chapter  5
Power in Close Relationships: A Dyadic Power Theory Perspective
ByNorah E. Dunbar, Brianna L. Lane, Gordon Abra
Pages 18

Interpersonal power is an integral part of all human relationships. Relational power dynamics exist irrespective of whether or not they become expressed in conflict but affect such basic relational elements as conflict topic choice, conflict strategy choice, and conflict outcomes. Power relations are therefore a crucial element to understanding the achievement of instrumental, relationship, and identity goals. Dunbar’s (2004) Dyadic Power Theory was created with precisely these considerations in mind. Our goal in this chapter is threefold: to examine the evidence collected thus far about the ability of DPT to explain power in dyads; to evaluate the methodological challenges facing DPT researchers; and finally to consider new applications of DPT to dyadic relationships.