Encyclopedia of Human Relationships

by Harry T. Reis, Susan Sprecher

Library Journal Best Reference 2009

"An excellent gateway to further examination of any of the subdisciplines of relationship science, or as a research tool in its own right."
—Library Journal

Relationships are fundamental to nearly all domains of human activity, from birth to death. When people participate in healthy, satisfying relationships, they live, work, and learn more effectively. When relationships are distressed or dysfunctional, people are less happy, less healthy, and less productive. Few aspects of human experience have as broad or as deep effects on our lives.

The Encyclopedia of Human Relationships offers an interdisciplinary view of all types of human associations—friends, lovers, spouses, roommates, coworkers, teammates, parents and children, cousins, siblings, acquaintances, neighbors, business associates, and so forth. Although each of these connections is unique in some respect, they share a common core of principles and processes. These three volumes provide a state-of-the-art review of the extensive theories, concepts, and empirical findings about human relationships.

Key Features

  • Compiles leading-edge information about how people think, feel, and act toward each other
  • Presents the best in the field—authors who have contributed significant scientific knowledge about personal relationships over the past several decades.
  • Offers a diverse approach to relationship science with contributions from psychology, sociology, communication, family studies, anthropology, physiology, neuroscience, history, economics, and legal studies

Key Themes:

  • Cognitive Processes in Relationships
  • Communication Processes
  • Creating and Maintaining Closeness
  • Dating, Courtship, and Marriage
  • The Dark Side of Relationships
  • Emotion Processes in Relationships
  • Family
  • Friendship and Caregiving in Adulthood
  • Health and the Biology of Relationships
  • Methods for Studying Relationships
  • Personality and Individual Differences
  • Prevention and Repair of Relationship Problems
  • Psychological Processes
  • Sexuality
  • Social Context of Relationships
  • Social Relations in Childhood and Adolescence
  • Theoretical Approaches to Studying Relationships
  • Types of Relationships

Our relationships influence virtually all aspects of our everyday existence and are of deep interest to students, researchers, academics, and laypeople alike. This Encyclopedia is an invaluable addition to any academic or public library.


  • SAGE Publications; March 2009
  • ISBN: 9781452265742
  • Edition: 1
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: Encyclopedia of Human Relationships
  • Author: Harry T. Reis (ed.); Susan Sprecher (ed.)
  • Imprint: SAGE Publications, Inc

In The Press

"....Bottom Line Rowland Miller’s Intimate Relationships (McGraw Hill, 2008, 5th ed.) lacks the coverage and the currency of this work, as do Jeffrey S. Turner’s Encyclopedia of Relationships Across the Lifespan (Greenwood, 1996) and Gwen J. Broude’s Marriage, Family and Relationships: A Cross Cultural Encyclopedia (ABC-CLIO, 1994). An excellent gateway to further examination of any of the subdisciplines of relationship science, or as a research tool in its own right."Daniel Sifton, Cariboo Reg. Dist. Lib., Williams Lake, B.C.