Since the genesis of social scientific research on relationship development in the 1960’s, scholars have recognized the integral role played by interpersonal communication as partners navigate increases, changes, and decreases in intimacy. This chapter organizes theory-driven and programmatic research on interpersonal communication and relationship development into three veins. Scholarship representing a social exchange perspective on relationship development highlights how perceptions or experiences of rewards and costs drive interpersonal communication, relationship satisfaction, and commitment or stability. Work focused on uncertainty reduction, information management, relationship dialectics, and affective exchange emphasizes how relationships are grounded in partners’ abilities to coordinate meanings and behavior. This chapter also examines theory and research describing the contours of relationship change. The conclusion highlights two directions for future research, with an emphasis on the nuanced, multifaceted nature of relationship development.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities(all)
- Social Sciences(all)