. Ramey, J. R. (1975). Intimate groups and networks: Frequent consequences of sexually 24, 5 15-530. open marriage. The Family Coordinator, Reece, R., & Segrist, A. E. (198 1). Th e association of selected “masculine” sex-role variables with length of relationship in gay male couples. Journal of HomosexuaZity, 7, 33-47.

Reilly, M. E., & Lynch, J. M. (1990). P ower-sharing in lesbian relationships. Journal of 19, I-30. Homosexuazity, Rubin, A. M. (1982). S exually open versus sexually exclusive marriage: A comparison of dyadic adjustment. Alternative Lifestyles, 5, 101-108. Saghir, M. T., &Robins, E. (l973).MaZeandfemalehomosexuuZity:Acomprehensiveinvestigution. Baltimore, MD: Williams & Wilkins. Schmitt, J. P, & Kurdeck, L. A. (1987). P ersonality correlates of positive identity and relationship involvement in gay men. Journal of Homosexuality, 13, 101-l 09. Schullo, S. A., & Alperson, B. L. (1984). Interpersonal phenomenology as a function of sexual orientation, sex, sentiment, and trait categories in long-term dyadic relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 983-1002. Shackelford, T. K., & Buss, D. M. (1997). C ues to infidelity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 23, 1034-1045. Stafford, L., & Canary, D. J. (1991). Maintenance strategies and romantic relationship type, gender, and relational characteristics. Journal of Social and Personal Relutionships, 8, 217-242. Stafford, L., Dainton, M., & Haas, S. M. (2000). Measuring routine and strategic relational maintenance: Scale revision, sex versus gender roles, and the prediction of relational characteristics. Communication Monographs, 67(3), 306-323. Thibaut, J. W., &Kelly, H. H. (1959). e social psychology of groups. New York: Wiley. Thompson, A. I? (1984). Emotional and sexual components of extramarital relations.
Journal of Marriage and the Family, 46, 35-42.

Couples: The hidden segment of the gay world. JournaZ of Homosexuality, 3(4), 331-343. Wagner, G. J., Remien, R. H., & Carballo-Dieguez, A. (1998). “Extramarital” sex: Is there an increased risk for HIV transmission? A study of male couples of mixed HIV status. AlDS Education and Prevention, 1 O(3), 245-256. Watson, M. A. (1981). S exually open marriage: Three perspectives. Alternative Lifestyles, 4, 3-21. Weinberg, M., & Williams, C. (1974). M a 1e h omosexuuls. New York: Oxford University Press.

Tuller, N. R. (1978).

Stanley 0. Gaines, Jr. Brunei University Christopher R. Agnew Purdue University

ost newlywed couples believe that they will remain married for the rest of their lives. Such optimism contrasts sharply with current divorce rates (e.g., approximately one-half of all marriages in the United States end in divorce; Waite, Bachrach, Hindin, Thomson, &Thornton, 2000). The discrepancy between expectation of marital instability and the reality of marital instability is especially pronounced among interethnic couples, who generally are more likely to divorce than are intraethnic couples (e.g., approximately two thirds of interracial marriages in the United States end in divorce; Gaines & Ickes, 1997; Waite et al., 2000). What processes might contribute to the relatively high divorce rate among intercultural couples (who, collectively, represent a subset of interethnic couples; Gaines & Ickes, 1997), as compared with intracultural

232

-c=+

GAINES

AND

AGNEW

couples? Previous research has revealed similarities between interdependence processes (Kelley, 1979; Kelley & Thibaut, 1978; Thibaut & Kelley, 1959) in primarily intraethnic romantic relationships (Gaines, Reis, et al., 1997) and in interethnic romantic relationships (Gaines, Granrose, et al., 1999) as influenced by individual factors. However, previous research has not addressed differences between interdependence processes in intracultural relationships and in intercultural relationships, especially as influenced by relational factors. In the present chapter, a set of conceptual guideposts is proposed for predicting relationship maintenance and stability in intercultural relationships. In particular, we consider the likely impact of various relational factors (i.e., satisfaction level, quality of relationship alternatives, investment size, and perceived prescriptive support) from (e.g., Cox, Wexler, Rusbult, & Gaines, 1997; Rusbult, 1980; Rusbult, Drigotas, & Verette, 1994; Rusbult, Martz, &Agnew, 1998) investment model on indirelational maintenance behaviors (i.e., decision to remain, responses to accommodative dilemmas, derogation of alternatives, willingness to sacrifice, perceived superiority) in intercultural marriages, as mediated by commitment level. As a prelude to our conceptual journey, we briefly review the literature on intercultural relationships.

INT~KCULTUKAL RIZLATIONSHIPS: Dll=i=lCULT TO ESTABLISH, DIl=J=lCULT TO MAINTAIN
An interethnic marriage (sometimes termed intermarriage; Gordon, 1964) is any marriage in which the husband and wife belong to two respective groups, apart from gender, that the society in which they live regards as different. One type of interethnic marriage is an interracial marriage, whereby the husband and wife belong to two respective groups that the society in which they live regards as biologically different. Another type of interethnic marriage is an intercultural marriage, whereby the husband and wife belong to two respective groups that the society in which they live regards as linguistically, religiously, or historically different. As Baptiste (1984) pointed out, ‘(Although some interracial marriages are also intercultural, all intercultural marriages are not interracial. [Nevertheless], most interracial marriages are, to some degree, also intercultural, e.g., an Asian-American married to [a European-] American” (p. 3 74). Intercultural married couples (especially those who are also interracial), along with any resulting offspring, tend to be ostracized by a variety of relationship outsiders (e.g., strangers, friends, relatives; Baptiste, 1984, 1990). Given that intercultural couples often face intense scrutiny and disapproval from relationship outsiders, it is not surprising that intercultural marriages are at greater risk for divorce than are intracultural marriages.

11. INTERCULTURAL

COUPLES

e

233

Some professional and lay observers have interpreted the relatively high divorce rate among intercultural couples as evidence of underlying individual and relational pathology. However, neither the establishment nor the dissolution of intercultural marriages can be regarded as reliable indicators of individual or relational pathology (Crohn, 1995; Ho, 1990). Although intercultural marriages can be difficult to maintain, there can also be difficult to establish in the first place. One of the best predictors of mutual liking and relationship formation is proximity or propinquity (Berscheid, 1985), defined as geographic closeness. Within the United States, members of a particular cultural group generally have few (if any) opportunities to meet individuals from other cultural groups (Gaines, Chalfin, Kim, & Taing, 1998), largely because culturally different groups tend to live in physically separated communities. Of course, many women and men successfully establish and maintain stable intercultural marriages. However, successful intercultural marriages rarely receive the same attention, whether from the mass media or from the social science literature, that successful intracultural marriages receive (Gaines & Liu, 2000). Aside from ethnographies (e.g., Gordon, 1964; Porterfield, 1978; Rosenblatt, Karis, & Powell, 1995) and case studies (e.g., Baptiste, 1984; Crohn, 1995; Ho, 1990), few empirical studies have yielded substantive insight into the relationship maintenance processes that promote marital stability among intercultural couples. Moreover, much of the research on intercultural marriages has been atheoretical, thus limiting opportunities for a priori hypothesis testing (Gaines & Liu, 2000). INTlZKDIEPIENDlENClE

Ol= COMMITMENT

TI-EORY AND PREDICTORS AMONG INTlXCULTUKAL COUPLES

Interdependence theory (Kelley & Thibaut, 1978; Rusbult, Arriaga, & Agnew, 200 1; Thibaut & Kelley, 195 9) p rovides a broad conceptual framework for understanding important relationship processes. One strength of the theory is its flexibility, allowing it to be used to understand all types of pairings, including intracultural and intercultural relationships. At its root is the paramount role of interaction and recognition that an outcomes can be influenced or determined by sources beyond the individual, including a relationship partner. One particularly important psychological construct that influences social interaction is commitment, often defined as a long-term orientation t?ward a relationship and partner, including feelings of psychological attachment and intentions to persist through both good and bad times (Cox et al., 1997; see also Agnew, Van Lange, Rusbult, & Langston, 1998; Arriaga & Agnew, 2001; Rusbult & Buunk, 1993). In general, commitment is a positive predictor of relationship-promoting responses, and a negative

234

-e-

GAINES

AND

AGNEW

predictor of relationship-threatening responses, following anger or criticism (Rusbult, Verette, Whitney, Slovik, & Lipkus, 1991). Commitment plays a pivotal role in investment model (1980; Rusbult et al., 1994; Rusbult et al., 1998), which was derived from interdependence theory (Kelley & Thibaut, 1978; Thibaut & Kelley, 1959). According to the investment model, select social-psychological variables influence commitment toward their romantic partners and commitment mediates the impact of those social-psychological variables on indidecisions to remain in their current romantic relationships and to engage in accommodation toward their relationship partners. A recent meta-analysis of published and unpublished studies that test aspects of the investment model provides strong overall support for the model (Le & Agnew, in press). In this section, a recent formulation of investment model (Cox et al., 1997) is applied to the study of relationship maintenance in intercultural relationships. Specifically considered is the influence of four social-psychological variables on relationship commitment: (1) satisfaction, (2) alternatives, (3) investment, and (4) support.

Impact of Satisfaction

Level on Commitment

To the extent that an individual receives positive (vs. negative) outcomes from an interaction with a partner, the individual will be satisfied with the relationship with that partner. Interdependence theory holds that a peroutcomes are a function of the rewards and the costs that result from To determine if outcomes are satisfactory, one compares the outcomes that have been obtained with those obtained in past interactions in a similar domain. For example, if a person has generally experienced a number of rewards in past romantic relationships (e.g., thoughtful, supportive partners) then new partners will be judged against this existing high standard. In interdependence terminology, this is referred to as comparison Ze!eveZ CL): people compare their currently obtained outcomes (or to their CL to determine whether or not they are satisfied with the level of outcomes that they are currently receiving.

‘The concepts of rewards and costs are central to reinforcement-based theories in general (Berscheid, 1985). Another reinforcement-based theory that is relevant to the study of intercultural relationship processes is resource exchange theory (Foa & Foa, 1974), which postulates that much of human social behavior involves the give-and-take of commodities or resources. From the perspective of resource exchange theory, individuals are likely to regard interactions with relationship partners as rewarding to the extent that individuals receive affection (i.e., love, or emotional acceptance of another person) and respect (i.e., status, or social acceptance of another person) from their partners. Later in this chapter, discussed are the results of a study by Gaines, Rios, et al. (1999), w h o examined patterns of interpersonal resource exchange among interethnic and interracial couples.

11.

INTERCULTURAL

COUPLES

++i-

233

If the outcomes that one is currently receiving in a relationship are seen as exceeding CL, then the person will be relatively satisfied with the current relationship. If, on the other hand, the outcomes are seen as being below CL, then the person will be dissatisfied with the relationship. Thus, interdependence theory measures satisfaction level as the difference between currently obtained outcomes and preexisting CL. Drawing on these interdependence theoretic notions, (1980) investment model holds that, to the extent that a person is satisfied with a given relationship (i.e., to the extent that obtained outcomes exceed CL), the person will be committed to that relationship (and partner). This is not to suggest that satisfaction alone leads to commitment. Rather, satisfaction is one positive predictor of commitment. We do not know of any direct evidence that individuals who marry interculturally are less (or more) satisfied with their relationships than are individuals who marry intraculturally. The only indirect evidence of which we are aware is that intercultural marriages generally are less stable than are intracultural marriages (Gaines & Liu, 2000). However, a lower level of relationship satisfaction is but one possible explanation for the high rates of intercultural divorce. Impact of Quality

of Akernatives

on Commitment

Interdependence theory also holds that the presence of possible alternatives to current relationship influences commitment to the current relationship. Specifically, the theory holds that one considers the outcomes that one believes might be obtained from the next best alternative to current relationship, referred to as the comparison level for alternatives (or CL-alt). Alternatives may include specific other people as well as spending time with friends or spending time alone. Having compelling alternatives serves to decrease the amount of dependence on the current relationship. Thus, interdependence theory measures relationship dependence as the difference between currently obtained outcomes and CL-alt. Drawing on these interdependence concepts, (1980) investment model holds that, to the extent that a person does not perceive desirable or compelling alternatives to a current relationship (i.e., to the extent that obtained outcomes exceed CL-alt), the person will be committed to their existing relationship. Individuals who date and marry interculturally tend to perceive themselves as having selected from a wider array of potential partners than do individuals who date and marry intraculturally. Specifically, women and men who date and marry interculturally generally view their pools of potential partners as including persons of the opposite sex outside as well as within their cultural ingroups (Crohn, 1995; Gurung & Duong, 1999; Ho,

236 -es

GAINES AND AGNEW

1990; Shibazaki & Brennan, 1998; Tucker & Mitchell-Kernan, 1995). In contrast, women and men who date and marry intraculturally generally view their pools of potential partners as limited to persons of the opposite sex within their cultural ingroups. To the extent that individuals in intercultural marriages perceive themselves as having a wider variety of potential alternative partners than do individuals in intracultural marriages, we would expect the number of attractive relationship alternatives to be greater-and, hence, to be more likely to undermine commitment-within intercultural marriages than within intracultural marriages. However, we are unaware of any direct evidence that bears on this prediction. Even if results of empirical studies ultimately lend support to our prediction concerning greater perceived quality of alternative partners in intercultural as opposed to intracultural relationships, such results would not stand as proof that individuals in intercultural relationships are likely to make fewer efforts to maintain their relationships than are individuals in intracultural relationships. The sections following on investments and prescriptive support as predictors of commitment further discuss the issue of intercultural partefforts in maintaining their relationships in the face of societal pressures favoring relationship dissolution. Note that, in theory, one can be in an unsatisfying relationship yet remain committed to the relationship, due to a lack of perceived alternatives to the unsatisfying relationship. For example, Rusbult and Martz (1995) found that physically abused women were more likely to stay with their husbands when they perceived few or no alternatives to their situation than when they did perceive possible alternatives. Similarly, Johnson (1995) found that unhappy women often remained in relationships, not because of personal commitment, but rather because of structural commitment (e.g., lack of finances, presence of children in the home). An implicit assumption guiding our prediction concerning alternatives and commitment in intercultural relationships is that the presence of alternatives will serve to undermine commitment in the absence of actual, feared, or threatened abuse by one partner toward the other partner. In an abusive relationship (whether intercultural or intracultural), the link between alternatives and commitment is likely to be diminished. Impact

of

Investment

Size on Commitment

Although satisfaction with and alternatives to a current relationship are seen as important determinants of commitment to a relationship, Rusbult (1980) add e d an additional predictive element, which led to the naming of her investment model. Specifically, Rusbult held that the investments that people make in their relationships contribute to feelings of

11. INTERCULTURAL

COUPLES

3L

237

commitment. Investments can be intrinsic to the relationship itself (e.g., amount of time spent with the partner, shared feelings) or extrinsic to it (e.g., joint possessions, home ownership). Essentially, the more investments that a person has made in a given relationship, the more that person will be committed to that relationship due to the sunken costs that have been incurred over time. By ending the relationship, these investments would be lost or mired (e.g., house will be sold, shared memories will become tarnished). Individuals who are married interculturally tend to have fewer investments in their relationships than do individuals who are married intraculturally. In particular, women and men who are married interculturally tend to have fewer children together than do women and men who are married intraculturally (Gaines & Ickes, 1997). Also, individuals who are married interculturally generally have spent less time in their courtship phase of their relationships than have individuals who are married intraculturally, partly because they are more likely to be in their second marriages than are individuals who are married intraculturally (Gaines & Liu, 2000). To the extent that individuals in intercultural marriages tend to be less invested in their relationships than are individuals in intracultural marriages, we would expect investments (or, rather, the lack of investments) to be more likely to undermine commitment in intercultural marriages than in intracultural marriages. However, we have not seen any direct evidence that addresses this prediction. At first glance, one might argue that our prediction is counterintuitive, given the relatively high level of energy that individuals in intercultural relationships often must spend in order to maintain their relationships. In fact, if one views effort as part and parcel of overall investments (e.g., Wieselquist, Rusbult, Foster, & Agnew, 1999), then it seems reasonable to expect that intercultural effort in itself will help compensate for lack of investments in other respects, such as intercultural tendency to produce fewer offspring than do intracultural couples. Even if empirical results eventually lend support to our prediction concerning the relatively fewer overall investments of individuals in intercultural versus intracultural relationships, it does not necessarily follow that intercultural partners will make fewer efforts to maintain their relationships than will intracultural partners. Impact

of

Prescriptive

Support

on Commitment

Dyadic relationships do not exist in isolation from the social world or apart from a existing social network. Although one may fall deeply in love with someone, it does not necessarily follow that family and friends similarly will experience loving-or even liking-toward that per-

“58

-t+=

GAINES

AND

AGNEW

son. It is reasonable to assume that the perceptions of others can have an impact on own feelings of commitment toward a partner (Agnew, Loving & Drigotas, 2001). The extent to which one feels supported in a romantic relationship by their social network, along with the influence of perceived support on commitment, has become the focus of investigation in recent years. Cox, Wexler, Rusbult, and Gaines (1997) made the distinction between two types of support for a relationship: personal prescriptive support, based on a relationship belief that he or she ought to persist in a relationship; and social prescriptive support, based on a relationship belief that friends and family members favor relationship continuation. Cox and her colleagues found that both personal and social aspects of prescriptive support were significant and positive predictors of commitment to their romantic relationships. However, only social prescription was found to account for unique variance in commitment beyond that accounted for by satisfaction, alternatives, and investments; personal prescription did not account for unique variance in commitment. A recent study by Etcheverry and Agnew (200 1) lends further credence to the idea that perceptions of social network support contribute to feelings of commitment toward relationship partner. These researchers assessed the degree to which subjective norms influence relationship commitment. Adapted from the attitudes literature (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980), subjective norms represent the influence of social referents on a intentions to engage in a behavior. Subjective norms are operationalized as perceived normative beliefs of specific social referents weighted by a permotivation to comply with each referent. As commitment has been defined as including the intention to persist (Arriaga & Agnew, 2001), Etcheverry and Agnew (2001) examined the influence of the investment model variables along with subjective norms in predicting commitment to a dating partner. Simultaneous multiple regression analyses indicated that subjective norms, satisfaction, alternatives, and investments all significantly predict commitment. Consistent with the study by Cox and colleagues (Cox et al., 1997), subjective norms were found to significantly increase the amount of variance in commitment accounted for by the three investment model variables. The study of relationship maintenance in intercultural marriages might yield different results for personal versus social components of prescriptive support. On the one hand, we are unaware of any direct evidence that personal prescriptive support varies as a function of the intercultural versus intracultural nature of marriage. On the other hand, the distinct lack of support from interculturally married respective families of origin suggests that social prescriptive support tends to be lower for interculturally married individuals than for intraculturally married individuals (see Porterfield, 1978; Rosenblatt et al., 1995).

11.

INTERCULTURAL

COUPLES

=e

239

To the extent that social prescriptive support is lower for individuals in intercultural marriages than for individuals in intracultural marriages, we would expect the lack of such support to be more likely to undermine indicommitment in intercultural marriages than in intracultural marriages. In contrast, we would not expect such a prediction to hold true for personal prescriptive support. On the contrary, intercultural daily efforts at maintaining their relationships in spite of enormous opposition from strangers and acquaintances (and, perhaps, from friends and family; Porterfield, 1978; Rosenblatt et al., 1995) may make personal prescriptive support a stronger positive predictor of commitment among intercultural partners than among intracultural partners. Nevertheless, to our knowledge, no study has yet examined personal, social, or generic prescriptive support as a predictor of commitment in intercultural versus intracultural marriages.

COMMITMENT AS A MEDIATOR OI= RlZLATIONSHIP MAINTlENANCE BEHAVIORS
The investment model not only details a number of theoretically important antecedents of relationship commitment but also describes how commitment leads to a number of important relationship maintenance behaviors (for reviews, see Rusbult & Buunk, 1993; Rusbult et al., 1994). Indeed, as can be seen in Fig. 11.1, commitment mediates the influence of satisfaction level, quality of alternatives, investment size, and prescriptive support on relationship maintenance behaviors. Note that according to Rusbult and her colleagues, commitment is distinct from relationship stability. However, in Thibaut and Kelley ‘s (1959) original formulation of interdependence theory, commitment and stability essentially are treated as one and the same (i.e., CL-alt is associated with stability). Similarly, in Lewis and (1979) f amily systems approach, commitment and stability are treated as interchangeable constructs. The distinction between commitment and stability is influenced heavily by perspective, which-like any other reinforcement-based perspective-is not immune to critique (see Duck, 1994). One additional point to keep in mind concerning our conceptualization of commitment is that, even if one accepts our premise that commitment is conceptually and empirically distinct from relationship stability, one might disagree with this conceptualization of commitment. Johnson (1991a, 199Ib) h as argued that commitment ideally should be conceptualized and measured as a multidimensional construct. Although debates over the conceptualization of commitment as unidimensional versus multidimensional are beyond the scope of the present chapter (for a review, see Arriaga & Agnew, 2001; Surra, Hughes, & Jacquet, 1999),

24-O

-c=+

GAINES

AND

AGNEW

i Satisfaction
Level + ‘;11/“1 Accorkodate Derogation of Alternatives 1

,::__\

r
Impact 06 Commitment on Decision to Remain

Willingness To Sacrifice

Perceived Superiority

FIG. 11.1. Theorized antecedents and consequences of relationship commitment.

likelihood of persistence in intercultural relationships is facilitated by high satisfaction, low alternatives, high investments, and high social (if not personal) prescriptive support, regardless of whether one regards commitment as unidimensional or multidimensional (see Cox et al., 1997; Rusbult & Buunk, 1993).

Theoretically, commitment is positioned as a mediator of the impact of all distal investment model variables on decision to remain in, rather than leave, their intercultural relationships (Drigotas & Rusbult, 1992; see Fig. 11.1). Perhaps the most important conceptual link of all (i.e., the presumed link between commitment and the decision to remain rather than leave a relationship) might be undermined by the lack of direct evidence of which we are aware that individuals who marry interculturally are less committed than are individuals who marry intraculturally, despite

11.

INTERCULTURAL

COUPLES

++

241

the differing divorce rates. However, just as it would be inappropriate to cite high intermarriage divorce rates as evidence of lack of satisfaction with their relationships, so too would it be inappropriate to cite these high rates as evidence of lack of commitment toward their relationships. Even among relationships that presumably are intraracial in composition (i.e., relationships among members of fraternities and sororities at a large Southern university; Drigotas & Rusbult, 1992), the role of commitment as a mediator is not entirely consistent across studies. In the first of two studies, Drigotas and Rusbult found that commitment completely mediated the impact of the related construct of dependence on individudecision to remain. However, in a follow-up study, Drigotas and Rusbult found that commitment was only a partial mediator of the impact of dependence on decision to remain. In fairness to Drigotas and Rusbult, it is possible that multicollinearity between dependence and commitment made commitment appears to be less stable as a mediator across the two studies than actually was the case (see Pedhazur, 1982; Stevens, 1992). However, the mediational status of commitment is certainly open to debate.

ImpactoFCommitmenton toAccommodativeDiIemma.s

Responses

Just as commitment may tend to mediate the impact of satisfaction, alternatives, investments, and support on stay-leave decisions, so too might commitment mediate the impact of investment model variables on other social-psychological outcomes, even in relationships in which partners have agreed to stay. One of the most theoretically compelling outcomes, derived from interdependence theory, is accommodation, defined as indirefraining from responding to anger or criticism by expressing anger or criticism toward their partners (thus threatening long-term relationship stability), and instead behaving in ways that defuse conflict (thus promoting relationship stability; Rusbult et al., 1991). Accommodation is operationalized in terms of four key dimensions: (1) exit (i.e., an active, relationship-threatening response to the anger or criticism, such as declaring that one never wants to see the partner again); (2) voice (i.e., an active, relationship-promoting response to the anger or criticism, such as asking the partner to sit down and talk about whatever is bothering him or her); (3) ZoyaZty (i.e., a passive, relationship-promoting response to anger or criticism, such as remaining completely quiet); and (4) neglect (i.e., a passive, relationship-threatening response to partners, anger or criticism, such as sulking; Rusbult, Zembrodt, & Gunn, 1982). According to Rusbult and her colleagues, high

242

++=

GAINES

AND

AGNEW

levels of voice and loyalty responses, coupled with low levels of exit and neglect responses, together constitute accommodation. Rusbult and Arriaga (1997) argued that exit, voice, loyalty, and neglect may be viewed more precisely as responses to accommodative dilemmas, or situations in which an individual is faced with the daunting task of putting the welfare of the relationship ahead of own welfare precisely when a behavior (i.e., directing seemingly unprovoked verbal assaults toward the individual) is at its most self-centered. In two studies, Wieselquist and colleagues (Wieselquist, Rusbult, Foster, &Agnew, 1999) f ound that, consistent with predictions, commitment was a positive predictor of accommodation and related prorelationship mechanisms (e.g., willingness to sacrifice; see also Van Lange et al., 1997). However, the studies by Wieselquist and colleagues (1999) were based on samples of individuals who, for the most part, were in intracultural relationships. Whether any research in which commitment has been examined as a predictor of accommodation (or, for that matter, other pro-relationship behaviors) specifically in intercultural relationships is unknown. Thus, the prediction that commitment will mediate the impact of investment model variables on accommodation in intercultural relationships has yet to receive empirical confirmation. It has already been noted that, even in primarily intracultural relationships, the consistency of commitment as a complete mediator of the impact of dependence on decision to remain is uncertain (Drigotas & Rusbult, 1992). A similar finding arose in a set of studies by Rusbult et al. (199 1) concerning commitment as a mediator of the impact of satisfaction, alternatives, and investments on responses to accommodative dilemmas. As mentioned earlier with regard to commitment and dependence, it is possible that multicollinearity among commitment, satisfaction, alternatives, and investments obscured the true value of commitment as a direct mediator (see Pedhazur, 1982; Stevens, 1992). The problem of multicollinearity may be due in part to similarity in item content among (1980) early measures of satisfaction, alternatives, investments, and commitment (Surra & Hughes, 1997). Fortunately, recent efforts to generate investment model measures with demonstrated discriminant validity have proven successful (Rusbult, Martz, & Agnew, 1998). Impact of Commitment on Derogation of Akernatives

In recent years, Rusbult and her colleagues (Johnson & Rusbult, 1989) have distinguished between perceptions of alternatives (discussed earlier in this chapter) and derogation of alternutives, the latter of which refers to individuactive efforts at devaluing, as opposed to simply recognizing, potential alternative. Within conceptual framework, perception of alternatives is positioned as an antecedent of commitment, whereas derogation of alterna-

11.

INTERCULTURAL

COUPLES

-+

243

tives is positioned as a consequence of commitment (for reviews, see Rusbult & Buunk, 1993; Rusbult et al., 1994). Following Rusbult and her colleagues, within intercultural relationships, commitment is likely to be a positive predictor of derogation of alternatives. However, given that individuals in intercultural relationships often are criticized by members of their own cultural groups specifically for betraying opposite-sex cultural ingroup members as attractive alternatives, individuals in intercultural relationships may find it difficult to derogate alternatives within their own cultural groups without experiencing a great deal of cognitive dissonance (Festinger, 195 7). F or example, an African-American male who prides himself on his “color-blindness” in dating a Euro-American woman may realize the hypocrisy in such a self-congratulatory belief if and when he invokes racist stereotypes of African-American women (e.g., as domineering and unfeminine) in an attempt to avoid considering any African-American women as alternatives, no matter how attractive many African-American women may be to him (Porterfield, 1978; Rosenblatt et al., 1995). In any event, we do not know of previous research that has tested our prediction concerning commitment and derogation of alternatives among individuals in intercultural relationships. One reassuring result across three studies by Johnson and Rusbult (1989) is that, among individuals who presumably were in primarily intracultural relationships, commitment (which is a direct predictor of derogation of alternatives) consistently was a stronger predictor of derogation of alternatives than was satisfaction (which we have cast as an indirect predictor of derogation of alternatives). A cursory reading of Johnson and Rusbult might lead one to conclude that this consistent result was due to the type of analysis that they used (i.e., simultaneous regression analyses; cf. Cramer, 1972). Unfortunately, the type of analysis they used does not control statistically for multicollinearity (e.g., simultaneous regression analyses are often used in an effort to interpret the results of polynomial regression analyses; see Pedhazur, 1982). Moreover, the same type of analysis was used by Rusbult and her colleagues (e.g., Drigotas & Rusbult, 1992; Rusbult et al., 199 1) in studies that were cited earlier, in which commitment was found to be a partial mediator. Johnson and Rusbult (1989) stopped short of concluding that commitment mediated the impact of satisfaction on derogation of alternatives. Although we do not doubt the utility of commitment as a mediator of the impact of investment model variables on derogation of alternatives, such a mediating effect has not been demonstrated unequivocally. Imf3act

of

Commitment

on Willingness

to Sacrifice

Still another consequence of commitment within conceptual framework is willingness to sacrifice, or choice of the long-term welfare of their relationships over otherwise desirable outcomes that would have been in their own, but not their self-interest (Van Lange et al.,

244

-I+=

GAINES

AND

AGNEW

1997). Initially, the concept of willingness to sacrifice might sound similar to the aforementioned concept of accommodation. However, as Rusbult and Buunk (1993) ob served, accommodation involves overt acceptance of some personal cost (e.g., swallowing pride, in order to avoid escalating interpersonal conflict that already has been instigated by partner) over the short term. In contrast, willingness to sacrifice involves inovert rejection of some personal benefit (e.g., turning down a job offer that would have earned a substantial raise in pay but that would have required moving away from spouse, in order to start planning for a family). According to Rusbult and colleagues (Van Lange et al., 1997), commitment will be a positive predictor of willingness to sacrifice; we would make a similar prediction within the particular context of intercultural relationships. However, we do not know of any studies of intercultural relationships that have tested such a prediction. In a meta-analysis of results from six studies, Van Lange and colleagues (1997) concluded that commitment wholly mediated the impact of investment model variables on willingness to sacrifice. Such encouraging results are tempered by the fact that, as was true of the other studies by Rusbult and colleagues that were cited earlier concerning commitment and its consequences, Van Lange and colleagues (1997) relied on simultaneous regressions, which do not control for multicollinearity among predictors. We do not doubt the utility of commitment as a mediator of the impact of investment model variables on willingness to sacrifice, nor do we have any reason to expect individuals in intercultural relationships to be less willing to sacrifice than are their counterparts in intracultural relationships. However, we simply point to the need for research on intercultural relationships that more directly tests this mediational hypothesis.

lmpactokommitmenton

Perceivedsuperiority

model of antecedents and consequences of commitment posits that commitment also mediates the impact of investment model variables on perceived relationship superiority, or view of their relationship as having a larger number of positive qualities and a smaller number of negative qualities than do relationships (Van Lange & Rusbult, 1995). A ccording to model, commitment is a positive predictor of perceived relationship superiority. We concur with Rusbult and would make similar predictions concerning individuals in intercultural relationships. Unlike the other explored consequences of commitment, Rusbult and her colleagues have not published any research that directly tests the prediction set forth in the preceding paragraph. For instance, Van Lange and Rusbult (1995) did not refer to commitment or any of the investment model variables as predictors of in-

11.

