Using Olsen and Cromwell's (1975) three facetsof interpersonal power (power in resources, process, andoutcomes), we examined the balance of power in lateadolescent romantic relationships and the associations between interpersonal power, adolescents'self-esteem, and depression. Participants were 61adolescent couples who were primarily European-American(90% of girls and 93% of boys), with the remainder being comprised of approximately 2-3% each of NativeAmerican, Asian, African American, and Hispanicindividuals. We assessed power in terms of access toemotional resources, control during video-tapedinteraction, and control over decision-making. Overall,couples were more likely to be described by themselvesand by independent observers as egalitarian, with themajority of couples equally contributing emotional resources, sharing power in interaction, andsharing decision-making responsibility. However,romantic relationships characterized by inequality inthe contribution of emotional resources and indecisionmaking were associated with greater psychologicalsymptomatology, especially for females.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 30, 2004
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