Six patterns of step-relationship development emerged: accepting a stepparent as a parent, liking from the start, accepting with ambivalence, changing trajectory, rejecting, and coexisting. MacDonald, W. Journal of Family Issues , 23, This study uses data from the National Survey of Families and Households to examine stepfather-stepchild relationship quality. Results show that among children with highly involved biological fathers, an increase in interaction with the stepfather is related to decreasing stepparent-stepchild relationship quality, when a stepparent requests conformity to rules.
When stepfathers claim stepchildren: A conceptual analysis. Journal of Marriage and Family , 66, The author reports that stepfathers indicate that shared daily contact and practical involvement with the stepchild causes claiming attitudes to slowly increase. Thomas, S. Two happy homes: A working guide for parents and stepparents after divorce and remarriage.
Helps advise parents on how to bring new partners into the lives of children after divorce. Practical and specific ideas for parents to create happy stepfamily lives for their children are discussed, including common errors to avoid. Specific advice is also given for coparenting. Thomson, E. Remarriage, cohabitation, and changes in mothering behavior.
Journal of Marriage and Family , 63, Using mother- and child-report data from the National Survey of Families and Households, mothering behavior in remarried and cohabiting couples is examined.
Mothers and children report less frequent use of harsh discipline by mothers in new partnerships compared with single mothers. Mothers and children differ on reports of supervision, depending on whether the mother remained in a relationship. Children report better mother-child relationship with mothers who remained in a partnership.
Visher, E. Remarriage families and stepparenting. Walsh Ed. New York: Guilford. Characteristics of stepfamilies. The authors find that successful stepfamilies accept the differences and challenges that stepfamilies face and give themselves time to integrate the family. The author posits that family members should understand that difficulties faced are not due to personal inadequacies; they are predictable in a stepfamily situation.
Weaver, S. A mothering but not a mother role: A grounded theory study of the nonresidential stepmother role. Journal of Social and Personality Relationships , 22, Roles of middle class stepmothers and issues related to them, including mothering but not mother roles, other-focused roles, and outsider roles. The authors report that the perception and experiences of motherhood, child behavior, and expectations influence how the stepmother conceptualizes her role.
The resources below detail the relationship between separated couples that are now remarried to other individuals. Issues such as conflict and role expectations are examined. The nature of the relationship between remarried individuals and former spouses and its impact on marital satisfaction. Journal of Family Psychology , 13, Using a sample of remarried individuals, this article examines how the relationship with a former spouse relates to marital satisfaction. Results show that feelings of hostility were infrequent, but more common than friendship or attachment.
Couples who did not have children in the former relationship or were more highly educated were more likely to have a positive relationship with the former spouse. Schrodt, P. Co-parental communication with nonresidential parents as a predictor of couples' relational satisfaction and mental health in stepfamilies. Western Journal of Communication , 74, This study tested the degree to which co-parental communication with nonresidential parents predicted couples' relational satisfaction and mental health in stepfamily dyads. Communication patterns between non-residential co-parents affected both satisfaction and mental healthy symptoms.
Weston, C. The relationship between former-spousal contact and remarital satisfaction in stepfather families. Using interviews with 60 couples in stepfather families, this study examines the relationship between former-spouse contact and remarital satisfaction. Results showed that when role expectations are agreed upon, increased wife contact with the former spouse is associated with increased remarital satisfaction.
In the past, marriage and relationship education MRE resources were not specifically designed for stepfamilies. However, the increased prevalence of stepfamilies and high level of need among these families has led to the development of many stepfamily-specific MRE tools. Adler-Baeder, F. Implications of remarriage and stepfamily formation for marriage education. Family Relations , 53, Reviews literature focusing on marriage education curricula as related to stepfamilies. The authors report that the issues within stepfamilies are not addressed in most marriage education curricula they investigated, despite the high need for marriage education for stepfamilies.
