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Within-person covariation of agentic and communal perceptions : implications for interpersonal theory and assessment
journal contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by M Roche, A Pincus, Amanda RebarAmanda Rebar, D Conroy, N Ram
Interpersonal theory identifies agency and communion as uncorrelated (orthogonal) dimensions, largely evidenced by research examining between-person analyses of single-occasion measures. However, longitudinal studies of interpersonal behavior demonstrated the within-person association of agency and communion is not orthogonal for many individuals, and between-person differences in these associations relate to adjustment. We applied a similar approach to investigate the association of interpersonal perceptions. 184 university students completed a 7-day event-contingent study of their interpersonal experiences. Using multilevel regression models, we demonstrated that agentic and communal perceptions were positively associated, and the strength of this within-person association was moderated by between-person scores of dependency and narcissism. We discuss the benefits of incorporating within-person interpersonal associations (termed interpersonal covariation) into interpersonal theory and assessment.