chapter  11
Dyadic Power Theory
Dominance and Power in Family Communication
ByNorah E. Dunbar, Aubrie Adams
Pages 10

This chapter discusses the state-of-the-art for a theory that attempts to explain how power relationships affect communication behavior: dyadic power theory. Dyadic power theory (DPT) is a social science theory that looks at the factors that cause individuals to feel powerful relative to others, the communication processes that result from that experience of power, and the outcomes for both the relationship and the individuals within it. DPT is both highly testable and falsifiable: it examines variables-such as pre-existing resources, perceived power, dominance behaviors, control attempts, outcomes of an argument, and relational satisfaction -all of which can vary to some degree and are subject to manipulation or measurement. Although it is largely used to examine communication in romantic relationships, it can also be used to explain communication in different types of dyads such as the parent-child, doctor-patient, teacher-student, and boss-employee dyads.