Interpersonal Power in Intimate Relationships: A Data-Driven Learning Guide Go to Resource


Historically in the United States heterosexual relationships have followed a patriarchal model where men are the dominant partners. However over the past century changes to women's roles in the public and private spheres have altered gendered power dynamics, so much so that research shows that over 90% of both men and women now say they believe that partners should have an equal say in the relationship.

Interpersonal power in intimate relationships is multi-dimensional. It may mean one partner's ability to reward; coerce; have one's legitimate authority recognized; command reference (respect/love); claim expertise; or hold information. Partners may have different levels of power in different aspects of the relationship.

The goal of this exercise is to explore interpersonal power in dating, cohabiting, and married couples. Crosstabulation and comparison of means will be used.

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Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research
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