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By John C. Masters

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Sample text

Additionally, the relative merits of dimensional and typological approaches to relationships have not been examined. Research on relationships can also benefit from recently developed analytical techniques. Early observational work was principally composed of static descriptions of participants' behavior. With the development of techniques such as sequential analysis or time series, work has started on the more difficult, but essential, task of describing the pattern of interaction in the relationship (Cairns, 1979; Lamb, Suomi, &c Stephenson, 1979; Sackett, 1978).

Such theories are needed if developmental psychologists are to go beyond simply describing what occurs to explaining why it occurs. Thus it is essential that research on relationships focus not merely on process or content but on their interplay in relationships. Finally, it should be noted that relationships are open systems. Any relationship is influenced by factors external to that system. In particular, a relationship is affected by and affects other personal relationships. The 2: Studying Personal Relationships 39 interdependence of the various dyadic relationships has been recognized in conceptualizations of the family (Bronfenbrenner, 1 9 7 9 ; Feiring & Lewis, 1978; Lerner & Spanier, 1978).

Significant effects are described in the text. central facets of friendship (Furman & Bierman, in press), whereas the last one (quarreling) was included so as to provide information about antagonistic interactions. 5 presents the longitudinal trends. These trends were examined separately for children who first met at camp and those who were previously acquainted; scores were also examined separately for children who received low, medium, and high ratings of friendship on the seventh day of camp.

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