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


1.  Singles and Subtypes of Singles

Singles in Old Age

Allen, K. R. (1989). Single women/ family ties. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.

Allen, K. R. (2000). Families in the middle and later years: A review and critique of research in the 1990s. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62, 911-926.

Antonucci, T. C., & Akiyama, H. (1987). An examination of sex differences in social support among older men and women. Sex Roles, 17, 737-749.

Antonucci, T. C., & Jackson, J. S. (1987). Social support, interpersonal efficacy, and health: A life course perspective. In L. L. Carstensen & B. A. Edelstein (Eds.), Handbook of Clinical Gerontology (pp. 291-311). NY: Pergamon.

Antonucci, T. C., Okorodudu, C., & Akiyama, H. (Eds.). (2002). International perspectives on the well-being of older adults. Journal of Social Issues, 58. (Entire issue.)

Babchuk, N. (1978). Aging and primary relations. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 9, 137-151.

Barrett, A. E., & Lynch, S. M. (1999). Caregiving networks of elderly persons: Variation by marital status. The Gerontologist, 39, 695-704.

Belsky J. (1992). The research findings on gender issues in aging men and women. In B. R. Wainrib (Ed.), Gender Issues Across the Life Cycle (pp.163-171). New York: Springer.

Bengtson, V., Burton, L., & Rosenthal, C. (1990). Families and aging: Diversity and heterogeneity. In R. H. Binstock & L. K. George (Eds.), Handbook of aging and the social sciences (3rd ed., pp. 263-287). NY: Academic Press. (Includes a section on older singles.)

Bengtson, V. L., & Schaie, K. W. (Eds.). (1999). Handbook of theories of aging. NY: Springer.

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

Blazer, D. G. (1982). Social support and mortality in an elderly community population. American Journal of Epidemiology, 115, 684-694.

Borgatta, E. F., & Loeb, M. B. (1979). Research on aging: An introduction. Research on Aging, 1, 3-9.

Braito, R., & Anderson, D. (1981). Singles and aging: Implications for needed research. In P. J. Stein (Ed.), Single Life: Unmarried Adults in Social Context (pp. 327-334). New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Braito, R., & Anderson, D. (1983). The ever-single elderly woman. In E. W. Markson (Ed.), Older women: Issues and prospects (pp. 195-225). Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

Cantor, M. H. (1979). Neighbors and friends. Research on Aging, 1, 434-463.

Carstensen, L. L. (1992). Motivation for social contact across the life span: A theory of socioemotional selectivity. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, 40, 209-254.

Carstensen, L. L., & Pasupathi, M. (1993). Women of a certain age. In S. Matteo (Ed.), American women in the nineties: Today’s critical issues (pp. 66-78). Boston: Northeastern University Press.

Charles, S. T. (2001). The how and why of affect regulation across the adult life span. Emotion Researcher, 15, 8-9.

Charles, S. T., & Carstensen, L. L. (2002). Marriage in old age. In M. Yalom & L. L. Carstensen (Eds.). (2002). Inside the American couple: New thinking, new challenges (pp. 236-254). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Conner, K. A., Powers, E. A., & Bultena, G. L. (1979). Social interaction and life satisfaction: An empirical assessment of late-life patters. Journal of Gerontology, 34, 116-121.

Connidis, I. A. (2001). Family ties and aging. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. (Esp Chapter 5. Being single in later life. Chapter 6. Transitions in marital status: Widowhood, divorce, and remarriage.)

Davies, L. (1995). A closer look at gender and distress among the never married. Women & Health, 23 (2), 13-31. (Reports differences in distress at young, middle, and older ages.)

Dressel, P. L., & Hess,B. B. (1983). Alternatives for the elderly. In E. D. Macklin & R. H. Rubin (Eds.), Contemporary Families and Alternative Lifestyles: Handbook on Research and Theory (pp.271-287). London: Sage.

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.

Dykstra, P. A. (1995). Loneliness among the never and formerly married: The importance of supportive friendships and desire for independence. Journal of Gerontology: Social Sciences, 50B, S321-S329.

Field, D., & Minkler, M. (1988). Continuity and change in social support between young-old and old-old or very-old age. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 43, P100-106.

Fredrickson, B. L., & Carstensen, L. L. (1990). Choosing social partners: How old age and anticipated endings make people more selective. Psychology and Aging, 5, 335-347.

