Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Reference works: encyclopedias & handbooks
Use dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks to learn quickly about the state of research on your topic. A good encyclopedia article should describe major themes, current research fronts, and controversial areas; it should also provide a brief bibliography of classic, important, or definitive works on your topic. Handbooks generally offer chapters on specific aspects of a topic: together, the handbook's chapters should provide a broad overview of the state of research; individually, chapters may be narrowly focused.
The Corsini encyclopedia of psychology (4th ed., Wiley, 2010)
Through its four editions starting in 1984, Corsini has been the basic reference work for psychology. Brief articles with short bibliographies are most easily found by browsing the "Articles by Topics" hierarchy: see especially "Cognitive, emotional, and sensory functions" and "Personality and interpersonal processes". Representative articles include: "Attachment and bonding", "Friendships", "Romantic Competence", "Love".
Handbook of psychology / Irving B Weiner, ed (2nd ed., Wiley, 2012)
"A momentous resource that codifies major advances in psychological research and applications" - that's the title of the PsycCRITIQUES book review! With 12 volumes in print, this is an encyclopedia-sized work with journal-article-length entries. Penn has five contributing authors. The 12-page article, "Close relationships"
, is one of several useful articles in Vol. 5, Personality and social psychology.
Handbook of social psychology (Wiley, 5th ed, 2010)
Appearing every decade or 15 years since 1954 (with a precursor in 1935), the Handbook provides a state-of-the-art overview of the field. The 5th edition's "Articles by Topic" browsing presents three topical areas: Methodology, The Social Being, and The Social World. See especially The Social World's 43-page article, "Close relationships"
Close relationships: a sourcebook / Clyde Hendrick & Susan S Hendrick, eds. (SAGE, 2000)
A reviewer called this, "formidable and imposing" but also "an excellent starting place or refresher course". Includes groups of chapters on research methodologies, relationship forms, relationship processes, and threats to relationships. You will want to update whatever you find here.
APA handbook of personality and social psychology. Vol. 3, Interpersonal relationships (APA, 2015)
Part of the online APA Handbooks in Psychology
, a recent collection intended as a one-stop shop for both overviews and in-depth analyses of a variety of sub-fields within psychology. Chapters in this volume have rich bibliographies, grouped around several themes: major theoretical approaches; biological approaches and health; attraction and relationship development; motivation, emotion, and intersubjectivity; support, communication, and power; friendship, love, and sexuality; maintenance, strife, and dissolution.
Cambridge handbook of personal relationships (CUP, 2006)
Print only: Van Pelt stacks HM1106 .C36 2006
A one-volume work on assorted topics, including "Research methods for the study of personal relationships", "Close relationships and social support: implications for the measurement of social support", and "Stress in couples : the process of dyadic coping".
Development of romantic relationships in adolescence / Wyndol C Furman et al., eds. (Cambridge Univ Press, 1999)
The pioneering work on the topic, still useful today. Chapter 1, "Missing the Love Boat"
, describes obstacles to researching adolescent romance. Other chapters treat processes, individual differences, and social contexts of adolescent romantic relationships.
Handbook of adolescent psychology (3rd ed., Wiley, 2009)
A closer look at research on one subpopulation. Browse the "Table of Contents", to look in Volume 1 for "Gender development in adolescence", "Attachment and autonomy during adolescence", "Adolescent sexuality" and "Internalizing problems during adolescence", and in Volume 2 for "Peer relationships in adolescence" and the 48-page "Romantic relationships in adolescence"
Psychology of women : handbook of issues and theories (2nd ed., Praeger, 2008)
Print only: Van Pelt stacks HQ1206 .P747 2008
Includes chapter: "Women's friendships and romantic relationships" / Donna Castañeda and Alyson L. Burns-Glover.
Bibliographies & literature reviews
Literature reviews are a handy way to get quickly into the scholarly literature. A typical literature-review article will provide a narrative that identifies and describes dozens of journal articles and books.
The APA's comprehensive psychological research database offers short cuts for finding literature reviews on your topic.
Fill out the search template with the terms for your topic. Then scroll down to the "Methodology" search option filter - select "Literature Review", "Meta Analysis", and "Systematic Review".
Be sure to sort your search results by "Publication date (most recent first)"!
ProQuest Dissertations and Theses Fulltext
Doctoral students are expected to situate their dissertation topic within the larger research community, and so dissertations usually incorporate a chapter-length literature review.
Search PQDT using "Anywhere except full text - ALL". PQDT is a fulltext database, and dissertations are book-length works. "ALL" will search titles and abstracts only.
Using Citations to Find Resources
You may already have citations of relevance to the text on which you are working. These resources will help you find an online or print version of the cited work.
Librarian & Coordinator of Social Sciences Collections
Subjects: African Studies
, Aging Studies
, Data & GIS
, Food Studies
, Health & Societies
, International Relations
, Philadelphia Studies
, Political Science
, Population Studies & Demography
, Public Policy & Administration
, Social Sciences
, Urban Studies
Created for PSYC 470-302: Friendship & Attraction (Fall 2014).
Updated for PSYC 470-302: Friendship & Attraction (Fall 2015).
Sunday, 6pm-11pm, Monday-Thursday, 9am-11pm, and Friday, 9am-5pm.