Getting the Most Out of Family Data With the R Package fSRM

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Abstract

Family research aims to explore family processes, but is often limited to the examination of unidirectional processes. As the behavior of 1 person has consequences that go beyond that individual, family functioning should be investigated in its full complexity. The social relations model (SRM; Kenny & La Voie, 1984) is a conceptual and analytical model that can disentangle family data from a round-robin design at 3 different levels: the individual level (actor and partner effects), the dyadic level (relationship effects), and the family level (family effect). Its statistical complexity may however be a hurdle for family researchers. The user-friendly R package fSRM performs almost automatically those rather complex SRM analyses and introduces new possibilities for assessing differences between SRM means and between SRM variances, both within and between groups of families. Using family data on negative processes, different type of research questions are formulated and corresponding analyses with fSRM are presented.

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