Dyadic Research in Marriage and Family Therapy: Methodological Considerations

Authors


  • Andrea K. Wittenborn, PhD, is a Assistant Professor of Department of Human Development, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; Megan L. Dolbin-MacNab, PhD, is a Associate Professor of Department of Human Development, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; Margaret K. Keiley, EdD, is a Professor of Human Development and Family Studies, Auburn University.

Address all correspondence to Andrea K. Wittenborn, Virginia Tech, 7054 Haycock Road, Falls Church, Virginia 22043; E-mail: andreawittenborn@vt.edu

Abstract

With training that emphasizes relationship systems, marriage and family therapists are uniquely attuned to interpersonal dynamics, interdependence, and the influence of relationships on individuals’ perceptions, beliefs, and attitudes. While recent statistical advances have contributed to a proliferation of resources designed to introduce researchers to dyadic data analysis, guidelines related to the methodological aspects of dyadic research design have received less attention. Given the potential advantages of dyadic designs for examining couple and family relational and therapeutic processes, the purpose of this article is to introduce marriage and family therapy researchers to dyadic research methodology. Using examples from our own research, we discuss methodological considerations and lessons learned related to sampling, measurement, data collection, and ethics. Recommendations for future dyadic research are provided.

Video Abstract

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