The Scientific Study of People Who Are Single:
An Annotated Bibliography

Bella M. DePaulo
Chair, Academic Advisory Board of the Spectrum Institute
Research and Policy Division of the
American Association for Single People (AASP)

January 2, 2004


11. Relationships

Friends and Siblings

There is an enormous and ever-growing psychological literature on romantic relationships and marriage. In developmental psychology in particular, there is also an extensive literature on parent-child relationships. In contrast, the study of siblings and friendsĖespecially adult friendships, is far less developed. The hugely disproportionate attention to sex-linked relationships could convey the message, whether intentionally or unintentionally, that these important relationships are the only relationships of importance. Listed here are some select references on friends and siblings. Very few of them concern people who are single. Relationships with friends and sibs are not the only neglected relationships in the social sciences. The section on social support considers social ties even more broadly, and the implications of those ties for health and well-being.

Adams, G., & Plaut, V. C. (2003). The cultural grounding of personal relationship: Friendship in North America and West African worlds. Personal Relationships, 10, 333-347.

Allan, G. (1998). Friendship, sociology and social structure. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 685-702.

Allan, G. (2001). Personal relationships in late modernity. Personal Relationships, 8, 325-339.

Apter, T., & Josselson, R. (1998). Best friends: The pleasures and perils of girlsí and womenís friendships. NY: Crown.

Bell, R. R. (1981). Worlds of friendship. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage. (Chapter 6. Courtship, marriage, and friendship. [includes a section on singlesí friendships] Chapter 7. Married couples and their friendships. Chapter 8. Divorce and friendship.)

Blau, Z. S. (1956). Changes in status and age identification. American Sociological Review, 21, 198-203. (About the importance of friendship groups)

Blau, Z. S. (1961). Structural constraints on friendships in old age. American Sociological Review, 26, 429-439.

Blieszner, R. (1994). Close relationships over time. In A. L. Weber & J. Harvey (Eds.), Perspectives on close relationships. Boston: Allyn & Bacon.

Brown, B. B. (1981). A life-span approach to friendship: Age-related dimensions of an ageless relationship. In H. Z. Lopata & D. Maines (Eds.), Research in the Interweave of Social Roles: Friendship (Vol. 2, pp. 23-50). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

Candy, S. G., Troll, L. E., & Levy, S. G. (1981). A developmental exploration of friendship functions in women. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 5, 456-472.

Carbery, J., & Buhrmester, D. (1998). The changing significance of friendship across three phases of young adulthood. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 393-409.

Cicirelli, V. G. (1989). Feelings of attachment to siblings and well-being in later life. Psychology and Aging, 4, 211-216.

Connidis, I. A. (2001). Family ties and aging. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (Chapter 12. Sibling ties in middle and later life.)

Dugan, E., & Kivett, V. R. (1998). Implementing the Adams and Blieszner conceptual model: Predicting interactive friendship processes of older adults. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 607-622.

Fehr, B. (1996). Friendship processes. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Friedman, M. (1993). What are friends for? Feminist perspectives on personal relationships and moral theory. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

Gibbons, D., & Olk, P. M. (2003). Individual and structural origins of friendship and social position among professionals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 340-351.

Helgeson, V. S. (2002). The psychology of gender. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. (Chapter 7: Friendship.)

Hess, B. B. (1981). Friendship and gender roles over the life course. In P. J. Stein (Ed.), Single Life: Unmarried Adults in Social Context (pp. 104-115). New York: St. Martinís Press.

Hochman, A. (1994). Everyday acts and small subversions: Women reinventing family, community, and home. Portland, OR: Eighth Mountain Press. (Chapter, "Significant others: Kinship without categories.")

Ingersoll-Dayton, B., Neal, M. B., Ha, J., & Hammer, L. B. (2003). Redressing inequity in parent care among siblings. Journal of Marriage and Family, 65, 201-212.

Kennedy, P. (June/July 2001). So...are you two together? (How do you explain sharing your life with a friend instead of a lover?) Ms. (Magazine), 75-79.

Lindsey, K. (1981). Friends as family. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

McGill, M. E. (1985). Man to man. In M. E. McGill (Ed.), The McGill Report on Male Intimacy (pp. 156-184). New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.

Miller, S. (1983). Men and Friendship. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Nardi, P. M. (1992). Menís friendships. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

Nardi, P. M. (1999). Gay menís friendships: Invincible communities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Noller, P., Feeney, J. A., & Peterson, C. (2001). Personal relationships across the lifespan. Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis.

Pahl, R. (2000). On friendship. Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Rawlins, W. K. (1995). Friendships in later life. In Handbook of communication and aging research (pp. 227-257). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Rubin, L. B. (1985). Just friends: The role of friendship in our lives. NY: Harper & Row.

Sullivan, A. (1998). Love undetectable: Notes on friendship, sex, and survival. NY: Alfred A. Knopf. (Essays.)

Trimberger, E. K. (2001). Friendship networks and care. Paper presented at the conference, "Carework: Inequality and Advocacy," University of California, Irvine.

Voss, K., Markiewicz, D., & Doyle, A. B. (1999). Friendship, marriage and self-esteem. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 16, 103-122.

White, L. (2001). Sibling relationships over the life course: A panel analysis. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 555-568.

Yager, J. (1999). Friendshifts: The power of friendship and how it changes our lives (2nd ed., Rev.) Stamford, CT: Hannacroix Creek Books.



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