A dyadic data analytic primer: An illustration with Mexican-origin couples

Lorey A. Wheeler, Kimberly A. Updegraff, Adriana J. Umaña-Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Dyadic matched-pairs (each person paired with one other person) research designs that include parallel data from both members of a relationship dyad provide a rigorous method for examining questions of interdependence. These designs require the use of analytic methods that account for statistical dependencies because of dyad member characteristics and environments. Using structural equation modeling, we illustrate two alternative analytic approaches for distinguishable (nonexchangeable) two-wave dyadic data: (a) a hybrid of the two-intercept and actorpartner interdependence models and (b) a difference model. Few studies have used these rigorous analytic approaches to analyze dyadic data with Latinos, despite demographic shifts in the U.S. and the cultural relevance of family values and relationship interdependence for this population. As such, our illustrative data were drawn from a larger longitudinal study of Mexican-origin families, with husbands and wives both reporting on somatic symptoms and marital negativity (N = 246 marital dyads). Results revealed that Mexican-origin spouses' somatic symptoms related to increases in partners' marital negativity 5 years later. Prior levels of wives' marital negatively linked to more discrepancies in marital negativity five years later, whereas husbands' marital negativity related to fewer discrepancies. We conclude by discussing the benefits of prospective dyadic data designs for researchers examining questions related to Latino populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)276-290
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Latina/o Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2018


  • Dyadic data
  • Family relationships
  • Latino couples and families
  • Marriage
  • Structural equation modeling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Applied Psychology


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