STEPHANIE COONTZ ( teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. She also serves as Co-Chair and Director of Public Education at the Council on Contemporary Families, a non-profit, nonpartisan association of family researchers and practitioners based at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her work has been featured in many newspapers such as The New York Times, as well as scholarly journals such as Journal of Marriage and Family, and she is frequently interviewed on national television and radio.


Goleman, D. (1995).  Emotional intelligence.  New York: Bantam Books.  Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify, assess and manage your emotions.  My approach to relationships rests firmly on the view that the ability to identify, assess and manage ones emotional reactions to others is fundamental to establishing good interpersonal relationships, particularly intimate relationships.

Viscott, D. (1976).  The Language of Feelings.  New York: Pocket Books.  Viscott’s descriptions of angry, fear and hurt are very helpful in describing all the various euphemisms we use for these emotions, particularly in our interactions with others.  I don’t agree with his thesis about how these emotions should be handled in interpersonal interactions.


“The Long Reach of Childhood: How Early Experiences Shape You forever” ( written by Ditta M. Oliker, Ph.D.  has numerous articles relating to the impact of childhood experience on adult experience.  The blog entry that speaks very directly about how childhood experiences affect later functioning is “This is Who and What they Are.”  She has many posts on the blog site relating to more specific childhood experiences and their specific effects in adulthood.


Stephen Nock, Ph.D.

Prior to his untimely death in 2008, Dr. Steven Nock was the Director of the Marriage Matters Project at the University of Virginia.  While a proponent of marriage, he wrote astutely about the negative impact of gender on marriage.

Nock. S.L.  (1999). The problem with marriage.  Society, 36(4). 20-27.Nock. S.L.  (2005).  Nock, S. L.  (1998).  Marriage in men’s lives.  New York: Oxford University Press.   Marriage as a public Issue.  The Future of Children, 15(2), 13-32.    You can get a copy of this article at The Future of Children ( which is published by The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and The Brookings Institute.

Sara F. Berk

Berk, S.F.  (1985).  The gender factory: The apportionment of work in American households.  New York: Plen Press.