Conceptual framework for marriage education programs for stepfamilies with considerations for socioeconomic context. Couples in stepfamilies face unique challenges and are also at higher risk for dissolution, especially in the context of lower economic resources.
Your world has been shaken and you don't know how to survive in this one. You may feel like you have hit in a roadblock in the progression of your relationship. The children may demand attention that competes with the demands from a new spouse or their second or third family. Couples therapy can help with all of these issues. Selected Presentations and Workshops:. Learn more.
Most current programs do not address the needs of these uniquely complex families. Marriage education for stepcouples. The Forum for Family and Consumer Issues, 12 1. Prevalent issues associated with healthy couple functioning in stepfamilies that would be important to marriage educators and practitioners. Information covered includes implementation issues for programming, program content and learning objectives, and how to recruit both participants and good facilitators for a program.
Browning, S. Treating stepfamilies: Alternatives to traditional family therapy. Ihnger-Tallman Eds. Westport, CT: Greenwood. Clinical approach to working with stepfamilies. A step model for intervening with stepfamilies in therapy. The authors integrate clinically validated interventions within an original theoretical framework for stepfamily therapy.
The importance of extended family members is stressed, as is the necessity of understanding and valuing racial, ethnic, and sexual diversity within stepfamilies. An evaluation of the remarriage and stepfamily self-help literature. Family Relations, 58, This is a critique of post self-help books, intended as a resource for professionals working with stepfamilies.
Thirteen books were recommended for their clinical or empirical sources of information as well as practical and concrete advice for stepfamilies.
Counseling stepfamilies: Tools for your toolbox. Counselors often feel overwhelmed by the ambiguity of remarriage and stepfamily relationships. This video seeks to help professionals learn how to coach stepparents in their role, reduce stress, and increase positive exchanges in the family. Cox, Ron. National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. Strategies for marriage and relationship education practitioners, on helping parents adjust to and manage their new working relationship.
Using MRE skills to promote successful blended families. Covers challenges stepparents face in their marriages and strategies that can help marriage and relationship education practitioners prepare couples to blend their families together. Crosbie-Burnett, M. The interface between non-traditional families and education: Empowering parents and families.
Family Science Review , 5, How non-traditional families are at a disadvantage in traditional education institutions because of outdated views on family life. The author recommends modifying policies and procedures so children in these families have equal opportunities.
Duncan, S. Renew: A program for building remarried family strengths. The Journal of Contemporary Human Services , 73, A home-based program for remarried families. In Renew,he authors recommend emphasizing the strengths instead of focusing on the problems that may arise in a remarried family. A home-based program provides a more private setting compared with a possibly more threatening group setting.
Giles-Sims, J. Stepfamily research: Implications for policy, clinical interventions, and further research. Family Relations , 38, Selectively reviews the clinical and empirical literature on stepfamilies to identify work that has major implications for policymakers, service providers, clinicians, and researchers. Clear cases are made for encouraging remarriage preparation classes and for service provision changes as well as for better developmental models of stepfamilies.
Gonzales, J. Prefamily counseling: Working with blended families. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage , 50, A new model for blended family counseling. Blended families often come together with little preparation or understanding of what to expect, and many experience common problems that premarital counseling could help address. Halford, K. Couple communication in stepfamilies. Family Process, 46, Despite the fact that couple communication skills are stressed in most marriage and relationship education MRE programs, this study demonstrates that stepfamily couples may have different needs relating to ealthy communication.
When compared to first-time married couples, stepfamily couples had lower rates of negative discussion and higher rates of withdrawal, which could signal an avoidance of sensitive topics due to uncertainty in the relationship. Authors suggest that helping stepfamily couples address their commitment to the relationship, withdrawal and fears about dissolution of the relationship, and address different parenting issues could be helpful in MRE programming.
Higginbotham, B. Stepfamily education: Perceived benefits for children.