INTERCULTURAL

COUPLES

=++

245

perceived relationship superiority. Therefore, no research is known-whether on individuals in intercultural or intracultural relationships-that would support the prediction concerning investment model variables, commitment, and perceived relationship superiority. This is not to cast doubt upon the conceptual viability of this hypothesis. Rather, among all of the predictions included in framework (Fig. 11. l), this one has received the least empirical examination.

PIXRSONALITY

VARIABLE5 A5 DIRlECT PRIZDICTORS Ol= ACCOMMODAT-ION

As Fig. 11.1 indicates, conceptualization of the antecedents and consequences of commitment has tended to favor social-psychological, rather than personality, predictors. However, Rusbult and her colleagues acknowledged that certain stable individual-difference variables (which Rusbult termed “dispositions”; e.g., Rusbult & Buunk, 1993, p. 183) may influence accommodation in personal relationships. Furthermore, much of own research (e.g., Gaines, Reis, et al., 1997; Rusbult et al., 1987; Rusbult et al., 1991; Rusbult, Zembrodt, & Iwaniszek, 1986) supports the view that personality factors predict significant variance in accommodation. Perhaps the most influential personality theory within the field of personal relationships in general, and within the study of accommodation in particular, has been attachment theory (Bowlby, 1969, 1973, 1980). According to attachment theory, humans and other primates are motivated to form socioemotional bonds with caregivers from infancy onward; such psychological bonds promote the propagation of the species. However, not all individuals are equally successful at meeting their socioemotional needs, such as love and esteem. Although a plurality (and, perhaps, a majority) of individuals are securely attached (i.e., feel comfortable establishing relationships and placing trust in relationship partners), a substantial minority of individuals are insecurely attached (i.e., feel uncomfortable establishing relationship and placing trust in relationship partners, either because they view potential partners as unlikely to meet their socioemotional needs, or because they view themselves as unable to meet their socioemotional needs; Gaines, Reis, et al., 1997). Some relationship scholars have questioned whether attachment style (Bartholomew & Horowitz, 199 1; Hazan & Shaver, 198 7) actually is a personality construct (for a review, see Feeney & Noller, 1996). Indeed, recent results by Gaines et al. (2000) revealed that the impact of attachment style on responses to accommodative dilemmas among young adults cannot be generalized from romantic relationships to friendships or parent-offspring relationships. Nevertheless, at least within the domain of adult romantic

246

-is+

GAINES AND AGNEW

relationships, attachment style clearly functions as a stable, individual-difference influence on accommodative responses. Especially relevant to the present chapter is the fact that, in a study of interethnic (and primarily interracial) romantic relationships, Gaines, Granrose, et al. (1999) found that securely attached individuals were more likely to engage in accommodation, in particular by refraining from reciprocating anger or criticism (i.e., refraining from engaging in exit and neglect responses) than were insecurely attached individuals. Moreover, the study by Gaines, Granrose, et al. (1999) replicated and extended results from previous studies of primarily intraethnic, intraracial romantic relationships by Scharfe and Bartholomew (1995) and by Gaines, Reis, et al. (1997). Attachment style is the only personality variable that has been examined as a predictor of responses to accommodative dilemmas specifically in interethnic (and, presumably, intercultural) relationships. Some theorists might argue that attachment style is an all-encompassing personality construct, thus making it unnecessary for researchers to consider additional personality variables (for a review, see Feeney & Noller, 1996). However, at the present stage of development within the field of personal relationships, no single personality theory-including attachment theory-has achieved the status of a “master theory” (Berscheid & Reis, 1998). In fact, Rothbaum and his associates (Rothbaum, Weisz, Pott, Miyake, & Morelli, 2000) challenged the assumption that the results of studies on attachment style and personal relationship processes can be generalized beyond the borders of Western nations. It is not clear whether other personality variables, such as cultural value orientations (Gaines, Marelich, et al., 1997; Gaines, Rios, et al., 1999), gender-related personality characteristics (Bern, 1974), or self-esteem (Rosenberg, 1965), would have the same impact on responses to accommodative dilemmas in inter! :ultural romantic relationships as has been observed in romantic relationships as a whole. nationality appears to moderate the impact of certain personality constructs on accommodation. For example, within the United States (an English-speaking Western nation), collectivism, romanticism, and positive femininity all promote accommodation; whereas individualism, familism, spiritualism, positive masculinity, and self-esteem all yield inconclusive to null results in primarily intracultural romantic relationships (Gaines, Kim, et al., 2002; Rusbult et al., 1987; Rusbult et al., 1991; Rusbult et al., 1986). Yet, within Jamaica (an English-speaking Caribbean nation), the “me-orientation” of individualism clearly undermines the process of accommodation; whereas the “we-orientations” of romanticism, familism, and spiritualism tend to be unrelated to accommodation in primarily intracultural romantic relationships (however, collectivism is negatively related to exit; Gaines, Kim, et al., 2002). Even with regard to attachment style, at least one set of studies (Wieselquist et al., 1999) h as cast doubt on the assumption that personality variables explain unique variance in accommodation, be-

11. INTERCULTURAL

COUPLES

i7-p

247

yond that explained by commitment in romantic relationships. Part of the problem may lie in the conceptual overlap between commitment and attachment style. For example, the definition of commitment often includes the notion of psychological “attachment” to relationship partner (Arriaga & Agnew, 200 1). As students of multiple regression analysis and structural equation analysis can attest, covariance between predictors (e.g., commitment and attachment style) may lead to results in which the computer algorithm arbitrarily assigns the bulk of explained variance in outcome measures (e.g., exit, voice, loyalty, and neglect) to only one of the predictors (see the earlier discussion in this chapter concerning commitment and dependence as predictors of decision to remain). Ridge regression and other advanced techniques sometimes are required to correct the resulting statistical problems (Pedhazur, 1982; Stevens, 1992). It is possible that part or all of the explained variance in accommodation is shared by commitment and attachment style, rather than attributable solely to commitment or solely to attachment style.

DlRKTlONS

FOR I=UTURtE RESEARCH

One obvious challenge for relationships researchers will be to measure all of the investment model variables among individuals who marry interculturally and individuals who marry intraculturally. If, for example, commitment turns out to be significantly lower among individuals in intercultural marriages than among individuals in intracultural marriages, then the potential of the investment model variables to help delineate the specific factors that contribute to this difference is enormous. Another challenge will be for personal relationship scholars to test the investment model across multiple types of interethnic marriages. For example, although it is difficult to conceive of interracial marriages that are not also intercultural (Baptiste, 1984), one can readily conceive of intercultural marriages that are not also interracial (e.g., a marriage between a Spanish-speaking Black Latin0 born in Havana and an English-speaking Black Latina born in New York City; see Baptiste, 1990). By comparing means and correlations of investment model variables between individuals in “purely” intercultural marriages and individuals in marriages that are interracial as well as intercultural, personal relationship researchers will be able to determine the degree to which the investment model accounts for the greater tendency of interracial marriages to end in divorce, relative to (other) intercultural marriages (see Gaines & Ickes, 1997). Finally, although personal relationship scholars are encouraged to assess the relative importance of social-psychological variables (e.g., investment model variables) as well as personality variables (e.g., cultural value orientations) in predicting relationship outcomes (e.g., response to accommodative dilemmas) in intercultural relationships, scholars are also cautioned

2-H

-f++

GAINES

AND

AGNEW

to think carefully about conceptual and empirical overlap between social-psychological and personality predictors. The concepts of commitment and attachment, previously mentioned, overlap to some extent. Similarly, Wieselquist and colleagues (1999) proposed that commitment may give rise to “a collectivistic, communal orientation, including tendencies to respond to a needs in a rather unconditional manner” (p. 944). Even if one were to set aside potential concerns over terminology (e.g., the tendency to respond to a needs in an unconditional manner actually sounds more akin to romanticism than to collectivism; see Gaines, Rios, et al., 1999), such a proposal may be problematic because it seems to imply that cultural value orientations-which many theorists and researchers in cultural psychology and cross-cultural psychology view as originating within ethnic groups and societies (e.g., 1980; Triandis, 1995)-originate within relationship dyads.2 If one subsequently were to place investment model variables and cultural value orientations into regression models or structural equation models as competing predictors of accommodative responses without controlling statistically for covariance between the two sets of predictors, then one might encounter the same problems with statistical and theoretical interpretation that we have noted. Therefore, hopefully personal relationship scholars will resist the temptation to dismiss either personality or social-psychological variables prematurely as predictors of accommodation, stay-leave behaviors, and other outcomes in intercultural relationships.

CONCLUDING

THOUGHTS

At the outset of this chapter, discrepancy between newlywed positive illusions and the high divorce rates that currently are prevalent in many Western nations was mentioned. In one sense, such positive illusions may be functional, especially in interethnic romantic relationships. For example, among interracial couples, romanticism is a positive predictor of displays of affection and respect toward each other (Gaines, Rios, et al, 1999). However, for many intercultural couples, positive illusions may not be sufficient to survive widespread societal disapproval. investment model, which focuses on factors that con-

‘Some theorists (e.g., Coates, 1999) have proposed that with regard to personal relationship processes, causal relations between individual and ethnic group, or between individual and society, are reciprocal. On the one hand, the individual is born into an ethnic group and into a society; various socializing agents (e.g., parents, teachers) communicate customs and practices to the individual (e.g., the expectation that the individual will marry someone from his or her own cultural group, possibly through arranged marriage). On the other hand, as the individual progresses from infancy and childhood to adolescence and adulthood, he or she may engage in behaviors (e.g., elopement with someone outside own cultural group) that challenges and, possibly, changes the customs and practices of the ethnic group or society.

11. INTERCULTURAL

COUPLES

++

249

tribute to relationship maintenance via commitment processes, is seen as an aid to personal relationship researchers in understanding why marital dissolution is more common among intercultural couples than among intracultural couples. In closing, despite the odds that they face, many intercultural couples successfully maintain stable, satisfying relationships over time. Neither intercultural nor intracultural couples can be viewed accurately as homogeneous. Perhaps those intercultural couples who survive and thrive over time have implicitly taken to heart the same commitment-enhancing factors (e.g., extra effort may be required to offset hostile societal pressures) that have been made explicit in the present chapter. In fact, as is evident from e-mail messages posted on Internet sites devoted to intercultural couples (see Gaines & Ickes, 1997), it is not uncommon for women and men in intercultural relationships to discuss such factors explicitly, between and among couples. Moreover, as is evident from the results of various empirical studies (e.g., Porterfield, 1978; Rosenblatt et al., 1995), some intercultural couples not only surmount difficult relationship survival odds but also produce offspring who are physically and psychologically vibrant. Therefore, hopefully readers will come to appreciate the successes as well as the challenges that intercultural couples encounter on a daily basis in striving to maintain their relationships.

RH=lXiENClZ.S
Agnew, C. R., Loving, T. J., & Drigotas, S. M. (2001). Substituting the forest for the trees: Social networks and the prediction of romantic relationship state and fate. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 1042-l 05 7. Agnew, C. R., Van Lange, I? A. M., Rusbult, C. E., & Langston, C. A. (1998). Cognitive interdependence: Commitment and the mental representation of close relationships. Journul of Personality & Social Psychology, 74, 939-954. Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1980). Understanding attitudes and predicting social behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall. Arriaga, X. B., & Agnew, C. R. (2001). Being committed: Affective, cognitive, and conative components of relationship commitment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 2 7, 1190-l 203. Baptiste, D. A., Jr. (1984). Marital and family therapy with racially/culturally intermarried stepfamilies: Issues and guidelines. Family Relations, 33, 373-380. Baptiste, D. A., Jr. (1990). Therapeutic strategies with Black-Hispanic families: Identity problems of a neglected minority. Journal of Family Psychotherapy, I, 15-38. Bartholomew, K., & Horowitz, L. M. (1991). Attachment styles among young adults: A test of a four-category model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61, 226-244. Bern, S. L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Counseling & Clinical Psychology, 42, 15 5-162. Berscheid, E. (1985). Interpersonal attraction. In G. Lindzey and E. Aronson (Eds.), Handbook of social psychoLogy (vol. 2, 3rd ed., pp. 413-484). New York: Random
Hnrlv

2j0

-e=+

GAINES

AND

AGNEW

Berscheid, E., & Reis, H. T. (1998). Attraction and close relationships. In D. T Gilbert, S. T. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), The handbook ofsocialpsychology (Vol. 2,4th ed., pp. 193-281). Boston: McGraw-Hill. Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and loss (WZ. I : Attachment). New York: Basic Books. Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and loss PZ. 2: Separation). New York: Basic Books. Bowlby, J. (1980). Attachment and Zoss ml. 3: Loss). New York: Basic Books. Coates, D. L. (1999). The cultured and culturing aspects of romantic experience in adolescence. In W. Furman, B. B. Brown, & C. Feiring (Eds.), The development of romantic relationships in adolescence (pp. 330-363). Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. Cox, C. E., Wexler, M. O., Rusbult, C. E., & Gaines, S. O., Jr, (1997). Prescriptive support and commitment processes in close relationships. Social Psychology Quarterly, 60, 79-90. Cramer, E. M. (1972). Significance tests and tests of models in multiple regression. American Statistician, 26, 26-30. Crohn, J. (1995). M ixe d marriages. New York: Fawcett Columbine. Drigotas, S. M., & Rusbult, C. E. (1992). Should I stay or should I go? A dependence model of breakups. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 62, 62-87. Duck, S. W (1994). Meaningful relationships: Talking, sense, and relating. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Etcheverry, I? E., &Agnew, C. R. (2001, February). Perceptions ofsocial network support and commitment to romantic relationships. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Personality and Social Psychology; San Antonio, TX. Feeney, J., & Noller, I? (1996). Adult attachment. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Festinger, L. (1957). A theory of cognitive dissonance. Evanston, IL: Row-Peterson. Foa, U. G., &Foa, E. B. (1974).S ocietalstructures ofthe mind. Springfield, IL: Thomas. Gaines, S. O., Jr., Chalfin, J., Kim, M., & Taing, I? (1998). Communicating prejudice in personal relationships. In M. L. Hecht (Ed.), Communicating prejudice (pp. 163-l 86). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Gaines, S. O., Jr., Granrose, C. S., Rios, D. I., Garcia, B. F., Page, M. S., Farris, K. R., & Bledsoe, K. L. (1999). Patterns of attachment and responses to accommodative dilemmas among interethnic/interracial couples. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 16, 275-285. Gaines, S. O., Jr., & Ickes, W (1997). Perspectives on interracial relationships. In S. Duck (Ed.), Handbook ofp ersonal relationships: Theory, research and interventions (2nd ed., pp. 197-220). Chichester, UK: Wiley. Gaines, S. O., Jr., Kim, M., Gilstrap, S., Yi, J., Rusbult, C. E., Hardin, D., Gaertner, L. A., Ramkissoon, M., & Matthies, B. K. (2002). impact of cultural values on accommodative responses in the United States and-Jamaica. Manuscript submitted for publication. Gaines, S. O., Jr., & Liu, J. H. (2000). Multicultural/multiracial relationships. In C. Hendrick & S. S. Hendrick (Eds.), Close relationships:A sourcebook (pp. 97-108). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Gaines, S. O., Jr., Marelich, W. D., Bledsoe, K. L., Steers, W N., Henderson, M. C., Granrose, C. S., Barajas, L., Hicks, D., Lyde, M., Takahashi, Y., Yum, N., Rios, D. I., Garcia, B. F., Farris, K., & Page, M. S. (1997). Links between race/ethnicity and cultural values as mediated by racial/ethnic identity and moderated by gender. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 72, 1460-I 4 76. Gaines, S. O., Jr., Reis, H. T., Summers, S., Rusbult, C. E., Cox, C. L., Wexler, M. O., Marelich, W D., & Kurland, G. J. (1997). Impact of attachment style on reactions to accommodative dilemmas in close relationships. Personal Relationships, 4, 93-113.

11. INTERCULTURAL

COUPLES

*

251

Gaines, S. O., Jr., Rios, D. I., Granrose, C. S., Bledsoe, K. L., Farris, K. R., Page Youn, M. S., & Garcia, B. F. (1999). R omanticism and interpersonal resource exchange among African American/Anglo and other interracial couples. Journal ofBZu& Psychology, 2.5, 461-489. Gaines, S. O., Jr., Work, C., Johnson, H., Page Youn, M. S., & Lai, K. (2000). Impact of attachment style and self-monitoring on responses to accommodative dilemmas across relationship types. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, I 7,
767-789.

Gordon, A. (1964). Intermarriage. Boston: Beacon Press. M ixing and matching: Assessing the Gurung, R. A. R., & Duong, T. (1999). concomitants of mixed-ethnic relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relutionships, 16, 639-657.

Hazan, C., & Shaver, I? (1987). Romantic love conceptualized as an attachment process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 5 1 l-524. Ho, M. K. (1990). Intermarried couples in therapy. Springfield, IL: Thomas. Hofstede, G. (1980). consequences. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Johnson, D. J., & Rusbult, C. E. (1989). Resisting temptation: Devaluation of alternative partners as a means of maintaining commitment in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 967-980. Johnson, M. P (1991a). Commitment to personal relationships. In W. H. Jones, & D. Perlman (Eds.), Advances in personal relationships (Vol. 3, pp. 117-l 43). London: Jessica Kingsley. Johnson, M. I? (1991 b). Reply to Levinger and Rusbult. In W H. Jones, & D. Perlman (Eds.), Advances in personal relationships (Vol. 3, pp. 17 l-l 76). London: Jessica Kingsley. Johnson, M. P. (1995). Patriarchal terrorism and common couple violence: Two forms of violence against women. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 57, 283-294. Kelley, H. H. (1979). Personal relationships: Their structures and processes. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Kelley, H. H., & Thibaut, J. W. (1978). Interpersonal relations: A theory of interdependence. New York: Wiley. Le, B., & Agnew, C. R. (in press). Commitment and its theorized determinants: A meta-analysis of the Investment Model. Personal Relationships. Lewis, R. A., & Spanier, G. B. (1979). Th eorizing about the quality and stability of marriage. In W H. Burn, R. Hill, F. I. Nye, & I. L. Reiss (Eds.), Contemporary theories about the family (Vol. 1, pp. 268-294). New York: Free Press. Pedhazur, E. J. (1982). MultipZe regression in behavioral research (2nd ed.). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Porterfield, E. (1978). Black and White mixed marriages. Chicago: Nelson-Hall. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Rosenblatt, I!! C., Karis, T. A., & Powell, R. D. (1995). Multiracial couples: Black and White voices. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Rothbaum, F., Weisz, J., Pott, M., Miyake, K., & Morelli, G. (2000). Attachment and culture: Security in the United States and Japan. American Psychologist, 55, 1093-l 104. Rusbult, C. E. [ 1980). C ommitment and satisfaction in romantic associations: A test of SociaZ Psychology, 16, 172-l 86. the investment model. Journal of Experimental Rusbult, C. E. (1991). C ommentary on “Commitment to personal relationships”: What interesting and new? In W. H. Jones & D. Perlman (Eds.), Advances in personal relationships (Vol. 3, pp. 15 l-l 69). London: Jessica Kingsley.

252

+-

GAINES

AND

AGNEW X. B. (1997). Interdependence theory. In S. Duck (Ed.), (2nd ed., pp.

Rusbult,

C. E., & Arriaga,
ofpersonal

Handbook

relationships:

Theory, research and interventions

22 l-250). Chichester, UK: Wiley. Rusbult, C. E., Arriaga, X. B., & Agnew, C. R. (2001). Interdependence in close relationships. In G. J. 0. Fletcher & M. S. Clark (Eds.), Blackwell handbook of social psychology, Vol. 2: lnterpersonalprocesses (pp. 359-387). Oxford, UK: Blackwell. Rusbult, C. E., & Buunk, B. I? (1993). C ommitment processes in close relationships: An interdependence analysis. Special Issue: Relational maintenance. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 175-204. Rusbult, C. E., Drigotas, S. M., & Verette, J. (I 994). The investment model: An interdependence analysis of commitment processes and relationship maintenance phenomena. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (p. 115-139). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Rusbult, C. E., & Martz, J. M. (1995). R emaining in an abusive relationship: An investment model analysis of nonvoluntary dependence. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 558-571. Rusbult, C. E., Martz, J. M., & Agnew, C. R. (1998). The Investment Model Scale: Measuring commitment level, satisfaction level, quality of alternatives, and investment size. Personal Relationships, 5, 357-391. Rusbult, C. E., Morrow, G. D., &Johnson, D. J. (1987). Self-esteem and problem solving behavior in close relationships. British Journal ofSocial Psychology, 26,293-303. Rusbult, C. E., Verette, J., Whitney, G. A., Slovik, L. F., & Lipkus, I. (1991). Accommodation processes in close relationships: Theory and preliminary evidence. Journal of
Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 53-78.

Rusbult, C. E., Zembrodt, I. M., & Iwaniszek, J. (1986). The impact of gender and sex-role orientation on responses to dissatisfaction in close relationships. Sex Roles, 1.5, l-20. Rusbult, C. E., Zembrodt, I. M., & Gunn, L. K. (1982). Exit, voice, loyalty, neglect: ReJournal of Personality and Sosponses to dissatisfaction in romantic involvements. cial Psychology, 43, 1230-l 242. Scharfe, E., & Bartholomew, K. (1995). Accommodation and attachment representations in young couples. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, I2,389-401. Shibazaki, K., & Brennan, K. A. (1998). When birds of different feathers flock together: A preliminary comparison of intra-ethnic and inter-ethnic dating relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, IS, 248-256. Stevens, J. (1992). Applied multivariate statistics for the social sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Surra, C. A., & Hughes, D. K. (1997). Commitment processes in accounts of the development of premarital relationships. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 59,5-2 1. Surra, C. A., Hughes, D. K., & Jacquet, S. E. (1999). The development of commitment to marriage: A phenomenological approach. In J. M. Adams, & W. H. Jones (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal commitment and relationship stability (pp. 125-l 48). New York: Plenum. Thibaut, J. WI, & Kelley, H. H. (1959). The social psychology of groups. New York: Wiley. Triandis, H. C. (1995). Individualism and collectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview. Tucker, M. B., & Mitchell-Kernan, C. (1995). S ocial structural and psychological corre12, lates of interethnic dating. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 341-361. Van Lange, I? A. M., & Rusbult, C. E. (1995). My relationship is better than-and not as bad as-yours is: The perception of superiority in close relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 21, 32-44.

11. INTERCULTURAL

COUPLES

3t,

253

Van Lange, l? A. M., Rusbult, C. E., Drigotas, S. M., Arriaga, X. B., Witcher, B. S., & Cox, C. L. (1997). Willingness to sacrifice in close relationships. JournaZ ofPersonality and Social Psychology, 72, 1373-l 395. Waite, L. J., Bachrach, C., Hindin, M., Thomson, E., & Thornton, A. (Eds.). (2000). The ties that bind: Perspectives on marriage and cohabitation. New York: Aldine de Gruyter. Wieselquist, J., Rusbult, C. E., Foster, C. A., & Agnew, C. R. (1999). Commitment, pro-relationship behavior, and trust in close relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77, 942-966.

This page intentionally left blank

Maintai “ages in Russia: Managing Societal Influences and Communication Dynamics

Deborah S. Ballard-Reisch Marat Zaguidoulline Daniel J.
University of Nevada, Reno

or U.S. couples, the road to domestic bliss is a rough one. Due to a variety of complex political, economic, and social factors, it is even rougher for Russian couples. Although over 90% of Americans (Gottman & Carrere, 1994) and Russians (Boutenko & Razlogov, 1997) will at some time be married, a significant percentage of marriages in both countries will end in divorce. For U.S. couples, the odds of divorce are about 50-50 (Olson & Matskovsky, 1994) with the number of divorces leveling off in recent years (Teachman, 2000). For Russian couples, the divorce rate is increasing. In 1970, approximately 30% of marriages ended in divorce. By 1995, the rate had risen to more than 60% (Russian Statistical Yearbook, 1996). For more than 20 years in both the U.S. (see Adams &Jones, 1999) and Russia (see Vannoy et al., 1999), the dynamic nature of marriages
‘The authors would like to thank Marcia Sarratea and Mary Elton for their assistance at various stages of the preparation of this manuscript.

255

zjo

-i++

BALLARD-REISCH,

ZAGUIDOULLINE,

WEIGEL

and high rates of divorce have led social scientists to study why some marriages succeed while so many others fail. Researchers have contributed significant time and effort trying to understand what factors within and outside marriages impact their success, and how strategies successful couples use to sustain their marriages differ from the strategies of couples who divorce. The purpose of this chapter is to explore the factors that impact the maintenance of marriages in Russia in this time of social, political, and economic uncertainty. To understand marriages in Russia at the beginning of the 21 st century, one must first understand the complex array of both macrolevel and microlevel factors that impinge on family stability. In order to perform this analysis, the “Ecological influences on marital commitment” component of Ballard-Reisch and (1999) “Model of Communication Processes in Marital Commitment” is used as an organizing framework. In addition, the results of research in Russia are compared with research findings on U.S. couples.

A MODEL

OF COMMUNICATION PROCEiSES IN MARITAL COMMITMENT

In general, the Ballard-Reisch and Weigel (1999) model advances that through communication, couples negotiate the roles, power, and climate within their marriages. This dynamic process of negotiation is also impacted by the context or “ecological influences” within which relationships exist. Based on the ecological perspective of Bronfenbrenner (1986), marriages are seen as existing within a “series of expanding spheres of influence” that have the potential to impact the marital relationship (p. 4 17). These spheres of influence can be viewed as concentric circles. In the center circle is the marital couple sphere. This circle is composed of the marital relationship and the internal communication dynamics and patterns through which a couple develops, maintains, and changes their marriage. The next circle out contains the immediate social sphere of the couple and is composed of people and forces such as immediate and extended family and friends who implicitly or explicitly sanction the relationship and have the potential to impact the marriage. The final circle is the societal influences sphere, including values and norms, “socioeconomic, cultural, political, technological, and environmental influences” (p. 4 18) that impact marriages and families. For the purposes of this chapter, the societal influences sphere and the marital couple sphere are examined, as these are the areas that have thus far been researched in Russian culture.

12.

MAINTAINING

MARRIAGES

IN RUSSIA

-a-

257

Societal

influences

Sphere: Russian

Marriages

in Context

At the societal level, the cultural environment, including historical, social, political, and economic factors, has the ability to impact decisions regarding their marriages. Such issues as moral constraints to remain in a marriage and rigid divorce laws (Johnson, 199 l), cultural encouragement to leave unsatisfying marriages, or to stay in unsatisfying marriages for the sake of the children (Vannoy et al., 1999), and political or economic conditions (Ballard-Reisch, Weigel & Zaguidoulline, 1999) are all societal level issues that have the potential to exert pressure on couples that may impact their relationships directly or indirectly. This section explores historical, economic, and demographic factors as they impact the stability of Russian marriages.

Historical Factors
Russian culture has traditionally been grounded in essentialism, the view that there are inherent biologically based differences between women and men that manifest themselves in psychological and behavioral differences (see Vannoy et al., 1999). In the family, fathers were supposed to be authority figures (head of the family) who manifested love for their families not so much emotionally as practically, by protecting the family and providing for their needs (Attwood, 1990). They were to maintain order through encouraging appropriate behavior and punishing inappropriate behavior. The natural “masculine approach” of fathers allowed them to exercise necessary strictness with children, a role contrary to the affectionate and compassionate nature of mothers (heart of the family) (Attwood 1990). A family thus represented a complementary union of female and male roles that were to balance each other in the process of the upbringing of children. In this context, the division of labor in the family was seen as natural. The primary role of bread-winner required utilization of his physical strength and other qualities in order to support the family and his role was coordinated with role in running the household, pleasing her husband, and caring for their children (Rimashevskaya, 1992). Overlaying this fundamental essentialism was a belief in the basic superiority of men over women (see Gal & Khgman, 2000). From the time of the Tsars when the Russian Orthodox Church proclaimed the natural inferiority of females to males and the responsibility of males to make certain that females followed the teachings of the church, until the October Revolution in 19 17, this perspective was the foundation of Russian culture. Shortly after the October Revolution in 19 17, the Bolsheviks declared the full economic, social, and political equality of women and men in Russia and abolished all laws restricting the rights of women. In addition,

228

-es

BALLARD-REISCH,

ZAGUIDOULLINE,

WEIGEL

age-old presumptions of male dominance were to be rooted out and replaced by new principles of Marxist-Leninist ideology (see Lenin, 1966). The conflict between beliefs regarding biological essentialism and patriarchy in contrast to communist notions of equality were further compounded by inconsistency on the part of the government in advancing equality. These contradictions set the stage for enduring confusion regarding the appropriate roles of women and men in Russian marriages. It was goal to liberate women from the bondage of what he called the “bourgeois family,” especially from domestic work that he described as ‘(barbaric, unproductive, petty, enervating, stupefying, and depressing,” by giving women the freedom to work and transforming household maintenance and childrearing into communal responsibilities (Hansson & Liden, 1983; Morvant, 1995). This was to have allowed women to participate actively in the construction and administration of the new society. By the 192Os, however, the plan for the transference of the economic and educational functions of the household to the state had been put aside in order to meet other more pressing needs (Lapidus, 1983). With World War II and its aftermath participation in the workforce became more an economic necessity than an ideological issue for the state due to a sharp decline in male workers. Women, pressured to enter the workplace and to retain full responsibility for their homes and families (Lapidus, 1983), were forced into a “double burden” that they still experience today (Rimashevskaya, 1992; Roudakova & BallardReisch, 2000). Since the 197Os, the Soviet concern about potential unemployment and falling birthrates has led to the revision of its ideological stance on the “woman question.” The new policy manifested itself in public messages that full employment had led to the loss of femininity in women, and that women have a natural need to give birth to children and to care for the household (Attwood, 1990; Sperling, 2000). These statements served as the foundation of the “women go home” ideology perpetuated throughout much of the late Soviet period up to the present (Mamonova, 1994; Sperling, 2000). Pragmatically, however, women cannot escape their “double burden” as their economic participation remains imperative for the survival of their families (Silverman & Yanowitch, 1997). Reflecting on the experience of women under socialism, Gal and Kligman (2000) concluded that there were both benefits and disadvantages. They wrote:
On the one hand, women gained a sense of gratification, moral superiority, and power in the household from their centrality and apparent indispensability. T&y also gained a somewhat different, more autonomous sense of self-worth and self-esteem from participation in the labor force.. . . On the other hand, the con-

12.

