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San Francisco State University
A selective guide to information sources available from SF State's J. Paul Leonard Library.
Last Updated: Jan 21, 2015 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Get the Family Studies Guide Here

The following bibliography is a selective guide to information sources for the family studies discipline available from SF State's J. Paul Leonard Library.  To view the entire research guide, simply click on the Family Studies Research Guide link below.  The lists of relevant online reference books, recommended databases, and selected Internet sites are duplicated following that link.

Online Reference books

  • American Families in Crisis: a Reference Handbook. By Jeffrey S. Turner.
    This handbook was published by ABC-CLIO in 2009. This handbook specific family crises affecting Americans in the present day, and how they can be identified, prevented, and responded to, with emphasis on their influence on children and how one family member can impact others. The guide focuses on 12 key problems: addiction, adolescent runaways, unemployment, infidelity, divorce, chronic illness and disease, caring for aging family members, domestic violence, school violence, natural disasters, deployed military families, and adolescent suicide.
  • Cambridge Dictionary of Psychology
    This dictionary was published by Cambridge University Press in 2009. The compilers of this dictionary state that psychology is a living, scientific discipline. They state that this dictionary is comprehensive with a interdisciplinary and international/cross-cultural focus.
  • Child Welfare for the Twenty-first Century: a Handbook of Practices, Policies, and Programs
    This handbook was edited by edited by Gerald P. Mallon and Peg McCartt Hess. It was published by Columbia University Press in 2005. This handbook is meant to serve as a single-source reference for a wide array of professionals who work in children, youth, and family services in the United States-policymakers, social workers, psychologists, educators, attorneys, guardians ad litem, and family court judges& mdash;and as a text for students of child welfare practice and policy."
  • Childhood Sexual Abuse: a Reference Handbook. By Karen L. Kinnear.
    The second edition of this handbook was published by ABC-CLIO in 2007. The author provides an overview into the causes, treatment, and prevention of childhood sexual abuse. A directory of relevant private and public organizations, associations, and governmental agencies involved in treating children who have been sexually abused, as well as those that treat offenders is also provided.
  • Continuum Complete International Encyclopedia of Sexuality. Robert T. Francoeur and Raymond J. Noonan, editors
    This encyclopedia was published by Continuum in 2004. It includes information on nearly 60 countries and places. Topics covered include: heterosexual relationships, children, adolescents, adults, gender-conflicted persons, unconventional sexual patterns, contraception, sexually transmitted diseases, AIDS, sexual dysfunctions, and therapies.
  • Encyclopedia of Applied Developmental Science. Celia B. Fisher and Richard M. Lerner, editors.  
    This encyclopedia was published in 2005 by Sage Publications. The editors state that "Applied developmental science (ADS) seeks to advance the integration of developmental research with actions that promote positive development and/or enhance the life chances of vulnerable children, adolescents, young and old adults, and their families."
  • Encyclopedia of Children and Childhood: in History and Society. Paula S. Fass, editor
    This encyclopedia was published in 2004 by Macmillan Reference USA. The encyclopedia's 445 articles discuss the social history of children and childhood.
  • Encyclopedia of Juvenile Justice. Marilyn D. McShane and Frank P. Williams III, editors
    This encyclopedia was published by Sage in 2006. It contains over 200 articles which cover historical and contemporary theories, concepts and real-world practices of juvenile justice.
  • Family Interventions in Domestic Violence a Handbook of Gender-Inclusive Theory and Treatment
    John Hamel and Tonia L. Nicholls are the editors of this handbook which was published in 2007 by Springer. They offer "alternative, unbiased and sometimes controversial views, theories, and current research" and "provide new treatment options that encompass a wide range of gender dynamics."
  • International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family. James J. Ponzetti, editor
    The second edition of this encyclopedia was published in 2003 by Macmillan Reference USA. The issues surrounding marriage and family in 50 countries and 11 religions or belief systems are presented. Entries for specific topics such as birth control, birth order, commuter marriages, family roles, and incest are provided as well.
  • Same-Sex Marriage: a Reference Handbook. By David E. Newton.  
    This handbook was published by ABC-CLIO in 2010. The author provides an overview of same-sex relationships and gay rights movements in world history, explores pro and con arguments about same-sex marriage, discusses the status of same-sex marriage in the United States, and considers recent developments in other areas around the world.
  • Work and Family in America: a Reference Handbook. By Leslie F. Stebbins.
    This handbook was published by ABC-CLIO in 2001. It surveys current research findings, social trends, and public controversies, and examines the changing cultures of the workplace, family, and home.

Recommended Databases

  • Academic Search Complete (EBSCOHost)  
    Dates vary. This multi-disciplinary database is an excellent source for articles from the important family studies journals. Click on the blue "i" icon for list of selected titles.
  • Criminal Justice Periodicals  
    Dates vary. The journals indexed here "focus primarily on practical issues in crime prevention and deterrence, juvenile delinquency, police issues, and courtroom procedures, but users will find a number of highly respected theoretical journals as well."
  • ERIC
    1966- . This database indexes both journals and educational documents from education-related disciplines.
  • Family & Society Studies Worldwide (FSSW)
    1970- . This database indexes material on family and gender related topics. In order to limit your search to scholarly journal articles, be sure to type in ZT "Academic journal" into the first search box.
  • Opposing Viewpoints in Context
    Dates vary. This "is a one-stop source for information on today's hottest social issues." To view the entire list of Family Issues topics covered by this database, click on Browse Issues tab located in the center of the screen and then on the next screen choose "Family Issues" from the Choose a Category pull down menu located on the upper left hand side of the screen. Next, click on a topic of interest to you such as "Childhood Obesity." One of the sections of the page on your topic is entitled Academic Journals. There is a View All link that will list all of the academic journal articles on your topic. To view the complete article, click on the article's title.
  • PsycINFO  
    Article indexes 1887- present; Book entries 1987- present. This database indexes scholarly journal articles, book chapters, books, and dissertations from the psychological and behavioral sciences disciplines.
  • Sociological Abstracts  
    Article indexes 1963 - present; Dissertations from 1986 - present. This database indexes the international literature in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.

