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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.
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".
"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.
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".
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.
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.
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".
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.
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".
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.
A fulltext e-journal collection including Annual Review of Psychology. Articles are lengthy literature reviews with BIG bibliographies. Useful for both the text summary and the citations for further reading. HINT! Use the "Advanced Search" link in the upper right corner of the startup window. This permits searching in title, abstract, and keywords only and in specific journals, such as Anthropology, Clinical Psychology, Psychology, and Sociology. An example lit review is: "Love in the fourth dimension" / Ellen Berscheid. Ann Rev Psychol 61 (2010): 1-25.
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". HINT! Be sure to sort your search results by "Publication date (most recent first)"!
Doctoral students are expected to situate their dissertation topic within the larger research community, and so dissertations usually incorporate a chapter-length literature review. HINT! 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.