MAINTAINING

MARRIAGES

IN RUSSIA

++I-

25:

d&ions of work, the low wages, and the magnitude of demands on them produced a sense of victimization and perennial guilt at their never being able to do enough of anything, especially mothering. (p. 53)

In many ways, Soviet men fared worse than Soviet women. Although there were at least some positives for women who bore this “double burden” in terms of self-esteem and self-worth, men found themselves unable to fulfill their roles as breadwinners due to economic factors that were beyond their control and without alternative roles to play. Salaries average workers received in the 1960s to the 1980s were not enough to provide adequately for the whole family. To meet a modest subsistence level both spouses had to work and earn the average national wage (Matthews, 1986). Struggling to support their families, resilient men held several part-time or temporary jobs in addition to their full-time jobs (e.g., reselling goods, providing private services, manufacturing goods at home), engaged in the illegal production of goods, and took part in small- and large-scale theft from their places of work (Schapiro & Godson, 1984). This mode of operation normally meant a constant absence of the husband and father from daily family life. Such conditions, compounded by constant shortages of goods and housing (see Matthews, 1989; Morton, 1987; Seeger, 1984), left Soviet men no grounds on which to justify their dominant position in the family. In addition, the communist regime usurped “head of household” as a masculine image and produced very few alternative pictures of masculinity linked to roles in the family or household (Gal & Kligman, 2000). Gal and Kligman summarized what has become a popular conception of Soviet men. Although dominant in the work place, Soviet men were “disorganized, needy, dependent, vulnerable, demanding to be taken care of and sheltered, to be humored as they occasionally acted out with aggression, alcoholism, womanizing, or absenteeism” in the home (p. 54). Summary Gal and Kligman (2000) made clear that role conflict for both men and women when combined with lax divorce laws and state support of women and children led to the extreme fragility of marriage ties. In a culture in which women are supposed to manage the home and nurture the family, but must also work full time outside the home in order to supplement the financial support their husbands give the family, women feel overburdened, oppressed, and exhausted. In a culture in which men find identity in their ability to be heads of households, to provide for their families, and yet are unable to do so because of economic conditions that create a need for their spouses to work, men become disconsolate. Neither of these conditions bode well for strong, sustainable marriages and high levels of dissension and divorce are the result. Economic issues following perestroika did nothing to improve the situation.

2a

+i==+ BALLARD-REISCH,

ZAGUIDOULLINE,

WEIGEL

Economic Factors
The period of economic transition that began in 199 1 led to a more severe deterioration of living standards. Attempts by the government to introduce capitalism quickly resulted in skyrocketing consumer and industrial prices, decreasing production, increasing unemployment, and loss of savings. According to the World Bank (1996), from 1989 to 1996, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Russia declined approximately 50%. In comparison, during the Great Depression in the U.S., the GDP fell only about 30% (Connor, 2000). Consumer prices increased a staggering 3,204% from the years 1991 through 1998 (IMF, 2000; United Nations, ZOOOb), whereas monthly wages increased only 1,915% (Robertson, 2000). To further compound this problem, government wages were often not paid on time. By February 1999, the government owed wages to 118,076 enterprises totaling approximately $2,7 15 million U.S. dollars (Robertson, 2000). At the end of 1999, 35% of the population had incomes below the subsistence wage (Robertson, 2000). Unemployment has also been a significant problem ranging from 4.8% of the potential workforce in 1992 to 11.5% in 1998 (Connor, 2000). One important trend has been the disproportionate number of women unemployed. At times, women have made up more than 90% of the unemployed in some cities (Sperling, 2000).

Summary
Overall, although the economic situation during the Soviet period was difficult, the period of economic transition has proven to be even more of a hardship for Russian families. The economic conditions have a crucial impact on the number of Russian marriages, their duration, reproductive activity, and health and life expectancy. These areas are covered in the next section.

Demographic Factors
The Russian family is in crisis. The population is shrinking, life expectancy is shortened, the marriage rate is declining, and the divorce rate continues to be high. Population growth has been negative since 1992. In 1998, the population represented only 98.7% of the 1991 population (Robertson, 2000). Life expectancy at birth has declined from 74.3 years for women and 63.8 years for men in 1990 to 72.9 years for women and 6 1.3 years for men in 1998 (United Nations, 2000a). Likewise, marital stability has decreased. The marriage rate declined from around 8.9% in 1990 (United Nations, 2000a) to 5.8% in 1998 (Robertson, 2000). Age at marriage increased for women from 22.6 years of age

12.

MAINTAINING

MARRIAGES

IN RUSSIA

==a-

&I

in 1990 to 22.7 in 1998 and for men from 24.7 to 25.0 years (United Nations, 2000a). The divorce rate remains high with 59.8% of marriages ending in divorce in 1997 and 59.1% in 1998 (Robertson, 2000). Women in Russia today will have an average of 1.2 children down from 1.9 in 1990 (United Nations, 2000a). On a positive note, children born will have a better chance of survival. The infant mortality rate increased from 1991 to 1993 from 17.8 deaths per 1000 people in 1991 to 19.9 in 1993 and steadily decreased to 16.5 deaths per 1000 people in 1998 (Robertson, 2000). At the same time, the rate of abortions to live births, although on the decline since 1990, still remains very high with 1,971.l abortions per 1,000 live births in 1990 and 1,722.3 abortions per 1,000 live births in 1998. Comparable U.S. statistics indicated 386.9 abortions per 1,000 live births in 1990 and 348.9 per 1,000 in 1996 (United Nations, 2000a). Since Soviet times, abortion has been the major source of birth control in Russia due in part to the unavailability or low quality of alternative methods of contraception (Olson & Matskovsky, 1994). Summary Societal influences impacting Russian families have continuously undergone change and transformation since the October Revolution of 19 17. Economic and political forces have powerfully impacted the private lives of individual couples and the ways they have created and maintained their marriages. Unresolved contradictions between ideology, cultural tradition, and economic practices during Soviet times and since perestroika have given rise to and sustained universal role conflicts that have perpetuated a “double burden” for women and an identity crisis for men. The declining quality of life, health, and reproductivity serve as indicators of the degree of physical and psychological hardship experienced by families in contemporary Russia. As the Ballard-Reisch and Weigel(1999) model of communication processes in marital commitment indicates, the strategies couples use to negotiate roles, power, and their marital climate are clearly impacted by the nature of the societal influences acting upon them. By the same token, the communication patterns they develop and the structures they create within their relationships are as much a result of internal relational dynamics as they are a response to societal influences. In the next section, research concerning the marital couple sphere of the Ballard-Reisch and Weigel (1999) model is examined. The communication patterns couples develop in their relationships and the relationship structures that emerge from and sustain these patterns are explored.

202

++

BALLARD-REISCH,

ZAGUIDOULLINE,

WEIGEL

Marital

couple

sph ere: Constructing Through Communication

Relationships

According to the Ballard-Reisch and Weigel(1999) model, it is through interaction that married couples both structure their relationships, negotiating roles, power, and a marital climate, and develop patterned approaches to maintaining or changing their marriages. These two dynamics mutually influence one another. Communication within a marriage forms, changes, and reinforces the structure of marital relationships while the structure of a marriage impacts communication within that marriage (Ballard-Reisch & Weigel, 1999). Many researchers have argued that the quality of a marriage depends on the interaction between partners (Canary & Stafford, 1992; Dainton & Stafford, 1993). Through interaction couples share their perspectives and form and reinforce their joint reality (Duck, 1994). As Wood (1995) concluded, it is through the large and small conversations that couples “weave their lives together” (p. 6). This section of the chapter focuses on (a) the emerging body of research on family interaction patterns and their impact on marital quality outcomes, specifically research on relationship maintenance behaviors and feminine and masculine communication patterns; and (b) research concerning relationship trajectories including: the approaches to, types of, and developmental stages within Russian families.

Family Interaction Patterns
Russia has a long history of studying interpersonal relationships in families. Although theory and research have been grounded in a variety of primarily psychological theories and sociological investigations, it is important to note that Soviet ideology impacted not only the conclusions drawn from data, but also both the questions asked and the answers offered. A decade after perestroika, a growing number of international investigations comparing Russian and U.S. families in particular are coming to fruition. Both the theoretical foundation in Soviet times and this new emerging body of research will be explored in this section. In the early 198Os, Sysenko (1981, 1983) identified a two pronged approach underlying the study of families in Russia. The first, typically utilizing demographic indicators, focused on the stability of Russian marriages. Studies in this tradition examined falling birth rates, rising divorce rates, decreasing marriage rates, etc. Trends found in these studies were discussed earlier under demographics. The second approach to the study of families in Russia has emphasized the sustainability of marriages. One emerging focus in the literature is communication. Within this focus, researchers have examined internal re-

12.

MAINTAINING

MARRIAGES

IN RUSSIA

-+-

263

lationship dynamics, roles, attitudes, behaviors, etc. In an essay on the family during Soviet times and beyond, Malysheva (1992) summarized primary themes that guided family research in this tradition during the Soviet period. They included marital role breakdown, the structure of power in families, divorce and conflict, motives for marriage and marriage dissolution, family hierarchy and values, and family problems following divorce. In summarizing the research on Soviet families, Boss and Gurko (1994) emphasized that Soviet family specialists often stress the relationship between effective spousal communication and marital quality. In addition, in reference to current family status in Russia they conclude, “In a society characterized by confusion and conflict, clear communication, empathy, and mutual understanding are at a premium” (p. 46).

Marital

Quality Outcomes

In studies with U.S. couples, quality communication is one of the key components of successful marriages (Noller & Fitzpatrick, 1990). Research has consistently shown that constructive, positive communication is associated with marital satisfaction (Holman & Brock, 1986; Noller & Fitzpatrick, 1990) and marital commitment (Rusbult & Buunk, 1993; Sprecher, 1988). Noller and Fitzpatrick (1990) found that satisfied couples can be distinguished from dissatisfied couples on the basis of their use of positive affect, accurate interpretation of one communication behaviors, and positive communication. Additionally, satisfied couples spend more time communicating and use more constructive communication than do less satisfied couples (White, 1983; Zuo, 1992). Similar results have been found in research on Russian couples. Boss and Gurko (1994), f or example, identified the factors most important to relational satisfaction for both wives and husbands as their manifestations of good feelings toward one another, psychological support from spouse, and the ability of spouses to understand one another. On an interesting note, wives in 1984 study (cited in Boss & Gurko, 1994) reported understanding their husbands more than husbands reported understanding their wives. While in fact, wives may understand husbands better than their husbands understand them, it is important to note that it is a traditional prescription in Russian culture that “in every woman there should be an enigma” (B xaqoii xenrrr;nne AoJrma GHT~ saronKa). In other words, husbands are not supposed to be able to understand their wives. Wives are supposed to maintain an element of mystery for their husbands. Research conducted by Gurko in 1989 (unpublished data cited in Boss & Gurko, 1994) reported on a study of 233 married couples in Moscow. She found that for wives, the major factors impacting their overall marital satisfaction were (in rank order): (1) satisfaction with her attitude toward her, (2) satisfaction with sexual relations with her husband,

304

+-

BALLARD-REISCH,

ZAGUIDOULLINE,

WEIGEL

(3) satisfaction with the assistance her parents provide in terms of child care, (4) satisfaction with how her husband spends his free time, (5) satisfaction with housing, and (6) satisfaction with the distribution of household responsibilities (pp. 55 & 73). For husbands, the major factors effecting their martial satisfaction were (in rank order): (1) satisfaction with his attitude toward him, (2) satisfaction with sexual relations with his wife, (3) satisfaction with his job, (4) satisfaction with how he spends his free time, (5) satisfaction with his friends and acquaintances, and (6) satisfaction with the ways decisions are made in the family (Boss & Gurko, 1994, pp. 55 & 73). In interpreting these results, Boss and Gurko (1994) concluded that satisfaction with their emotional and sexual relationships and the manner of communication with their spouses are of primary importance in determining the martial satisfaction of Russian couples. But there are gender differences. Whereas husbands find it important to be satisfied with their jobs and how they spend their free time, wives are more concerned with family values including the upbringing of their children and how their husbands spend free time (staying at home and helping out). In a study of 200 married couples in Moscow, Gozman and Aleshin (1987) found that satisfaction with . marriages was impacted by issues around responsibilities in childrearing, satisfaction with their employment outside the home, and the quality of their social lives. Research on U.S. couples (Dainton, Stafford & Canary, 1994; Stafford & Canary, 1991; Weigel & Ballard-Reisch, 1997) and with Russian couples (Ballard-Reisch, Weigel & Zaguidoulline, 1999) have shown that the behavior of both wives and husbands impact self and partner outcomes like satisfaction and commitment to the marriage. Two specific approaches to research have proven illustrative in both U.S. and Russian marriages, the study of relationship maintenance behaviors and the study of the impact of gender orientation characteristics. Relationship Maintenance Behaviors

A variety of behaviors have been found to play a positive role in preserving ongoing relationships. These behaviors have been termed relationship maintenance behaviors. According to Stafford (1994), relationship maintenance behaviors are those that ensure the continuation of valued relationships through the prevention of their decline, through their enhancement, or through their repair and reestablishment. Among them are strategic behaviors including the use of assurances about the future of the relationship, positivity (communicating in a cheerful, optimistic, and uncritical manner), openness (communicating directly and openly about the relationship) (Canary & Stafford, 1992), conflict management, and advice giving (Stafford, Dainton & Haas, 2000). Additionally, routine behav-

12.

MAINTAINING

MARRIAGES

IN RUSSIA

N

265

iors, including sharing tasks (Dainton & Stafford, 1993), relationships. Some of these riages whereas others remain

and joint activities within social networks h ave been identified as useful in maintaining areas have been studied within Russian marto be studied.

Assurances and Posi tivity. In their study of 32 1 married couples in the Tatarstan region of Russia, Ballard-Reisch, Weigel, and Zaguidoulline (1999) f ound that for both wives and husbands, their own personal use of assurances and positivity were linked to their perceptions of marital quality. This positive self-communication was even more important to satisfaction than the behavior of spouse. Additionally, communication of assurances and positivity were strongly related to satisfaction. Openness. use of openness was negatively associated with their perceptions of marital satisfaction indicating that “while dealing with economic, political, and social turmoil outside the marriage, husbands need positive communication in general, but they do not necessarily wish to communicate openly about the marital relationship” (Ballard-Reisch et al., 1999, p. 694). Conflict Management. In a study assessing conflict management in Russian couples living in Moscow, Pskov, and Saratov, and its impact on marital quality, Vannoy et al. (1999) f ound that couples who reported low levels of conflict in their marriage also reported higher levels of marital quality. Among those couples who did report conflict, those who reported communicating to resolve conflicts through discussion and compromise reported higher marital quality than couples who did not talk to resolve their conflicts or work toward a compromise acceptable to both spouses. Sharing Tasks. The findings regarding the impact of sharing tasks on outcomes in Russian marriages seem to be inconsistent across studies, perhaps because, as noted in earlier sections, the messages within Russian culture regarding roles and relationships have been inconsistent (see Arutiunian, 1987; Arutiunian & Zdravomyslova, 1994). For example, Gozman and Aleshin (1987) f ound that both wives and husbands become more traditional as their relationships develop, particularly through the childrearing period with wives wanting more emotional and practical contact with their husbands, whereas husbands want less of both with their wives. They conclude that as a result of these trends, marital satisfaction seems to be related to tolerance of their independence and autonomy, and assessments of the extent to

266

-c=+ BALLARD-REISCH,

ZAGUIDOULLINE,

WEIGEL

which wives play their traditional roles as mothers and supporters (Gozman & Aleshin, 1987). Gurko (1983), reported in Boss & Gurko (1994), supported this conclusion finding that both and expectations regarding roles become more conservative and traditional as their marriages progress. Further, as Vannoy et al. (1999) found, more traditional approaches to roles seem to lead to higher satisfaction for wives and husbands in both urban and rural areas with the exception of husbands in dual career couples who were more satisfied if their wives had less traditional gender roles. In a number of U.S. studies, satisfaction with both their roles and their perceptions of the equity of the division of labor within the house are positively related to marital outcomes (Berk, 1985; Coltrane, 1989; Weigel & Weigel, 1993). This is similar to findings with Russian couples. For example, Ballard-Reisch, Weigel, and Zaguidoulline (1999) found that the willingness of Russian wives to carry out their expected tasks was connected with their personal marital satisfaction as well as their satisfaction with and commitment to the marriage. Similarly, performance of expected tasks were positively related to both their personal satisfaction with and commitment to the marriage and with their commitment to the marriage (Ballard-Reisch et al., 1999). In their study of married couples, Vannoy et al. (1999) concluded that “satisfaction with the division of labor in housekeeping and child care is important for both marital quality, especially When either wives or husbands feel that the division of labor is unjust or inappropriate, their marital quality declines” (p. 138). Feminine and Masculine Communication Styles

An emerging area of study in U.S. and Russian families is concerned with the impact of use of traditional feminine and masculine communication styles and marital quality outcomes. The traditional feminine communication style has been viewed as more expressive and relationship oriented, whereas traditional masculine communication has been seen as more instrumental and individual oriented (Bern, 1974). In recent research on the relationship between gender orientation and relational maintenance behaviors in U.S. couples, Stafford, Dainton, and Haas (2000) f ound that the femininity subscale of the Bern Sex Role Inventory (BSRI) was more strongly correlated with all relational maintenance factors: assurances, positivity, openness, conflict management, advice giving, sharing tasks, and social networks, than were masculinity or biological sex. These findings are consistent with prior research that views femininity, and traditionally, females, as a more relationally oriented construct than masculinity, and traditionally, males (Wood, 1993). As Ragsdale (1996) summarized, maintaining relationships is

12.

MAINTAINING

MARRIAGES

IN RUSSIA

+=+

267

work. Interestingly, however, the picture is not that simple. Results also indicate that the masculinity subscale of the BSRI, which presupposes a more instrumental or task oriented approach to relationships, was related to four of the relational maintenance factors in the Stafford, Dainton, and Haas (2000) study. The four factors were advice giving, assurances, openness, and positivity. Instrumentality, however, accounted for significantly less variance than did sensitivity. Vannoy et al. (1999) studied masculinity and femininity as they related to both self- and partner perceptions of marital quality in Russian marriages. Their findings were consistent with those advanced by Stafford, Dainton, and Haas (2000). Instrumentality (the masculinity subscale of the BSRI) was positively related to marital quality in wives and husbands if used by husbands, but not in either husbands or wives if used by wives. They saw this finding as “consistent with traditional, patriarchal assumptions that men are to direct and women are to soothe feelings” (p. 180). More significantly, they found that both self- and partner assessments of sensitivity (the femininity subscale of the BSRI) were strongly related to both wives and husbands assessments of marital quality. They concluded that “husbands and wives who are emotionally sensitive and attuned to the feelings of others increase their own and their spouses marital quality” (p. 1SO). Summary Clearly a growing body of research is beginning to examine couple communication and its impact on outcomes in Russian marriages. In addition to marital quality outcomes, however, couple communication in conjunction with social factors facilitates the emergence of relationship trajectories as couples communicate to negotiate, maintain, and change roles, power, and marital climate (Ballar *d-Reisch & Weigel, 1999). In this final section, approaches to marriage, family types, and developmental stages in Russian marriages are examined. Relationship Trajectories

Patterns that emerge within relationships are impacted by societal influences like history, economics, and demographics. The patterns themselves, however, are formed within relationships through interaction. In an effort to understand the dynamics of Russian marriages, three approaches to research on Russian families have attempted to identify patterned ways in which Russian couples structure their relationships: (a) overarching approaches to marriage, (b) f amily types that have emerged during different historical periods, and (c) developmental stages that seem to emerge from couple accounts of their satisfaction and perceptions of marital quality. Each is explored in turn in this section.

268

-is+

BALLARD-REISCH,

ZAGUIDOULLINE,

WEIGEL

Approaches

to Marriage

In advancing a conceptual framework for understanding the differences in perceptions regarding marriage in the U.S. and Russia, Annoy et al. (1999) identified two fundamental approaches to marriage, the egalitarian approach that they see as more common in U.S. culture and the symbiotic approach which is characteristic of cultural tradition in Russia. The egalitarian approach is grounded in the assumption that partners can love one another and be committed to one another while maintaining their own individuality. Egalitarian relationships are based on emotional reciprocity and interdependence between equal partners. The symbiotic approach has a vastly different foundation principle. Symbiotic relationships are based on the assumption that everyone needs to find their perfect match, their other half. Vannoy et al. (1999) view symbiotic relationships as unions between two dependent persons, each of whom needs the other to become complete. Mothers and daughters in the Roudakova and Ballard-Reisch (2000) study clearly articulated the widespread belief that a woman is not complete without a husband and a man in anchorless without a wife. In addition to the basic approaches to marriage in Russia, researchers have also explored family types. Family Types

Based on research with couples in St. Petersburg, Golod (1984, 1996) identified three predominant family types in Russian society: the patriarchal, the child-focused, and the spouse-focused. The patriarchal famiZy contains a dominant male head of household who is the leader of the family. In such a family, women obey men and younger members of the family show deference to their elders. Roles and communication patterns are highly traditional with the father seen as provider for and protector of the family and the mother playing the role of supporter and nurturer. According to Golod (1984, 1996), the patriarchal family type was the dominant form in Russia prior to World War II. The second type of family emerged following World War II and was the dominant form until approximately 1990 and the end of perestroika-the child-focused family. This type of family placed high value on the well being of children. Spousal happiness was a secondary consideration. Roles and communication patterns were still highly traditional and the good of the children was the overarching concern. During this time, it was not uncommon for couples to choose to stay together for the sake of their children. The third family type, the spouse-focused family, has emerged since perestroika and is more aligned with western values. Roles and communication patterns are typically more egalitarian than in either of the other two types and the stability of the marriage depends on the desire of spouses to remain in the marriage and their perceptions of marital quality (Golod, 1984, 1996). Recent research has found that couples who could be classi-

12.

MAINTAINING

MARRIAGES

IN RUSSIA

=+i-

fied into this third type report a high level of cooperation in their relationship and a democratic approach to family tasks (see Arutiunian, 1987) including more flexible approaches to parental responsibilities (see Gurko, 1997). Going beyond family types, research on Russian families has also examined developmental stages in Russian marriages. Developmental Stages in Russian Marriages

Through an analysis of the sociological and demographic factors impacting marital stability, Golod (1984) identified a dynamic three stage process in the evolution of Russian marriages similar to findings in U.S. marriages (see Sillars & Wilmot, 1989). In the early years of marriage, adaptation is required as couples develop rules for their relationships and learn how to live together. In the middle stages, feelings of connection and a sense of companionship are important and finally, in the later stages of marriage, autonomy on the part of both partners is a common characteristic. Golod (1984) explained this third phase by concluding that at a certain point, couples exhaust the resources of their marriage. They have nothing left to talk about, and although couples often remain married, they seek external relationships through which to meet their needs. Gozman and Aleshin (1987) f ound a pattern with slight differences from the Golod model. They concluded that as Russian marriages develop, husbands and wives move farther apart. Consistent with research on U. S . families (Cole, Williams & Cole, 1999), the main period of divergence, when couples reported the lowest levels of marital satisfaction, occurred during childrearing years when children from infancy through the teen years lived in the home. This finding was also supported by Vannoy et al. (1999), who concluded that couples with young children through teenagers are less satisfied with their marriages than couples without children in the home. Consistent with the findings of Golod (1984), once children reach adolescence, husbands and wives often continue to live together, even reporting increased satisfaction with their relationships, but they often live separate lives, basing their satisfaction in marriage not on interaction with one another, but primarily on their own behavior or external relationships (Gozman & Aleshin, 1987). Summary As the previous review indicates, Russian married couples create both unique communication patterns and relational structures in order to negotiate their marriages in response to societal influences and relational dynamics. A small, but growing body of research has started to illuminate the nature of these structures and the interaction characteristics that lead to marital quality outcomes.

270

-e+

BALLARD-REISCH,

ZAGUIDOULLINE,

WEIGEL

The goal of the present review was to analyze the factors that impact the maintenance of marriages in Russia. The Ballard-Reisch and Weigel(l999) “Model of Communication Processes in Marital Commitment” was used as an organizing framework, as it allowed for the assessment of external as well as internal factors that impact relationship development and maintenance processes within marriages. At the level of societal influence, historical, political, and economic developments as well as how they have resulted in complex conceptualizations of roles for women and men both in families and in society as a whole were explored. At the couple level, within the marital dyad, the emerging body of literature that focused on specific communication strategies that couples use to maintain their relationships was examined. In addition, structures and forms that couples develop in order to manage these powerful external factors and at the same time negotiate and develop their personal relationships were considered.

CONCLUSIONS

AND IMPLICATIONS

Clearly, as Olson and Matskovsky (1994) concluded, “change characterizes family life in Soviet and American societies. Whereas the nature of social change in the United States might best be described as evolutionary, social changes in the former USSR have been truly revolutionary” (p. 9). One hallmark of research since perestroika has been the role of international collaboration on the development of a serious, although small body of research on Russian families. Significant long-term collaborations like those between Maddock, Hogan, Antonov, and Matskovsky (from 1985 to I995) and Vannoy, Rimashevskaya, Cubbins, Malysheva, Meshterkina, and Pisklakova (from 1994 to present) have resulted in books published on their findings in both English and Russian languages. They include Maddock et al. (1994), Antonov et al. (1995), Vannoy et al. (1999), and Rimashevskaya et al. (1999). One advantage of such research is the insights gained regarding marriages in each culture through the taking of new perspectives and the illumination of previously unconsidered lines of research. However, several potential limitations emerge from this approach. The first limitation is a concern regarding cultural congruence. Since perestroika, little theory concerning Russian marriages has been developed. Russian psychologists and sociologists have largely focused on the translation of research instruments developed in other, particularly U.S ., cultures and their utilization within the Russian population. Although this is a place to begin inquiry in that it allows for the comparison of results between U.S. and Russian populations, it is necessary to undertake the process of designing research instruments grounded in Russian culture and theories. Given the unique historical and cultural developments in Russia (Soviet Union) in the course of the 20th century, the likelihood is very small that models and research instruments de-

12.

MAINTAINING

MARRIAGES

IN RUSSIA

++-

271

veloped in the United States, with its vastly different historical background, will allow researchers to understand the dynamics of Russian marriages. It is likely that the theory and conceptualizations on which these instruments are based do not correspond adequately with the realities of Russian marriages. There are certainly indications of conceptual and content differences, like the egalitarian versus symbiotic conceptualization of mate selection, that make the issue of cultural congruence a significant concern. A related issue is conceptual congruence including linguistic congruence. For example, there is no word for the concept of commitment as applied to relationships in the Russian ‘language. There are related concepts like obligation (06X3aTeJIbCTBO), loyalty (npeAaHHocTb), and faithfulness (BepHocTb), but the overarching concept does not exist. Similarly, the congruence between the meaning of maintaining relationships in Russia versus the United States has not been adequately assessed. How does one maintain a relationship with other half? Is such maintenance necessary? How is it perceived? To really understand marriages in Russia, social scientists must take a grounded approach to inquiry and try to uncover the culture specific concepts underlying relational stability. This will require both the generation of new theory and the development of culturally appropriate measurement instruments. Russian social scientists, often in collaboration with U.S. colleagues, are beginning this process. Further, this literature review has illuminated a variety of avenues for future research. Although additional research in the three ecological spheres identified in the Ballard-Reisch and Weigel (1999) model would add significantly to an understanding of the context within which Russian marriages exist as well as the dynamic factors both within and outside marriages that impact their resilience, research in the immediate social sphere is most strongly lacking. In Russia, where webs of relationship are fundamental to survival on many levels and where there is significant evidence that social support and family and friendship networks are of central importance (Ballard-Reisch et al., 1999), there is a clear need to assess the impact of these networks on the resiliency of marriages. Additionally, research on marriages in Russia has been focused primarily on self report measures of behavior. As with studies on U.S. couples, it would be useful to identify and assess the actual use of behaviors married couples engage in and their impact on relationships. Finally, it is unclear at this time what beliefs, attitudes, values, and expectations Russians have regarding marriage and how they effect relationships. As Russia shifts from a strongly collectivist culture to one that also acknowledges individual level variables, these questions will become increasingly salient. Investigation of these issues, in addition to the development of culturally appropriate questionnaires, would aid in an understanding of the dynamics of marriage in Russia.

