Power and Psychological Wellbeingin Late Adolescent Romantic Relationships
Using Olsen and Cromwell's (1975) three facets of interpersonal power (power in resources, process, and outcomes), we examined the balance of power in late adolescent romantic relationships and the associations between interpersonal power, adolescents' self-esteem, and depression. Participants were 61adolescent couples who were primarily European-American(90% of girls and 93% of boys), with the remainder being comprised of approximately 2-3% each of NativeAmerican, Asian, African American, and Hispanic individuals. We assessed power in terms of access to emotional resources, control during video-taped interaction, and control over decision-making. Overall, couples were more likely to be described by themselves and by independent observers as egalitarian, with the majority of couples equally contributing emotional resources, sharing power in interaction, and sharing decision-making responsibility. However, romantic relationships characterized by inequality in the contribution of emotional resources and indecision making were associated with greater psychological symptomatology, especially for females.
Galliher, R.V., Rostosky, S.S., Welsh, D.P., & Kawaguchi, M.C. (1999). Power and psychological wellbeing in late adolescent romantic relationships. Sex Roles, 40, 689-710.