The relationship context of human behavior and development

Psychol Bull. 2000 Nov;126(6):844-72. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.126.6.844.


The influence of social relationships on human development and behavior is receiving increased attention from psychologists, who are central contributors to the rapidly developing multidisciplinary field of relationship science. In this article, the authors selectively review some of the significant strides that have been made toward understanding the effects of relationships on development and behavior and the processes by which relationships exert their influence on these, with the purpose of highlighting important questions that remain to be answered, controversial issues that need to be resolved, and potentially profitable paths for future inquiry. The authors' thesis is that important advances in psychological knowledge will be achieved from concerted investigation of the relationship context in which most important human behaviors are developed and displayed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Object Attachment
  • Personality Development*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Socialization