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Introduces the argument that technological change draws on existing social and economic structures in order to succeed, even while destroying or transforming them. Those institutions and expectations, however, are themselves changing in order to make new machines work. A literature review guides readers through the methods and approaches developed in the history of technology and deployed in the text. These include the divide between internalist and contextual analysis, between the causation claims inherent in technological determinism and social constructivism, and the effort to reconcile the two in actor-network theory and in maintenance studies. This historiographical overview also briefly addresses the approaches found in economic history, national and global history, and social and labor and environmental history, and shifts the Big Question in the history of Industrial Revolution historiography from “Why did England industrialize?” to “Why did these specific machines work then and there?”
Field hospitals are a vital element in providing as many medical services as possible to a stricken population in times of disaster. Setting up a field hospital with advanced auxiliary medical services is possible as long as there is comprehensive and careful planning, training, and preparation done ahead of time. The main objective of the AMS department is to organize and assist in establishing the field hospital, ensure its smooth and efficient operation throughout the stay, and, at the close of a mission to disassemble the equipment for its return journey and then ensure it is in optimum working order for the next call up. The department is responsible for maintaining all medical devices in perfect working order with the focus being on safety compliance and patient welfare. The four core services provided by the department cover medical engineering, medical equipment and pharmacy, diagnostic imaging, and the clinical laboratory. All these services operate according to a predetermined workflow and clear working guidelines. In keeping with the goals of the humanitarian mission, the medical engineering service will handle the acquisition and maintenance of equipment capable of functioning in an electricity free environment. They will verify that all devices are robust and capable of operating under extreme weather conditions and comply with any specifications mandated by the different countries. The pharmacy service plays a vital role in ensuring medicine and its accompanying information is handled efficiently and safely. Data is accrued over the span of a mission to assist with ever more accurate future planning. The diagnostic imaging service must be able to provide both investigative and diagnostic examinations. This service is agile and can be provided in an imaging department tent, a dedicated container unit or bedside for patients who are not to be moved. The clinical laboratory service performs a full array of tests that facilitate in diagnosis and treatment of the patient. The services provided by the laboratory include biochemistry, hematology, and microbiology. The laboratory diagnoses the pathogens in infectious diseases and identifies the type of bacteria and its susceptibility to various antibiotics.
This chapter reviews scholarship on communication and relational maintenance and introduces a new conceptualization of relational maintenance: maintenance as growth. Communication plays a unique role in the maintenance of relationships, as it serves both as a maintenance mechanism and as the means through which other maintenance mechanisms are made manifest. In order to limit the scope, the focus is upon romantic relationships. A synopsis of the history of the study of communication and relational maintenance is offered by reviewing typologies, motivations, antecedents, and the complex connections among maintenance behaviors and relational features. The four most often invoked definitions of maintenance are reviewed, and a fifth new definition of maintenance is proposed in order to extend our conceptualizations of relational maintenance. This fifth, heretofore unarticulated (at least explicitly), is one wherein maintenance is seen as the process of keeping a relationship growing. Maintenance is defined as the state and process of growth or continuous positive change. How we communicate maintenance in accordance with definitions of relational maintenance is considered. Areas for further research are put forward, including attention to maintenance as a multiplex of behaviors as well as the valence, context, timing, and perceived intent of maintenance behaviors.
Maintaining a committed relationship over a long period of time is a challenging task for couples, as both partners need to be responsive to each partner’s preferences and needs, function well together, and be attentive to their environment. Balancing these factors can be difficult, particularly given that all of these domains are likely to change over time. Therefore, partners inevitably experience conflict as they engage in this ongoing process, often differing in their approaches to the myriad factors they must address. Conflict is a normative process that has the potential to help a couple move forward adaptively by restoring balance within the relationship when the differences between partners are addressed. However, it is how an individual handles conflict that determines whether conflict contributes to relationship maintenance. This chapter presents an integrative conceptual model of conflict management using the Valence-Affective-Connection (VAC) model, which comprises three axes along which conflict management and problem-solving tactics vary as well as two timeframes of relationship maintenance. It is our hope that the VAC model will contribute to future research by presenting a framework for deriving testable hypotheses that build on well-established relational theories and incorporate key principles from individual models of psychopathology and physical health.
