Dyads

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Throughout class we have began to learn about dyads and the importance of them in human development. “Dyad” is a term Bronfenbrenner believed played a key role in human development. “A dyad is formed whenever two persons pay attention to or participate in one another’s activities” (Bronfenbrenner 1979, 56). In other words dyads are when a minimum of two people are involved in an ongoing relationship or interaction with each other. Bronfenbrenner describes three different types of dyads; these include observational dyad, joint activity dyad, and primary dyad. An observational dyad “occurs when one member is paying close and sustained attention to the activity of the other, who, in turn, at least acknowledges the interest being shown” A joint activity dyad is one in which the two participants perceive themselves as doing something together” and lastly, “a primary dyad is one that continues to exist phenomenologically for both participants even when they are not together” (Bronfenbrenner, Shelton 19). Within each type of dyad there are three different properties that Bronfenbrenner believed to be helpful in understanding the role of relations in development. These properties included, affect, power, and reciprocity. “Affect refers to the feelings people experience. How people feel about and act towards each other creates the emotional tone of a relationship…positive, warm, loving…negative, cold, unloving” (Bronfenbrenner, Shelton 22). “Power refers to both the relative strength of each person in the relationship, and to their influence on each other” (22). The last property, Reciprocity “refers to the mutual influence or transactional character of the activities and interactions that take place in the relation” (22). An example of a dyad that currently plays a role in my life is a dyad between myself, and a 6-year-old child at the Living and Learning preschool on campus. This child and I participate in an observational dyad when I help prepare breakfast or lunch...
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