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Structural Effects on Dyadic Change

Maureen T. Hallinan and Edwin E. Hutchins
Social Forces
Vol. 59, No. 1 (Sep., 1980), pp. 225-245
Published by: Oxford University Press
DOI: 10.2307/2577842
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2577842
Page Count: 21
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Structural Effects on Dyadic Change
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Abstract

This paper examines the effects of intransitivity on change in friendship relations. A distinction is made between salient and nonsalient intransitivity; when triplets are used as the unit of analysis, this distinction clarifies the implications of intransitivity effects for balance theory. Longitudinal data from ten classes of fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students are analyzed using a binomial logit model. The results show that salient intransitivity has a strong effect on friendship change; the magnitude of this effect depends on the structure of the friendship dyad. Nonsalient intransitivity has a weaker effect, which is significant only for certain dyad structures. The effects of sex and classroom organization also depend on dyad structure. Hypotheses about the interaction between tendencies toward reciprocity and balance are tested. The results support a balance interpretation of the effect of intransitivity on change in friendship relations, and suggest that this effect involves both intra- and interpersonal mechanisms: a tendency to restore psychological balance and a peer influence process.

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