This chapter introduces the book and is organized around the six most basic yet critical questions that cut across all research: Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. In the first section (“who”), we discuss the types of people who perform relationship maintenance as well as differences among people. The “what” section identifies the central definitional issues that continue to plague the field. The third section (“when”) highlights the conditions under which people perform maintenance as well as the relationship challenges that prompt it. The “where” section identifies the small body of literature on geographic differences in relationship maintenance. The “why” section covers the principal theories that explain engagement in relationship maintenance activities. The final section comments on “how” maintenance activities sustain or enhance relationships. That is, it outlines the correlates, mediators, and moderators that explain the mechanisms by which maintenance operates. We conclude our chapter with a brief overview of the organization of the book.
In this chapter, the authors draw upon Abraham Maslow’s self-actualization theory, Eli Finkel’s suffocation model of marriage, and Arthur and Elaine Aron’s self-expansion model in the process of examining relationship maintenance among members of various cultural groups. A review of the literature on nationality as culture (following Goodwin) suggests limited support for the effects of a nation-level East–West dichotomy on mean levels of relationship maintenance behaviors (i.e., where such an effect exists, persons in Western nations sometimes engage in significantly higher levels of relationship maintenance behaviors than do persons in Eastern nations) and the effects of such a dichotomy on covariance between equity norms and relationship maintenance behaviors (i.e., where such an effect exists, within Western nations only, individuals are more likely to engage in relationship maintenance behaviors when they perceive their relationships as equitable rather than unequitable). However, the effects in question are not consistent and do not generalize to ethnic group differences in means or covariance involving relationship maintenance behaviors within Eastern or Western nations. Implications for studies that integrate cultural psychology with relationship science are discussed.
This chapter focuses on the ways that relational uncertainty can both shape and reflect relationship maintenance behaviors. Relational uncertainty reflects questions about the nature or degree of involvement in close relationships. Relational uncertainty can shape relationship maintenance because, under these conditions, people lack a sufficient framework to guide their own behavior or properly interpret the actions of a partner, which could prevent people from taking actions to maintain or bolster the relationship. When people fail to enact relationship maintenance, the interpersonal climate in the relationship can also give rise to increased questions and uncertainty about relational involvement. This chapter begins by reviewing the different types of uncertainty that can exist in close relationships and describes theory that explicates the role of uncertainty in interpersonal relations. Then, the chapter discusses the ways in which relational uncertainty can be an antecedent to relationship maintenance or an outcome of relationships that are not sufficiently maintained. Finally, the chapter concludes by exploring opportunities for future research on relational uncertainty and relationship maintenance.
Sex is a powerful way for couples to enhance their bond and promote the success and happiness of their relationship. Yet, maintaining sexual intimacy and passion is a challenging endeavor in romantic relationships, making it crucial to understand the role of sex in relationship maintenance. This chapter focuses on the role of sexuality in enabling couples to maintain satisfying relationships, focusing in particular on how couples can maintain sexual desire and satisfaction over time and as they navigate important relationship and life changes that may result in partners experiencing differences in their sexual interests, such as in the transition to parenthood. We begin the chapter by describing the ways that sex can benefit relationships, focusing on the roles of sexual frequency, physical affection, and sexual satisfaction in shaping the quality and maintenance of relationships. Then, we review research on how couples can prevent declines in sexual desire, or remain satisfied in spite of these declines, with a particular focus on sexual goals, sexual communal motivation, sexual communication, and sexual expectations. We conclude the chapter by highlighting several promising directions for future research on sex and relationship maintenance.
This chapter examines how computers and smartphones are used with (or instead of) face-to-face (F2F) interactions for relationship maintenance. After explicating two different definitions of the phrase “relationship maintenance,” we summarize research on the role of particular communication technologies in relationship maintenance. We argue that much contemporary relationship maintenance in romantic relationships occurs in mixed-media relationships, which occur when the “parties conduct in whole or in part through the use of multiple media, including F2F” (Parks). The primary focus of this chapter is on the maintenance of romantic relationships, yet we also review research on other types of relationships when the processes examined seem applicable to close relationships more broadly. We conclude with several important points for future research on relational maintenance and communication technologies, including recognizing that (a) even though technologies can help people maintain their relationships, they also can create burdens and problems; (b) the way people use technologies influences the effects of those technologies in relationships; (c) there is a need for more research on the specific behaviors using technologies in romantic relationships; and (d) even with the rise of communication technologies, face-to-face maintenance behaviors remain important.
