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

Relationship Topics

To understand the lives of people who are single, it may be helpful to understand the most important issues in the study of personal relationships. Listed here are readings on a variety of topics in the scholarship on relationships (not specific to singles). They include: How do people form deep attachments to others and what kinds of adult relationships can be considered attachment relationships? What are the different functions and types of relationships? What can an evolutionary perspective tell us about relationships? How are relationships sustained across generations? What are the dark sides of human relationships?

Ainsworth, M. D. S. (1991). Attachments and other affectional bonds across the life cycle. In C. M. Parkes, J. Stevenson-Hinde, & P. Marris (Eds.), Attachment across the life cycle (pp. 33-51). NY: Routledge.

Aron, A., & Fraley, B. (1999). Relationship closeness as including other in the self: Cognitive underpinnings and measures. Social Cognition, 17, 140-160.

Bengtson, V. L. (2001). Beyond the nuclear family: The increasing importance of multigenerational bonds. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 1-16.

Berscheid, E., & Reis, H. T. (1998). Attraction and close relationships. In D. T. Gilbert, S. T. Fiske, & G. Lindzey (Eds.), The handbook of social psychology (4th Ed., Vol. 2, pp. 193-281). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Buss, D. M., Shackelford, T. K., Kirpatrick, L. A., & Larsen, R. J. (2001). A half century of mate preferences: The cultural evolution of values. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 491-503.

Cassidy, J., & Shaver, P. R. (Eds.). (1999). Handbook of attachment: Theory, research, and clinical applications. NY: Guilford. (Esp Chapter 16. Hazan & Zeifman. Pair bonds as attachments: Evaluating the evidence. Chapter 31. Van Ijzendoorn & Sagi. Cross-cultural patterns of attachment: Universal and contextual dimensions.)

Clark, M. S., & Mills, J. (1993). The difference between communal and exchange relationships: What it is and what it is not. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 19, 684-691.

Erber, R., & Erber, M. W. (2001). Intimate relationships: Issues, theories, and research. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon.

Fingerman, K. L., & Hay, E. L. (2002). Searching under the streetlight?: Age biases in the personal and family relationships literature. Personal Relationships, 9, 415-433.

Fiske, A. P. (1992). The four elementary forms of sociality: Framework for a unified theory of social relations. Psychological Review, 99, 689-723.

Galvin, K. M., & Cooper, P. J. (1996). Making connections: Readings in relational communication. Los Angeles, CA: Roxbury.

Goodwin, R. (1999). Personal relationships across cultures. NY: Routledge.

Hays, S. (1998). The fallacious assumptions and unrealistic prescriptions of attachment theory: A comment on "Parentsí socioemotional investment in children." Journal of Marriage and the Family, 60, 782-295.

Hazan, C., & Shaver, P. R. (1994). Attachment as an organizational framework for research on close relationships. Psychological Inquiry, 5, 1-22.

Helgeson, V. S. (2002). The psychology of gender. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall. (Chapter 8: Romantic relationships.)

Huston, T. L., Niehuis, S., & Smith, S. E. (2001). The early marital roots of conjugal distress and divorce. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10, 116-119.

Krause, N., & Shaw, B. A. (2002). Negative interaction and changes in functional disability during late life. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 19, 339-359.

Levinger, G. (1977). Re-viewing the close relationship. In G. Levinger & H. L. Raush (Eds.), Close Relationships, (pp. 137-161). Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.

Lewis, M. A., & Rook, K. S. (1999). Social control in personal relationships: Impact on health behaviors and psychological distress. Health Psychology, 18, 63-71.

Lydon, J. E., Meana, M., Sepinwall, D., Richards, N., & Mayman, S. (1999). The commitment calibration hypothesis: When do people devalue attractive alternatives? Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 152-161.

Mashek, D. J., Aron, A., & Boncimino, M. (2003). Confusions of self with close others. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 29, 382-392.

McAdams, D. P., & Vaillant, G. E. (1982). Intimacy motivation and psychosocial adjustment: A longitudinal study. Journal of Personality Assessment, 46, 586-593.

McDonald, K. B., & Armstrong, E. M. (2001). De-romanticizing Black intergenerational support: The questionable expectations of welfare reform. Journal of Marriage and Family, 63, 213-223.

Mikulincer, M., Florian, V., & Hirschberger, G. (2003). The existential function of close relationships: Introducing death into the science of love. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 7, 20-40.

Neff, K. D., & Harter, S. (2003). Relationship styles of self-focused autonomy, other-focused connectedness, and mutuality across multiple relationship contexts. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 20, 81-99.

Neyer, F. J., & Asendorpf, J. B. (2001). Personality-relationship transaction in young adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81, 1190-1204.

Neyer, F. J., & Lang, F. R. (2003). Blood is thicker than water: Kinship orientation across adulthood. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 310-321.

Perlman, D. (2000). The dark side of relationships. Paper presented at the VIII Mexican Congress of Social Psychology and the 1st Mexican Congress of Personal Relationships. Guadalajara, Mexico.

Rook, K. S. (1984). The negative side of social interaction: Impact on psychological well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 46, 1097-1108.

Rook, K. S. (1992). Detrimental aspects of social relationships: Taking stock of an emerging literature. In H. O. Veiel & U. Baumann (Eds.), The meaning and measurement of social support (pp. 157-169). NY: Hemisphere.

Rude, S. S., & Burnham, B. L. (1995). Connectedness and neediness: Factors of the DEQ and SAS dependency scales. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 19, 323-340.

Sedikides, C., Olsen, N., & Reis, H. T. (1993). Relationships as natural categories. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 71-82.

Simpson, J. A., & Gangestad, S. W. (2001). Evolution and relationships: A call for integration. Personal Relationships, 8, 341-355.

Spitzberg, B. H. (2002). The tactical topography of stalking victimization and management. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 3, 261-288. (Percent of stalking incidents originating from romantic relationships.)

Tashiro, T., & Frazier, P. (2003). "Iíll never be in a relationship like that again": Personal growth following romantic relationship breakups. Personal Relationships, 10, 113-128.

Twenge, J. M., & Baumeister, R. F. (2003). Social exclusion increases aggression and self-defeating behavior while reducing intelligent thought and prosocial behavior. In D. Abrams, J. Marques, & M. Hogg (Eds.), The social psychology of inclusion and exclusion. NY: Taylor and Francis.

Weiss, R. S. (1998). A taxonomy of relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 15, 671-683.

Western, J. D., & Strum, S. C. (1983). Sex, kinship, and the evolution of social manipulation. Ethology and Sociobiology, 4, 19-28.


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