-/

772

+=+

BALLARD-REISCH,

ZAGUIDOULLINE,

WEIGEL

Adams, J. M., &Jones, W. H. (1999). Interpersonal commitment in historical perspective. In W. H. Jones &J. M. Adams (Eds.), Commitment in closepersonal relutionships: Theory and research (pp. 3-33). N ew York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum. Antonov, A. I., Matskovsky, M., Maddock, G., & Hogan, M. (Eds.). (1995). na poroge tysiacheletiia [Family on the threshold of the third millenium] . Moscow, Russia: Institute of Sociology, Russian Academy of Sciences. Arutiunian, M. Y. (1987). Distribution of obligations in the family and relationships between spouses. In M. S. Matskovsky (Ed.), Family and social structure (pp. 63-70). Moscow, Soviet Union: Institute of Sociology, Soviet Academy of Sciences. Arutiunian, M. Y., & Zdravomyslova, 0. M. (1994). A double identity problem: Particulars of the traditional conflict between family and work. In 0. M. Zdravomyslova & M. Y. Arutiunian (Eds.), Demography and sociology: Vol I I. Personality and family in the period of social transition (pp. 71-85). Moscow, Russia: Institute of Socio-economic Problems of Population. Attwood, L. (1990). Th e new Soviet man and woman: Sex role socialization in the USSR. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press. Ballard-Reisch, D. S., & Weigel, D. J. -(1999). C ommunication processes in marital commitment: An integrative approach. In J. M. Adams &W H. Jones (Eds.), Hundcommitment and relationship stability (pp. 407-424). New book of interpersonal York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers. Ballard-Reisch, D. S., Weigel, D. J., & Zaguidoulline, M. [1999). Relational maintenance behaviors, marital satisfaction, and commitment in Tatar, Russian, and mixed Russian/Tatar marriages: An exploratory analysis. Journal of Family Issues, 20(S), 677-697. Bern, S. L. (1974). The measurement of psychological androgyny. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 42, 155-l 62. Berk, S. F. (1985). The gender factory: The apportionment of work in American households. New York: Plenum Press. Boss, P G., & Gurko, R. A. (1994). Th e relationships of men and women in marriage. In J. W. Maddock, M. J. Hogan, A. I. Antonov, &M. S. Matskovsky (Eds.), Families before and after perestroika (pp. 36-75). New York: The Guilford Press. Boutenko, I. A., & Razlogov, K. E. (Eds.). (1997). Recent social trends in Russia 1960-l 995. Buffalo, NY University Press. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1986). Ecology of the family as a context for human development: Research perspectives. Developmental Psychology, 22, 723-742. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1992). Relational maintenance strategies and equity in marriage. Communication Monographs, 59, 243-267. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1994). Maintaining relationships through strategic and routine interaction. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relutional maintenance (pp. 3-21). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Cole, C. L., Williams, G. D., & Cole, A. L. (1999). The stability of stability in marital systems. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Council on Family Relations, November, Irvine, CA. Coltrane, S. (1989). H ousehold labor and the routine production of gender. Social Problems, 36, 473-490. Connor, W. D. (2000). N ew world of work: Employment, unemployment, and adaptation. In M. G. Field &J. L. Twigg (Eds.), torn safety nets: Health and social welfare during the transition (pp. 191-212). New York: St. Press.

12.

MAINTAINING

MARRIAGES

IN RUSSIA

++-

273

Dainton, M., & Stafford, L. (1993). Routine maintenance behaviors: A comparison of relationship type, partner similarity, and sex differences. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 25 5-2 7 1. Dainton, M., Stafford, L., & Canary, D. J. (1994). Maintenance strategies and physical affection as predictors of love, liking, and satisfaction in marriage. Communication
Reports, 7, 89-98.

Duck, S. (1994). Steady as (s)he goes: Relational maintenance as a shared meaning system. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relationaL maintenance (pp. 45-61). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Gal, S., & Kligman, G. (2000). The politics of gender after socialism: A comparutive-historical essay. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. Golod, S. I. (1984). Sotsiologicheskii i demogruficheskii aspekty [Family stability: Sociological and demographic aspects]. Leningrad, Soviet Union: Nauka. Golod, S. I. (1996). Contemporary family: A plurality of models. Sotsiologicheskiie Issledovaniia, N3/4, 99-108. Gottman, J. M., & Carrere, S. (1994). Why men and women get along? Developmental roots and marital inequities. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 203-229). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Gozman, L. Y., & Aleshin, Y. A. (1987). Contacts and development of spousal relations. In G. M. Andreeva & J. Janousek (Eds.), Communication and optimization in joint activities (pp 30-42). Moscow, Soviet Union: Moscow State University. Gurko, T A. (1983). E mer g ence of a young family in a large city: Conditiojns and factors of stability. Moscow, Soviet Union: Institute of Sociology, Soviet Academy of Sciences. Gurko, T. A. (1984). Formation of a youngfamily in a big city: Conditions andfactors of stability. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Institute of Sociology, Soviet Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Soviet Union. Gurko, T. A. (1997). v izmenyayuschikhsya usloviyakh [Parenthood in changing sociocultural conditions]. Sotsiologicheskiie Issledovaniia,
Nl, 72-79.

Hansson, C., & Liden, K. (1983). Moscow women: Thirteen interviews. (G. Bothmer, G. Blecher, & L. Blecher, Trans.). New York: Pantheon Books. Holman, T. B., & Brock, G. W. (1986). Implications for therapy in the study of communication and marital quality. Family Perspective, 20, 85-94. International Monetary Fund. (2000). World economic outlook, October 2000: Focus on transitional economies. Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund. Johnson, M. I? (1991). Commitment to personal relationships. In W. H. Jones & D. W. Perlman (Eds.), Advances in personal relationships, Vol. 3 (pp. 117-143). London: Jessica Kingsley. Lapidus, G. (1983). Introduction. In C. Hansson & K. Liden, Moscow women: Thirteen interviews (G. Bothmer, G. Blecher, & L. Blecher, Trans.) (pp. ix-xvii). New York: Pantheon Books. Lenin, I? I. (1966). The emancipation of women: From the writings of V 1. Lenin. New York: International Publishers. Maddock, J. W., Hogan, M. J., Antonov, A. I., & Matskovsky, M. S. (1994). FumiZies before and after perestroika. New York: The Guilford Press. Malysheva, M. (1992). S ome thoughts on the Soviet Family. In J. Riordan (Ed.), Soviet social reality in the mirror of glasnost (pp. 3-14). New York: St. Press. Mamonova, T. (1994). glasnost vs. naglost: Stopping Russian backlash. Westport, CT Bergin & Garvey.

2,?‘+

-c=+

BALLARD-REISCH,

ZAGUIDOULLINE,

WEIGEL

M. (1986). The poverty in the Soviet Union: The life-styles of the underprivileged in recent years. New York: Cambridge University Press. Matthews, M. (1989). Patterns of deprivation in the Soviet Union under Brezhnev and Gorbachev. Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press.

Matthews,

Morton, H. W (1987). Housing quality and housing classes in the Soviet Union. In H. Hertlemann (Ed.), Quality of lif e in the Soviet Union (pp. 95-115). Boulder, CO: Westview Press. Morvant, I? (1995). B earing the “double burden” in Russia. Transition 9(8), 4-9. Noller, I?, & Fitzpatrick, M. A. (1990). Marital communication in the eighties. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 52, 832-843. Olson, D. H., & Matskovsky, M. S. (1994). Soviet and American families: A comparative overview. In J. W Maddock, M. J. Hogan, A. I. Antonov, & M. S. Matskovsky (Eds.), Families before and after perestroika (pp. 9-35). New York: The Guilford Press. Ragsdale, J. D. (1996). G en d er, satisfaction level, and the use of relational maintenance Monographs, 63, 354-369. strategies in marriage. Communication Rimashevskaya, N. (1992). P erestroika and the status of women in the Soviet Union. In S. Rai, H. Pilkington, &A. Phizacklea (Eds.), Women in the face of change: The Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and China (pp. 11-19). New York: Routledge. Rimashevskaya, N., Vannoy, D., Malysheva, M., Meshterkina, E., Pisklakova, M., & Cubbins, L. (1999). Okno v russkuiu chastnuiu Supruzheskie pary v 1996 godu [A window into Russian private life: Marital couples in 19961. Moscow, Russia: Academia. Robertson, L. R. (Ed.). (2000). R ussia & Eurasia facts &figures annual. Vol. 26, Part I: CJS and Russia. Gulf Breeze, FL: Academic International Press. Roudakova, N.V, & Ballard-Reisch, D. S. (2000). Femininity and the double burden: Dialogues on the socialization of Russian daughters into womanhood. Paper presented at the annual conference of the National Communication Association Convention, Seattle, WA. Rusbult, C. E., & Buunk, B. P (1993). C ommitment processes in close relationships: An interdependence Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, IO, 175-204. Russian Statistical Yearbook. (1996). Moscow: Logos. Schapiro, L., & Godson, J. (Eds.). (1984). The Soviet worker: From Lenin to Andropov. New York: St. Press. Seeger, M. (1984). Eye-witness to failure. In L. Schapiro &J. Godson (Eds.), The Soviet worker: From Lenin to Andropov (pp. 77-107). New York: St. Press. Sillars, A. L., & Wilmot, W W (1989). Marital communication across the life-span. In J. F. Nussbaum (Ed.), L 2 e -sp an communication: ‘f Normative issues (pp. 120-I 47). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Silverman, B., &Yanowitch, M. (1997). N ew rich, new poor, new Russia.. Winners and losers on the Russian road to capitalism. New York: M. E. Sharpe. Sperling, V (2000). Th e “new” sexism: Images of Russian women during the transition. In M. G. Field &J. L. Twigg (Eds.), torn safety nets: Health and social welfare during the transition (pp. 173-l 89). New York: St. Press. Sprecher, S. (1988). I nvestment model, equity, and social support determinants of relationship commitment. Social Psychological Quarterly, 52, 3 18-328. Stafford, L. (1994). T racing the threads of spider webs. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford and relational maintenance (pp. 115-l 39). San Diego, CA: (Eds.), Communication Academic Press.

12.

MAINTAINING

MARRIAGES

IN RUSSIA

+=+

272

Stafford, L., & Canary, D. J. (1991). Maintenance strategies and romantic relationship type, gender, and relational characteristics. JournaZ of Social and Personal Relutionships, 8, 217-242. Stafford, L., Dainton, M., & Haas, S. (2000). M easuring routine and strategic relational maintenance: Scale revision, sex versus gender roles, and the prediction of relational characteristics. Communication Monographs, 67(3), 306-323. Sysenko, V A. (198 1). bruku: Problemy, fuktory, usloviia [Marriage sustainability: Problems, factors, and conditions]. Moscow, Soviet Union: Finances & Statistics Publishing House. Sysenko, V A. (1983). Supruzheskie konjlikty [Spouse conflicts]. Moscow, Soviet Union: Finances & Statistics Publishing House. Teachman, J. D. (2000). Diversity of family structure: Economics and social influences. In D. H. Demo, K. R. Allen, &M. A. Fine (Eds.), Handbook offumily diversity (pp. 32-58). New York: Oxford. United Nations. (2000a). Women and men in Europe and North America 2000. New York: United Nations. United Nations. (2OOOb). World economic and sociaZ survey 2000: Trends and policies in the world economy. New York: United Nations. Vannoy, D., Rimashevskaya, N., Cubbins, L., Malysheva, M., Meshterkina, E., & Pisklakova, M. (1999). M urriages in Russia: Couples during the economic transition. Westport, CT Praeger. Weigel, D. J., & Ballard-Reisch, D. S. (1997). All marriages are not maintained equally: Marital type, marital quality, and the use of maintenance behaviors. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Network on Personal Relationships. Oxford, OH. Weigel, D. J., & Weigel, R. R. (1993). Gender roles and family functioning: Gender differences in farm families. In C. Berryman-Fink, D. S. Ballard-Reisch, & L. H. Newman (Eds.), Communication and sex-roZe socialization (pp. 83-97). New York: Garland Publishing. White, L. K. (1983). Determinants of spatial interaction: Marital structure or marital happiness. Journal of Marriage and the FumiZy, 45, 5 11-5 19. Wood, J. T. (1993). Engendered relations: Interaction, caring, power, and responsibility in intimacy. In S. Duck (Ed.), S ociaZ context and relationships (pp. 26-54). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Wood, J. T. (1995). Relational communication: Continuity and change in personal reZationships. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth. World Bank. (1996). Statistical handbook: States of the former Soviet Union, 2 l(386). Washington, DC: World Bank. Zuo, J. (1992). The reciprocal relationship between marital interaction and marital happiness: A three-wave study. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 54,870-878.

This page intentionally left blank

ReIationships in Korea and the United States: Features OF Korean that Affect dture
Maintaining Relational Maintenance

Beliefs and Behavior.
Young-Ok Yum Kansas State University Daniel J. Canary Arizona State University

ecent years have seen numerous studies on the topic of relational maintenance (e.g., Baxter & Dindia, 1990; Canary & Stafford, 1992; Dainton & Stafford, 1993; Guerrero, Eloy, & Wabnik, 1993). However, research has been scarce with respect to cross-cultural variations in the assumptions and behavioral patterns related to relational maintenance. Empirical studies of relational maintenance have mostly been conducted in the U.S., leading scholars to question their generalizability to other distinct cultures (e.g., Stafford, 1994). Studies conducted in such areas as interpersonal communication and social, cross-cultural psychology have unanimously found that expectations and attitudes toward personal rela-

2,7s

++

YUMAND

CANARY

tionships diverge considerably from one culture to another (e.g., Gudykunst et al., 1996; Kamo, 1993; Levine, Sato, Hashimoto, & Verma, 1995; Lin & Rusbult, 1995). The present chapter addresses the issue of cross-cultural variability in relational maintenance behaviors, examining Korean culture in light of existing research. More specifically, discussed are: (a) propositions implicated by previous research comparing Koreans and European Americans, (b) cultural characteristics contributing to unique Korean relational maintenance style, (c) relevant empirical, yet, counterintuitive findings, (d) conclusions regarding the unique communication style of Koreans with respect to relational maintenance, and (e) conclusions and implications for future research.

l=RAMMS Ol= RW=lX~NCiZ VIERRSUS AMIXJCAN

RIEGARDING KOREAN RELATIONSHJPS

Three general propositions reflect our understanding of the communication styles of Korean relational partners, and they offer separate frames of reference for understanding possible differences in relational maintenance patterns in Korea versus other cultures, particularly, U.S., for most cross-culture research on relational maintenance patterns compared Koreans to Euro-Americans. The first is that Koreans are less likely to engage in explicit communicative behavior to maintain their relationships as compared to their American counterparts. Studies concerning whether or not and to what extent Koreans and Americans vary in communicative behaviors used to sustain their personal relationships have drawn on the conceptual framework validated by social scientific research across disciplines: individualism and collectivism. Cross-cultural researchers frequently employed this particular dimension of (1980) cultural value systems as their theoretical frame of reference to predict or explain apparent differences. By and large, they found that the individualism-collectivism distinction consistently confirms their predictions and helps explain the variation in communication style and behavior in interpersonal interactions (e.g., Chang & Holt, 1991; Ch en, 1995; Gudykunst & Ting-Toomey, 1996; Kim, 1994; Kim et al., 1996; Ting-Toomey, 1991; Wheeler, Reis, & Bond, 1989; Yum, 1988). Gao and Gudykunst (1995), f or instance, surveyed romantic couples in China and U.S. and found significant cultural differences in high-context attributional confidence (i.e., dyadic perspective taking). Chinese participants were significantly higher in high-context attributional confidence than were Americans. Individuals in collectivistic cultures tend to suppress their feelings, as opposed to their individualistic counterparts, to avoid hurting feelings (Frymier, Klopf, & Ishii, 1990; Kim, 1994). In a

13.

KOREA

AND

THE

U.S.

++I-

2j79

similar vein, Kim and Wilson (1994) noted that, as opposed to Americans, Koreans are highly collectivistic and tend to view direct requests as the least effective strategy for accomplishing their goals. Yi and Park (199 1) stated that Koreans enact a unique communication style that includes indirect expressions of opinions and feelings, and silence. In this manner, Koreans are often implicit or tacit in expressing their affection and do not expect a partner will exert overt communicative efforts to convey his or her intent to maintain a relationship. On the other hand, it appears that Americans anticipate and actively look for signals from a partner that display relational commitment and other positive qualities. Much of the research on relational maintenance strategies in the U.S. has focused on explicitly proactive and constructive message behaviors (Guerrero et al., 1993). Yet, whereas individualism and collectivism provide a general approach to compare traits and attributes that exist universally across cultures, many cross-cultural scholars maintain that there are other equally or more important factors that are uniquely found in a certain culture that may have greater impact on human behavior (i.e., culture-specific approach; e.g., Triandis, 1995). The second proposition is that Koreans andAmericans hold different attitudes and expectations with respect to personal relationships. For instance, Koreans (just as Japanese and Chinese) tend to consider free-choice dating relationships and romantic love as rather “irrelevant and even disastrous to marriage because they disrupt the tradition of arranged or at least family-approved marriage choices” (Simmons, von Kolke, & Shimizu, 1986, p. 328). One of the reasons for this belief is that romantic love frequently entails intimacy and sexual activities that are counter to a long-held virtue of premarital chastity sought in a marital partner. Likewise, in India and Pakistan, a majority of people believe that romantic love and intense emotional attachment are a threat to the existing family structure and that they would marry without love (Levine, Sato, Hashimoto, & Verma, 1995). However, in Western individualistic cultures (e.g., Germany, Sweden, and France), chastity is less important and may even be seen as a shortcoming (Buss, 1989). The expression of intimacy appears to be more common in individualistic (vs. collectivistic) cultures. For instance, Argyle, Henderson, Bond, Iizuka, and Contarello (1986) reported that intimacy is more strongly related to marital satisfaction in individualistic cultures than in collectivistic cultures. Intimacy and commitment were two typical characteristics in the British romantic relationships, which was not the case for Japanese relationships. Specific examples of intimacy behaviors in this study were discussing sex, showing anger, and showing distress. Emotional commitment was expressed by showing mutual trust, sharing news and schedule, and displaying faithfulness. On the other hand, collectivists tend to restrain themselves from expressing (negative) emotions to avoid conflict or losing

280

+-

YUMAND

CANARY

face, for they have been taught to control emotions and suppress the expression of spontaneous and honest feelings (Argyle et al., 1986). Moreover, romantic relationships serve a pragmatic function in Korea and other collectivistic cultures. Individuals in collectivistic cultures often seek social status and financial security from their marriage, whereas individuals in individualistic cultures place more value in love and compatibility (Kamo, 1993). Th us, dating and marriage are frequently initiated and sustained by extended-familial interventions in Korea. Korean parents tend to consider dating and marriage to an “improper” person a disgrace to the entire family, with improper person meaning person of a lower socioeconomic status, education, or a certain trait. Thus, parents prefer to arrange dating and marriage by investigating the socioeconomic status, family background, occupation, position, and religion of a prospective partner through an informal or a formal intermediary, for dating is only seen as preparation for marriage, and marriage is considered an extension of family network and merging with another family. Accordingly, once a romantic relationship is formed, it is taken for granted and not seen as special and valuable, because it is not own conscious and independent choice and effort that has formed and sustained the relationship. Frequently, it is the wishes of parents or other authoritative family members that keep partners together, for they cannot afford to allow anybody to degrade the the-myon or ol-gool (similar to face in the Western concept) of the entire family (Lim & Choi, 1996). A s in d ivi d ua 1s care about face, so do families. Family members often work to save the collective face of family at the expense of an face. Other important culture-specific features that may cause variation in relational maintenance communication between Koreans and Americans are discussed in the next section. Our third and final proposition is that research has assumed that a lack of active and constructive communication would induce lower levels of desired relational qualities [e.g., commitment, trust, liking, and control mutuality] for both Koreans and Americans. Canary and Stafford (1994) stated that commitment, trust, liking, and control mutuality (i.e., agreement about rightful influence power and decision making) are universal characteristics valued in romantic relationships across cultures. Some studies indicate that communicative endeavors and skills are also viewed important in non-Western, collectivistic cultures. For instance, Hatfield and Sprecher (1995) surveyed young college students in U.S ., Russia, and Japan and discovered that younger participants in Japan consider good communication qualities and skills a critical factor in relationship development. Japanese participants indicated that good communication qualities are, for example, understanding, expressiveness and openness, and use of humor. Potential for success, money, status, and position were relatively unimportant factors for romantic relationship among these participants. On the other hand, in a study of Korean husbands and wives, Yi and Park (199 1) found

13.

KOREA

AND

THE

U.S.

+=a

281

that relational communication is not considered important and not based on mutual influence or agreement between partners in Korea, which may be attributed to greater reliance on a negative communication style than a positive style. A vast majority of participants indicated they prefer to dominate or avoid communication than to engage in mutual and bilateral communication for relational problem solving or decision-making. It is speculated that because Korean romantic partners are not as likely to use positive communicative strategies as American partners, Koreans experience lower relational quality (e.g., report lower levels of commitment, trust, liking, etc.) when compared to Americans. Beyond these three propositions, also found are features and principles that are specific to the Korean culture and provide a closer analysis of cultural differences. The following section presents this material.

KOREAN f=EATUKRS AND PRINCIPLE THAT At=I=lECT R~LATlONSH1P.S
Several cultural features and principles appear to affect Korean beliefs and attitudes toward an intimate relationship and their styles of relational maintenance communication: eui-ri, jung, noon-chi, and yon. These four features also generally coincide with the collectivistic disposition of Koreans. Each is briefly reviewed at this point. h-h-i attachment and loyalty to his or her important relational partner(s). Eui-ri originated from the Confucian philosophy that stresses loyalty and trust in male-male relationships (e.g., between king and subject, between father and son, between friends; Yum, 1988); however, the notion of eui-ri also applies to women. For Korean women, eui-ri has primarily been manifested in the form of marital fidelity. Especially, until the recent past, Korean widows (not widowers) were expected to display eui-ri by not getting remarried and keeping sexual fidelity or chastity in memory of the late husbands. Some widows even had to commit suicide to prove that they have kept (or wish to keep) eui-ri with their late spouses, which was considered an admirable act and honored by the society. Continued from this tradition, the concept of eui-ri underlies almost every personal and social relationship in Korea. Eui-ri is rather an index of loyalty and commitment to a network of relationships and ties surrounding the individual, suggesting that social network system greatly influences the formation and maintenance of a relationship. In addition, a person with eui-ri is strongly committed to his or her decision
anrl action once made.

Eui-ri refers to

282

-is=+ YUMAND

CANARY

obligatory nature and asymmetrical reciprocity in interpersonal relationships. In Korea, personal relationships are typically viewed as complementary or asymmetrically reciprocal, whereas partners in the United States tend to adhere to short-term and symmetrical, or contractual, reciprocity (Roloff, 1987; Yum, 1987). Eui-ri dictates that a partner should not calculate what she or he gives and receives immediately in return, for a person is forever indebted to others, who are, in turn, constrained by other debts (Yum, 1988). In a romantic relationship, as long as a person believes that his or her partner maintains eui-ri, then that person has to do the same and continue the relationship although he or she may no longer feel passionately in love or happy. Otherwise, that person would be considered as someone without eui-ri. On the other hand, in the United States, relationships are formed voluntarily by individuals who remain equal and independent, and, therefore, commitments and obligations are mutual and reciprocal, and both partners are expected to give and receive benefits equally (Yum, 1988). Americans strive to obtain fairness in the exchange of maintenance efforts and relational outcomes (Canary & Stafford, 1992) and, therefore, tend to expect their partners to engage in activities that unambiguously indicate their intention to continue the relationship. However, Koreans are likely to take for granted their intention to stay in the relationship and pay relatively little attention to what their partners contribute to and what they receive in their ongoing relationships. Because Americans (vs. Koreans) are more cognizant of contributions to the relationship and anticipate display of affection and commitment, Americans are more likely to look actively for use of maintenance efforts and to recognize them when they occur (Yum & Canary, 1997).

Eui-ri presumes a long-term,

Jung
A second principle affecting interpersonal behavior is iung. Jung refers to the “state where each unit of and has turned into one unified unit of (Lee, 1994, p. 92). Jung is a much broader concept than love, which is “a feeling of affection for or attachment to an object or objects” (Lim & Choi, 1996) an d more prevalent in intimate relationships than in non-intimate relationships. According to Lee (1994), Korean interpersonal relations have traditionally involved the space of jung wherein exchange relations cannot exist. In this sense, “we” is the expansion of self that includes others within oneself and allows him or her to view others from their perspective and to “initiate non-self-serving behavior voluntarily” (Lee, 1994, p. 95). Jung is also an unconscious but voluntary attachment between two partners who have been through a long history of a relationship that encompasses both bitter feelings and warm, caring feel-

13.

KOREA

AND

THE

U.S.

31,

283

ings (Lim & Choi, 1996). Similarly, Choi and Choi (1990) identified four properties of jung, which are duration, togetherness, warmth, and solidarity. In other words, jung requires a long history of interaction, mutual experiences, deeply rooted feelings, and mutual interdependence. Lim and Choi (1996) further pointed out that jung-associated contacts do not have to be rewarding, and jung can be established between rivals who have to meet each other frequently for an extended period of time. You can frequently hear some people say that they can not completely ignore someone or break up from the relationship because the “damned jung” with him or her is too thick and strong to cut off, which signifies both negative and positive feelings. This kind of jung is what Koreans call “bitterness-based jung,” of which the origin is bitter, but the end is sweet (Lim & Choi, 1996). Jung can drag a distressed and unhappy relationship for a long, long time.

Noon-chi
Noon-chi represents a uniquely Korean strategy to ascertain the attitudes, desires, and moods (Lim & Choi, 1996). It is a tacit, high-context communication tactic that allows a person to understand indirect or unspoken messages. Noon-chi is distinct from the Western concept of “reading between the lines” in that people using noon-chi do not necessarily want their interaction partner to know what the message conveyed by noon-chi means or necessarily assume that others will be able to decipher its correct meaning. For instance, if a person ingratiates his or her supervisor without that ingratiation being noticed by the supervisor or others, then that individual uses noon-chi effectively. If a person does not have noon-chi, then he or she will most likely be caught while flattering his or her supervisor. A person with noon-chi tends to be successful in developing and maintaining relationships, for he or she is capable in identifying what the situation demands, what a potential date desires (even from a brief contact), how to encode and decode relational messages, and how to present himself or herself as desirable. Within a relationship, noon-chi helps to sustain a relationship by suppressing negative feelings and avoiding conflict. Noon-chi is manifested by a competent as well as avoidant communication tactic used to protect self-image or relationship. For example, people will often advise a person anxiously preparing for his or her important job interview to use noon-chi so as to avoid looking incompetent or embarrassing himself or herself in front of a prospective employer. People who read situational cues well and react promptly are considered being adept in noon-chi or having good noon-chi. People often use noon-chi to protect their face (Lim & Choi, 1996). In particular, powerless people tend to use noon-chi to protect their face and project a positive image. Korean women are expected to be experts in using noon-chi to keep stability and harmony in relationship. Traditionally, women have sometimes

284

w

YUMANDCANARY

been blamed for a breakup of marriage, for they are supposed to have used noon& effectively in the first place to prevent it (i.e., keep their spouses happy and keep them from drifting away from the marriage). Simply put, the woman has created marital conflict and dissolution, and, eventually, termination of marriage because she did not have good (or enough) noon&. In modern Korea, men or women are both encouraged to have good noon-& to avoid conflict and confrontation that may cause dissolution of a relationship. Overall, noon-chi is a requisite for a successful relationship. Yon In addition to the three features already discussed, yon helps explain another facet of the typical Korean communication style, that is, passive and dismissive relational communication behavior, as opposed to the Euro-American style that involves more proactive relational communication behaviors (e.g., Rusbult, Drigotas, & Verette, 1994; Stafford & Canary, 1991). Yon is a prevalent belief or attitude toward relationship processes in the Korean culture. Yon is related to the belief that relationships are formed, maintained, and terminated by uncontrollable external forces, not by conscious efforts (Chang & Holt, 199 1). According to the yon principle (a.k.a. yuan in Chinese; Chang & Holt, 1991, Goodwin & Findlay, 1997), relationships are predetermined or sustained by yon, rather than by active and constructive communicative tactics that partners use. In other words, a relationship will be maintained only until the relationship has sufficient yon that ties the partners. Without yon, the relationship will fall apart no matter what relational maintenance strategy partners enact, which will naturally discourage individuals from exerting conscious communicative efforts to maintain a relationship. Eui-ri, jung, noon-chi, and yon constitute unique characteristics that have strategic relevance to communication used within personal relationships in Korea, which help explain a complementary, communal, implicit, and dismissive Korean communication style that is distinct from a reciprocal, exchange-oriented, explicit, and active Euro-American style. These characteristics also help explain and predict that Koreans are likely to be indirect and implicit, use hints and avoidant behavior to cope with problems, whereas Americans tend to engage in overt, positive communication behaviors in order to continue a relationship by maintaining desired relational qualities. Although the roles of these cultural features in relational maintenance, separately or in combination, have not yet been systematically theorized or empirically tested from either a Korean or Western (rather, American) perspective, some prior research evidence needs to be

13.

KOREA

AND

THE

U.S.

