Close Relationships: Family, Friends, Lovers, and Spouses

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Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon. Close Relationships. Interdependent Relationships with Family and Friends versus LonelinessRomantic Relationships and Falling in LoveMarriage: Happily Ever After and Otherwise. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon. . . . . Interdependent Relationships. Interdependence

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1. Chapter 8 Close Relationships: Family, Friends, Lovers, and Spouses

2. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon

3. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Interdependent Relationships Interdependence—common to all close relationships, characterized by an interpersonal association in which two people influence each other’s lives, often focus their thoughts on one another, and regularly engage in joint activities Includes commitment to the relationship May be motivated by biological factors Evidence for the importance of social bonds exists in other species

4. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Interdependent Relationships Family: Where Relationships and Attachment Styles Begin Parent-child interactions constitute the basis for expectations about later relationships. Adults use baby talk and display exaggerated facial expressions to engage infants. Infants are equipped to interact with fellow humans. They are sensitive to facial cues and the sounds people make.

5. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Interdependent Relationships The lasting importance of parent-child interactions Attachment style—degree of security in interpersonal relationships; styles develop on the interactions between infant and caregiver and lead to the formation of two basic attitudes self-esteem (attitudes about one’s self worth) and interpersonal trust (attitudes about other people)

6. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Interdependent Relationships Four attachment styles are: Secure Style-high in both self-esteem and trust; do best in interpersonal relationships Fearful-Avoidant Style-low in both self-esteem and trust; least adaptive attachment style Preoccupied Style-low in self-esteem and high in trust; strong desire to form a close relationship, but feels unworthy of a partner and is vulnerable to rejection Dismissing Style-high in self-esteem and low in trust; feels deserving of a close relationship, but mistrusts potential partners and tends to reject them to avoid being the one who is rejected Styles appear to generalize to other relationships throughout life, but quality of later relationships can result in a change in attachment style.

7. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Interdependent Relationships Interactions with Other Family Members Other family members besides mothers interact with infants and young children and they are influential. They can compensate for having an unresponsive mother. They are important in the development of values concerning trust, self-worth, competition, and humor. Adolescents and their parents typically express positive feelings about each other. This is associated with becoming an adult who has empathy, high self-esteem, and interpersonal trust. Culture affects these interactions. Collectivist children are more likely to help their parents and less likely to want to interact with people outside of the family than are individualist children.

8. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Interdependent Relationships Relationships between and among siblings Are important in terms of what people learn about interpersonal behavior Involve feelings of affection, hostility, and rivalry Are most likely to be positive if each sibling has a warm relationship with the parents and if the parents are satisfied with their marriage Tend to be negative for schoolyard bullies Tend to drift apart in adolescence, and may become close again in middle adulthood About 20 percent of adult siblings are never close to each other.

9. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Interdependent Relationships Beyond the Family: Friendships Close friendships—relationships in which two people spend a great deal of time together, interact in a variety of situations, and provide mutual emotional support People tend to be modest around their close friends and are less likely to lie to them. Culture influences what friends value in each other. Both Americans and Japanese value considerate behavior, but Americans, unlike Japanese, value a friend who is spontaneous and active.

10. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Interdependent Relationships Gender and friendships Women report more close friends and value intimacy (self-disclosure and emotional support) more than men do. Separation from a friend may be harder for women than it is for men. Men and women tend to discuss different topics with their friends. Opposite-sex friendships Men are more likely to expect a sexual relationship to develop. Women may want a man to protect them.

11. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Interdependent Relationships Loneliness—unpleasant emotional and cognitive state based on desiring close relationships, but being unable to attain them Seems to be a common human experience Consequences of being lonely Negative affect including depression, anxiety, dissatisfaction, pessimism, self-blame, and shyness May be perceived as maladjusted by others Poor health and reduced life expectancy

12. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Interdependent Relationships Why are some people lonely? Genetic predisposition Identical twins are more similar than are fraternal twins Attachment styles Individuals who are insecurely attached are more likely to be lonely. Lack adequate social skills

13. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Interdependent Relationships

14. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Interdependent Relationships Reducing loneliness Cognitive therapy (changing negative thoughts and perceptions) and social skills training (teaching people how to interact with others) help Loneliness as a response to external factors Relocation Social Rejection—when an individual rejects another, not on the basis of what he or she has done, but on the basis of prejudice, stereotypes, and biases Involves avoidance, disengagement, and cognitive dissociation Social Exclusion—when an entire group rejects an individual based on prejudice, stereotypes, and biases

15. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Interdependent Relationships What are your thoughts? It would be hardest to have a relationship with a person who has which attachment style? Why? What do we learn from our relationships with family members that we carry to relationships with others? Can a man and a woman stay friends without being sexually intimate with each other? Why or why not? What advice can you give to someone suffering from loneliness?

16. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Romantic Relationships Romance: Moving Beyond Friendships Similarities and differences between romance and friendships Similarities include the need to affiliate, positive affect, proximity, physical attractiveness, similarity, and mutual liking Differences include sexual attraction, physical intimacy, reports of being in love, and a desire for total approval and acceptance Romantic relationships involve three schemas: self, partner (idealized), and relationship (based on illusions).

17. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Romantic Relationships

18. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Romantic Relationships Selecting a Potential Mate: Gender Differences Although men and women both want a kind and intelligent partner who is faithful, men tend to focus on physical attractiveness and women tend to focus on status and resources. Males seek female attractiveness Evolutionary theory believes this is important since a mate’s beauty is related to youth, health, and fertility and will enhance a male’s reproductive success. Females seek males with resources Evolutionary theory believes this is important since a woman’s reproductive success is improved by choosing a mate who can protect and care for her and their offspring.

19. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Romantic Relationships Other theorists adopt culture-based explanations of gender differences in mate selection. For example, both men and women can prefer a mate who is wealthy. Finding a mate Dating is less common today. “Hanging out” in groups, which may result in pairing off, occurs more frequently. Internet websites are becoming more popular.

20. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Romantic Relationships Love—combination of emotions, cognitions, and behaviors that often play a crucial role in intimate relationships What is the origin of love? Evolutionary theory offers an explanation. Reproductive success is associated with erotic interest and interpersonal commitment. Culture also influences love and its expression.

21. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Romantic Relationships Passionate love—intense and often unrealistic emotional response to another person Involves sexual attraction, the desire to be physically close, and an intense need for love to be reciprocated Three factors are necessary Learning about love Availability of a potential love object State of physiological arousal that is interpreted as feelings of love Tends to be too intense to be maintained permanently

22. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Romantic Relationships Unrequited Love—love of one person for another who does not feel love in return Most common among people who have an insecure attachment style Men report more experiences than women do Person in love feels rejected, other may feel guilty Components of Love Companionate Love—based on friendship, mutual attraction, shared interests, respect, and concern for one another’s welfare

23. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Romantic Relationships Game playing love, possessive love, logical love, and selfless love are four other styles of love. Gender differences in the endorsement of these styles have been found. Sternberg’s (1986) Triangular Model of Love—conceptualization of love relationships consisting of three basic components: intimacy (closeness felt by two people), passion (sexual motives and excitement), and decision/commitment (cognitive processes involved in deciding that one is committed to the relationship) Consummate Love—a complete and ideal love that combines intimacy, passion, and decision/commitment

24. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Romantic Relationships

25. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Romantic Relationships Romance, love, and sex During the 20th century, attitudes about sexuality became more permissive. At the beginning of the 21st century, sexual permissiveness is showing signs of decline. Due to social pressures to conform, unwanted teenage pregnancies, and the rise of incurable sexually transmitted infections However, most couples married in the 21st century had premarital sex with each other and many had sex with others before they were married. Premarital sex and cohabitation are not related to marriage, marital satisfaction, or marital success or failure.

26. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Romantic Relationships What are your thoughts? Under which conditions might women be just as concerned with the attractiveness of romantic partners as men are? What are benefits and costs of meeting a potential mate based on information at a website? How does culture influence love and its expression? Are cultural differences in this area likely to increase or decrease? Why?

27. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Marriage Marital Success and Satisfaction Similarity and assumed similarity Married people are similar to each other and their similarity remains stable over time. Happily married couples believe they are more similar to each other than they actually are (assumed similarity). A positive relationship between similarity and marital success exists.

28. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Marriage Dispositional factors Some people are better than others are at maintaining a positive relationship with their spouses. Narcissists (feel superior and lack empathy) report less commitment to a relationship. People who are securely attached are more likely to experience marital satisfaction. Other negative personality traits (anxiety, negativity, and neuroticism) are related to marital problems. Expression of negative affect is associated with a greater likelihood of marital failure.

29. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Marriage Marital sex Sexual interactions become less frequent as time passes Degree of similarity of sexual attitudes and preferences predicts marital success Love and Marriage: Careers, Parenthood, and Family Composition Is it better to be married or to be unmarried? Married men report being healthier and happier Women in a satisfactory marriage report being healthier

30. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Marriage Love and marriage Passionate love declines over time Companionate love is important to both spouses Work inside and outside the home Men tend to do most of the repairs; women do most of the cleaning and cooking. Conflict can arise when the division of chores is perceived as unfair. Dual-career spouses may experience difficulties Those with secure attachment styles deal best with competing demands between job and marriage.

31. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Marriage Parenthood Can result in unexpected difficulties It can interfere with marital sex. It can cause additional conflicts in the relationship. It is associated with a decrease in marital satisfaction. Couples with a strong, companionate relationship and secure attachment styles experience less of a decline Changes in family composition Marriage rates are down Rates of cohabitation, single-parenthood, gay and lesbian couples with children, and remarriage are on the rise

32. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Marriage When Relationships Fail Despite people’s optimism when they marry, 50% of marriages end in divorce in the United States. Costs and benefits of marital interactions Communal Behavior—benevolent acts in a relationship that “cost” the one who performs those acts and benefit the partner and the relationship itself Is associated with marital satisfaction Marital satisfaction is related to maximizing benefits and minimizing costs.

33. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Marriage

34. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Marriage Problems between spouses Failure to understand the reality that spouse is not perfect Jealousy regarding real or imagined attraction toward someone besides the spouse Infidelity can be a result or a cause of marital breakups. Conflict between desire for independence and the need to be close to someone

35. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Marriage Dealing with marital problems Best to use a constructive style that focuses on the topic being discussed and attempts to resolve conflict Negative styles include avoidance, lashing out against the partner, criticizing the partner, avoiding responsibility, and asking hostile questions Men tend to practice avoidance Consider the long-term consequences of what is said and done during conflicts Create positive rather than negative affect

36. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Marriage Consequences of a failed relationship Spouses are likely to feel distressed and angry when marriage fails. Active response to a failed marriage Ending the relationship or working to improve it Passive response to a failed marriage Waiting and hoping that the relationship will improve or waiting for it to worsen People with secure attachment styles tend to work actively to save a relationship. People with insecure attachment styles tend to end the relationship or wait for it to get worse.

37. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Marriage Children are victims of marital failures. They may experience negative long-term effects on their health and well-being when their parents divorce. Parental conflicts are bad for children regardless if they result in divorce. A failing marriage may be saved if Partners’ needs can be satisfied Each partner is committed to saving the relationship Alternative lovers are not available Most divorced people remarry Remarriages constitute almost half of all marriages in the United States.

38. Copyright 2006, Allyn and Bacon Marriage What are your thoughts? What have you learned regarding how to have a successful marriage or long-term relationship? What are likely sources of conflicts? What is the best way to avoid these conflicts? What is an effective strategy to handle conflicts in a relationship? What should be kept in mind if one divorces and children are involved?

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