No couple is an island: A social network perspective on dyadic stability

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Social networks have a relatively large and multifaceted effect on the stability of intimate relationships, based on proportional hazard analysis involving 290 individuals. Perceptions of approval from a respondent's friends and approval from a partner's family increase relationship stability. On the other hand, perceived approval from a respondent's family, overall encouragement to date, and closeness to a best friend decrease-stability in the multivariate model. Perceptions of social approval are better at predicting stability than actual approval. The effects of social networks occur even after controlling for the significant effects of dyadic variables such as the perceived existence of alternatives, closeness to the partner, and arguing. Findings confirm the positive and negative roles of social ties and support the argument that friendships can compete with romantic relationships for companionship.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1259-1287
Number of pages29
JournalSocial Forces
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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