Theoretical and methodological issues in relationship research: Considering the common fate model

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  • Family and relationship researchers ask research questions at the dyadic- or family level, yet analyses are often conducted at the individual level. We review theoretical perspectives relative to studying families and dyads and note how they are connected with dyadic analysis techniques. We note differences in theoretical assumptions underlying the actor–partner interdependence model, the common fate model (CFM), and hybrid models that combine features of both and distinguish between the types of questions each addresses. Using third grade, sixth grade, and age 15 data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development study of Early Child Care and Youth Development (N = 732), we illustrate the value of using CFM and hybrid models to explore how family chaos is associated with couple conflict resolution and child behavior problems. Dyadic- and family-level analyses may offer additional insight into family functioning, and we provide recommendations for the use of CFM in furthering this line of inquiry.

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    Article (Published)
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    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International