Entries in conference (2)


It’s Not Just About You and Me: How Social Networks Impact Relationships

In this symposium at the 2015 SPSP meeting, four researchers (including Tim Loving and Fred Clavel, who are SofR regulars) presented their work on how romantic relationships are affected by the social networks around them.

Lisa Diamond led things off with a discussion of how same-sex couples feel more stress compared to heterosexual couples, because homosexuality is more stigmatized. In her study, 120 couples (some male-female, some male-male, some female-male) came into the lab and engaged in a task where they discussed a recent conflict they were having. Interestingly, whether same-sex couples felt marginalized by the broader community (i.e. whether they felt accepted by society or not) didn’t seem to predict negativity during this conflict discussion. But if they felt marginalized or having lower status within their spouse’s family (the in-laws) that caused problems within the couple. Not feeling equally accepted within a spouse’s family was associated with more negativity/hostile behavior, greater escalation of conflict (it became intense quickly), and a higher ratio of negative to positive interactions. Dr. Diamond suggested that same-sex couples may feel more distress in their relationship if their close circle of friends/family disapprove of them, rather than if the society at large disapproves of them.

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Relationship Science Goes Down Under

For three days in July (July 10-13th) the International Association for Relationship Research will be meeting in Melbourne, Australia! There will be speakers from many disciplines (e.g., psychology, sociology, communication, and anthropology), all of whom will be talking about the newest advances in relationship science. For example, Dr. Garth Fletcher will be talking about how love helps solve the mystery of human evolution, and Dr. Judith Feeney will discuss how our attachment styles affect how we respond to relationship conflict.  

Attending the regular conference can be pricey ($200 a day for non-members, or $640 for the entire weekend, including receptions), but the organization is pleased to announce a $10 event designed for the general public that will be held on Wednesday, July 9th from 12-1:30 pm (for those of you in or planning to be in Australia!). At this open event, Australian and international experts on relationships will answer fundamental questions such as Do our relationships early in life shape our relationships in later life? (Professor Jeffry Simpson, University of Minnesota) and What do we look for in a romantic partner? (Dr. Gery Karantza, Deakin University). These thought-provoking presentations will each be followed by a 20 minute Q & A and a light lunch. For registration information for this pre-conference event, please visit here