chapter  7
Serial Arguments in Interpersonal Relationships: Relational Dynamics and Interdependence
ByAmy Janan Johnson, Ioana A. Cionea
Pages 17

Trapp and Hoff (1985)’s initial findings, that people often referred to ongoing arguments when asked to describe one such exchange, paved the way for an exciting line of research into what they called serial arguments. These arguments are ongoing discussions of the same issue with the same person that attempt to resolve some perceived incompatibility between the two parties involved (Trapp & Hoff, 1985). Research on serial arguments has grown exponentially in the past decade,

moving beyond Trapp and Hoff’s (1985) initial model. Our goal in this chapter is to provide a summary of the main lines of research focused on relational dynamics that have spun from Trapp and Hoff’s initial model in order to facilitate an understanding of the current state of research in this area. We then explore a new avenue for explaining the underlying processes that

characterize serial arguments: focusing more specifically on the interdependence (Hocker & Wilmot, 1978) between arguers. We present an analysis of serial arguments in close relationships in which we focus on the role arguers have in the argumentative episode in order to illustrate the idea of interdependence. Finally, we present several methodological and theoretical implications regarding serial arguments research and the potential directions for future research in this area.