=+-

28j

presented to further discuss research and offer theoretical implications of these features regarding relational maintenance. It is not clear whether these features are truly culturally specific and uniquely Korean or are cultural universals that simply vary across cultures. Although no research has been conducted focusing on the universality of these constructs, one previous study found some preliminary evidence that they may indeed be culturally unique for Koreans. Considering Korereliance on and consciousness of external barriers, commitment, and attachment to preexisting relationships, Yum (2000) speculated that Koreans may feel more invested in their relationship than U.S. Americans. According to Rusbult, Drigotas, and Verette (1994), investments are “the resources that become attached to a relationship and would decline in value or be lost if the relationship were to end” (p. 119). Investments are both intrinsic and extrinsic to a relationship. Yen, jung, uye-ri, and noon-chi are intrinsic and intangible, emotional and behavioral investments that cannot be retrieved once the relationship is terminated. Accordingly, Yum (2000) hypothesized that Koreans would have more investments than would Americans; yet, the results indicated no significant differences between the two cultures. Using the same sample, Yum (2000) a1so investigated the other two key variables of the investment model, which are quality of alternatives (i.e., the quality of relationships or activities outside the current relationship) and satisfaction level (see also Gaines and Agnew, chap. 11, this volume). Although there were no differences regarding quality of alternatives, there were significant differences in satisfaction level, revealing that Americans feel considerably more satisfied with their ongoing relationship than do Koreans. Although Koreans and Americans did not differ in investment size, Americans used more proactive and constructive maintenance strategies than did Koreans. It is difficult to interpret these findings from an investment model perspective, because according to the investment model, greater investment should be associated with greater maintenance effort (i.e., loyalty should be used, regardless of satisfaction level). These results tentatively suggest that yon, uye-ri, jung, and noon-chi may not necessarily be associated with investments. The Western concept of investment (i.e., putting something into a relationship anticipating rewards) may not be as salient for Koreans as for Americans because Koreans tend to feel a relative lack of control over the fate of a relationship or feel pressured into relationship maintenance. Also, the relatively low level of satisfaction for Koreans (vs. Americans) implies that these cultural features play an important role in relationship maintenance for Koreans. Remaining in a relationship due to “damned” jung (a strong sense of we-ness mixed with love and hate), eui-ri (moral obligation), yon (destiny), or noon-chi (sensitivity to situation and partner) is not likely to induce greater satisfaction. Instead, these features would likely yield complicated and

280 -e=+ YUMAND

CANARY

ambivalent feelings. Based on these remotely related findings, it appears that these cultural features are culturally specific for Koreans and independent of Western theorizing; however, to make a claim with a greater conviction, they need to be investigated specifically in association with Western relationship maintenance theories.

IEMPIRICAL IWDIZNCIZ RIEGARDING KOREAN OI= MAINTIZNANCE BIEHAVIORS

USI?

km-chconducted
Most research findings point to cross-cultural differences in relational maintenance communication, although one should note that these findings are from cross-cultural comparison of culturally universal traits and features (e.g., individualism and collectivism) and that no research has yet attempted to link these culture-specific features to relational communication. Therefore, based on these findings, one can only speculate the implications of these features on maintenance. Yum and Canary (1997) hypothesized that culture influences the perceived use of relational maintenance strategies and qualities and compared 273 Koreans and 177 Americans involved in a romantic relationship that lasted at least one year at the time of data collection. Participants were Korean and American university students (American sample consisted of approximately 97% Euro-Americans and no Korean Americans). For Koreans, the questionnaire was translated into Korean using quasi-back translation method to retain accurate and adequate meanings from the original (Banks & Banks, 1991). Using Canary and (1992) positivity-assurances-opennessnetworks-tasks typology and their measure of relational characteristics (i.e., control mutuality, liking, commitment, and trust; Canary & Stafford, 1994), Yum and Canary (1997) f ound that American participants reported the use of all five strategies significantly more than did their Korean counterparts. In addition, as predicted, Americans reported significantly higher amounts of commitment, liking, control mutuality, and trust than did Koreans. Importantly, correlations between maintenance strategies and relational characteristics were greater for Americans, suggesting that relational quality for Americans is more directly connected to maintenance efforts. However, we should note that maintenance strategies had a significant impact on relational qualities for Koreans as well. These findings indicate that maintenance behaviors directly influence relational characteristics for both Americans and Koreans, but more so for Americans. In other words, for Koreans, the use of positive maintenance strategies (and lack thereof)

13.

KOREA

AND

THE

U.S.

-=a-

287

does not matter to perceptions of relationship as much as it does for Americans. Some cross-cultural studies found that relational quality is largely determined by situational factors in collectivistic cultures. Kamo (1993) found that for Japanese participants marital satisfaction was largely determined by rewards from instrumental or socioeconomic aspects (e.g., income level), whereas for American participants marital satisfaction was predicted by rewards from relational interactions (e.g., emotional support and openness). In a similar vein, external pressure is another extra-relational factor that appears critical among Koreans for relational maintenance. According to Yi and Park (199 l), Koreans are inclined to accommodate in ongoing relationships simply because they are conditioned to seek security and harmony with the extended family and social network. In addition, Korean partners may not feel that they have much control over the fate of their relationship (i.e., yon) and not be motivated to put sufficient individual-level effort. Comparatively speaking, Koreans may feel obligated or preordained to stay in a relationship, whereas Americans may consciously choose to continue a relationship due to liking or self-induced commitment. Another study provides evidence for cultural variation in communicative choices in relational communication between Koreans and Americans. Yum (2000) f ound that, overall, Americans display constructive communication behaviors significantly more than do Koreans. Although Yum and Canary (1997) f ound that culture affected all five maintenance strategies, Yum (2000) f ound that culture significantly affected only three strategies: social networks, sharing tasks, and positivity. As before, Americans employed these strategies significantly more than did Koreans. The slight discrepancy in the two studies is likely due to the fact that Yum included nonromantic relationships as well as romantic relationships, whereas Yum and Canary only focused on romantic relationships. One finding in common in the aforementioned studies, however, is that cultural variation accounted for social networks and positivity more than other strategies. We speculate that Americans intentionally involve common friends and family members to signal love and commitment, whereas Koreans do so as a matter of routine in their everyday lives out of a sense of duty and while viewing social networking as largely irrelevant to or interfering with maintenance endeavors. Possibly, many Korean couples in (2000) study remain in their relationships only due to jung, yen, and eui-ri and do not have room to care about the quality of an ongoing relationship in question. In addition, they may be still in a relationship because not a good time for breakup. Still, these their noon-chi tells them that points should be further investigated. In addition to engaging in ongoing, positive communicative activities, relational maintenance frequently requires problem solving after some-

285 -e=

YUMAND

CANARY

thing has gone wrong (Dindia & Baxter, 1987) or after one partner has found the behavior problematic (Rusbult et al., 1991). One study specifically investigated problem-solving strategies as part of relational maintenance and found that individuals reportedly prefer to use constructive strategies as compared to destructive strategies (Yum, 2000). Yum speculated that problem-solving behavior, especially a negative one, in a personal relationship also comprises a significant portion of relational maintenance and that individuals who are likely to report displaying constructive behavior in problem solving are less likely to report enacting destructive behavior. Using Rusbult and (1983) exit-voice-loyalty-neglect (EVLN) typology, Yum (2000) measured the extent to which Koreans and Americans differ in the use of problem-solving behavior in reaction to partproblematic behavior. Exit and neglect represent negative problem-solving behavior (i.e., intent to end the relationship) that likely jeopardize the stability and continuance of an ongoing relationship, whereas voice and loyalty are constructive problem-solving strategies used to show commitment and intent to keep the relationship in tact. Yum found that Koreans reported the use of both exit and neglect significantly more than did Americans, although both Koreans and Americans, on average, relied on these destructive maintenance strategies (i.e., exit and neglect) considerably less than they did constructive strategies (i.e., voice and loyalty). (Koreans and Americans rated their use of destructive behavior lower than 3 on 7-point scales, whereas they rated constructive strategies greater than 5). These results comport with a prior finding by Yum (2000) that Koreans and Americans do not differ in their perceived level of investments and support the reasoning that Koreans rely on negative strategies more than do Americans because of such cultural features as yon, eui-ri, jung, and noon-&. Previously, Rusbult, Verette, Whitney, Slovik, and Lipkus (1991), using only a U.S. sample, found that highly invested individuals were significantly more likely than less invested people to enact constructive behavior, and they were less likely to use destructive behavior. It appears that, although Koreans and Americans do not differ in their degrees of investment, they may vary in the extent to which investment affects communication (probably, due to the functions of these cultural features). Similar findings exist in the literature that provides indirect support for the impact of these unique cultural features on Korean maintenance communication in that Koreans tend to employ negative relational maintenance tactics more than positive ones. Yi and Park (1991) conducted a self-report study with Korean marital couples regarding couple communication style and found that Koreans employ negative strategies more so than positive ones. Koreans reported engaging in domineering, authoritarian, submissive (or accommodating), and dismissive communication

13.

KOREA

AND

THE

U.S.

-+

289

styles, instead of a mutually controlling (i.e., fair, rational, and supportive) styles. Both husbands o an d wives (3 1%) reported engaging in a domineering style most frequently. A domineering style refers to a negative communication style that reflects disinterest in communication, irrationality, and a lack of accommodation and perspective-taking (i.e., self-centeredness). An accommodating style reflects high obedience, submissiveness, inequality, concession, and lack of rationality. Although this study focused only on Koreans with no comparison to other cultures, it nevertheless shows how generally prevalent negative communication tactics are in Korean relationships. If one places this ongoing discussion on the effects of cultural features on Korean communication style in relational maintenance aside for a moment, it is interesting to discover that Koreans use destructive strategies significantly more than do Americans, whether in a passive (i.e., neglect, submissive, and dismissive strategies) or active (i.e., exit, domineering, and authoritarian strategies) manner. These findings do not exactly coincide with the typical research findings concerning the Korean communication style. Numerous studies have documented that Koreans care about the face, attend to appropriateness concerns, and use indirect communication style more than do their American counterparts (e.g., Gudykunst et al., 1996; Kim et al., 1996). Some explanations are in tall order. explanations For the Counter-intuitive Findings

One explanation for the aforementioned findings is that, in ongoing stable relationship contexts, Koreans may not be motivated to put effort in relational maintenance, generally speaking, due to excessive support and intervention from people outside a relationship and thus feel pressured to continue the relationship, which people with high noon-chi cannot fail to perceive and react to. Along the same lines, Koreans have stronger perceptual barriers to relationship breakup that have been built through the acquisition of such beliefs as jung, yon, and eui-ri. More use of negative strategies by Koreans may represent a negative reaction and resistance to these cultural features and reflect their confusion in a culture that is in a rapid transition of westernization, industrialization, or modernization (Goodwin, 1999). Another possible explanation may be that Koreans as a whole are by and large reticent communicators who suffer from communication apprehension (CA), leading their partners to perceive their communicative efforts as either lacking or poor. This would suggest why Koreans rely less on explicit and positive communication behaviors as well. According to McCroskey (1984), high CA can inhibit individuals from becoming a competent and motivated communicator. High CA individuals are very likely

290

-I+=+ YUMAND

CANARY

to make poor choices of communicative strategies, to avoid communication, and, in some cases, to engage in overcommunication (McCroskey, 1984). However, the research suggests otherwise. Koreans (relative to Americans) are less apprehensive (Klopf, 1984) and more talkative and dominant (Park, Cambra, & Klopf, 1979). Park et al. further found that talk tends to be more task centered and less relationship or people centered. Therefore, communication apprehension does not adequately explain the discrepancy between Koreans and Americans in relational maintenance. Finally, it is possible that an interaction effect obtains between cultural and individual difference factors that can help explain why Koreans rely less on maintenance strategies. For example, Yum (1999) compared the associations between relational maintenance behavior and loneliness for Koreans and Americans and found that lonely individuals in both Korea and U.S. tend to perceive that their partners use relational maintenance behaviors significantly less than do nonlonely individuals, and that loneliness is inversely related to relational satisfaction. Also, in both Korean and American sample, lonely individuals reported significantly lower levels of constructive maintenance strategies than did their nonlonely counterparts. Interestingly, results showed that Koreans feel significantly greater loneliness than do Americans. In light of the culture-specific features presented earlier, Koreans feel lonelier in their current relationships than do Americans due to their learned helplessness (e.g., eui-ri and jung) and lack of control (e.g., yon) over their relationship and life. This explanation suggests that in Korean (as well as other) cultures the features and principles that help cement personal relationships work against need fulfillment in those relationships. Of course, this explanation must be more carefully examined and tested.

CONCLUSIONS

AND i=UTURlE

DIRECTIONS

The present chapter has reviewed relevant propositions about Korean-American differences, unique cultural characteristics, research on maintenance, and their possible explanations for communication patterns in relationship maintenance processes. This review points to several conclusions. Overall, Koreans appear to hold different attitudes and beliefs about relationships and engage in relational maintenance behaviors to a lesser extent, and perceive relationship experiences differently, as compared to people in Euro-American and potentially other Western cultures. Culture-specific features dictate distinct roles, expectations, and behaviors

13.

KOREA

AND

THE

U.S.

=a

291

with respect to maintaining relationships. Koreans do not always believe that communication is an integral or expected part of relational maintenance and display communicative strategies as much as Americans do. Nevertheless, the use (and lack of use) of relational maintenance strategies appears to affect perceptions of the quality of relationship. In particular, culturally specific features and principles of eui-ri, jung, noon-chi, andyon function to guarantee the stability of personal relationships. At the same time, they appear to countermand the need for relational partners to work at maintaining their relationships. Given the positive associations between relational maintenance efforts and relational quality indicators (e.g., commitment, trust, and satisfaction), it appears that while stability might be achieved, relational quality is less likely to occur in Korea. Moreover, the findings that Koreans are generally more lonely than Americans might be explained by the fact that these cultural features promote an external locus of control or learned helplessness when it comes to maintaining close involvements. Accordingly, Koreans might feel trapped in their close relationships out of obligation due to these external barriers (Attridge, 1994). In brief, whereas Korean relationships (relative to U.S. relationships) are more stable, they are also less rewarding. Whereas the unique properties of Korean culture probably affect communication in their relationships, cross-cultural commonalities also need to be noted. First, for both Koreans and Americans, communication appears to be an important factor in keeping a relationship. Koreans, who on average perceive their partners engage in constructive communication behavior significantly less, as compared to Americans, feel lower commitment, trust, liking, and mutual influence. Second, across cultures, individuals in stable (vs. unstable) relationships enjoy higher quality relationships, regardless of culture. Even after culture-specific factors have been taken into account, Koreans who happen to be in a stable relationship overall report greater degrees of positive relational characteristics (Yum, 2000). Finally, Koreans, like Americans, prefer to enact positive behavior (e.g., Canary and strategies) than negative behavior (e.g., Rusbult and destructive strategies). These similarities not only imply that some cultural features and behaviors are universal but also suggest that changes in beliefs and attitudes toward relationship and communication have occurred in the Korean culture in the direction of westernization. According to Goodwin (1999), large-scale social change can impact the microlevel relationship behavior. Korea has undergone a rapid social and political change for the last few decades, what is called industrialization, modernization, or westernization, which may provide some new insight to understand previous findings that do not necessarily seem consistent with unique Korean cultural characteristics (e.g., jung, yon, eui-ri, and noon-chi) and culturally universal dimensions (e.g.,

707 “/L

-e-

YUM AND CANARY

individual-collectivism). The following section discusses several implications of these findings and avenues for future research.

hlpl icationsfor~utureResearch
The present chapter has shown that Koreans hold unique cultural characteristics and views that generally govern their behavior in personal relationships. Accordingly, future research should consider these features and their effects on maintaining relationships. First, future research may need to investigate the potential implications of these culture-specific characteristics in interethnic and interracial relationships. When both partners (and close kin members) bring in relational assumptions and expectancies formed through interaction with others in their cultures of origin, it is likely that the partners will sometimes encounter profound differences and difficulties. Partners in these relationships may need to work harder to maintain them. For instance, Dainton (1999) found that interracial couples were distinct from same-race couples in that their stories about their own marriage displayed more emotional attachments and maintenance efforts than did those by same-race couples. Dainton speculated, meanings and experiences are shaped by cultural norms regarding how to enact a relationship as well as by everyday interaction with spouse” (p. 147). Although these culture-bound meaning structures and experiences must cause initial differences in marital communication, interracial couples in this study were “more interactive and in tune with each thoughts,” and “more behaviorally flexible,” and created a unique “subculture” of marriage (p. 163; probably, to make up for these differences). results indicate a possibility that culturally unique features may influence biracial relational partners to work to overcome cultural biases, enrich their relational culture, broaden their repertoire of maintenance strategies, deepen understanding of each other, and enhance relational quality. Still, additional large-scale research is warranted to understand how interracial partners interact and connect with each other and transform their relationship to another level. Second, methodological limitations of previous studies need to be addressed in future research endeavors. More in-depth, descriptive, and field-based observation data are imperative to conduct research that captures cultural nuances and innuendos occurring during interactions. Although previous studies informed and unveiled general traits and features associated with maintenance communication styles, researchers need to collect data from real people through their diaries and logs, and their own voices through face-to-face interviews. (1999) interview method was adequate for her purpose by gathering in-depth information that a large-scale survey might have missed. Numerous previous studies have employed a self-report measure with college students (e.g., Yum,

13.

KOREA

AND

THE

U.S.

+=a-

293

2000; Yum & Canary, 1997), leaving questions regarding the representation of general population. Future studies need to address this issue by varying methods of data collection (e.g., observation and in-depth interviews) and data analysis (e.g., content analysis and path analysis). Third, we should examine how relational maintenance efforts are linked to loneliness across cultures. Clearly, the use of proactive and positive maintenance actions and activities promotes higher quality involvements. And it appears that people who are lonely, especially chronically lonely, engage in fewer communicative efforts to maintain the relationships they have (Henson, Dybvig, & Canary, 2001; Spitzberg & Canary, 1985; Yum, 1999). What is less clear concerns whether lonely people in high-context and collectivistic cultures would benefit from efforts to engage explicitly in relational maintenance strategies. Finally, and importantly, as Goodwin (1999) suggested, in order to make sense of cultural differences in relational maintenance, we need to develop a comprehensive hypothesis that combine etic, or culturally universal, factors (e.g., individualism-collectivism and power) with such salient emit, or culturally specific, factors presented in this chapter. For instance, people universally prefer positive over negative communicative behaviors, and proactive maintenance strategies positively link to fundamental relational characteristics and qualities. At the same time, it appears that some cultural features discourage the use of such behaviors, ironically relying on principles presumably followed to keep close relationships intact. It is possible that high-maintenance relationships are universally problematic, and that people in some cultures have rules or principles that guide them in the maintenance of such relationships. Regardless, it appears that both etic and emit factors must be considered in examining the role of communication in cross-cultural and intercultural relationships.

Argyle, M., Bond, M., Iizuka, Y., & Contarello, A. (1986). Cross-cultural variations in relationship rules. Znternational Journal of Psychology, 2 1, 287-3 15. Attridge, M. (1994). B arriers to dissolution of romantic relationships. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 141-163). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Banks, A., & Banks, S. P (1991). Unexplored barriers: The role of translation in interpersonal communication. In S. Ting-Toomey & F. Korzenny (Eds.), Cross-cultural interpersonal communication (pp. 171-185). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Baxter, L. A., & Dindia, K. (1990). Marital perceptions of maintenance strategies. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 7, 187-209. Buss, D. M. (1989). Sex differences in human mate preferences: Evolutionary hypotheses tested in 37 cultures. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 12, l-l 4. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1992). Relationship maintenance strategies and equity in marriage. Communication Monographs, 59, 243-267.

294

-E==+ YUMANDCANARY

Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1994). Maintaining relationships through strategic and routine interaction. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 3-22). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Chang, H., &Holt, G. R. (1991). Th e concept of yuun and Chinese interpersonal relationships. In S. Ting-Toomey & F. Korzenny (Eds.), Cross-cultural interpersonal (pp. 28-57). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. communication Chen, G. (1995). 1 erences in self-disclosure patterns among Americans versus Chinese. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, ZS, 84-91. Choi, S. C., & Choi, S. C. (1990). Psychological structure of jung (cheong). Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Korean Psychological Association; Pusan, Korea. Dainton, M. (1999). Af rican:American, European-American, and biracial meanings fir and-experiences in marriage. In-T. J. Socha & R. C. Diggs (Eds.), Com(pp. 147-l 65). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Dainton, M., & Stafford, L. (1993). Routine maintenance behaviors: A comparison of relationship type, partner similarity, and sex differences. JournuZ of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 255-272. munication, ciul families race, and family: Exploring communication in Black, White, and biru-

Dindia, K., & Baxter, L. A. (1987). Strategies for maintaining and repairing marital relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 4, 143-l 58. Frymier, A., Klopf, D., & Ishii, S. (1990). Japanese and Americans compared on the affect orientation construct. Psychological Reports, 66, 985-986. Gao, G., & Gudykunst, W. B. (1995). Attributional confidence, perceived similarity, and network involvement in Chinese and European American romantic relationships. Communication Quarterly, 43, 431-445. Goodwin, R. (1999). Personul relationships across cultures. London: Routledge. Goodwin, R., & Findlay, C. (1997). We were just fated together. Chinese love and the concept of yuan in Hong Kong and England. Personal Relationships, 4, 85-92. Gudykunst, W. B., Matsumoto, Y., Ting-Toomey, S., Nishida, T., Kim, K., & Heyman, S. (1996). The influence of cultural individualism-collectivism, self-construal, and individual values on communication styles across cultures. Human Communication Research, 22, 5 1 O-543. Gudykunst, W B., & Ting-Toomey, S. (1996). Communication in personal relationships across cultures: An introduction. In W. B. Gudykunst, S. Ting-Toomey, & T Nishida in personaL relationships across cultures (pp. 3-l 6). Thou(Eds.), Communication sand Oaks, CA: Sage. Guerrero, L. K., Eloy, S. V, & Wabnik, A. I. (1993). in in g maintenance strategies to relationship development and disengagement: A reconceptualization. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 285-304.

Hatfield, E., & Sprecher, S. (1995). and mate preferences in the United States, Russia and Japan. Journal of Cross-cultural Psychology, 26,728-50. Henson, D. F., Dybvig, K. C., & Canary, D. J. (2001, July). The effects of loneliness and communication apprehension on relational maintenance behaviors: An attributional perspective. Paper presented at the International Network on Personal Relationships/International Society for the Study of Personal Relationships Conference; Prescott, AZ. Hofstede, G. (1980). consequences. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Kamo, Y. (1993). Determinants of marital satisfaction: A comparison of the United 10, 55 l-568. States and Japan. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Kim, M. S. (1994). Cross-cultural comparisons of the perceived importance of conversational constraints. Human Communication Research, 2 1, 128-l 5 1.

13.

KOREA

AND

iHE

U.S.

=a-

295

Kim, M. S., Hunter, J. E., Miyahara, A., Horvath, A. M., Bresnahan, M., & Yoon, H. J. (1996). I n d ivi d ua l- vs. culture-level dimensions of individualism and collectivism: Effects of preferred conversational styles. Communication Monographs, 63,29-49. Kim, M. S., &Wilson, S. R. (1994). A cross-cultural comparison of implicit theories of requesting. Communication Monographs, 61, 2 1O-235. Klopf, D. W. (1984). C ross-cultural apprehension research: A summary of Pacific Basin studies. In J. A. Daly & J. C. McCroskey (Eds.), Avoiding communication: Shyness, reticence, and communication apprehension (pp. 157-l 69). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Lee, S. W (1994). The Cheong Space: Azone of non-exchange. In G. Yoon & S. C. Choi (Eds.), Psychology of the Korean people: Collectivism and individualism (pp. 85-99). Seoul: Dong-A Publishing. Levine, R., Sato, S., Hashimoto, T., & Verma, J. (1995). Love and marriage in eleven cultures. Journul of Cross-cultural Psychology, 26, 554-571. Lim, T. S., & Choi, S. H. (1996). Interpersonal relationships in Korea. In W B. Gudykunst, S. Ting-Toomey, & T. Nishida (Eds.), Communication in personal relutionships across cultures (pp. 122-136). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Lin, Y. W, & Rusbult, C. E. (1995). C ommitment to dating relationships and cross-sex friendships in America and China. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 12, 7-26. McCroskey (1984). The communication apprehension perspective. In J. A. Daly & J. Shyness, reticence, and communiC. McCroskey (Eds.), Avoiding communication: cation apprehension (pp. 13-38). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Park, M. S., Cambra, R. E., & Klopf, D. W (1979). Ch aracteristics of Korean oral communication patters. Korea Journal, 19, 4-8. Roloff, M. E. (1987). C ommunication and reciprocity within intimate relationships. In M. E. Roloff & G. R. Miller (Eds.), Interpersonal processes: New directions in communication research (pp. 1 l-38). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Rusbult, C. E., Drigotas, S. M., & Verette, J. (1994). The investment model: An interdependence analysis of commitment processes and relationship maintenance phenomena. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 115-l 39). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Rusbult, C. E., Verette, J., Whitney, G. A., Slovik, L. F., & Lipkus, I. (1991). Accommodation processes in close relationships: Theory and preliminary empirical evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 60, 53-78. Rusbult, C. E., & Zembrodt, I. M. (1983). R es p onses to dissatisfaction in romantic involvements: A multidimensional scaling analysis. Journal of Experimental Social
Psychology, 19, 2 74-293.

Simmons, C. H., von Kolke, A., & Shimizu, H. (1986). Attitudes toward romantic love among American, German, and Japanese students. The Journal of Social Psychology, 126, 327-336. Spitzberg, B. H., & Canary, D. J. (1985). L oneliness and relationally competent communication. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 2, 387-402. Stafford, L. (1994). T racing the threads of spider webs. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 297-306). San Diego, CA: Academic Press. Stafford, L., & Canary, D. J. (1991). Maintenance strategies and romantic relationship type, gender and relational characteristics. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 8, 2 17-242. Ting-Toomey, S. (1991). Intimacy expressions in three cultures: France, Japan, and the United States. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 1.5, 29-46. Triandis, H. C. (1995). I n d ivi d uu 2ism & coZZectivism. Boulder, CO: Westview Press,

296

+I++ YUMAND

CANARY

Wheeler, L., Reis, H., & Bond, M. (1989). Collectivism-individualism in everyday social life. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 57, 79-86. Yi, J. S ., & Park, S. Y. (199 1). Husbands and wives communication styles in marital interaction. The Journal of Korea Home Management Association, 29, 175-l 90. Yum, J. 0. (1987). The practice ofuye-r-i in interpersonal relationships in Korea. In D. L. Kincaid (Ed.), Communication theory: Eastern and Western perspectives (pp. 87-100). New York: Academic Press. Yum, J. 0. (1988). Th e impact of Confucianism on interpersonal relationships and communication patterns in East Asia. Communication Monographs, 5.5, 374-388. Yum, Y. (1999, November). The effect of loneliness on relationship satisfaction and self/partnerpro-relationship behavior: A cross-cultural comparison between the U.S. and Korea. Paper presented at the Annual Conference of National Communication Association, Chicago. Yum, Y. (2000). C ross-cultural comparisons of links among relational maintenance behaviors, exchange factors, and individual characteristics in close relationships. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA. Yum, Y., & Canary, D. J. (1997, July). The role of culture in the perception of maintenance behaviors and relational characteristics: A comparison between the U.S. and South Korea. Paper presented at the International Network on Personal Relationships Conference, Oxford, OH.

This page intentionally left blank

Ie

Marianne

Dainton

La Salle University

he present volume focuses on how communication functions to maintain relationships, centering on three variations: relational type (e.g., marriage, friendships, etc.), structural constraints (e.g., long-distance relationships, workplace relationships), and culture (e.g., intercultural relationships, relationships in cultures outside of the U.S.). Identifying and focusing on these variations is important, as one of the problems with the corpus of maintenance literature is that research within each area has been published in isolation, with little effort made to synthesize the insights into maintenance processes that might hold true regardless of relational type, structural constraints, or culture. The goal of this chapter is to integrate the previous chapters in such a way that an overarching framework for understanding relational maintenance emerges. In so doing, areas of future research are highlighted. In reviewing the previous chapters, it became clear that two dimensions are important in capturing the variations in how maintenance is achieved. choiceof maintaining the relationship These dimensions center on (ranging on a continuum from the purely voluntary to the purely involun-

299

300

-c=+

DAINTON

tary) and on the intention&y of maintenance enactment (ranging on a continuum from the wholly intentional to the wholly unintentional). In addition, it also became clear to me that maintenance is a function of, and is influenced by, varying contextual levels. That is, the individual, the relational system, the larger network, and the culture all impact maintenance processes. This chapter focuses on each of the dimensions and contextual levels. In the process, a framework is developed that illustrates what is known so far, and where research should be headed in communication and relational maintenance. Then, theoretical implications are discussed.