Fung, H. H., Carstensen, L. L., & Lutz, A. M. (1999). Influence of time on social preferences: Implications for life-span development. Psychology and Aging, 14, 595-604.

George, L. K., Okun, M. A., & Landerman, R. (1985). Age as a moderator of the determinants of life satisfaction. Research on Aging, 7, 209-233.

Goldberg, G. S., Kantrow, R., Kremen, E., & Lauter, L. (1986). Spouseless, childless elderly women and their social support. Social Work, 31, 104-112.

Gubrium, J. F. (1975). Being single in old age. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 6, 29-41.

Gubrium, J. F. (1976). Time, roles, and self in old age. New York: Human Sciences Press.

Gupta, V., & Korte, C. (1994). The effects of a confidant and a peer group on the well-being of single elders. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 39, 293-302.

Hatch, L. R. (2000). Beyond gender differences: Adaptation to aging in life course perspective. Amityville, NY: Baywood.

Hatch, L. R., & Bulcroft, K. (1992). Contact with friends in later life: Disentangling the effects of gender and marital status. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 54, 222-232.

Hochschild, A. R. (1978). The unexpected community: Portrait of an old age subculture (Rev. ed.). Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Johnson, C. L., & Barer, B. M. (1997). Life beyond 85 years: The aura of survivorship. NY: Springer.

Jones, C. J., & Meredith, W. (2000). Developmental paths of psychological health from early adolescence to later adulthood. Psychology and Aging, 15, 351-360.

Keith, P. M. (1986). Isolation of the unmarried in later life. Family Relations, 35, 389-395.

Keith, P. M. (1986). The social context and resources of the unmarried in old age. International Journal of Aging and Human Development, 23, 81-96.

Keith, P.M. (1989). The unmarried in later life. NY: Praeger.

Keith, P. M., Braito, R., & Breci, M. (1990). Rethinking isolation among the married and the unmarried. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 60, 289-297.

Keith, P. M., & Lorenz, F. O. (1989). Financial strain and health of unmarried older people. The Gerontologist, 29, 684-691.

Kohen, J. A. (1983). Old but not alone: Informal social supports among the elderly by marital status and sex. The Gerontologist, 23, 57-63.

Krause, N., & Shaw, B. A. (2000). Role-specific feelings of control and mortality. Psychology and Aging, 15, 617-626.

Kunzmann, U., Little, T. D., & Smith, J. (2000). Is age-related stability of subjective well-being a paradox? Cross-sectional and longitudinal evidence from the Berlin Aging Study. Psychology and Aging, 15, 511-526.

Lamme, S., Dykstra, P. A., & Broese van Groenou, M. I. (1996). Rebuilding the network: New relationships in widowhood. Personal Relationships, 3, 337-349.

Lang, F. R., & Baltes, M. M. (1997). Being with people and being alone in late life: Costs and benefits for everyday functioning. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 21, 729-746.

Lawton, M. P. (2001). Emotion in later life. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 10, 120-123.

Levenson, R. W., Carstensen, L. L., Friesen, W. V., & Ekman, P. (1991). Emotion, physiology, and expression in old age. Psychology and Aging, 6, 28-35.

Litwin, D. (1997). Single older women and the family. In I. Deitch & C. W. Howell (Eds.), Counseling the Aging and their Families (pp. 25-40). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

Markson, E. W. (Ed.). (1983). Older women: Issues and prospects. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

Mroczek, D. K., & Kolarz, C. M. (1998). The effect of age on positive and negative affect: A developmental perspective on happiness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 75, 1333-1349.

Newtson, R. L., & Keith, P. M. (1997). Single women in later life. In J. M. Coyle (Ed.), Handbook on women and aging (pp. 385-399). Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.

Nezlek, J. B., Richardson, D. S., Green, L. R., & Schatten-Jones, E. C. (2002). Psychological well-being and day-to-day social interaction among older adults. Personal Relationships, 9, 57-71.

Nolen-Hoeksema, S., & Ahrens, C. (2002). Age differences and similarities in the correlates of depressive symptoms. Psychology and Aging, 17, 116-124.

Noller, P., Feeney, J. A., & Peterson, C. (2001). Personal relationships across the lifespan. Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis. (Chapter 6: Personal relationships and the elderly.)

