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PY 210 - Psychology of the Family


The following guide is intended to provide an overview of resources available in the library and online on the subject of the Psychology of the Family. For further assistance, please take advantage of the reference services available to you in the library.  Stop by the Reference Desk in person or online at Ask a Librarian.


Research Basics

The reference librarians have created a group of Web pages named Library Research Guides designed to help teach you the basics of library research and to introduce you to Geisel Library. On the Research Guides pages, you will find a one-page guide on Research Basics and a helpful guide about evaluating your Web sources, our guide on Evaluating Websites.  Please take advantage of these resources.


Reference Sources for Background Information

Reference books are shelved by Library of Congress call number in the reference stacks near the reference desk. They may not be checked out, but photocopiers are available on the Lower Level of the library.

Bridging the Gap: Examining Polarity in America
     Ref HN57 .B75
     (see Chapter 12 on pages 337-366, "Changing Family Structures")

Encyclopedia of Adoption
     Ref HV875.55 .A28

Encyclopedia of Parenting Theory and Research
     Ref HQ755.8 .E523 1999

Encyclopedia of Psychology
     Ref BF31 .E52 2000

Encyclopedia of School Psychology
     Ref LB1027.55 .E523 2005

International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family (2003 Edition)
Encyclopedia of Marriage and the Family
     Ref HQ9 .E52, 2 vols. (print version)

Parenthood in America: An Encyclopedia
     Ref HQ755.8 .P3783 2000 (2 volumes)

Statistical Handbook on the American family
     Ref HQ536 .S727 1999


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Required Readings

Please consult this Required Readings list (PDF/21KB), which has been prepared by Professor McKenna.

For additional books on the subject, please consult the catalog.
Use broad subject headings such as:

  • Family - Psychological aspects
  • Marriage - Psychological aspects
  • Adoption - Psychological aspects

Additionally, please consult the Library of Congress Subject Headings (Ready Ref Z695 .Z8 L524) for more narrow topic headings. Here are a few:

  • dual career families
  • parent and child
  • stepfamilies
  • young families

A database called WorldCat will give you access to even more book materials. In fact, it comprises all the books cataloged by all the libraries in all the world! Borrowing materials via Interlibrary Loan is a very easy process when using WorldCat. Ask for assistance at the Reference desk if needed.


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Find Journal Articles

The databases listed below will enable you to access additional journal readings on various aspects of the topic.

Notice that the PsycINFO database is listed first because it is the most comprehensive one for this topic. The other supporting databases are arranged alphabetically and may also be useful, especially if your research intersects with religion, education, sociology, etc. When searching these databases, use search statements or phrases such as:

  • divorce and famil* and psych*
  • change* and (marriage or family)
  • stepparent* and psych*
  • fathers and psych*
  • siblings and family relations
  • adopt* and famil*
  • nontraditional famil*

Please note: an asterisk (*) is a commonly used symbol in most databases. Used at the end of a word stem, it provides for all variants on the word stem. (e.g. psych* retrieves psychology, psychological, psychiatric, etc).

Please consult the Search Strategy Work Form (PDF/16KB) to formulate your own search statements.

PsycINFO is the premier bibliographic database of the American Psychological Association. It contains more than 1.5 million references to psychological literature, spanning 1887 to the present day. See also PsycArticles, a full-text subset of PsycInfo.

Academic Search Premier
A good place to start for general readings. Many are full text. Limiting to peer-reviewed journals is an easy option in this database.

ATLA Religion Database
If your research intersects with religious studies, search this database.

This database covers much literature from the nursing sciences as well as the allied health sciences. It is therefore strong in its coverage of the psychosocial, emotional, and spiritual aspects of health and illness.

Contemporary Women's Issues
The focus here is women's health and human rights issues in over 150 countries. Family issues with multicultural interest are covered here. (1992–current)

A good database choice if your research deals with education issues (e.g. 'divorce and academic achievement'). "ERIC is the world's largest source of education information, with more than 1 million abstracts of documents and journal articles on education research and practice." This database is updated monthly. (1966 - present)

This EBSCO database is a subset of the larger PubMed database. It includes coverage for over 4,000 international journals in all languages from 1966 to the present. It also provides access to the full-text of over 400 medical journals. Use Medline for (1) EBSCO's easy to use search interface, (2) to pinpoint titles owned in print format by Saint Anselm College or available in full-text in other EBSCO databases.

"This database provides full text articles on current issues in psychology from respected sources, spanning from 1988 to the present. PsycARTICLES includes more than 25,000 full-text articles from 42 journals published by American Psychological Association and allied organizations. All journals included in this database are indexed in PsycINFO."

Project MUSE
"Project MUSE provides online, worldwide, institutional subscription access to the full text of more than 200 scholarly journals in arts and humanities, social sciences, and mathematics."

PubMed is the premier bibliographic database of the National Library of Medicine. It also provides access to the full-text of over 400 medical journals. Click here for a PubMed Tutorial. Click here for more about the difference between MedLine and PubMed.

SocIndex is an excellent database for locating articles (some full-text) in the field of social psychology.


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Selected Websites

Searching the World Wide Web can yield a vast amount of information, but in terms of quality and reliability, your results may be uneven at best. The ease and speed with which individuals can publish information on the web, regardless of accuracy or quality, makes it imperative that when doing research on the web you know how to evaluate the information you find.

American Psychological Association - Division 43
Division 43 is the Division of Family Psychology in the American Psychological Association. From the Home Page, click on "Resources". You will be directed to links for "Bibliographic References for Family Psychology Topics".

Google Scholar
In November 2004 Google introduced Google Scholar, a search engine to locate scholarly literature. Materials found in Google Scholar include "peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles from academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations" (About Google Scholar, 2006). Some, but not all, of the content in Google Scholar is available in full text. Google Scholar is a good starting point for research, but it is not considered comprehensive for scholarly content. For the most thorough search of a topic, consult subject-specific indexes (CJ Abstracts, PsycINFO, SocINDEX, etc.).

LexisNexis Academic Universe - Reference
Includes Public Opinion Research from Roper's.

National Council on Family Relations (NCFR): Family Links
This Web Page provides links to family scholar resources, as well as to associations such as the Stepfamily Association of America.

Statistical Resources on the Web: Sociology
Click on the links for "Families", "Divorce", "Marriage" or adoption.

Workfam: Work and Family Links
Based at Penn State, this website offers numerous links to advocacy groups, professional organizations, and publications that address the issue of work and family.


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About WebBridge and Interlibrary Loan

Interlibrary Loan just got easier! The library has recently installed new software called WebBridge. WebBridge will let you know whether we own an item in electronic or print form. Click the WebBridge button and look for links to the item's full-text or to our catalog. If we don't have access to the item, WebBridge automatically completes an interlibrary loan form for you. No more copy/pasting data elements from a citation to an ILL form.

Please read the WebBridge info carefully. If the book or article is available locally, you will not be able to obtain it through Interlibrary Loan.


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Citing Your Sources in APA Format

American Psychological Association (APA) Style Guide
A copy of the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association is located on the library's Ready Reference shelves (Ref BF76.7 .P83 2001). For online guides to APA format, please see the following:

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