A Dynamic Dyadic Systems Approach to Interpersonal Communication

Denise Haunani Solomon, Miriam Brinberg, Graham D. Bodie, Susanne Jones, Nilam Ram

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This article articulates conceptual and methodological strategies for studying the dynamic structure of dyadic interaction revealed by the turn-to-turn exchange of messages between partners. Using dyadic time series data that capture partners’ back- and-forth contributions to conversations, dynamic dyadic systems analysis illuminates how individuals act and react to each other as they jointly construct conversations. Five layers of inquiry are offered, each of which yields theoretically relevant information: (a) identifying the individual moves and dyadic spaces that set the stage for dyadic interaction; (b) summarizing conversational units and sequences; (c) examining between-dyad differences in overall conversational structure; (d) describing the temporal evolution of conversational units and sequences; and (e) mapping within-dyad dynamics of conversations and between-dyad differences in those dynamics. Each layer of analysis is illustrated using examples from research on supportive conversations, and the application of dynamic dyadic systems analysis to a range of interpersonal communication phenomena is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1001-1026
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Communication
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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