1st Edition

Close Relationships

ISBN 9780415877992
Published January 6, 2011 by Routledge
388 Pages

USD $77.95

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Book Description

This multidisciplinary text introduces the concepts, methodologies, theories, and empirical findings of the field of interpersonal relationships. Information is drawn from psychology, communication, family studies, marriage and family therapy, social work, sociology, anthropology, the health sciences, and other disciplines. Numerous examples capture readers’ attention by demonstrating how the material is relevant to their lives.

Active learning is encouraged throughout. Each chapter includes an outline to guide students, key terms and definitions to help identify critical concepts, and exploration exercises to promote active thinking. Many chapters include measurement instruments that students can take and score themselves. A website for instructors features a test bank with multiple-choice and essay questions and Power Points for each chapter.

This text distinguishes itself with:

  • Its focus on family and friend relationships as well as romantic relationships.
  • Its multidisciplinary perspective highlighting the contributions to the field from a wide array of disciplines.
  • Its review of the relationship experiences of a variety of people (of different age groups and cultures; heterosexual and homosexual) and relationship types (dating, cohabiting, marriage, friendships, family relationships).
  • Its focus on methodology and research design with an emphasis on how to interpret empirical findings and engage in the research process.
  • Cutting-edge research on "cyber-flirting" and online relationship formation; the biochemical basis of love; communication and social support; bullying and peer aggression; obsession and relational stalking; sexual violence (and marital rape); and grief and bereavement.

The book opens by examining the fundamental principles of relationship science along with the research methods commonly used. The uniquely social nature of humans is then explored including the impact relationships have on health and well-being. Part 2 focuses on relationship development—from attraction to initiation to development and maintenance as well as the factors that guide mate choice and marriage. The development of relationships in both friendships and romantic partnerships is explored. Part 3 examines the processes that shape our interpersonal experiences, including cognitive (thinking) and affective (feeling) processes, communicative and supportive processes, and the dynamics of love and sex. The book concludes with relationship challenges—rejection and betrayal; aggression and violence; conflict and loss; and therapeutic interventions.

Intended as a text for courses in interpersonal/close relationships taught in psychology, communication, sociology, anthropology, human development, family studies, marriage and family therapy, and social work, practitioners interested in the latest research on personal relationships will also appreciate this engaging overview of the field.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Principles of Relationship Science 1. Basic Facts and Key Concepts. 2. Research Methods. 3. Our Social Nature. Part 2. Relationship Development 4. Relationship Beginnings. 5. Relationship Initiation. 6. Relationship Development. 7. Mate Selection and Marriage. Part 3. Relationship Processes 8. Thinking and Feeling. 9. Communicating and Supporting. 10. Loving. 11. Sexing. Part 4. Relationship Challenges 12. Rejection and Betrayal. 13. Aggression and Violence. 14. Conflict and Loss. 15. Intervention.

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Pamela Regan is Professor of Psychology at California State University, USA. She received her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota, USA. Her research interest is in the area of interpersonal relationships, with an emphasis on passionate love, sexual desire, and mate preference. She has published more than 100 articles, chapters, and reviews; has given over 75 presentations; and is the author of The Mating Game: A Primer on Love, Sex, and Marriage (Sage, 2008) and the co-author (with Ellen Berscheid) of The Psychology of Interpersonal Relationships (Pearson, 2005) and Lust: What We Know About Human Sexual Desire (Sage, 1999). In 2007, she was honored with the Outstanding Professor Award by her university for excellence in instruction and professional achievement.


"Dr Regan skilfully pulls together up-to-date information on the most important work in this area … The chapters are well-structured, easy to read or dip into, and lend themselves well for the use of a scientist-practitioner, with clear examples of real-life relevance and relationship specific psychometric tools used by researchers but equally useful for practitioners … With a multitude of theories, models, research, assessment tools and study guides this book makes an excellent introduction to the study of close personal relationships for all undergraduate and postgraduate psychology students." – Ewa Kremplewska in The Psychologist

"Pamela Regan has given us the book to invite, engage, inspire and instruct the next generations of scholars in the exciting ... work of relationship science. ...Close Relationships informs, challenges, and charms. Our field and our lives can only be better for the comprehensiveness and vision in Dr. Regan's work." -- Ann L. Weber, UNC at Asheville, USA 

"This text contributes significantly to the field because of its emphasis on science, research findings, theoretical concepts, and multiple types of relationships. Dr. Regan is a superb writer. ... [It is] most appropriate for a course on Personal Relationships ... [or] ... as a supplementary text for a course on marriage and the family." — Susan Sprecher, Illinois State University, USA

"A ‘reader-friendly’, intelligent review that draws on a range of theoretical perspectives and will appeal to a wide range of undergraduate and graduate students." -- Robin Goodwin, Brunel University, London

"An excellent overview of relationship studies ... the material [is] easy for undergraduates to read and follow. … Dr. Regan writes well ... [and she] is a respected scholar." — Lawrence Ganong, University of Missouri, Columbia, USA

"[This book] offers fascinating examples of studies and findings that make the science of relationships come alive to the reader. It is written in a highly accessible level, appropriate for either graduate or undergraduate uses, or for practitioners who want insight into the state-of-the-art of personal relationship science." --Brian H. Spitzberg, San Diego State University, USA

"The text is written in an engaging, interesting, and utterly comprehensive manner. It is accessible to anyone—from the curious non-academic, to the first year university student, to the professional scholar. Everyone will learn something new about relationships by reading this book, and they will enjoy learning it." —Danu Anthony Stinson, University of Victoria, Canada

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