Intimate Relationships : Issues, Theories, and Research book cover
3rd Edition

Intimate Relationships
Issues, Theories, and Research

ISBN 9781138240292
Published September 6, 2017 by Psychology Press
314 Pages

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Book Description

Intimate Relationships covers both classic and current material in a concise yet thorough and rigorous manner. Chapters range from attraction to love, attachment to jealousy, sexuality to conflict—all written in a warm, personal, and engaging voice. Topics are viewed from an interdisciplinary perspective firmly grounded in research. Examples and stories from everyday life lead into each chapter to stir a student’s engagement with the material, and critical thinking prompts throughout the text aid his or her reflection on the issues and theories presented. Each chapter is organized around major relationship issues and relevant theories, in addition to a critical evaluation of the research. When appropriate, the authors discuss and evaluate popular ideas about intimate relationships in the context of scientific research.

This Third Edition has been thoroughly updated and revised to include the latest findings and topics in relationship science, including the role of the Internet in today’s relationships. Students will benefit from a revised chapter on sexuality that reflects current views on sexual orientation and sexual pathways, as well as a forward-looking chapter on the evolution and diversity of relationships in the 21st century.

To support student learning, the new edition includes flashcards, learning objectives, and outlines for each chapter. A companion website accessible at provides instructors with PowerPoint presentations and a test bank, and provides students with flashcards of key terms as well as learning outcomes and chapter outlines for each chapter.

Table of Contents

1. Strangers, Friends, and Lovers: Why Is Life So Complicated?  2. Methods to Study Relationships  3. Physical Attraction  4. Psychological Attraction  5. Self-Presentation and Self-Disclosure  6. Fairness and Equity  7. Love and Emotion  8. Attachment  9. Sexuality  10. Communication and Relationship Management  11. Infidelity and Jealousy  12. Relationship Violence and Abuse  13. Conflict: Causes and Consequences  14. Intimate Relationships in the 21st Century 

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Ralph Erber is professor of psychology at DePaul University. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. His work has been published in a number of places, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, and the European Journal of Social Psychology. He is also the author and editor of several books, including Understanding Genocide: The Social Psychology of the Holocaust and Social Psychology: A Story-telling Approach (with Len Newman).

Maureen Wang Erber is professor of psychology at Northeastern Illinois University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Greensborough. Her work has been published in a number of places, including the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and the Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology. Her research interests include trust and conflict in intimate relationships and mate-choice copying.




‘This new, substantially revised edition delivers fascinating content, including a comprehensive range of concepts and theories that form the foundation of relationship science. It is a treasure trove of contemporary and classic examples that perfectly and elegantly illustrate the course concepts. There is a lightheartedness to the writing that is engaging and earnest—students will find this a fun book to read!’ - Leah Bryant, DePaul University, USA

‘Erber and Erber have updated their excellent textbook, which is well-written and based on classic and the most up-to-date research from the science of relationships. Each chapter covers an important topic about close relationships and is covered from an interdisciplinary perspective. The engaging text and ancillary material make it an ideal text for an undergraduate course on personal relationships.’ - Susan Sprecher, Illinois State University, USA

‘Once again, Erber and Erber have produced a comprehensive and readable text that covers the field of relationship science, including classic studies and the latest research. If you’re looking for a book that engages while it enlightens, you’ve found it.’ - Christopher R. Agnew, Purdue University, USA