INTEGRATING Dimension 1: choice in Relational

INSIGHTS Maintenance

The old cliche that you can “pick your friends but you pick your family” speaks to a central issue in relational maintenance; how a relationship is maintained is in large part dependent on the desire to be in that relationship. Several authors in this book have focused on the extent to which a relationship is voluntary, and the implications of choice on relational maintenance. As Hess (chap. 5, this volume) points out, the majority of studies have focused on the maintenance of voluntary relationships such as marriages and friendships. Indeed, most of the chapters in the present volume also focus on voluntary relationships. The notion of choice is rarely discussed in this research; the desire to be in the relationship is simply assumed. On the other hand, Hess reminds us that unwanted relationships are also maintained by people on a regular basis. In particular, Hess identifies three reasons people might maintain unwanted relationships: social ties (e.g., family relationships); work ties; and proxemic ties (e.g., being neighbors). Clearly, the extent to which a relationship is desired will impact the maintenance of that relationship. Moreover, relationships might not be purely voluntary or purely involuntary, but exist on a continuum of choice. For example, Vogl-Bauer (chap. 2, this volume) discusses family relationships, which are paradoxically both voluntary and involuntary. That is, one is born into or raised by a family, making such familial relations in part involuntary; short of significant estrangements, you are “stuck” with your family. However, as Vogl-Bauer indicates, one might also chooseto maintain family relationships. This distinction points to important definitional issues related to maintenance. If maintenance is defined as simply keeping a relationship in existence (Dindia & Canary, 1993), f am&al relationships may be maintained by virtue of the role relationships inherent in family life; maintenance communication is probably unnecessary. However, if maintenance is defined as keeping a relationship in a specified state or condition (Dindia & Canary,

AN EPILOGUE

=+

301

1993), then maintenance communication may be necessary to achieve that condition. Also, in the nether world of neither purely voluntary nor purely involuntary, Waldron (chap. 8, this volume) discusses work relationships, some of which might be voluntary (e.g., “blended relationships”) and some of which might be involuntary (e.g., maintaining a relationship with a difficult team member). Finally, the same relationship might be voluntary at some points in time and involuntary at other points in time. For example, many siblings view their relationship as involuntary when living under the same roof, but that same relationship is perceived as voluntary at later points of life. Interestingly, the previous chapters also force us to challenge some preconceptions regarding the relationships that often are presumed to be purely voluntary. Yum and Canary (chap. 13, this volume), for example, suggest that romantic relationships in Korea are typically viewed as an obligation born by cultural values, rather than the dominant U.S. belief in the voluntary nature of romantic relationships. On the other hand, Gaines and Agnew (chap. 11, this volume) argue that individuals who date or marry interculturally may perceive themselves as having a wider array of potential partners, making their relationships even more voluntary than the typical romantic relationship. Beyond the sheer importance of recognizing that not all relationships are voluntary, the previous chapters illustrate and allude to at least three ways that the maintenance process itself might be affected by the extent to which a relationship is perceived as voluntary. First, although social support is likely an important maintenance behavior for all relationships (see, e.g., Haas, 1999; Messman, Canary, & Hause, 2000; Stafford, Dainton, & Haas, 2000), such support may be particularly important for involuntary relationships, and also is likely to come from different sources. Hess (chap. 5, this volume), for example, indicates that coping behaviors, particularly those involving social support, are specific communication processes that assist in maintaining unwanted relationships. More importantly, it may be that the difference between voluntary and involuntary relationships is not in the relative importance of social support, but, rather, in who is providing that support. In voluntary relationships, support comes from both within the system as well as from outside the system. For example, married partners are expected to support each other, but extended family and friends are also expected to support the couple; Stafford et al. (2000) delineated both internal social support (called advice) and external social support (called shared networks). In the case of involuntary relationships, however, support most likely comes from people outside the relationship. Such a distinction regarding the locus of support makes clear the differences in maintaining voluntary versus involuntary relationships. A second way that the maintenance process might vary when considering voluntary versus involuntary relationships occurs in the extent to which

302

-e=

DAINTON

maintenance behaviors are constructive versus destructive. The distinction between constructive and destructive maintenance strategies is not new; Baxter and Dindia (1990) ask e d married couples to sort maintenance strategies and found three underlying dimensions-constructive versus destructive, ambivalence versus satiated use, and proactivity versus passivity. Much of the maintenance research since that time has focused on proactive, constructive maintenance (Guerrero, Eloy, & Wabnik, 1993). This focus is not surprising, as most research has also focused on voluntary relationships. That is not to say that destructive and antisocial acts do not contribute to relational maintenance in voluntary relationships; the negative co-occurs with the positive in all relationships (Baxter & Montgomery, 1996; Gottman & Carrere, 1994). Instead, it may be that the less voluntary the relationship, the greater the use of antisocial behaviors (Hess, chap. 5, this volume). Consider, as an example, the maintenance of affection in a family; sibling rivalry, which typically involves antisocial acts between brothers and sisters, may be a means for children to maintain what they perceive as equitable levels of parental affection. The aforementioned example suggests yet a third way that the maintenance process itself might be affected by the extent to which the relationship is perceived as voluntary; the consciousness of the maintenance activity. On the one hand, people are probably more conscious of their maintenance activities in nonvoluntary relationships; maintenance may be perceived as more work in these unions. One can easily relate to the effort involved in remaining pleasant to a disliked co-worker. Conversely, people are probably less conscious of their maintenance activity in nonvoluntary relationships as compared to voluntary connections. Many nonvoluntary relationships might be taken for granted, such as the sibling relationship described earlier. Performing antisocial acts associated with sibling rivalry probably is not a conscious decision on the part of siblings. Accordingly, people likely maintain these relationships mindlessly. This brings us to the second dimension. Dimension 2: lntentionahy

of Maintenance

A second issue that is discussed throughout the book is the intentionality of maintenance enactment. As Dindia (chap. 1, this volume) discusses, the extent to which people achieve maintenance strategically (i.e., consciously and intentionally) versus routinely (e.g., at lower levels of consciousness and without the intent of relational maintenance) is an area for future research. As with the previous dimension, whether a maintenance behavior is considered strategic or routine is not a simple either-or issue. Instead, the consciousness-intentionality of maintenance enactment also is likely to exist on a continuum.

AN EPILOGUE

++-

30:

Dindia (2000) argued that three possible relationships exist between strategic and routine maintenance. First, some behaviors might start off as strategies for relational partners, but over time become routinized. Tentative support for this assertion can be found in several studies. For example, Dindia and Baxter (1987) f ound a negative correlation between the use of maintenance strategies and relational length. Dainton and Aylor (2002) f ound positive relationships between relational length and the routine performance of three maintenance strategies (network, sharing tasks, and conflict management), and a negative relationship between relational length and the strategic use of openness. In short, there is some preliminary evidence that suggests that, indeed, over time maintenance enactment becomes routinized. Dindia (2000) suggested that a second relationship between routine and strategic maintenance is that some behaviors might be performed primarily routinely by some partners and primarily routinely by others. Indirect evidence for this was found by Dainton and Aylor (2002). These authors found moderate to strong, positive correlations among the strategic use of maintenance behaviors, and also moderate to strong, positive correlations among the routine use of maintenance behaviors. However, they found virtually no relationship between the routine and strategic use of maintenance; those relationships that did exist were small and negative. Finally, Dindia (2000) proposed that the same behavior might on some occasions be used strategically, and on other occasions be used routinely by the same relational partner. As tentative evidence for this possibility, Dainton and Aylor (2002) f ound that individuals in romantic relationships reported using all of the maintenance behaviors at times routinely and at times strategically. In short, it appears that all three relationships that Dindia (2000) p ro p osed between routine and strategic maintenance might hold true. Stafford and colleagues (e.g., Dainton & Stafford, 1993; Stafford, chap. 3, this volume; Stafford et al., 2000) have focused a great deal of attention on the issue of intentionality in relational maintenance. In fact, Stafford (chap. 3, this volume) argues that the typical term used for nonstrategic maintenance behavior, routine, is misleading, as it might refer to either nonstrategic behavior (which is the most common interpretation of the term) or to mundane daily life (which is the root of the term). Because terminology is an important issue, in this chapter the term intentional refers to strategic, conscious maintenance efforts, and the term unintentional refers to routine, less conscious maintenance efforts. Several chapters within this volume have explicitly discussed the intentionality of maintenance enactment. Waldron, (chap. 8, this volume) for example, talks about the importance of informal or unplanned maintenance within the workplace setting. As he points out, however, research has not yet focused on unintentional maintenance in the orga-

304

M

DAINTON

nizational environment. Other authors speculate about how variations in relational type, structural constraints, and culture might be associated with intentionality as well. Aylor (chap. 6, this volume) suggests that the maintenance of long-distance relationships might be more conscious, particularly since face-to-face time has to be planned (Westefeld & Liddell, 1982). S imilarly, Rabby and Walther (chap. 7, this volume) argue that online relationships do not allow for passive means of uncertainty reduction, thus more intentional strategies are likely used in these relationships. They argue that people are more conscious of self-presentation on-line than they are in face-to-face interaction. Haas (chap. 5, this volume) indicates that more metarelational communication occurs in gay and lesbian relationships, which suggests that maintaining such relationships might be more intentional than maintaining other romantic relationships. On the other hand, Yum and Canary (chap. 13, this volume) argue that people entertain low expectations for the conscious enactment of communication strategies in Korea. Finally, Emmers-Sommers (chap. 9, this volume) suggests that frequently the process of maintenance is not recognized consciously, whereas the lack of maintenance is. In sum, the intentionality of maintenance is much discussed, but infrequently studied. In part, this disconnect is likely due to the difficulty of assessing the degree of consciousness of maintenance enactment. As Bargh (1984) argued, people are generally unaware of cognitive processes, and if people are unaware of their processing, they can not report it. Nevertheless, a clear consensus exists among the scholars in this volume that intentionality constitutes a central issue when considering the role of communication in relational maintenance. Future researchers should more carefully disentangle how and when maintenance is achieved intentionally, and how and when it is achieved unintentionally. Putting it Together: The Foundation

The goal of this chapter is not just to highlight the insights of the previous chapters in this volume but also to develop a model that might assist future research. Thus far, the two dimensions that have been identified can be used as a foundation for that graphical representation. Specifically, if relationships can be mapped on a continuum from purely voluntary to purely involuntary, and if the maintenance process can be mapped from the wholly intentional to the wholly unintentional, then perhaps these two continua can be placed to capture variations in the maintenance experience (see Fig. 14.1). When placing these two continua perpendicular to each other, four quadrants are created. The first quadrant consists of the intentional

AN EPILOGUE Voluntary

++i-

305

Quadrant
2

Intentional

Unintentional

Involuntary
FIG. 14.1. A foundation for understanding maintenance.

maintenance of voluntary relationships. This quadrant consists of the bulk of maintenance research published thus far (e.g., Haas, 1999; Messman et al., 2000; Stafford & Canary, 1991). The second quadrant consists of the unintentional maintenance of voluntary relationships. This has not been as widely researched as the previous quadrant (see Dainton & Aylor, 2002; Dainton & Stafford, 1993; Stafford et al., 2000). The third quadrant consists of the intentional maintenance of involuntary relationships. This quadrant includes much of the workplace maintenance research (see Waldron, chap. 8, this volume), as well as the recent work on undesired relationships (Hess, chap. 5, this volume). The fourth and final quadrant includes the unintentional maintenance of involuntary relationships. Likely to be the least common maintenance situation,

306

+=+

DAINTON

there is very little existing research that could be placed here. At best, some of the research into family relationships might be placed here (see Vogl Bauer, chap. 2, this volume). Although this foundation provides a template for understanding areas of research, the chapters presented in this volume also illustrate the importance of yet another consideration for understanding relational maintenance: the importance of context. Unlike the dimensions of choice and intentionality, contextual variations do not clearly lie on a continuum. Instead, contextual levels can be overlaid on the foundation as a whole, such that each context can be considered within each quadrant created by the choice and intentionality continua. It should be no surprise that context is viewed as an important variable in maintenance. Indeed, this book was in essence designed to capture the influence of context through a focus on structural, cultural, and contextual variations. However, in reading each chapter it becomes clear that context not only differentiates between chapters, but is also a consideration within chapters. For example, Ballard-Resich, Zaguidoulline, and Weigel (chap. 12, this volume) use an ecological approach to discuss spheres of influence in maintaining Russian marriages. Specifically, they discuss the couple sphere, the immediate social sphere, and the societal influences sphere as contextual influences on marital maintenance in Russia. Each of these levels can be considered contexts of

CONTEXTS

i=OR UNDfXSTANDING

MAINTENANCE

In trying to capture the contextual variations the authors considered, it became clear to me that four levels are typically evident when studying relational maintenance. These levels include the self, or psychological and individual influences on maintenance; the system, which refers to the maintenance efforts that take place within the relational system by the relational partners; the network, which refers to interaction between the system and the larger circle of family, friends, community, etcetera; and the culture, which refers to historical patterns of ideas, beliefs, rules, and roles for that relational type. Accordingly, these levels can be overlaid on the foundation of the model, creating the finished model appearing in Fig. 14.2. The next sections discuss each context.

‘A focus on contexts emerges from numerous chapters in this volume, as well as previous discussions of maintenance. However, it is important to acknowledge that Ballard-Reisch and (1999) model, which is based on (1989) ecological systems approach, provided a language for the framework described herein. My thinking about context has been greatly influenced by both and Ballard-Reisch and work.

AN EPILOGUE
Voluntary

w

30?

Intentional Intel

Involuntary
FIG. 14.2. The completed model.

The S&

Context

Canary and Stafford (1993,1994) suggested that noninteractive processes complement interactive processes in relational maintenance. These authors looked specifically at how an locus of control affects the maintenance process. Other scholars have looked at the influence of emotions on maintenance (Emmers Sommers, chap. 9, this volume), how self-image is related to maintenance (Hess, chap. 5, this volume), and how identity might affect the maintenance process (Rabby & Walther, chap. 7, this volume; Waldron, chap. 8, this volume). Of course, the most frequently studied variable in this context is sex and/or gender (e.g., Dainton, Zelley, & Langan, chap. 4, this volume; Yum & Canary, chap. 13, this volume; Stafford, chap. 3, this volume; Stafford et al., 2000).

308

-t+e

DAINTON

It should be noted that these concentric circles can be understood in two ways. On the one hand, they can be understood as influences on the maintenance process. For example, regarding the self context, an individattachment style influences how she or he maintains her or his relationship (Gaines et al., 2000). On the other hand, one could also consider the use of this context as the maintenance process itself. To illustrate, Rusbult, Drigotas, and Verrette (1994) discussed cognitions such as derogation of alternatives as a maintenance activity. Accordingly, the context represents both influences upon maintenance and a means of maintenance achievement itself. The System Context

(chap. 1, this volume) overview of the history of maintenance research makes it clear that the majority of maintenance research published thus far has been focused on the identification of behaviors used within the relational system for maintenance purposes, as well as the impact of those behaviors on the relationship itself. Although other contexts are acknowledged, empirical studies have focused almost exclusively on dynamics internal to the relationship. This is not meant to be a criticism per se. Using a Western understanding of personal relationships, relationships require work, and that work is typically done by the individuals in the relationship. As Dindia (chap. 1, this volume) discusses, numerous typologies have been developed to identify the behaviors used within a system for the purpose of relational maintenance. Of these typologies, the one developed by Stafford and Canary (199 1) is not only the most commonly used typology, it also has proven to work across contexts. For example, although developed as a typology of maintenance behaviors used by heterosexual, romantic partners in the United States, Vogl-Bauer, Kalbfleisch, and Beatty (1999) used Stafford and five strategies to examine parent-child relational maintenance. Ballard-Reisch, Weigel, and Zaguidoulline (1999) used the typology to study Russian relational maintenance, and Yum and Canary (chap. 13, this volume) used the strategies to compare Korean and U.S. couples in terms of their relational maintenance. Finally, Haas and Stafford (1998) f ound that the Stafford and Canary strategies were used by gay and lesbian couples. Clearly, these uses of the Stafford and Canary typology provide support for the notion that specific communicative behaviors are used within the system context, and that these same behaviors are used by different types of relational systems. Even within a Western perspective, which privileges the systemic context when considering relational maintenance, other contexts are still important, and are likely to have reciprocal influences with systemic efforts. For example, a lack of family support might prompt an individual to reas-

AN EPILOGUE

=+-

30?

sure his or her partner less (Felmlee, Sprecher, & Bassin, 1990). Or, tension between team members in an organization can influence the ability of co-workers who are not directly involved in that tension to maintain their workplace relationship. In sum, much of previous research has focused on the systemic context, and some has focused on the relationship between the self-context and the systemic context, but little has looked at the relationship between the network context and the systemic context, or the cultural context and the systemic context.

--i-he Network Context
Relationships do not exist in a vacuum, and numerous chapters in this volume explicitly acknowledge the importance of social networks in relationship maintenance. As Waldron (chap. 8, this volume) notes, any given relationship is “nested within a complex system of vertical and horizontal networks.” Although he was talking particularly about workplace relationships, this complex system holds true for other relational forms, as well. For example, both Haas (chap. 5, this volume) and Gaines and Agnew (chap. 11, this volume) argue that a lack of societal support for gay and lesbian relationships and for intercultural relationships makes network support even more important for couples in these relational types. Even when there is societal support, however, network support is important. Yum and Canary (chap. 13, this volume) say that networks are particularly important for relational maintenance in Korea, as dating and marriage are typically initiated by the extended family. Further, network influences such as the marriage of one friend can impact the ability of friends to maintain their friendship relationship (see Dainton et al., chap. 4, this volume). Despite the relative importance of the extended network on the maintenance of relationships, few studies have directly assessed how social networks inhibit or facilitate relational maintenance. Indeed, although one of Stafford and (199 1) maintenance strategies is the use of social networks, this strategy is almost always discussed as something done by an individual or the dyad, as opposed to something that happens within the network itself. An exception is the work of Klein and Milardo (2000), who have studied how third parties influence couple conflict. Future research should continue to explicitly focus on the role of the network on relational maintenance.

The

CuItut-e

Context

The final context is that of the culture itself. Cultures include values and beliefs about relationships, as well as rules for enacting them (Smith, 1966). Such values have enormous implications for the process of relationship maintenance. Yum and Canary (chap. 13, this volume), for example,

310 -i+=+ DAINTON found that cultural rules may be more important than systemic maintenance efforts in Korea. Further, Ballard-Reisch et al. (chap. 12, this volume) discuss the cultural view of marriage in Russia, which suggests that marriage involves two halves uniting. This cultural belief is vital; as Ballard-Reisch et al. ask, “How does one maintain a relationship with other half? Is such maintenance necessary?” The aforementioned examples come from chapters devoted to an examination of maintenance in cultures outside of the U.S., and so the role of culture is more direct and obvious. Because so much of maintenance research has focused on White, middle-class, romantic relationships in the U.S., however, the role of culture might not always be so obvious. Indeed, Stafford (chap. 3, this volume) questions whether research to date has actually uncovered effective maintenance strategies, or whether it has simply exposed cultural ideology about relationship enactment. At its core, such a critique provides not only good fodder for discussion, it also illustrates most clearly the impact that culture might have on relationship maintenance. Summary In reviewing Fig. 14.2, then, what we see is that all four contexts can be studied within all four quadrants. As previously discussed, the majority of maintenance research falls within Quadrant 1, with most work falling in the systemic context (Area B) . The clear conclusion is that there are many avenues of future research available if we wish to complete the picture. Moreover, it is clear that we are a long way away from the development of a macro theory of relationship maintenance. Indeed, one of the criticisms that can be made of maintenance research in general is that published empirical investigations of relationship maintenance have been largely atheoretical; those studies that do make use of theory have borrowed theories that were developed for other communication or relational processes. A review of the chapters of this book indicates that four primary theories are used in maintenance research: social exchange theory (including equity), uncertainty reduction theory, dialectical perspectives, and systems approaches. The remainder of this chapter considers the implications for the use of these theories given the model developed thus far.

THlEORtETlCAL
Social Exchange

IMPLICATIONS

In short, social exchange approaches suggest that people get into and stay in relationships based on the rewards and costs of those relationships. As Canary and Zelley (2000) assert, two social exchange theories are promi-

AN EPILOGUE

-+

fill

nent in relational maintenance research: interdependence theory (and particularly the modification of this theory by Rusbult and colleagues (Rusbult, Drigotas, Verette, 1994) called the investment model), and equity theory. Both of these theories view social exchange variables as antecedents to maintenance, and both include a consideration of costs (for a detailed overview, see Canary & Zelley, 2000). Although these theories have been used effectively to explain maintenance processes, the research that has used these theories has focused almost entirely on the systemic and intentional maintenance of voluntary relationships (i.e., Quadrant 1B in the framework). The question arises as to how effective social exchange approaches might be in explaining other areas of the model. First, regarding the extent to which social exchange explains involuntary relationships, the results are mixed. On the one hand, Waldron (chap. 8, this volume) describes research that uses social exchange to explain the maintenance of workplace relationships. Specifically, leader-member exchange approaches argue that because communication resources are limited, leaders maintain strong workplace relationships with only a select few employees; leaders maintain such relationships by investing more communication and allowing greater autonomy to the selected employees (i.e., the leader provides more rewards to them). Although workplace relationships are typically conceived as involuntary, in this case, however, it may be that because the leader selects which members she or he will focus their resources on, such relationships would fall more on the voluntary end of the continuum. Perhaps more involuntary are family relationships. It is not clear that social exchange concepts can fully explain such relationships, however. In past research, equity theory was only partially successful in explaining the maintenance of parent-child relationships. Vogl-Bauer et al. (1999) found that although parents were most satisfied when their relationship with an adolescent child was equitable, children preferred being overbenefited. Accordingly, social exchange theories are not consistent in their ability to explain the maintenance of nonvoluntary relationships. Social exchange theories also have not been consistently used to explain both intentional and unintentional maintenance efforts. In part, this is because social exchange theories are presumed to operate under the assumption that relational partners sustain relationships through conscious acts of reinforcement, testing, and strategic development (Duck, 1986; Stafford, chap. 3, this volume). Although much maintenance research using social exchange has been biased toward a consideration of maintenance strategies (e.g., Canary & Stafford, 1992, 2001; Messman et al., 2000), social exchange theories in and of themselves do not negate the importance of unintentional behavior. In fact, in their theory of interdependence, Thibaut and Kelley (1959) argued that most of the time people behave in routinized ways: “only when these routines break down . . . need the individual return

‘712

w

DAINTON

to a consideration of consequences . . . at these critical junctures the person may become deliberate and thoughtful as to consequences” (p. 29). Thus, social exchange theories do allow for both intentional and unintentional maintenance. In fact, Canary and Stafford (1994), who used equity theory, argued for both routine and strategic maintenance. However, these approaches have not frequently been used to explain unintentional behavior. This is likely because social exchange processes themselves are predicated on some level of conscious processing; although individuals in relationships might maintain their relationships through routines, social exchange processes are typically invoked at times when these routines are broken-when an individual feels over- or underbenefited, or when expectations are not met (Hatfield, Traupmann, Sprecher, Utne, & Hay, 1985). For example, Canary and Stafford (1992) used perceptions of equity to predict an use of maintenance. Accordingly, although social exchange approaches do not preclude the use of unintentional maintenance, they are not frequently used to explain such efforts. Finally, how effective are social exchange approaches for understanding all four contexts of maintenance? The answer is, not completely. Social exchange approaches are inherently concerned with both the self-context (in terms of an perception of rewards, costs, equity, etc.), as well as the system context (e.g., in terms of the interdependence of outcomes). These approaches are less directly associated with the network context, although the network context is considered. For example, Thibaut and (1959) interdependence theory focuses on two concepts, the comparison level and the comparison level of alternatives. The comparison level includes an expectations for the relationship. Although there are numerous sources for these expectations, they are partly derived from the social network. The comparison level of alternatives refers to the extent to which partner compares favorably to perceived alternatives, including alternative partners and activities. The degree to which that network provides alternatives to the current relationship (either directly, e.g., a mother introducing her daughter to other promising partners, or indirectly, because the individual has a large network that already includes many potential partners) determines the stability of the present relationship. Accordingly, it is clear that although networks are not of primary concern in social exchange approaches, such approaches at least indirectly consider the network context. The final context, the cultural context, presents the greatest challenge to social exchange approaches. Social exchange approaches presume that relationships are maintained due to either equality of reward-cost ratios, or to the equity of such ratios among relational partners. However, neither equality nor equity are consistently linked to either relational satisfaction or stability in other cultures (Berman, Murphy-Berman, & Singh, 1985;

AN EPILOGUE

+a-

313

Lujansky & Mikula, 1983). A ccordingly, social exchange might be limited to Western notions of relationships, and as such, of limited value in explaining the maintenance of relationships in other cultures. Uncertainty Reduction Theory

Although not frequently identified as a maintenance theory per se, several chapters in the present volume allude to the importance of uncertainty reduction in the maintenance of relationships (e.g., Aylor, chap. 6, this volume; Emmers-Sommer, chap. 9, this volume; Rabby & Walther, chap. 7, this volume), and the theory has been used in research to explain maintenance processes (Dainton & Aylor, 2001; Emmers & Canary, 1996). Uncertainty Reduction Theory (URT) proposes that when individuals encounter someone or something new, they experience uncertainty; uncertainty is uncomfortable, so they try to reduce it (Berger & Bradac, 1982). Although uncertainty reduction theory is most often considered a theory of relational development, the theory is also applicable to established relationships (see e.g., Planalp & Honeycutt, 1985; Planalp, Rutherford, & Honeycutt, 1988). Because social exchange concepts influenced the development of URT (Berger, 1987), this theory has some of the same strengths and weaknesses. Nevertheless, the theory deserves focused attention in terms of its ability to account for maintenance as proposed by the model. First, as compared to social exchange, URT may be more successful in explaining the maintenance of involuntary relationships. Indeed, the theory proposes that there are three conditions that affect the motivation to reduce uncertainty: high incentive value, deviations from expected behavior, and anticipation of future interaction (Berger, 1987). These motivations are closely aligned with the reasons that Hess (chap. 5, this volume) proposes for why unwanted relationships are maintained. For example, Hess argues that external barriers such as social ties, work ties, or proxemic ties can explain why unwanted relationships are maintained. This is similar to condition of anticipated future interaction. Moreover, Hess asserts that some relationships are unwanted because of negative behaviors on the part of the disliked partner; typically, negative behaviors are perceived as negative because they deviate from behavioral norms. In short, it appears that uncertainty reduction theory may be effective in explaining both voluntary and involuntary relationships. Similar to social exchange theories, however, URT may be biased toward an explanation of intentional behavior. That is, conceptually uncertainty is presumed to be a generative mechanism causing individuals to consciously select ways of reducing that uncertainty. Nevertheless, it very well may be that maintenance behavior is both a cause and an effect of un-

314

-ee

DAINTON

certainty; a failure to perform unintentional maintenance might serve as an uncertainty-inducing event for an individual, which would cause that individual to perform intentional maintenance to reduce the uncertainty. Dainton and Aylor (2001) f ound that all five of Stafford and Ca(1991) maintenance strategies were negatively correlated with relational uncertainty, and that the use of assurances was a negative predictor of uncertainty, whereas the use of openness was a positive predictor of uncertainty in a regression equation. However, Dainton and Aylor did not determine the causal links between the variables, and they did not study the intentional versus unintentional performance of maintenance. Accordingly, as with social exchange, the theoretical bias might be toward a focus on intentional maintenance, but unintentional maintenance is not precluded. Regarding the applicability of URT to each of the four contexts, again, URT is similar to social exchange. As with social exchange, URT functions best at the self-context, as the central variable of interest is an certainty. It also can be used at the level of the system; a relational uncertainty approach would suggest that one system behavior is often the cause of the other system uncertainty. Third, the ties between the network context and URT are also weak and indirect, as are the ties between the network context and social exchange. In the case of URT, two clear links exist. First, one of the primary means of uncertainty reduction is active strategies, which include gathering information about an uncertainty inducing event from members of social network. Conversely, it is possible that members of a network can create relational uncertainty. Emmers and Canary (1996), for example, found that third-party involvement was a frequently mentioned uncertainty-inducing event. Finally, as with social exchange, URT may be a culturally specific approach to understanding relationships. One of the central means of classifying cultures includes uncertainty avoidance (Hofstede, 1980). As such, individuals from cultures with a high tolerance for uncertainty are unlikely to find the experience of uncertainty as a primary motivator for performing relational maintenance. Accordingly, URT is not a strong contender for a cross-cultural theoretical understanding. D&&s Dialectical perspectives of interpersonal relationships have become increasingly more popular over the past decade. These perspectives are quite different from the two theories discussed above, if for no other reason than that dialectical perspectives deny the possibility of maintenance as typically conceived (Baxter, 1994). Instead, dialectical perspectives assume that the central characteristic of relationships is change. Accordingly, this

AN EPILOGUE

e

315

approach focuses on the management of contradictory tensions, such as the tension between predictability and novelty, or between autonomy and connection (Baxter, 1994). From a dialectical perspective, no “steady state” can be achieved. Although most of the research using dialectical perspectives has focused on romantic relationships (Canary & Zelley, 2000) or friendships (Rawlins, 1994), there have been a few studies that indicate that dialectical tensions are significant in unwanted relationships as well. Cissna, Cox, and Bochner (1990), for example, investigated the dialectical tensions within a stepfamily. Bridge and Baxter (1992) studied friends who were also work associates. It should be noted, however, that neither of these relational types are entirely undesired. Accordingly, the dialectical tensions experienced between members of purely unwanted relationships are unknown. Nevertheless, it is likely that tensions do exist in involuntary relationships, making dialectical perspectives appropriate for this sort of research. Turning to the intentionality continuum, because most dialectic approaches are grounded in a humanistic perspective, scholars studying maintenance from a dialectic perspective tend to make the assumption of intentional, goal-oriented actors. For example, Rawlins (1994) depicted “individuals as conscious, active selectors of possible choices from a field that is partially conceived by them, partially negotiated with others, and partially determined by social and natural factors outside of their control” (p. 277). Because of this assumption, such approaches tend to focus more often on intentional maintenance efforts (e.g., Baxter, 1994). Dindia (2000), however, argued that dialectical perspectives allow that partners both routinely and strategically respond to dialectical tensions. In terms of the four contexts, dialectical perspectives shine. For instance, Baxter (1994) d i ff erentiated between internal and external dialectics. Internal dialectics refer to tensions experienced within the system. Such tensions might reflect an contradictory desires, which would represent the self-context but also contradictory desires between the partners, which would represent the system context. External dialectics, according to Baxter, are tensions experienced between the couple and the larger social system. External tensions in part reflect the network context. For example, Baxter (1994) described the inclusion-seclusion contradiction, which refers to the tension between the desire to be integrated with their network and their desire for isolation. However, external dialectics might also reference the cultural context; conventionality-uniqueness contradiction refers to the social pressures to conform to conventional ways of relating as prescribed by the culture versus a desire to create a unique relational culture. Although one of the strengths of a dialectical perspective is its ability to cross all contexts, this flexibility might also be prove to be problematic for endorsing such a perspective for understanding all of maintenance.

yc:

w

DAINTON

The tensions that exist in different relational forms (e.g., friendship, marriage, workplace relationships) do not always translate to other relational forms (Canary & Zelley, 2000). Moreover, Goldsmith (1990) observed that dialectics are culturally bound, so even the same relational type might experience different dialectics in different cultures. As Canary and Zelley (2000) argued, in and of itself the likelihood that dialectical tensions do not cross cultural boundaries is not a weakness. Still, at present dialectical perspectives might better serve as a macrolevel means for understanding relationships rather than an axiomatic framework for predicting and explaining relational maintenance. The challenge of future research using a dialectical perspective is to develop the theory such that specific conclusions can be drawn , yet the general applicability of the . . 1 perspective is not lost.

