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Understanding Close Relationships

By Susan S. Hendrick

Published by Pearson

Published Date: Apr 2, 2003


Understanding Close Relationships builds a foundation using theory and the most recent research in the field but constructs the text around stories that serve as case examples. The stories illustrate the research and theory, making them come alive for the reader.

Table of Contents

Each chapter concludes with “Summary and Conclusions,” “Key Terms,” and “Suggested Readings.”

Suggested Reading.


1. The Importance of Relationships.

What Do We Know about the Importance of Relationships?

The Need to Belong.


Contemporary Relationships.

Methods of Research.

2. Attraction and Relationship Development.

What Do We Know about Attraction and Relationship Development?

Theories of Attraction.

Environmental Influences on Attraction.

Personal Influences on Attraction.

Mate Selection and Evolutionary Psychology.


Attraction Online.

Relationship Development and Processes.

Courtship Theories.

3. Friendship and Social Support.

What Do We Know about Friendship and Social Support?

Theories of Friendship.

Forming and Maintaining Friendships.

Friendship across the Life Course.

Friendship Deterioration and Restoration.

Gender and Friendship.

Social Support.

4. Romantic Love.

What Do We Know about Romantic Love?


Theories of Love.

The Love Styles.

Love across Ages and Cultures.

Intimacy in Relationships.

Unrequited Love.

Recovering from Love.

5. Relational Sexuality.

What Do We Know about Relational Sexuality?

Sexual Behavior.

Sexual Attitudes.

Sexual Attraction.

Sexual Satisfaction.

Sexual Desire.

Linking Sex and Love.

Sex and Gender.

Sex for All Couples.

Sex, Risk, and Trust.

6. Communication and Relational Maintenance.

What Do We Know about Communication and Relational Maintenance?

Definitions of Relational Maintenance.

Strategies for Maintaining Relationships.



Nonverbal Communication.

Day-to-Day Communication.

Relationship Satisfaction.

7. Conflict and Abuse.

What Do We Know about Conflict and Abuse?

The Basics of Conflict.

Processes of Conflict.

The Pluses and Minuses of Conflict.

Conflict in Families and Friendships.

Conflict in Romantic and Marital Couples.

Handling Conflict Constructively.

Abuse in Relationships.

Sexual Aggression.

8. Breakup, Divorce, and Bereavement.

What Do We Know about Breakup, Divorce, and Bereavement?

Causes of Relationship Disruption.

Relationship Breakup.



9. Diverse Relationships.

What Do We Know about Diverse Relationships?

Conceptualizing Relationships.

Remarried Families.

Lesbian and Gay Relationships.

Multicultural/Multiracial Relationships.

Cohabiting Couples.

10. Gender.

What Do We Know about Gender?

Origins of Gender and Gender Differences.

Sex or Gender? Women's Sexual Plasticity.

Gender and Relational Beliefs and Behaviors.

Power and Control.


Gender and Family Work.

Gender and Housework.

Gender and Income.

Gender, Work, and the Future.


The Relationship Stories Continued.

Connections and Choice Points.




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