• cluster analysis;
  • dyadic/couple data;
  • sibling relations

Several methods exist for typologizing dyadic relationships. The present study reviews the utility of methods for typologizing relationships, exploring the strengths and weaknesses of 3 different approaches, and applying them to the study of adolescent sibling relationships. The 3 methods examined are a priori methods, cluster analysis, and mixture models. Each approach was used to analyze the same data taken from a cross section of a longitudinal study of 384 families with adolescent children. Clustering appeared to favor a 2-type solution whereas the mixture model approach supported 4 types. The 3 strategies are discussed in terms of their statistical rigor and utility in the study of close relationships.