Relationships are embedded in broader social networks, including the family and friends of both partners. Covering contributions from several disciplines, this chapter discusses the role of social networks in the maintenance of intimate relationships. We first describe findings from the communication field showing how people use their social networks (such as through doing activities with mutual friends) as one of several strategies to maintain their relationships. Then, we discuss social psychological literature regarding how social networks affect both dyad members’ motivation to engage in various maintenance mechanisms that follow from their decision to commit. Furthermore, the social network can be instrumental in influencing pair members’ ability to maintain their relationship, including by giving advice to help repair relationships, which is also discussed in this chapter. We then turn to more macro-level issues regarding the compositional or structural dimensions of social networks and the ways in which they play a role in the maintenance of couples’ relationships. Variation in the processes of network influence on the maintenance of relationships is also considered, including how networks differentially influence relationship maintenance across the life course and through technology (e.g., social media).
This chapter details and evaluates existing research on the extent to which three related cognitive processes are associated with the successful maintenance of relationships and relationship satisfaction: benevolent attributions, forgiveness, and gratitude. As detailed throughout the chapter, it appears that the extent to which each process is associated with the successful maintenance of relationship satisfaction depends critically on the context in which it operates, including aspects of the people involved in the relationship, aspects of the relationship itself, and aspects of the environment in which the relationship is embedded. Although each process is associated with the successful maintenance of relationship satisfaction in some contexts, each process is also associated with various personal and interpersonal costs to the extent that it operates in other contexts. Accordingly, we argue that maximizing the benefits of any cognitive relationship maintenance strategy requires a nuanced approach to its investigation.
Relationship maintenance is a central topic in relationship science. Most relationship scholars examine relationship maintenance at the proximate level of causation by examining how variables such as immediate threats to a relationship or an individual’s degree of commitment elicit the motivation to maintain it. Far less attention has been granted to distal factors, such as each partner’s developmental history or the possible evolutionary origins of relationship maintenance tendencies. The primary goal of this chapter is to shed clarifying light on these understudied levels of analysis by viewing relationship maintenance processes from an evolutionary-developmental perspective. We first review two central evolutionary frameworks (the Strategic Pluralism Model and Life History Theory) and integrate them within a single model called Developmental Strategic Pluralism. Drawing from this novel framework, we derive a set of testable predictions regarding relationship maintenance processes with the ultimate goals of contextualizing proximate relationship processes within evolutionary thinking and stimulating new avenues for future research in this rapidly growing area of relationship science.
Much of the research on on-again/off-again relationships shows they are different from non-cyclical relationships. This chapter organizes the differences found into three sections: relationship evaluations, communication dynamics, and structural factors. The first section details how on-off partners have lower levels of love, less satisfaction, and more relational uncertainty, particularly while dating (as compared to when they are in a post-dissolution phase). The second section outlines how on-off partners use less relationship maintenance, engage in more disclosure as well as topic avoidance, and also exhibit more conflict and aggression. The third section focuses on structural, external, or sociological factors. For example, on-off relationships are more likely to be long-distance and are somewhat less likely to garner support from their friends and family. In addition, partners in these cyclical relationships are more likely to have experienced economic and employment hardships; yet, children of cycling parents might gain certain benefits. Overall, the research consistently shows that on-off partners have lower relational quality and experience certain external factors that might either produce or perpetuate their cycling.
By its very definition, relationship maintenance implies development within intimate relationships. Whether couples are engaging in activities that keep relationships in good repair or even just in existence, the underlying assumption is clear – the natural state of relationships, if left unattended to, is to deteriorate. Once a relationship starts, therefore, romantic partners must engage in a broad array of maintenance strategies to preserve their relationships, though the form and function of these strategies are likely to change as the partners develop across the life course. Despite the clearly developmental concept of relationship maintenance, scholars have argued that the approach to its study has remained relatively static and disproportionately focused on younger, less established couples. The goal of our chapter is to utilize life course theory to consider the extent to which relationship maintenance strategies vary according to the developmental stage of both the relationship and the individuals within it, as well as to explore whether the antecedents and consequences of relationship maintenance may change across the life course. Our review underscores the need for more developmentally oriented research, which could not only advance theory on what relationship maintenance entails but also elucidate why, when, and how partners engage in it.
Here, we adopt an attachment theoretical perspective on relationship maintenance, based on the idea that a romantic relationship is an attachment bond. In doing so, we emphasize the role of normative attachment processes. We commence by introducing the attachment behavioral system and its three functions of proximity seeking/maintenance, safe haven, and secure base. We then describe the associations between normative attachment processes and relationship maintenance, including a discussion of evolutionary functions. The following part of the chapter explains how individual differences in attachment organization emerge based on early experiences with attachment figures, and why these differences are associated with relationship maintenance. Next, we review the literature on the associations of attachment style with three maintenance behaviors that have been widely studied in relation to attachment: support, communication, and commitment-enhancing behaviors. We conclude our chapter by discussing the association between attachment style and relationship satisfaction, which is regarded as an indicator of successful relationship maintenance. Overall, the normative processes of the attachment system align well with relationship maintenance behaviors, and attachment security tends to positively predict the enactment of maintenance behaviors.