Selected Internet Sites

  • American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT)
    This organization is the professional association for the field of marriage and family therapy.
  • American Association of Family & Consumer Sciences (AAFCS)
    This organization's web site states that they are "the only professional association dedicated to family and consumer sciences students and professionals from both multiple practice settings and content areas."

  • Child & Family WebGuide
    This site was developed by faculty and librarians at Tufts University and is a directory of research-based sites that have been carefully evaluated by them. "There are five main categories of information: family/parenting, education/learning, typical child development, health/mental health, and resources/recreation. The WebGuide also offers an option of searching for sites that are especially relevant to a particular age group (Topics by Age)"
  • Child Trends
    This nonprofit research center studies children at all stages of development and state that they are the "nation’s only independent research and policy center focused exclusively on improving outcomes for children."

  • Child Welfare Information Gateway
    This website is produced by the Children's Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It "promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children, youth, and families by connecting child welfare, adoption, and related professionals as well as the general public to information, resources, and tools covering topics on child welfare, child abuse and neglect, out-of-home care, adoption, and more."
  • Children Now
    This East-Bay based organization states that they are "the leading, nonpartisan, multi-issue research, policy development, and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting children's health and education in California and creating national media policies that support child development. They have conducted research and produced reports on the following topics: Health Coverage, Oral Health, The Obesity Epidemic, Health Homes, Integrated Services, Early Learning & Development, K-12 Education, Afterschool Programs, Media & Health, and Media & Education."

  • Children's Defense Fund
    This private, nonprofit organization was founded in 1973 by Mrs. Marian Edelman. This organization works to ensure "a level playing field for all children." They "champion policies and programs that lift children out of poverty; protect them from abuse and neglect; and ensure their access to health care, quality education and a moral and spiritual foundation." The nearly 1,000 reports foundation has prepared are available in the Research Library section of their web page.
  • Forum on Child and Family Statistics
    "The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics, or the Forum, is a working group of Federal agencies that collect, analyze, and report data on issues related to children and families. The Forum has partners from 22 Federal agencies as well as partners in private research organizations." "This website offers easy access to statistics and reports on children and families, including: family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education and health."
  • CYFERnet  
    CYFERnet's Web site "brings together the best, children, youth and family resources of all the public land-grant universities in the country. Materials are carefully reviewed by college and university faculty."
  • Families and Work Institute
    This Institute is a nonprofit center "dedicated to providing research for living in today’s changing workplace, changing family and changing community". Their work "focuses on three major areas: the workforce/workplace, youth and early childhood."

  • Foundation for Child Development
    The mission of this private, national foundation "is to harness the power of research to ensure that all children benefit from early learning experiences that affirm their individual, family, and community assets, fortify them against harmful consequences arising from economic instability and social exclusion, and that strengthen their developmental potential." The approximately 360 reports, etc. the foundation has prepared are available in the resources section of their web page.
  • National Center on Family Homelessness
    This nonprofit organization states that they are "the only national organization dedicated solely to helping homeless families." Their research focuses on "understanding homelessness and the related issues of extreme poverty, housing, services, interpersonal violence, mental health, substance abuse, and trauma."
  • National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth (NCFY)
    The National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth is an information resource of the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB). FYSB is a bureau within the Administration on Children, Youth and Families; Administration for Children and Families; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "The core of FYSB’s mission is to provide quality services for runaway and homeless youth, victims of domestic and dating violence and their children, and youth at risk of adolescent/teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections." They maintain an online database. See the NCFY Literature Database entry for more information.
  • National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV)
    This organization is "devoted to the elimination of domestic violence in urban and rural areas, across all racial, religious and economic groups. NCADV identifies and works to eradicate the social conditions that perpetuate or condone domestic violence such as sexism, ageism, heterosexism, and able-bodyism and easy access to guns. " Fact sheets, position papers, a list of recommended books, and lists of other related organizations may be found at this site.
  • National Council on Child Abuse & Family Violence (NCCAFV)
    This organization works to "provide prevention services by bringing together community and national stakeholders, volunteers and professionals to prevent intergenerational family violence: child abuse and neglect, spouse/partner abuse, and elder abuse and neglect."
  • National Council on Family Relations (NCFR)
    The National Council on Family Relations (NCFR) was founded in 1938. Its mission is to "provide an educational forum for family researchers, educators, and to share in the development and dissemination of knowledge about families and family relationships, establish professional standards, and promote family well-being."
  • National Marriage Project (NMP)
    The National Marriage Project (NMP) is a nonpartisan, nonsectarian, and interdisciplinary initiative located at the University of Virginia. The Project’s mission is "to provide research and analysis on the health of marriage in America, to analyze the social and cultural forces shaping contemporary marriage, and to identify strategies to increase marital quality and stability." They publish a report entitled, The State of Our Unions, which monitors the current health of marriage and family life in America.
  • NCFY Literature Database
    The National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth maintains this database which contains abstracts of more than 20,000 publications focusing on youth and family issues.

Science Librarian

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Caroline Harnly
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Library, Room 216; ext. 81454
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Special Thanks

Special thanks to Caroline Harnly (, former Family Studies librarian, for her contributions to previous versions of this research guide. 


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