O’Brien, M. (1991). Never married older women: The life experience. Social Indicators Research, 24, 301-315.

Palmore, E. (1981). Social patterns in normal aging: Findings from the Duke longitudinal study. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Peplau, L. A., Bikson, T. K., Rook, K. S., & Goodchilds, J. D. (1982). Being old and living alone. In L. A. Peplau & D. Perlman (Eds.), Loneliness: A Sourcebook of Current Theory, Research, and Therapy (pp.327-347). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Pinquart, M. (2003). Loneliness in married, widowed, divorced, and never-married older adults. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 20, 31-53.

Rook, K. S. (1987). Reciprocity of social exchange and social satisfaction among older women. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 52, 145-154.

Rook, K. S. (1990). Stressful aspects of older adults’ social relationships: Current theory and research. In M. A. Parris Stephens, J. H. Crowther, S. E. Hobfoll, & D. L. Tennenbaum (Eds.), Stress and coping in later-life families (pp. 173-192). NY: Hemisphere.

Rook, K. S. (1991). Facilitating friendship formation in late life: Puzzles and challenges. American Journal of Community Psychology, 19, 103-110.

Rook, K. S. (1995). Support, companionship, and control in older adults’ social networks: Implications for well-being. In J. F. Nussbaum & J. Coupland (Eds.), Handbook of communication and aging research (pp. 437-463). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Rook, K. S. (2000). The evolution of social relationships in later adulthood. In S. H. Qualls (Ed.), Psychology and the Aging Revolution (pp. 173-191). Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

Rook, K. S., & Schuster, T. L. (1996). Compensatory processes in the social networks of older adults. In G. R. Pierce, B. R. Sarason, & I. G. Sarason (Eds.), Handbook of social support and the family (pp. 219-248). NY: Plenum.

Rook, K. S., Thuras, P. D., & Lewis, M. A. (1990). Social control, health risk taking, and psychological distress among the elderly. Psychology and Aging, 5, 327-334.

Rubinstein, R. L. (1986). Singular paths: Old men living alone. NY: Columbia University Press.

Rubinstein, R. L. (1987). Never married elderly as a social type: Re-evaluating some images. The Gerontologist, 27, 108-113.

Rubinstein, R. L., Alexander, B. B., Goodman, M., & Luborsky, M. (1991). Key relationships of never married, childless older women: A cultural analysis. Journal of Gerontology, 46, S270-277.

Ryff, C. D. (1991). Possible selves in adulthood and old age: A tale of shifting horizons. Psychology and Aging, 6, 286-295.

Scheman, S., & Turner, H. A. (1998). Age, disability, and sense of mastery. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 39, 169-186.

Schutz, R., & Heckhausen, J. (1996). A life span model of successful aging. American Psychologist, 51, 702-714.

Shanas, E. (1979). The family as a social support system in old age. The Gerontologist, 19, 169-174.

Simon, B.L. (1987). Never married women. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press.

Smithers, J. A. (1985). Determined survivors: Community life among the urban elderly. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Soldo, B. J., Sharma, M., & Campbell, R. T. (1984). Determinants of the community living arrangements of older unmarried women. Journal of Gerontology, 39, 492-498.

Stroebe, W., Stroebe, M., Abakoumkin, G., & Shut, H. (1996). The role of loneliness and social support in adjustment to loss: A test of attachment versus stress theory. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 70, 1241-1249.

Stull, D. E., & Scarisbrick-Hauser, A. (1989). Never-married elderly: A reassessment with implications for long-term care policy. Research on Aging, 11, 124-139.

Tower, R. B., & Kasl, S. V. (1996). Gender, marital closeness, and depressive symptoms in elderly couples. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, 51B, P115-P129.

Ward, R. A. (1979). The never-married in later life. Journal of Gerontology, 34, 861-869.

Ward, R. A. (1981). The never-married in later life. In P. J. Stein (Ed.), Single Life: Unmarried Adults in Social Context (pp. 342-356). New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Weaver, F. (1996). The girls with the grandmother faces: A celebration of life’s potential for those over 55. NY: Hyperion.

Wood, V., & Robertson, J. F. (1978). Friendship and kinship interaction: Differential effect on the morale of the elderly. Journal of Marriage and the Family, May, 367-375.


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