Perhaps not surprisingly, romantic couples experience stress. Stress can originate both within the relationship, such as differing viewpoints between partners, or outside the relationship, such as learning about a poor performance review at work or having an argument with a friend. Irrespective of the origin of the stress, romantic partners are able to combat its negative effects by recognizing stress as an interdependent experience, one that is shared between partners, and engaging in positive dyadic coping. Conceptualized by Bodenmann’s systemic transactional model, positive dyadic coping is defined as supportive behaviors that help to downregulate partners’ negative experiences of stress and include providing emotional or problem-focused support. The purpose of this chapter is to present compelling evidence to conceptualize positive dyadic coping as a relationship maintenance strategy, one that helps preserve the relationship during times of distress and contributes to relationship satisfaction and longevity.
The belief that a relationship partner values and promotes one’s welfare is central to many theories of interpersonal relationships. In this chapter, we review research on accuracy and bias in these perceptions of benevolence and their implications for relationship maintenance. A key conclusion emerging from this literature is that people’s perceptions of their relationship partners’ benevolence are both accurate and biased. Suggesting the operation of a confirmation bias, people’s chronic and generalized beliefs regarding other people’s benevolence appear to bias perceptions of partners’ benevolence within specific relationships. Suggesting the operation of a motivated wishful thinking bias, people’s desires to maintain close relationships with particular partners also bias perceptions of those partners’ benevolence. Despite these biases, there is also evidence for accuracy in perceptions of benevolence. Each of these processes, in turn, appears to shape people’s willingness to enact relationship maintenance behaviors. Suggested directions for future research are described.
An underlying assumption across definitions of relationship maintenance is that these strategies, which are used to maintain a satisfactory state in the relationship, are uniform both within and across couples. However, couples or even partners within the same relationship may differ in how they define a satisfactory state based on their own characteristics and experiences. The goal of this chapter is to consider this diversity, not only in how couples maintain the relationship but also in how these maintenance strategies influence the quality of the relationship. Gender and race are the primary focus of this chapter, as both have been implicated as particularly salient contexts for relationship maintenance. Drawing when possible upon a dyadic approach to understand relationship maintenance, this chapter emphasizes the primary romantic relationship contexts in which gender and race are manifested (i.e., heterosexual and same-sex couples; intraracial and interracial couples) and the key correlates of maintenance within these relationships. Despite numerous advances made in this area over the past decade, more research is needed to explore the intersections of sex/gender and sexual orientation with race to understand how sensitive maintenance may be to the various individual, relational, and cultural contexts in which it occurs.
In this chapter, we describe intervention efforts aimed at promoting maintenance behaviors in romantic relationships and the factors that influence these initiatives. We highlight current cultural forces surrounding clinical and educational practices, the definitions and theories that inform interventions to sustain and enhance partners’ maintenance behaviors, and important considerations for increasing the effectiveness of these interventions. The interventions featured in our review focus on enhancing positive aspects of relationships or mitigating threat to relationship maintenance processes within the cultural context of contemporary relationships. Suggestions for advancing the field include further research on the relevance of specific maintenance strategies and theories of change across the life course, the influence of cultural context and resilience on maintenance processes, unintended consequences of relationship maintenance interventions, and the evaluation process for interventions promoting maintenance behaviors.
This chapter serves as the conclusion of a volume on the maintenance of relationships, especially romantic relationships. As its author, I sought to reflect on the other chapters in the book, doing some synthesizing, placing the volume’s contents in context, and adding my own views. The chapter unfolds by first discussing what maintenance is and then examining the past, the present, and the future of scholarship on maintenance. The discussion of the past mapped the growth of work on maintenance and reflects on a few comparisons between early and current contributions. The segment on the present identifies a citation count–based who’s who in the area, compares five theoretical perspectives on maintenance, and offers a broad-stroke synthesis of antecedents and consequences of maintenance. The chapter’s final section looks to the future, highlighting what authors in the volume recommend plus identifying four additional directions maintenance researchers might pursue. Overall, the chapter documents that from maintenance scholarship’s modest beginnings nearly 50 years ago, the volume of research, the sophistication of theoretical analyses, and the variety of research paradigms have all substantially advanced. Maintenance has gone from obscurity to being an important topic in good standing as we approach 2020.