Systems Approaches
Stafford (1994) proposed that a systems perspective is ideal for the study of relational maintenance. Indeed, (1983) study relied on systems ideas in suggesting that maintenance sustains a equilibrium. Several of the chapters in this anthology have described a systems approach to understanding varying relational types. Like social exchange and dialectical perspectives, there is not a single systems theory that is used; rather, systems approaches comprise a constellation of theories that share common metatheoretical assumptions and concepts. In short, systems approaches center on mutual influence between system members, as well as between subsystems, systems, and suprasystems. Because systems approaches focus on the interrelations of parts to form a whole, no distinction is made between voluntary and involuntary associations. As long as interaction occurs to bind two or more people together, a system is formed, regardless of any desire-or lack of a desire-for that interaction. As such, systems approaches can be fruitfully used for all relational types. Indeed, Waldron (chap. 8, this volume) uses systems concepts when providing an example of the mutual influence of an unwanted workplace relationship on the larger network in which it is embedded, as well as the influence of that larger network on the unwanted workplace relationship. Accordingly, systems perspectives can effectively be used for both ends of the choice continuum. Systems perspectives also do not differentiate between intentional and unintentional communication. One of the most common systems theories used by communication scholars is the pragmatic perspective of the Palo Alto group (Watzlawick, Bavelas, & Jackson, 1967). Although misquoted and frequently misunderstood, the Palo Alto first axiom, on the impossibility of not communicating, directly addresses the notion that not

AN EPILOGUE

++I- 31,:

all communication need be intentionally encoded. Thus, systems perspectives can also be used to understand both intentional and unintentional maintenance enactment. Finally, as described previously, systems perspectives are inherently concerned with the various levels of contexts described by the maintenance model. For example, (1989) ecological approach discussed the reciprocal influences between the environment and the individual as they relate to each other. As such, the self, system, network, and culture contexts are of primary concern, as are the relations within and between them. Despite the implicit usefulness of systems approaches for capturing the breadth of the maintenance framework, however, there are reasons for why systems approaches have not been adopted whole-heartedly by those who study maintenance. First, numerous practical problems arise in trying to conduct true systems research. Stafford and Dainton (1995), for example, identified statistical problems such as unit of analysis and independence of data concerns, as well as substantive concerns over the importance of studying systems over time. Most problematic for conducting research from a systems perspective might be the necessity of avoiding linear explanations and incorporating multiple influences. As Stafford and Dainton noted, “if everything outside a [family] system has the ability to influence the system, then everything (e.g., peers, teachers, political systems, etc.) can be viewed as an intervening variable that must be taken into account” (p. 18). Because of these challenges, systems theories stand as a useful metaphor for understanding relational maintenance rather than a specific theory that can be tested by research (Fitzpatrick & Ritchie, 1992).

CONCLUSIONS
The chapters presented in this volume are instrumental in capturing the breadth of maintenance research being conducted at the beginning of the 2 1st century. As the model developed in this chapter attests, we are moving toward a more complete understanding of the means by which relationships are maintained through an expansion of the types of relationships considered, the variations in how maintenance is achieved, and a consideration of multiple contexts that both impinge upon and contribute to the sustenance of relationships. Although we are making progress, the framework utilized in this chapter points to areas where further research is needed; the preponderance of focus on Quadrant 1B (and to some extent 1A) of the model suggests that we have much left to learn about relational maintenance. Moreover, a review of the most frequently mentioned theories used by maintenance scholars indicates that no current theory, at least as presently used and un-

$18 -t+= DAINTON derstood, can effectively capture the entirety of relational maintenance. This is not an advocation privileging breadth over depth; numerous substantive theories have proven to be very effective in explaining the maintenance of some relational types using some of the contexts. Indeed, in addition to the four theories described previously, several context-specific theories have been discussed in previous chapters, and have proven to be very useful. Waldron (199 1), f or example, has developed a theory of interaction goals for the organizational setting. Walther (1996) developed a social information processing theory to explain computer-mediated communication, and it has significant application to understanding the maintenance of on-line relationships. Finally, Burleson and Samter (1994) found support for his social skill similarity model of friendship functioning. Nevertheless, when trying to understand relational, contextual, and cultural variations in maintaining relationships through communication, our present theories are limited in their applicability and scope when functioning alone. As scholars of interpersonal relationships (and people who appreciate and are frustrated by our own web of interpersonal relationships) there is much yet to be learned. REl=lZRlZNClES
Ayres, J. (1983). Strategies to maintain relationships: Their identification and perceived usage. Communication Quarterly, 3 1, 62-67. processes in marital Ballard-Reisch, D. S., & Weigel, D. J. (1999). C ommunication commitment: An integrative approach. In J. M. Adams & W. H. Jones (Eds.), Handand relationship stability (pp. 407-424). New book of interpersonal commitment York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum. Ballard-Reisch, D. S., Weigel, D. J., & Zaguidoulline, M. G. (1999). Relational maintenance behaviors, marital satisfaction, and commitment in Tatar, Russian, and mixed Russian-Tatar marriages: An exploratory analysis. Journal of Family Issues, 20, 677-697. Bargh, J. A. (1984). Automatic and conscious processing of social information. In R. S. Wyer Jr. & T. K. Srull (Eds.), Handb oo k of sociaZ cognition (Vol. 3). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Baxter, L. A. (1994). A dialogic approach to relationship maintenance. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), C ommunication and Relational Maintenance (pp. 233-254). New York: Academic Press. Baxter, L. A., & Dindia, K. (1990). Marital perceptions of marital maintenance strategies. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 7, 187-208. Baxter, L. A., & Montgomery, B. M. (1996). Relating: Dialogues and dialectics. New York: Guilford. Berger, C. R. (1987). C ommunicating under uncertainty. In M. E. Roloff & G. R. Miller (Eds.), Interpersonal processes: New directions in communication research (pp. 39-62). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Berger, C. R., & Bradac, J. J. (1982). U ncertainty and the nature of interpersonal communication. In C. R. Berger & J. J. Bradac (Eds.), Language and social knowledge: Uncertainty in interpersonal relationships (pp. l-l 3). London: Edward Arnold.

AN EPILOGUE

=+

319

Berman, J. J., Murphy-Berman, V, & Singh, I? (1985). C ross-cultural similarities and differences in perceptions of fairness. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 16, 55-67. Bridge, K., & Baxter, L. A. (1992). Blended f riendships: Friends as work associates.
Western Journal of Communication, 56, 200-225.

Bronfenbrenner, U. (1989). Ecological systems theory. Annals of Child Development, 6, 187-249. mainteBurleson, B. R., & Samter, W (1994). A social skills approach to relationship nance: How individual differences in communication skills affect the achievement and of relationship functions. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication relutionul maintenance (pp. 6 l-90). New York: Academic Press. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1992). Relational maintenance strategies and equity in marriage. Communication Monographs, 59, 243-267. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1993). P reservation of relational characteristics: maintenance strategies, equity, and locus of control. In I? J. Kalbfleisch (Ed.), Znterpersonul communication: Evolving interpersonal relationships (pp. 237-259). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (1994). Maintaining relationships through strategic and routine interaction. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relutional maintenance (pp. 3-22). New York: Academic. Canary, D. J., & Stafford, L. (2001). Equity in the preservation of personal relationships. In J. H. Harvey &A. Wenzel (Eds.), C1 ose romantic relationships: Muintenunce and enhancement (pp. 133-l 51). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Canary, D. J., & Zelley, E. D. (2000). C urrent research programs on relational maintenance behaviors. In M. E. Roloff (Ed.), Communication Yearbook 23 (pp. 305-339). Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Cissna, K. N., Cox, D. E., & Bochner, A. I? (1990). The dialectic of marital and parental relationships within the stepfamily. Communication Monographs, 57, 44-6 1. Dainton, M., & Aylor, B. (2001). A relational uncertainty analysis of jealousy, trust, and maintenance in long-distance versus geographically close relationships. Communication Quarterly, 49, 172-l 88. Dainton, M., & Aylor, B. (2002). A comparison of routine versus strategic maintenance Monographs, 69, 52-66. efforts. Communication Dainton, M., & Stafford, L. (1993). Routine maintenance behaviors: A comparison of relationship type, partner similarity and sex differences. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 255-27 1. Dindia, K. (2000). Relational maintenance. In C. Hendrick & S. S. Hendrick (Eds.) , Close relationships: A sourcebook (pp. 287-300). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. Dindia, K., & Baxter, L. (1987). Strategies for maintaining and repairing marital relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 4, 143-l 58. Dindia, K., & Canary, D. J. (1993). Definitions and theoretical perspectives on maintaining relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 10, 163-l 73. Duck, S. W (1986) H umun Relationships. Newbury Park, CA: Sage. Emmers, T. M., & Canary, D. J. (1996). The effect of uncertainty reduction strategies on young relational repair and intimacy. Communication Quarterly, 44, 166-182. Felmlee, D., Sprecher, S., & Bassin, E. (1990). Th e d issolution of intimate relation53, 13-30. ships: A hazard model. Social Psychology Quarterly, Fitzpatrick, M. A., & Ritchie, D. (1992). C ommunication theory. In I? Boss, W. Doherty, &S. Steinmetz (Eds.), Sourcebook off umily theories. New York: Plenum.

320

++=+ DAINTON

Gaines, S. O., Jr., Work, C., J o h nson, H., Page Youn, M. S., & Lai, K. (2000). Impact of attachment style and self-monitoring on responses to accommodative dilemmas across relationship types. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 17, 767-789. Goldsmith, D. (1990). A dialectic perspective on the expression of authonomy and connection in romantic relationships. Western Journal of Speech Communicution, 54, 537-556. Gottman, J. M., & Carrere, S. (1994). Why men and women get along? Developmental roots and marital inequities. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communicution and relational maintenance (pp. 203-229). New York: Academic. Guerrero, L. K., Eloy, S. V, & Wabnik, A. I. (1993). Linking maintenance strategies to relationship development and disengagement: A reconceptualization. Journul of Sociul and Personal Relationships, 10, 273-283. Haas, S. M. (1999, May). S ociul support us relational maintenance in guy mule couples coping with HIV/Aids. Paper presented at the annual conference of the International Communication Association, San Francisco. Haas, S. M., & Stafford, L. (1998). An initial examination of maintenance behaviors in Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, gay and lesbian relationships. 846-855. Hatfield, E., Traupmann, J., Sprecher, S., Utne, M., & Hay, M. (1985). Equity in close relationships. In W Ickes (Ed.), Compatible and incompatible relationships (pp. 9 l-1 7 1). New York: Springer-Verlag. Hofstede, G. (1980). consequences. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. Klein, R. C. A., &Milardo, R. M. (2000). Th e social context of couple conflict: Support and criticism from informal third parties. Journal of Social and Personal Relutionships, 17, 618-637. Lujansky, H., & Mikula, G. (1983). C an equity theory explain the quality and stability of romantic relationships? British Journal of Social Psychology, 22, 101-l 12. Messman, S. J., Canary, D. J., & Hause, K. S. (2000). Motives to remain platonic, equity, and the use of maintenance strategies in opposite-sex friendships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 17, 67-94. Planalp, S., & Honeycutt, J. M. (1985). E vents that increase uncertainty in personal relationships. Human Communication Research, 11, 593-604. Planalp, S., Rutherford, D. K., & Honeycutt, J. M. (1988). Events that increase uncertainty in personal relationships II: Replication and extension. Human Communicution Research, 14, 516-547. Rawlins, W K. (1994). B eing there and growing apart: Sustaining friendships during adulthood. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 275-294). New York: Academic Press. Rusbult, C. E., Drigotas, S. M., & Verette, J. (1994). The investment model: An interdependence analysis of commitment processes and relationship maintenance phenomena. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 115-l 40). New York: Academic Press. Smith, A. G. (1966). C ommunicution and culture. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston. Stafford, L. (1994). T racing the threads of spider webs. In D. J. Canary & L. Stafford (Eds.), Communication and relational maintenance (pp. 297-306). New York: Academic Press. Stafford L., & Canary, D. J. (199 1). Maintenance strategies and romantic relationship type, gender, and relational characteristics. Journal of Social and Personal Relutionships, 8, 2 17-242.

AN EPILOGUE

++i-

321

Stafford, L., & Dainton, M. (1995). P arent-child interaction within the family system. Frontiers of In T J. Socha & G. Stamp (Eds.), Parents, children, and communication: theory and research (pp. 3-2 1). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Stafford, L., Dainton, M., & Haas, S. (2000). M easuring routine and strategic relational maintenance: Scale development, sex versus gender roles, and the prediction of relational characteristics. Communication Monographs, 67, 306-323. Thibaut, J. W, & Kelley, H. K. (1959). Th e socialpsychology of groups. New York: Wiley. Vogl-Bauer, S., Kalbfleisch, P J., & Beatty, M. J. (1999). P erceived equity, satisfaction, and relational maintenance strategies in parent-adolescent dyads. Journal of Youth
and Adolescence, 28, 27-49.

Waldron, V (1991). Achieving communication ships: The multi-functionality of upward
Monographs, 58‘289-306.

go& in superior-subordinate relationmaintenance tactics. Communication

Walther, J. B. (1996). Computer-mediated communication: Impersonal, interpersonal, and hyperpersonal interaction. Communication Research, 23, 3-43. Watzlawick, I?, Bavelas, J. B., &Jackson, D. D. (1967). Pragmatics of human communication: A study of interactional patterns, pathologies, and paradoxes. New York: Norton. Westefeld, J. S., & Liddell, D. (1982). Coping with long-distance relationships. Journal of College Student Personnel, 23, 550-55 1.

This page intentionally left blank

Authorindex

A
Acitelli, L. A., 55, 74 Adams, J. M., 69, 74, 255, 272 Adams, J. S., 41, 47 Adams, l?, 194, 203 Adams, R. G., 79, 80, 97, 98, 99 Adkins, M., 148, 159 Afifi, W tti292, 93, 98, 188, 189, 193, Agnew, C. R., 232, 233, 234, 237, 238, 239, 242, 246, 247, 249, 250, 251,252,253 Ainsworth, M. D. S., 86, 98 Ajzen, I., 238, 249 Albrecht, T A., 165, 177, 182 Aleshin, Y A., 265, 266, 269, 273 Allen, M., 24, 27 Alperson, B. L., 215, 216, 230 Altman, I., 105, 121, 185, 202 Ambert, A., 35,47 Andersen, l? A., 199, 203 Ansell, E., 193, 203 Antonov, A. I., 270, 272, 273 Argyle, M., 279, 280, 293 Armour, S., 128, 137 Armstrong, J. G., 86, 98 Arriaga, X. B., 233, 238, 239, 242, 247, 249, 252,253 Arutiunian, M. Y., 265, 269, 272

Attridge, M., xiii, xvi, 8, 26, 109, 110, 121,210,226,291, 293 Attwood, L., 257, 258, 272 Atwater, L., 166, 182 Aune, R. K., 187, 198, 199, 202 Axelrod, R., 114, 121 Aylor, B., 55, 75, 129, 130, 134, 137, 138, 303,305,313, 314, 319 Ayres, J., 7, 10, 15, 18, 26, 31, 47, 88, 89, 90, 98, 106, 121, 133, 137, 182, 316,318

B
Bachrach, C., 23 1, 253 Badzinski, D. M., 31, 32, 33, 48, 52, 76 Bagarozzi, D., 199, 202 Baker, A., 145, 146, 159 Ballard-Reisch, D. S., 36, 49, 62, 63, 65, 67, 69, 71, 74, 77, 256, 257, 258, 261, 262, 264, 265, 266, 267, 268, 271, 272, 274, 275, 306, 308,318 Banks, A., 286, 293 Banks, S. l?, 286, 293 Baptiste, D. A., Jr., 232, 233, 247, 249 Barajas, L., 246, 250 Barbee, A. P, 89, 90, 91, 98, 99 Barbour, L. S., 112, 124 Bargh, J. A., 304, 318

524

-c=

AUTHORINDEX

Barker, J. B., 175, 182 Barnes, H., 44, 47 Barry, B., 174, 182 Bartholomew, K., 87, 98, 245, 246, 249, 252 Bassin, E., 309, 319 Bavelas,J. B., 316, 321 Bayer, C. L., 32, 39, 49 Baym, N. K., 145, 159 Baxter, L. A., 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19, 26, 27, 42, 43, 44, 47, 71, 74, 79, 83, 84, 85, 89, 98, 99, 106, 121, 133, 138, 187, 189, 193, 195, 198, 199, 202, 209, 219, 220, 226, 227, 277, 288,293,294,302,303 Beatty, M. J., 40, 41, 42, 49, 61, 63, 77, 308, 311, 314, 315, 318, 319, 321 Beavin, J., 112, 116, 117, 124 Beckett, C. S., 197, 204 Bedell, B. T, 119, 124 Bell, A. I?, 211, 213, 227 Bell, R. A., 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 26, 105, 121, 147, 156, 159 Bern, S. L., 215, 227, 246, 249, 266, 272 Berger, C. R., 54, 74, 80, 98, 313, 318 Berger, H. A., 97, 98 Berger, R. M., 210, 213, 227 Berk, S. F., 266, 272 Berman, J. J., 312, 319 Bernard-Paolucci, T., 128, 138 Berscheid, E., 53, 69, 77, 105, 114, 118, 121, 123, 233, 234, 246, 249, 250 Bettinger, M., 213, 228 Bettini, L., 93, 97, 101 Bhushan, R., 32, 33, 35, 36, 47 Bies, R. J., 114, 124 Birchler, G. R., 185, 195, 202 Blasband, D., 214, 227 Bledsoe, K. L., 91, 100, 232, 246, 248, 250,251 Blehar, M. C., 86, 98 Blieszner, R., 79, 80, 97, 98, 99 Blumstein, I!, 211, 212, 213, 214, 216, 227 Bochner, A. P., 71, 74, 315, 319 Bogdan, R. J., 107, 121 Bond, J. T., 24, 26 Bond, M., 278,279,280,293,296 Booth-Butterfield, M., 33, 47 Bormann, E. G., 117, 121 Boss, P.G., 263, 264, 266, 272

Boutenko, I. A., 255, 272 Bowlby, J., 86, 99, 245, 250 Boxer, A. M., 35, 47 Boyd, S., 152, 162 Boye, D., 118, 121 Bradac, J. J., 88, 90, 99, 318 Bradbury, T. N., 88, 99 Braiker, H. B., 9, 26 Braithwaite, D. O., 36, 48 Brandon, D. l?, 141, 159 Brashers, D., 148, 159 Brennan, K. A., 236, 252 Bresnahan, M., 278, 289, 295 Bridge, K., 315, 319 Brinkman, R., 103, 121 Brock, G. W, 263, 273 Brommel, B. J., 33, 36, 38, 48 Bronfenbrenner, U., 256, 272, 306, 317, 319 Brown, B. B., 44, 48 Bruess, C. J. S., 17, 26 Brunner, H., 149, 160 Buckingham, M., 22, 26 Bulcroft, R. A., 44, 48 Bullis, C., 193, 202 Burgess, E. WI, 52, 74 Burgoon, J. K., 66, 75, 117, 121, 147, 150, 162 Burke, l? L., 46, 49, 90, 91, 92, 99 Burleson, B. R., 20, 26, 85, 86, 88, 89, 94, 95, 96, 99, 318, 319 Buss, D. M., 92, 99, 213, 227, 230, 279, 293 Buswell, B. N., 194, 203 Buunk, B. P, 6, 28, 40, 49, 83, 99, 233, 239, 240, 243, 244, 245, 252, 263, 274 Byrne, D., 105, 121 c Cahill, D., 165, 174, 177, 179, 183 Cahn, D. D., 116, 121 Calabrese, R. J., 156, 159 Cambra, R. E., 290, 295 Cameron, C. A., 46,48 Canary, D. J., xiii, xiv, xvi, 2, 6, 7, 14, 15, 18, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 33, 39, 48, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 76, 77, 79, 81, 82, 83, 88, 89, 92, 97, 99, 100, 101, 119,

AUTHORINDEX

=st-

325;

123, 129, 130, 131, 133, 137, 138, 139, 153, 160, 174, 176, 182, 187, 188, 193, 197, 198, 199, 202, 204, 209, 219, 220, 221, 225, 227, 230, 262, 264, 273, 275, 277, 280, 282, 284, 286, 287, 293, 293, 294, 295, 296, 300, 301, 302, 305, 307, 308, 310, 311, 312, 313, 314, 315, 316, 319, 320 Carballo-Dieguez, A., 212, 213, 230 Carbaugh, D., 132, 133, 139 Cardell, M., 215, 229 Carlson, C. J., 45, 46, 48 Carpenter, D., 129, 134, 137 Carrere, S., 255, 273, 302, 320 Carter, B., 32, 34, 36, 37, 48 Cate, R., 135, 138 Chalfin, J., 233, 250 Chang, H., 278, 284,294 Chen, G., 278, 294 Chester, A., 151, 160 Choi, S. C., 283, 294 Choi, S. H., 280, 282, 295 Christensen, A., 105, 123 Cicirelli, VI G., 37, 48 Cissna, K. N., 315, 3 19 Clark, H. H., 117, 122 Clark, M. S., 82, 101 Clark, R. A., 94, 99 Clark, W M., 209, 227 Clarke, E., 92, 102 Clasen, D. R., 44, 48 Clemente, P., 136, 137 Clingempeel, W G., 39, 49 Cloven, D. H., 187, 188, 204 Coates, D. L., 248, 250 Cochran, S. D., 212, 229 Coffman, C., 22, 26 Cole, A. L., 269, 272 Cole, C. L., 214, 227, 269, 272 Cole, T., 88, 90, 99 Coleman, M., 104, 122 Collins, N. L., 86, 87, 99 Collins, W A., 35, 48 Coltrane, S., 266, 272 Connor, W. D., 260, 272 Constant, D., 141, 160 Contarello, A., 279, 280, 293 Cooper, P J., 104, 122 Courtright, J. A., 199, 202 Coyne, J. C., 219, 227 Cox, C. E., 233, 234, 238, 240, 250 Cox, C. L., 232, 242, 243, 244, 250, 253

Cox, D. E., 315, 319 Cox, S., 174, 182 Cramer, E. M., 243, 250 Crohn, J., 233, 235, 250 Cubbins, L., 255, 257, 270, 274, 275 Culnan, M. J., 142, 160 Cunningham, M. R., 89, 90, 98 Cupach, W, 131, 137 Curtis, I?, 142, 145, 160 Cutlip, J., 144, 160 Cutrona, C., 219, 227

D
K. J?,148, 162 Dailey, D. M., 212, 215, 227 Dainton, M., 6, 15, 16, 17, 27, 38, 39, 42, 49, 54, 55, 57, 60, 61, 63, 64, 65, 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74, 75, 77, 91, 102, 129, 130, 131, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 209, 219, 220, 221, 222, 225, 227, 230, 262, 264, 265, 267, 273, 275, 277, 292, 294, 301, 303, 305, 313, 314, 317, 319, 321 Daley, J., 128, 139 Dallinger, J. D., 61, 76 Daly, J. A., 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 26, 105, 121,133,137 Darley, J. M., 117, 122 Davila, J., 88, 99 Davis, K. E., 87, 101 Davis, M. S., 4, 8, 12, 13, 27, 187, 195, 202 DeGrasse, R., 145, 160 Dellmann-Jenkins, M., 128, 130, 138 Delongis, A. M., 219, 227 Denton, W H., 86, 99 DeRidder, R., 116, 122 Derlega, V J., 90, 91, 92, 99, 102 Detweiler, J. B., 119, 124 Deutsch, M., 81, 99 Dickens, W. J., 105, 122 Diggs, R. C., 57, 61, 62, 75 Dimitrova, D., 144, 162 Dimmick, J., 136, 143, 155, 156, 161 Dindia, K., xiv, xvi, 2, 4, 7, 9, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19, 21, 24, 26, 27, 28, 31, 32, 39, 48, 79, 88, 99, 100, 130, 133, 138, 186, 187, 189, 193, 197, 198, 202, 209,

$~o ++

AUTHOR

INDEX Ficara, L., 129, 130, 133, 138 Findlay, C., 284, 294 Fine, G. A., 173, 182 Finello, K., 103, 122 Fineman, S., 174, 182 Finn, S. E., 215, 229 Fischthal, A., 166, 182 Fishbein, M., 238, 249 Fisher, H., 213, 227 Fitzpatrick, M. A., 31, 32, 33, 37, 39, 41, 48, 49, 52, 65, 66, 76, 213, 227,263,274,317,319 Fleming, J. H., 117, 122 Flett, G. L., 119, 122 Floyd, K., 141, 142, 145, 146, 161 Foa, E. B., 234, 250 Foa, U. G., 234,250 Foreman, C., 165, 176, 177, 184 Foster, C. A., 237, 242, 246, 253 France, N., 104, 119, 123 Freeman-Witthoft, B., 97, 98 Freund, H. A., 97, 98 Friedman, R., 144, 160 Fritz, J. M. H., 106, 108, 117, 122 Frost, K., 152, 160 Frymier, A., 278, 294 Fuiman, M., 92, 100 Fulk, J., 157, 160 Fung, P, 150, 160 Fuqua, D., 90, 91, 92, 99

219, 227, 277, 289, 293, 294, 300, 302,303,318,319 Dixon, D., 131, 138 Dixon, J. T, 80, 98 Dodds, D., 152, 160 Dougherty, T., 176, 182 Dreher, G., 176, 182 Drigotas, S. M., 120, 122, 232, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 244, 249, 250, 252; 253; 284; 285, 295; 308,311,320 Droege, K., 94, 100 Dsilva, M., 169, 184 Duck, S. W., 2, 16, 27, 39, 48, 52, 53, 54, 55, 75, 76, 104, 106, 113, 116, 122, 124, 133, 138, 154, 160, 239, 250, 262, 273, 311, 319 Duffy, S. M., 212, 227 Dunn, R., 129, 139 Duong, T., 235, 251 Dybvig, K. C., 293, 294

E
Ebesu Hubbard, A. S., 187, 198, 199, 202 Edgar, T., 213, 227 Egland, K. L., 92, 100 Elicker, J., 87, 94, 95, 102 Elkins, L. E., 90, 100 Ellemers, N., 34, 49 Eloy, S. V, 15, 27, 68, 76, 186, 199, 203, 277,279,294,302,320 Emmers, T. M., 188, 189, 193, 198, 199,202,313,314,319 Emmers-Sommer, T. M., 193, 197, 199, 203 Etcheverry, P E., 238, 250 Evans, K., 193, 203

G
Gaertner, L. A., 246, 250 Gaines, S. O., Jr., 91, 100, 231, 232, 233, 234, 235, 237, 238, 240, 245, 246, 247, 248, 249, 250, 251, 308,320 Gal, S., 257, 258, 259, 273 Galinsky, E., 24, 26 Gallois, C., 34, 49 Galvin, K. M., 33, 36, 38, 48, 104, 122 Ganong, L. H., 104, 122 Gao, G., 278, 294 Garcia, B. F., 232, 246, 248, 250, 251 Gardner, R. R., 147, 159 Garton, L., 144, 162 Gebhard, P H., 213, 228 Gerstel, N., 129, 134, 138 Giddens, A., 166, 181, 182 Gilbert, D. G., 113, 124 Gilbertson, J., 21, 24, 27 Giles, H., 34, 49

J=
Faraj, S., 145, 161 Farris, K. R., 91, 100, 232, 246, 248, 250,251 Faulkner, S. L., 92, 93, 98 Feeney,J., 245, 246, 250 Fehr, B., 80, 88, 89, 90, 100 Felmlee, D., 309, 3 19 Ferara, K., 149, 160 Festinger, L., 243, 250

AUTHORINDEX Gilmartin, B. D., 214, 227 Gilstrap, S., 246, 250 Glass, S. I?, 213, 227 Godson, J., 259, 274 Goffman, E., 210, 227 Goldsmith, D., 316, 320 Golish, T. D., 35, 37, 48 Golod, S. I., 268, 269, 273 Gonzalez, C., 11, 12, 15, 18, 19, 26, 105,121 Gonzalez, M., 133, 137 Goodwin, R., 284, 289, 291, 293, 294 Gordon, A., 232, 233, 251 Gordon, R. A., 174, 176, 182 Gottman, J. M., xiv, xvi, 2, 6, 27, 72, 76, 94, 100, 112, 118, 122, 198,203,255,273, 302,320 Govaerts, K., 131, 138 Gozman, L. Y., 265, 266, 269, 273 Graen, G., 166, 167, 176, 181, 182 Granrose, C. S., 232, 246, 248, 250, 251 Green, R., 213, 228 Greene, J. O., 107, 122 Griffin, E., 44, 48 Grob, L., 21, 27 Grosnick, W A., 212, 229 Gross, H., 129, 134, 138 Gudykunst, W. B., 278, 289, 294 Guerrero, L. K., 15, 27, 68, 76, 87, 100, 186, 199, 203, 277, 279, 294, 302, 320 Guldner, G., 130, 131, 138 Gulia, M., 144, 162 Gulley, M. R., 89, 90, 98 Gunn, C. W., 155, 158, 160 Gunn, D. O., 155, 158, 160 Gunn, L. K., 241, 252 Gurko, R. A., 263, 264, 266, 269, 272 Gurko, T. A., 266, 269, 273 Gurung, R. A. R., 235, 251 Gwynne, G., 151, 160

+=+I- 327

H
Haas, S. M., 54, 55, 57, 60, 61, 63, 66, 67, 70, 71, 74, 76, 77, 91, 102, 209, 210, 219, 220, 221, 223, 225, 228, 230, 266, 267, 275, 301, 303, 305, 308, 320, 321 Hale, J. L., 66, 75, 117, 121 Hall, B., 165, 177, 182

