Relationships are dynamic, meaning that they change over time. Developmental theories attempt to describe and explain the dynamic character of relationships. Specifically, the authors of this chapter cover three theoretical approaches: uncertainty reduction, stage models, and turning points. These approaches stem from post-positive perspectives (i.e., uncertainty reduction and social penetration), the interpretive perspective (i.e., turning points), and how they intersect. Working from the assumption that relational change is inevitable, this chapter reviews scholarly work that focuses on a variety of contexts (e.g., friends, romantic relationships, family, or coworkers). These approaches also shed light on the entire relational lifespan by investigating quantitative or qualitative changes that occur over time. Perhaps more so than in other areas of study, developmental theories/models of relationships are historically important and have important pedagogical applications.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Engaging Theories in Interpersonal Communication|
|Subtitle of host publication||Multiple Perspectives, 3rd Edition|
|Publisher||Taylor and Francis|
|Number of pages||14|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2021|
ASJC Scopus subject areas