Limited evidence for structural balance in the family
Network science, 2023, OnlineFirst
STEIN, Jonas, MANDEMAKERS, Jornt, VAN DE RIJT, Arnout, Limited evidence for structural balance in the family, Network science, 2023, OnlineFirst - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75815
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
Previous studies have shown that relationship sentiments in families follow a pattern wherein either all maintain positive relationships or there are two antagonistic factions. This result is consistent with the network theory of structural balance that individuals befriend their friends’ friend and become enemies with their friends’ enemies. Fault lines in families would then endogenously emerge through the same kinds of interactional processes that organize nations into axis and allies. We argue that observed patterns may instead exogenously come about as the result of personal characteristics or homophilous partitions of family members. Disentangling these alternate theoretical possibilities requires longitudinal data. The present study tracks the sentiment dynamics of 1,710 families in a longitudinal panel study. Results show the same static patterns suggestive of balancing processes identified in earlier research, yet dynamic analysis reveals that conflict in families is not generated or resolved in accordance with balance theory.
Published online: 17 August 2023
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/75815
Full-text via DOI: 10.1017/nws.2023.15
ISSN: 2050-1242; 2050-1250
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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