The Exchange Process in Close Relationships

Microbehavior and Macromotives
  • John G. Holmes
Part of the Critical Issues in Social Justice book series (CISJ)


Following years of apparent neglect, the study of close relationships is emerging as an important focus for social psychologists. Until a decade ago, research on the topic was typically confined to identifying predictors of marital harmony or discord (cf. Barry, 1970). The demographic characteristics of couples, such as education, status, and family background, were examined in order to portray relationships that were “at risk.” The large majority of studies used either self-ratings of satisfaction or divorce rates as reflections of troubled relationships. With the noteworthy exception of Levinger’s contribution (see Levinger & Snoek, 1972), the research was marked by a lack of concern with considerations of both process and theory. Recent contributions have demonstrated an interest in the theoretical development of models of intimate exchange and “pair cohesiveness” (e.g., Kelley, 1979; Moles & Levinger, 1976), though evidence of an emphasis on the process of conflict and estrangement is meagre (e.g., Hill, Rubin, & Peplau, 1976; Kelley, 1979; Passer, Kelley, & Michela, 1978).


Time Perspective Address Frame Fair Exchange Interpersonal Attraction Resource Class 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • John G. Holmes
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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