Hamilton, M., 216, 229 Hample, D., 61, 76 Handel, G., 41, 42, 48 Hansson, C., 258, 273 Harden, J. M., 107, 122 Hardin, D., 246, 250 Harrison, T., 181, 183 Harry, J., 211, 216, 228 Hartos, J. L., 35, 48 Harvey, J. H., xiv, xvi, 105, 123 Hashimoto, T., 278, 279, 295 Hatfield, E., 53, 76, 280, 294, 312, 320 Hause, K. S., 15, 26, 57, 60, 63, 64, 67, 75, 76, 79, 82, 88, 89, 92, 99, 101, 130, 133, 137, 153, 160, 301,305; 311,320 Hause, K. W, 119, 123, 129 Hay, M., 53, 76, 312, 320 Hays, R. B., 80, 88, 89, 90, 100 Haythronite, C., 144, 162 Hazan, C., 245, 251 Heider, F., 108, 109, 122 Heiman, M., 32, 34, 36, 37, 48 Helgeson, V. S., 129, 138, 223, 228 Henderson, M. C., 91, 100, 246, 250, 279 Henton, J., 135, 138 Henson, D. F., 293, 294 Hess, J. A., 22, 27, 104, 106, 109, 110, 111, 114, 116, 117, 122 Hetherington, E. M., 39, 49 Hewitt, P L., 119, 122 Heyman, S., 278, 289, 294 Hicks, D., 246, 250 Hiemstra, G., 149, 160 Hilton, J. L., 117, 122 Hindin, M., 231, 253 Ho, M. K., 233, 235, 251 Hofstede, G., 248, 251, 278, 294, 314, 320 Hogan, M. J., 270, 272, 273 Holahan, C. J., 113, 123 Hollingshead, A. B., 141, 159 Holman, T. B., 263, 273 Holt, G. R., 278, 284, 294 Holt, I!, 131, 132, 138 Homans, G. C., 219, 228 Honeycutt, J. M., 193, 204, 313, 320 Horowitz, L. M., 87, 98, 245, 249 Horvath, A. M., 278, 289, 295 Howes, C., 94, 100 Hughes, D. K., 239, 242, 252 Hunt, M. H., 165, 169, 184 Hunter, C. H., 199, 203 Hunter, J. E., 278, 289, 295

528

+==+ AUTHORINDEX

Hupka, R. B., 199, 203 Hurst, M. H., 55, 76 Huston, M., 209, 210, 216, 228 Huston, T. L., 96, 101, 105, 123

Ickes, WI, 231, 237, 247, 249, 250 Iizuka, Y., 279, 280, 293 Infante, D., 116, 123 Isabella, L. A., 173, 177, 180, 183 Ishii, S., 278, 294 Iwaniszek, J., 24.5, 246, 252

J
Jablin, F. M., 22, 23, 27, 165, 167, 173, 175, 177, 183 Jackson, D. D., 112, 116, 117, 124, 316, 321 Jacobson,D., 146, 160 Jacquet, S. E., 239, 252 Jandt, F. E., 213, 227 Jay, K., 211, 228 Jenkins, E., 179, 183 Johansen,R., 145, 160 Johnson, A. J., 88, 89, 90, 96, 100 Johnson, D. J., 197, 204, 242, 243, 245, 246, 251, 252 Johnson, H., 251, 308, 320 Johnson, M. l?, xiii, xvi, 96, 101, 114, 116, 123,239,251,257, 273 Jones, D. C., 88, 90, 92, 100 Jones,W. H., 193, 194, 203, 255, 272 Jorgensen,l? F., 199, 203 Jung, J., 199, 203

Kelley, H. H., 4, 6, 9, 26, 28, 63, 76, 105, 109, 123, 124, 219, 230, 232, 233,234,251,252 Keltner, D., 194, 203 Kerns, K. A., 87, 100 Kiesler, S., 141, 160 Kilmer, H., 131, 135, 136, 138 Kim, K., 233, 278, 289,294 Kim, M. S., 246, 250, 278, 279, 289, 294,295 Kinney, T. A., 106, 112, 123 Kinsey, A. C., 213, 228 Kirschner, R., 103, 121 Klein, D. M., 39, 40, 41, 48 Klein, R. C. A., 309, 320 Kligman, G., 257, 258, 259, 273 Kline, S. L., 136, 143, 155, 156, 161 KIopf, D. W., 278, 290, 294, 295 Knapp, J. J., 214, 228 Knapp, M. L., 3, 19, 27 Knox, D., 128, 129, 134, 137, 138 Knudson, K., 152, 160 Kojetin, B. A., 117, 122 Kozac, E. B., 212, 229 Kram, K. E., 173, 177, 180, 183 Kramer, M. WI, 177, 179, 183 Krippendorff, K., 112, 123 Kugler, K., 194, 203 Kurdek, L. A., 211, 212, 213, 214, 215, 216, 217, 226, 228,229,230 Kurland, G. J., 91, 100, 232, 245, 250

K
Kacmar, K. M., 174, 176, 184 Kahneman, D., 119, 123 Kalbfleisch, I? J., 40, 41, 42, 49, 61, 63, 77, 308,311, 321 Kamo, Y., 278, 280, 287, 294 Kaplan, R. E., 6, 7, 27, 169, 183 Karis, T. A., 233, 238, 239, 249, 251 Kelleher, M., 96, 101 Kellermann, K. A., 147, 159

Lai, K., 251, 308, 320 Land, J., 210, 229 Lane, M., 33,48 Langan, E., 21, 27 Langston, C. A., 233, 249 Lapidus, G., 258, 273 Lara, J. K., 91, 100 Larson, J. R., 168, 183 Le, B., 234, 251 Lea, M., 147, 150, 160, 161 Leach, M. S., 36, 48 Leary, M. R., 193, 203 Lee, J., 22, 23, 27, 165, 167, 173, 175, 183,214 Lee, J. A., 214, 229 Lee, K., 46, 48 Lee, S. W, 282, 295 Lefcourt, H. M., 119, 123 Lempert, L. B., 112, 123

AUTHOR Lenin, V I., 258, 273 Levine, R., 278, 279, 295 Levinger, G. A., 7, 8, 27, 105, 109, 123 Levitt, M. J., 104, 119, 123 Levy, M. B., 87, 101 Lewin, K., 7, 27 Lewis, R. A., 52, 76, 212, 229, 239, 251 Lewis, R. J., 92, 102 Liddell, D., 128, 131, 132, 139, 304, 321 Liden, K., 258, 273 Lim, T, S., 280, 282, 283, 295 Lin, Y. W, 278, 295 Lipkus, I., 234, 241, 245, 252, 288, 295 Liu, J. H., 233, 235, 237, 250 Lloyd, S., 135, 138 Locke, H. J., 5, 28 Lott, L., 33, 34, 49 Loving, T J., 238, 249 Lowenthal, M. F., 79, 102 Lujansky, H., 313, 320 Lund, M., 130, 138 Lyde, M., 246, 250 Lymon, S. M., 199, 204 Lynch, F. R., 210, 229 Lynch, J. M., 210, 214, 216, 217, 229, 230

INDEX

=a-

32:

M
Maddock, G., 270, 272 Maddock, J. W., 270, 273 Maguire, K., 130, 134, 138 Maines, J., 128, 138 Malysheva, M., 255, 257, 263, 270, 273, 274, 275 Mamonova, T., 258, 273 Manstead, A. S., 193, 203 Marecek, J., 215, 229 Marelich, W D., 91, 100, 232, 245, 246, 250 Mares, M., 37, 48 Markus, M. L., 142, 157, 160 Martin, C. E., 213, 228 Martz, J. M., 112, 114, 124, 232, 236, 242, 252 Mason, L., 143, 161 Matheson, C. C., 94, 100 Matskovsky, M. S., 261, 270, 272, 273, 274 Matsumoto, Y., 278, 289, 294 Matthews, M., 259, 274 Matthews, S., 93, 97, 101

Matthies, B. K., 246, 250 Mattison, A. M., 210, 216, 217, 218, 222,229 Mayer, J. D., 119, 124 Mazanec, M., 84, 85, 98 McCandlish, B. M., 217, 229 McClintock, E., 105, 123 McCroskey, J. C., 289, 290, 295 McGoldrick, M., 31, 32, 34, 36, 37, 48 McGraw, K. M., 193, 195, 203 McNeilis, K. S., 55, 75 McWhirter, D. I?, 210, 216, 217, 218, 222, 229 Mendola, M., 211, 213, 229 Merkle, E. R., 141, 160 Meshterkina, E., 255, 257, 270, 274, 275 Messman, S. J., 57, 60, 63, 76, 79, 82, 88, 89, 92, 93, 101, 119, 123, 301,305,311, 320 Mettetal, G., 94, 100 Metts, S., 187, 188, 189, 193, 196, 198, 199, 202,203 Meyer, l? R., 148, 161 Mikula, G., 313, 320 Mikulincer, M., 87, 101 Milardo, R. M., 20, 28, 96, 101, 212, 229,309,320 Millar, F. E., 199, 202 Miller, G. R., 147, 159 Miller, J. B., 33, 48 Miller, R., 165, 176, 177, 184 Miller, R. S., 186, 189, 195, 203 Mitchell, W. J., 142, 161 Mitchell-Kernan, C., 236, 252 Miyahara, A., 278, 289, 295 Miyake, K., 246, 251 Mongeau, l?, 129, 130, 133, 138 Monsour, M., 91, 92, 101 Montemayor, R., 35,44, 48 Montgomery, B. M., 3, 6, 26, 28, 43, 49, 71, 74, 83, 84, 98, 101, 106, 121,302,318 Moore, D. S., 193, 203 Moos, R. F., 113, 123 Morelli, G., 246, 251 Morrow, G. D., 197, 204, 245, 246, 252 Moss, B., 129, 139 Morton, H. W., 259, 274 Morvant, P, 258, 274 Munley, M. E., 80, 98 Murnen, S. K., 105, 121 Murphy-Berman, V, 312, 319 Myrick, F. L., 213, 227

330 M

AUTHOR

INDEX Paulson, R., 214, 229 Pearson,J. C., 10, 15, 17, 26, 28, 133, 139, 173, 183 Pedhazur, E. J., 241, 242, 247, 25 1 Peplau, L. A., 105, 123, 211, 212, 213, 214,215,216,226,227,229 Perlman, D., xiii, xiv, xvi, 5 3, 52, 76, 77, 105, 123 Perry, B. J., 66, 77 Petersen, A. C., 35, 47 Peterson, C., 90, 100 Peterson, D. R., 105, 123 Peterson, G. W., 32, 38, 40, 41, 42, 49 Peterson, M. R., 116, 123 Petronio, S., 34, 49, 71, 77 Philpott, J., 18, 26 Pierce, G. R., 113, 120, 123 Pietropinto, A., 213, 229 Pisklakova, M., 255, 257, 270, 274, 275 Pistole, M. C., 87, 101 Pittam, J., 142, 143, 149, 161 Pittman, G., 84, 85, 98 Planalp, S., 193, 204, 313, 320 Pollack, C., 144, 161 Pomeroy, W. B., 213, 228 Porterfield, E., 233, 238, 239, 243, 249, 251 Pott, M., 246, 251 Poulsen, S., 20, 28 Powell, R. D., 233, 238, 239, 249, 251 Power, T. G., 35, 48 Prager, K. J., 219, 229 Precker, M., 103, 123 Prins, K. S., 83, 99 Prisbell, M., 66, 73, 77

N
Nardi, l? M., 89, 93, 101 Nass, C., 143, 161 Negel, L. A., 193, 203 Negroponte, N., 158, 161 Nelligan, J. S., 87, 102 Nelson, J., 33, 34, 49 Neudecker, T. E., 46, 49 Newcomb, T. M., 108, 123 Nezlek, J., 90, 102 Nicholson, J., 84, 85, 98 Nishida, T., 278, 289, 294 Nix, C. L., 60, 67, 76, 77, 89, 95, 101 Noll, A. M., 157, 161 Noller, P, 33, 34, 35, 37, 39, 41, 49, 245,246,250, 263, 274 Norton, R., 5, 28 Nussbaum, J. F., 93, 97, 101

0
T. G., 39, 49 Odden, C., 173, 177, 181, 183 Oliker, S. J., 7, 28 Olson, D. H., 39, 44, 47, 49, 255, 261 270,274 Omdahl, B. L., 106, 108, 117, 122 Omoto, A., 105, 121 Oravec, J., 45, 46, 49 T., 150, 160 Ossana, S. M., 209, 210, 213, 229 Oxley, D., 90, 100

P
Padesky,C., 216, 229 Page,M. S., 91, 100, 232, 246, 250 PageYoun, M. S., 246, 248, 251, 308, 320 Palucki, L. J., 91, 100 Park, M. S., 290, 295 Park, S-Y., 279, 280, 287, 288, 296 Parks, M., 71, 76, 77 Parks, M. R., 141, 142, 145, 146, 147, 159, 161, 201, 203 Pataki, S. l?, 82, 101 Patterson, B. R., 93, 97, 101, 197, 204 Patterson, D. G., 2 10, 229 Paul, E. L., 96, 101 Paulson, C., 214, 229

K
Rabby, M. K., 82, 101, 142, 153, 156, 161, 180 Ragsdale,J. D., 63, 64, 66, 77, 266, 274 Ramey, J. R., 214, 229 Ramkissoon, M., 246, 250 Rankin, C., 66, 77 Rawlins, W. K., 81, 83, 84, 85, 88, 93, 94, 95, 96, 97, 101, 315, 320 Ray, G., 20, 28 Razlogov,K. E., 255, 272 Read, S. J., 86, 87, 99 Reece, R., 215, 229 Reilly, M. E., 214, 216, 217, 229, 230 Reis, H. T., 90, 102, 232, 245, 246, 250, 278, 296

AUTHORINDEX Remien, R. H., 212, 213, 230 Renner, M., 129, 139 Repinski, D. J., 35, 48 Reske, J. R., 128, 129, 131, 134, 135, 139, 158, 162 Reyna, J., 149, 162 Rheingold, H., 145, 161 Rholes, W S., 87, 102 Rice, R. E., 145, 157, 161 Richardson, R. A., 141, 160 Rijsman, J. B., 116, 122 Rimashevskaya,N., 255, 257, 258, 270, 274,275 Rindfuss, R., 131, 138 Rintel, E. S., 142, 143, 149, 161 Rios, D. 1?5:32, 234, 246, 248, 250, Ritchie, D., 65, 76, 317, 319 Roberto, K. A., 83, 101 Roberts, L. D., 142, 144, 145, 146, 161 201,203 Robertson, L. R., 260, 261, 274 Robins, E., 211, 230 Rogers,L. E., 199, 202 Rohlfing, M. 128, 129, 131, 132, 136, 138 Roloff, M. E., 187, 188, 204, 282, 295 Rose, S. M., 80, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 96, 97,102 Rosenberg,M., 246, 251 Rosenblatt, I? C., 233, 238, 239, 243, 249, 251 Roth, D. M., 86, 98 Rothbaum, F., 246, 251 Rotter, J. B., 119, 123 Roudakova, N. V, 258,268, 274 Roush, l?, 166, 182 Rubenstein, T. S., 94, 102 Rubin, A. M., 214, 230 Rubin, Z., 105, 123 Rusbult, C. E., 6, 28, 40, 49, 109, 112, 114, 120, 122, 123, 124, 196, 197, 204, 212, 227, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 237, 238, 239, 240, 241, 242, 243, 244, 245, 246, 249, 250, 251, 252, 253, 263, 274, 278, 284, 285, 288, 295,308, 311,320 Rushing, B., 128, 138 Rutherford, D. K., 193, 204, 313, 320 Rutt, D. J., 55, 76 Ryu, D., 157, 160

-=+

331

Sabatelli, R. M., 63, 77 Saghir, M. T., 211, 230 Sahlstein, E., 21, 27, 135, 136, 139 Salaff, J., 144, 162 Salovy, P, 119, 124 Samp, J.A., 193, 196, 199, 204 Samter, W., 20, 26, 85, 86, 88, 89, 94, 96,99,318,319 Sanchez-Hucles, J., 92, 102 Sanders, R. E., 150, 161 Sarason,B. R., 113, 120, 123 Sarason,I. G., 113, 120, 123 Sato, S., 278, 279, 295 Schaefer, E. F., 117, 122 Schaefer, J. A., 113, 123 Schapiro, L., 259, 274 Scharfe, E., 246, 252 Schmitt, J. F!, 211, 212, 214, 215, 226, 229,230 Schmitz, J., 157, 160 Schratter, A., 193, 203 Schruijer, S. G., 116, 122 Schuh, R., 21, 27 Schullo, S. A., 215, 216, 230 Schulman, L., 147, 159 Schwartz, J. E., 106, 124 Schwartz, l?, 33,34,49,209,210,211, 212, 213,216,227,228,229 Schwebel, A., 129, 139 Scott, J. l?, 83, 101 Scott, M. B., 199, 204 Seeger,M., 259, 274 Segrin, C., 107, 122 Segrist, A. E., 215, 229 Selfe, C. L., 148, 161 Selinger, M., 87, 101 Sellen, A. J., 157, 161 Semic, B. A., 68, 69, 75 Semin, G. R., 193, 203 Sensibaugh,C., 92, 100 Serafica, F. C., 80, 90, 96, 102 Serovich, J. M., 209, 227 Shackelford, T K., 213, 230 Shaffer, L. S., 97, 98 Shapiro, C., 82, 101 Shaver, P, 245, 251 Shea, B. C., 10, 15, 28, 133, 139, 173, 183 Sherrod, D., 89, 93, 101

332 -+=

AUTHORINDEX Steers, W N., 91, 100, 246, 250 Stephen, E., 131, 138 Stephen, T., 129, 130, 133, 139, 154, 158, 162 Stevens, J., 241, 242, 247, 252 Stipek, D., 194, 204 Stone, A. A., 106, 124 Stone, G., 131, 132, 138 Strejc, H., 55, 76 Strube, M. J., 112, 124 Suhr, J., 219, 227 Summers, S., 232, 245, 250 Surra, C. A., 239, 242, 252 Swanberg, J. E., 24, 26 Swensen, C., 130, 131, 138 Swigger, K., 149, 162 Sysenko, V A., 262, 275

Shibazaki, K., 236, 252 Shimizu, H., 279, 295 Shulman, S., 87, 94, 95, 102 Sias, I? M., 165, 173, 174, 177, 179, 181,183 Sidelinger, R. J., 33, 47 S&man, S. J., 1, 23, 28 Sillars, A. L., 197, 204, 269, 274 Silver, M. E., 104, 119, 123 Silverman, B., 258, 274 Silverthorn, K., 199, 203 Simenauer, J., 213, 229 Simmons, C. H., 279, 295 Simon, E. I?, 43, 47, 220, 227 Simpson, J. A., 87, 102 Singh, P, 312, 319 Slovacek, C., 151, 162 Slovik, L. F., 234, 241, 245, 252, 288, 295 Smith, A. G., 309, 320 Smith, J., 152, 160 Smith, K., 84, 85, 98 Smith, L. M., 144, 161 Snyder, M., 105, 121 Soloman, D. H., 193, 196, 199, 204 Spanier, G. B., 5, 28, 52, 76, 214, 227, 239, 251 Spears, R., 147, 150, 160, 161 Sperling, V, 258, 260, 274 Spiegelhoff, M., 15, 28 Spitzberg, B. H., 92, 100, 199, 203, 293,295 Sprecher, S., 53, 76, 77, 263, 274, 280, 294, 309,312, 319,320 Springer, C., 193, 203 Sproull, L., 141, 145, 160, 161 Sroufe, L. A., 87, 94, 95, 102 Stafford, L. S., xiii, xvi, 7, 14, 15, 16, 18, 26, 27, 28, 32, 33, 38, 39, 42, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55; 56, 57, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65. 66, 67, 68, 69, 70, 71; 72; 73; 74; 75, 76, 77, 79, 82, 88, 91, 97, 99, 102, 129, 130, 131, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 138, 139, 143, 153, 155, 156, 158, 160, 161, 162, 174, 176, 182, 187, 197, 199, 202, 204, 209, 219, 220, 222, 225, 227, 228, 230, 262, 264, 265, 267, 272, 273, 274, 275, 277, 280, 282, 284, 286, 293, 294, 295, 301, 303, 305, 307, 308, 311, 312, 314, 316, 317, 319, 320,321 Steen, S., 33, 34, 49

T
Taing, P, 233, 250 Takahashi,Y., 246, 250 Tangney,J. P, 194, 204, 205 Taylor, D. A., 105, 121, 185, 202 Taylor, S. E., 223, 228 Teachman, J. D., 255, 275 Tepper, B., 169, 176, 181, 183 Tesch, S. A., 95, 97, 102 Thacker, R. A., 165, 174, 183 Thibaut, J. W, 4, 6, 28, 63, 76, 109, 124, 219, 230, 232, 233, 234, 251,252, 312, 321 Thompson, A. E, 213, 230 Thompson, S., 152, 160 Thomsen, D. G., 113, 124 Thomson, E., 231, 253 Thornton, A., 231, 253 Ticoll, D., 45, 46, 49 Tidwell, L. C., 147, 149, 151, 162 Ting-Toomey, S., 278, 289, 294, 295 Tolhuizen, J. H., 18, 19, 28 Traupmann, J., 53, 76, 312, 320 Triandis, H. C., 248, 252, 279, 295 Tripp, T. M., 114, 124 Tschann,J. M., 91, 102 Tucker, M. B., 236, 252 Tuller, N. R., 213, 215, 226, 230 Turkle, S., 142, 162 Tversky, A., 119, 123 u Uhl-Bien, M., 167, 176, 182 Utne, M., 53, 76, 312, 320

AUTHORINDEX Utz, S., 142, 146, 162

+a-

337,

V
Vangelisti, A. L., 3, 19, 27, 32, 36, 38, 49, 193,205 Van Lange, I? A. M., 233, 242, 243, 244, 249,252, 253 Vannoy, D., 255, 257, 265, 266, 267, 268,274, 275 Verbrugge, L. M., 95, 102 Verette, J., 197, 204, 232, 234, 239, 241, 245, 252, 284, 285, 288, 295,308, 311, 320 Verma, J., 278, 279, 295 Vincent, J. I?, 185, 195, 202 Vogl-Bauer, S., 40, 41, 42, 49, 61, 63, 77, 308,311, 321 von Kolke, A., 279, 295

W
Wabnik, A. I., 15, 27, 68, 76, 186, 203, 277, 279, 294,302,320 Wagner, G. J., 212, 213, 230 Waite, L. J., 231, 253 Wakabayashi,M., 166, 176, 181, 182 Waldron, V, 21, 22, 23, 28, 163, 166, 168, 169, 173, 175, 176, 177, 178, 181, 183, 184,318,321 Wall, S., 86, 98 Wallace, L. A., 15, 26, 57, 60, 64, 75, 79, 82, 88, 99, 129, 130, 133, 137, 153, 160 Walster, E., 53, 69, 77, 118, 121 Walther, J. B., 86, 98, 142, 144, 147, 148, 149, 150, 151, 152, 156, 162, 180,201, 205, 318, 321 Watson, M. A., 214, 230 Watson, M. R., 174, 182 Watzlawick, P, 112, 116, 117, 124, 316, 321 Wayne, S. J., 165, 174, 176, 183, 184 Weber, M. D., 80, 98 Weigel, D. J., 36, 49, 62, 63, 65, 67, 69, 71, 74, 77, 256, 257, 261, 262, 264, 265, 266, 267, 271, 272, 275, 306,308,318 Weigel, R. R., 266, 275 Weinberg, M., 211, 230 Weinberg, M. S., 211, 213, 227 Weiss, L., 79, 102 Weiss, R. L., 185, 195, 202 Weiss, R. S., 80, 102

Weisz, J., 246, 251 Wellman, B., 20, 28, 144, 162 Wenzel, A., xiv, xvi Werking, K. J., 91, 102 West, A. M., 91, 100 West, J. T, 112, 124 est, L., 84, 85, 98 Westefeld, J. S., 132, 139, 304, 321 Wexler, M. O., 232, 233, 238, 240, 245, 250 Whaley, K. L., 94, 102 Wheeler, L., 90, 102, 278, 296 Wheeless, L. R., 149, 162 White, J. M., 39, 40, 41, 48 White, L. K., 263, 275 Whitehurst, R. N., 214, 228 Whitely, W, 176, 182 Whitney, G. A., 234, 241, 245, 252, 288, 295 Whittemore, G., 149, 160 Wieselquist, J., 237, 242, 246, 253 Wigley, III, C. J., 116, 123 Williams, C., 211, 230 Williams, G. D., 269, 272 Williamson, R. C., 5, 28 Wilmot, W W, 3, 8, 26, 28, 132, 133, 139,269, 274 Wilson, S. R., 279, 295 Wilson, T., 145, 160 Winstead, B. A., 90, 91, 92, 99, 102 Wiseman, J. P, 85, 102, 104, 113, 124 Witcher, B. S., 242, 243, 244, 253 Witt, I? L., 149, 162 Wolicki, J. S., 144, 160 Wood, J. T, 104, 124, 266,275 Work, C., 251, 308, 320 Wright, K. D., 118, 124 Wright, I? H., 80, 81, 87, 91, 102, 118, 124 Wright, T. L., 213, 227

Y
Yanowitch, M., 258, 274 Yarab, P, 92, 100 Yi, J. S., 250, 279, 280, 287, 288, 296 Yoon, H. J., 278, 289, 295 Young, A., 211, 228 Young, S. L., 193, 205 Yum, J. O., 278, 281, 282, 296 Yum, N., 246,250 Yum, Y., 282, 285, 286, 287, 288, 290, 291,293, 296

334

-I++

AUTHORINDEX

Z
Zachs, E., 213, 228 Zaguidoulline, M. G., 62, 74, 257, 264, 265,266, 271,272,308,318 Zdravomyslova, 0. M., 265, 272 Zelley, E. D., xiv, xvi, 6, 26, 57, 68, 70, 75, 81, 83, 87, 99, 102, 310, 311,315, 316,319 Zembrodt, I. M., 241, 245, 246, 252, 288,295 Zormeier, M. M., 92, 100 Zuo, J., 263, 275

subject Index

D
Accommodation, 24 l-242 Affinity, 11 Alternatives, 235-236, 242-243, Attachment, 86-88, 245-246 Attributions, 196 B Barriers, (see External Forces) of Maintenance, 2, 9, 10, 53-54,187-l 88,194,209, 219,264,300-301 Developmental Issues, 34-38, 93-97, 269 Dialectics, 3, 6, 42-44, 83-85, 106, 218, 220-221,314-316 Definitions

285

lz
6, 105, 108-109, 174-175, 194-195 Equity, 41-42, 53, 56, 63-64, 81-83, 209,216, 220,312 Expectations, 64, 129, 135, 136, 200, 231,266 Expression vs. Suppression, 6-7 External Forces (including Barriers), xiii, 7-8, 53, 109-l 10, 112, 289 Emotions,

c
Centripetal vs. Centrifugal Forces, 7-9, 53 Choice, (see Nonvoluntary/Voluntary) Circumplex Model, 44 Commitment, 67, 69-70, 131, 196, 197,212-214,233-234, 238, 239,242-245271,279 Communication Channels, 13 3- 13 5, 153-158 Comparison Level (CL), 234-23 5 Comparison Level of Alternatives (Clalt), 235-236, 239, 312 Control, 67 Culture, 61-62, 186, 246, 247-248, 256,257-262,278-281, 286-289,290,291-292, 309-310,312-313,314,316

I=
Facetoface Communication, 25, 45, 134-135, 144, 145, 147-148, 151, 152,201 Friendship, 60, 67, 79-98, 173-174

335

330 -+a

SUBJECT INDEX

N
Gay/Lesbian Relationships, Goals, 107, 168, 197 61, 209-226 Nonvoluntary/Voluntary Distinction (including Choice), 20, 22-23, 32,104-105,109,301-302, 311-313,315,316

H 0
Homosexual Relationships, 61, 209-226 Hyperpersonal, 15 l-l 52, 158 Online Relationships, 25, 144-145, 146~147,152,201 Openness (see Self-Disclosure) P Perceptions, 15-16, 35-36, 65 Personality, 113, 119, 197, 245-247 Power, 164, 216-217 R Characteristics and Maintenance (see also Commitment, Intimacy, Satisfaction, Trust), 67-68,68-70,280,286 Relational Continuity, 1, 23-25 Relational Development, 18, 19, 145-146 Relational Termination, 18, 19 Relationship Type, 9, 13, 64-65, 73, 180-181, 197-198, 268-269 Repair Strategies, 13-l 4, 95-200 Rituals, 8-9, 17, 36 Routine/Strategic Maintenance (see also Intentionality), 10, 16-l 7, 54-56,57,58-59,72-73,85, 220,302-304 Relational

(see also Culture), 65, 257-259,262,278-279,281 Intentionality (see also Routine/Strategic), 56, 73, 287, 302-304, 311-312,313-314,315 Interdependence, 4-5, 6, 38, 64, 233-234 Intimacy, 8, 20, 92, 105-106, 152, 279 Investment, 6, 120, 196, 234, 236-237, 285,288

Ideology

Jealousy, 134

Listening, 33-34, 197 Long Distance Relationships (definition), 129-l 30 Longitudinal Approaches, 68, 2 17-219

M
Maintenance Behaviors, 9-l 4, 18-20, 33,56-57,58-61,88-89, 113-118,132~133,153-155, 164~173,219-220,221, 240-245,264-266,308 Mediated Communication (see also Technology), 24, 25, 82, 89, 134-135 Metacommunication (see SelfDisclosure), 8-9

5
(Relational), 3-4, 5, 11-12, 13, 51, 66-67, 69-70, 13 1, 196, 197, 212,234-235, 263-264,287 Self, 116, 307-308, 314 Self Disclosure (including Openness and Metacommunication), 7, 8, 9, 43,71,73-74,222 Satisfaction

SUBJECT Sex Differences, 13, 15, 16, 66, 71, 90-91,92,215-216,257-260, 263,266-267 Sex Roles, 2 14-2 16 Sexual Harassment, 176-l 77 Social Exchange (see also Equity), 4, 6, 40-41, 167,219,233, 310-313 Social Information and Deindividuation Theory, 150-151, 158 Social Information Processing Theory, 147-148 Social Skills, 85-86, 31 O-3 13 Stigma, 210, 221, 232 Strategic/Routine Maintenance, 16-l 7, 542Wb;7, 72-73,220, Superior/Subordinate, 2 l-22, 167, 169-173 Synchrony, 143-l 44, 149 Systems Theory, 38-39, 167-l 68, 316-317

INDEX

=+-

337

T
(see also Mediated Communication), 25, 45-46, 141, 180,201 Transgressions, 188-l 95 Trust, 67, 131, 212 Technology

Uncertainty

Reduction,
111-114

133, 147, 198,

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download