• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Conflict is a natural and inevitable aspect of most close personal relationships - the crucial issue is not whether it exists, but the way it is managed. Skilfully portraying both developmental or healthy conflict, and destructive or unhealthy conflict, this interdisciplinary volume leads to a better understanding of this vital aspect of relationships. Integrating current research and theory, the authors explore the variation in definitions of interpersonal conflict; review popular survey and observational measures; and discuss specific concerns regarding parent-child relationships, conflict between friends and those romantically involved.

Conflict in Friendship
Conflict in friendship

As was true of the literature on parent-child conflict, scholars also have noted the importance of peer (e.g., friendship, sibling) conflict in human development (e.g., Erikson, 1959; Hartup, 1992; Piaget, 1932; Selman, 1980; Shantz, 1987; Sullivan, 1953). For example, Furman (1984) noted that positive peer relations are “as essential for healthy adaptation as positive parent-child relations” (p. 103).

Relationships with peers contribute to development in several specific ways. For example, Hartup (1983) asserted that childhood peer relationships are associated with social and emotional development. Stocker (1989) noted that peer relations help children learn social perspective taking as well as social problem-solving skills. Bukowski and Hoza (1989) illustrated the links between peer relationships and adjustment in children and adolescents, and, finally, Corsaro ...

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