Discord through the decades : a longitudinal analysis of conflict and relational dialectics in television couples
This study examined five seminal television series — I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, The Jeffersons, The Cosby Show, and Home Improvement — for episodes of conflict. Those episodes of conflict were then analyzed through thematic analysis. Using Baxter's (1988) relational dialectical tensions as a theoretical framework, the internal tensions present in romantic relationships (i.e., autonomy v. connection, novelty v. predictability, and openness v. closedness) served as themes to organize the data. After identifying the dialectical tensions present in each of the series, the shows were then compared to determine if a shift had occurred in each of the dialectics over time.