In this book, clinicians Scott Browning and Elise Artelt combine successful interventions within an original theoretical framework for stepfamily therapy. Over the last 30 years, systemic approaches to family therapy have been largely successful at treating even the most intractable problems in family functioning.
Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 51, From the results of interviews with 40 parents and 20 facilitators, this article explores ways in which stepfamily education benefits children. The findings support educational efforts to strengthen stepfamilies and highlight the value of interventions that involve the entire family. Kaplan, M. Remarriage education: The Personal Reflections Program. Family Relations , 41, Summary of a remarriage education program for those entering remarriage.
The authors believe that specific remarriage education programs are needed because of the increasing number of people in remarriage situations. The program teaches couples about role expectations and stress resulting from conflicts about roles. Kirby, P.
Blended families in the over crowd. American Journal of Family Law. Unique features of creating a stepfamily later in life from, with attention to the potential legal decisions to be made. Robertson, A. A conceptual framework for marriage education for stepcouples, derived from research, and an informal study with community educators targeting stepfamilies. In addition, the framework suggests the consideration of several elements of program service delivery and of conditions that exist at the individual, family, and community levels that influence service needs.
Leon, K. Portrayals of stepfamilies in film: Using media images in remarriage education. Topic: Examines the portrayals of stepfamilies in films from to for appropriate re-use in remarriage education programs. The authors note that stepfamilies were most often shown in a negative or mixed way.
The film clips can be usefed in marriage education programs to illustrate family dynamics, generate discussion, create a shared language, and create new culture. Recruiting and Serving Stepfamilies. Webinar presented , June 30, Focuses on the challenges stepfamilies face and effective strategies for tailoring marriage education programs to meet the needs of stepfamilies.
A framework for promoting healthy marriage among stepfamilies. Skogrand, L. Benefits of stepfamily education: One-year post-program. Addresses the lasting effects of stepfamily education by examining findings from qualitative interviews conducted one year after participants had attended a research-based stepfamily program. Therapy with stepfamilies. Investigates the characteristics and techniques of therapy with stepfamilies such as areas of difficulty, self-esteem interventions, relationship strengthening, psycho-education, negotiation, and techniques for working with children.
Stepping together: Creating strong stepfamilies [Leader's manual]. Topics for stepfamily group meetings, such as stepfamily myths, emotions, couple relationship strengthening, and working across households. Webb, J. They can also help with giving suggestions on maintaining secure attachments despite less access to each other nightly phone calls for example.
Stepfamilies can be viewed through this lens and effectively helped using these theories. Triangulation describes an interaction pattern of two individuals parents, parent and child, stepparent and child, etc. References Browning, S. Stepfamily diversity. In Stepfamily therapy: A step clinical approach pp. Divorce: Causes and consequences. Coparenting after divorce: Paving pathways for parental cooperation, conflict resolution, and redefined family roles. McHale, K. Lindahl, J. Lindahl Eds. An outsider in my own home: attachment injury in stepcouple relationships.
DOI: Stepfamily therapy: A step clinical approach. How therapists view stepfamilies: An analysis of Italian clinicians' representations. Cigoli and M. Gennari, Close relationships and community psychology: An International Perspective. Milano, Italy: FrancoAngeli. Treating stepfamilies: A subsystem-based approach. Stanton and J.
Bray, Blackwell handbook of family psychology. London, England: Blackwell Press. Special populations in college and university counseling: A handbook for clinicians. Joseph Lippincott Ed. Creating families: A teaching technique for clinical training. Berke and S. Wisendale Eds.
The craft of teaching about families: Strategies and tools. New York: Haworth Press. Marriage and Family Review.
Constructing therapy: From strategic, to systemic, to narrative models. Sholever Ed. Textbook of family and couples therapy. Washington, D. The empathy expansion procedure: A method of helping couples deal with traumatic incidents. Deacon Eds. The Therapists Notebook. New York: The Haworth Press. Treating stepfamilies: Putting family therapy into perspective.