Interpersonal Power in Intimate Relationships: A Data-Driven Learning Guide (ICPSR 340)

Principal Investigator(s): Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research


Data-Driven Learning Guides are a collection of instructional exercises that can be used to enhance teaching of core concepts in the social sciences. This learning guide investigates interpersonal power in dating, cohabiting, and married couples. Interpersonal power in intimate relationships is multi-dimensional. It may mean one partner's ability to reward, to coerce, to have one's authority recognized, to command reference (love/respect), to claim expertise, or to hold information. Partners may have different levels of power in different aspects of the relationship. Research questions that can be explored using this learning guide include: what different types of power might be at play in intimate relationships, whether power is related to relationship satisfaction, whether men and women communicate and exercise power differently, how much power women have compared to ment, whether the type and locus of power vary based on the type and importance of decisions made, and whether the nature of the relationship (dating, cohabiting, or married) affects power dynamics. Crosstabulation and comparison of means are used in the analyses.

Access Notes

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Study Description

Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    authority, gender, instructional materials, intimate partners, power, social sciences

Geographic Coverage:    United States