Theoretical Frameworks for Personal Relationships

By Ralph Erber ; Robin Gilmour | Go to book overview

exploring links between different types of relationships will aid in understanding how relationships influence development.

Finally, when links are shown across relationships, mechanisms need to be proposed to account for the continuity. One mechanism could be working models ( Bowlby, 1973) or relationship schemas ( Young, 1986), which presumably summarize an individual's expectations about relationships and guide an individual's behavior in relationships. Although cognitive psychologists have developed many methods for assessing schemas, almost no research has been conducted on people's cognitions about relationships. Second, learning mechanisms such as reinforcement or modeling may also account for continuity in an individual's behavior across social partners ( Putallaz, 1987). Third, the model assumes that the relationship skills of individuals contribute to the quality of a relationship. Another area of research might focus on identifying the skills needed in different types of personal relationships. A broad empirical base on the links between relationships can serve as a guide in the search for mechanisms to account for continuity.


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

Parts of this chapter were written while the author was funded on an NIMH postdoctoral training grant (No. MH15780) awarded to the University of Denver. Thanks are extended to Elizabeth Wehner, Gary Levy, Robin Gilmour, Ralph Erber, and L. Alan Sroufe for their helpful comments on an earlier draft of this chapter.


REFERENCES

Ainsworth, M. D. S. ( 1972). "Attachment and dependency: A comparison". In J. L. Gewirtz (Ed.), Attachment and dependency (pp. 97-137). Washington, DC: Winston.

Ainsworth, M. D. S. ( 1982). "Attachment: Retrospect and prospect". In C. M. Parkes & J. Stevenson- Hinde (Eds.), The place of attachment in human behavior (pp. 3-30). New York: Basic Books.

Ainsworth, M. D. S., Bell, S. M., & Stayton, D. J. ( 1971). "Individual differences in Strange Situation behavior in one-year-olds". In H. R. Schaffer (Ed.), The origins of human social relations (pp. 17-57). London: Academic Press.

Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & Wall, S. ( 1978). Pattern of attachment. A psychological study of the Strange Situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Baumrind, D. ( 1973). "The development of instrumental competence through socialization". In A. D. Pick (Ed.), Minnesota symposia and on childpsychology (Vol. 7, pp. 3-46). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Berndt, T. J. ( 1982). "The features and effects of friendship in early adolescence". Child Development, 53, 1447- 1460.

Block, J. ( 1977). "Advancing the psychology of personality: Paradigmatic shift or improving the quality of research". In D. Magnusson & N. S. Endler (Eds.), Personality at the crossroads. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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