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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 "Human Development" and "Personality and Interpersonal Processes". Representative articles include: "Adult Intellectual Development", "Adulthood and Aging", "Friendships".
Oxford handbook of emerging adulthood / Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, ed. (OUP, 2015)
Citation-rich chapters on theoretical perspectives, structural influences, cognition and the brain, the self, family relations, friendships, romantic relationships and sexuality, education and work, leisure and media use, cultural beliefs, and risk and resilience. Additional titles in Oxford Handbooks: Psychology
will have useful chapters, too.
Emerging adults in America : coming of age in the 21st century / Jeffrey Jensen Arnett & Jennifer Lynn Tanner, eds. (APA, 2006)
From the APA "Decade of Behavior" series, providing mid-2000s "state of the art" surveys with looks forward on society's most significant challenges. Arnett's bookend chapters are especially important.
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"
Handbook of adolescent psychology (3rd ed., Wiley, 2009)
While this reference work focuses on a younger age group, it does include lengthy articles on young adulthood. A closer look at research on one subpopulation. Browse the "Articles by Topic", to look for articles on development, personal issues, and so on. See especially the 35-page "Transition to adulthood"
APA handbook of sexuality and psychology. Vol. 1, Person-based approaches (APA, 2014)
One 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. See especially, "Sexuality in emerging adulthood"
. Other APA Handbooks will be useful, too, e.g., APA Handbook of Career Intervention.
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
Created for PSYC 470-304: Modern Young Adulthood (Fall 2015).
Updated for PSYC 480-301: Modern Young Adulthood (Fall 2016).
Sunday, 6pm-11pm, Monday-Thursday, 9am-11pm, and Friday, 9am-5pm.