Stepfamilies Who Benefits? Who Does Not?
Stepfamilies represent an increasing number of American households and shape the upbringing of countless stepchildren. Despite their prominence in society, our knowledge about these families is very limited. To address this deficit, the editors have drawn together the work of 16 nationally known scholars to deal with four questions:
* Marriages that create stepfamilies: Why do they occur? Fail? Succeed?
* How do stepfamilies function as child rearing environments?
* How do stepfamilies function as sources of support in later life?
* Building research and policy agendas: What is needed?
In seeking answers to these questions, the book bridges the disciplines of psychology, sociology, social psychology, child development, demography, law and policy. Readers will gain an understanding of the current knowledge about stepfamilies, obtain an appreciation of the diverse views on a variety of stepfamily issues, learn about existing and anticipated laws and policies that affect stepfamilies, and acquire ideas on needed research and policy agendas. Chapter authors are leading figures in psychology, sociology, demography, human development, and family law; their contributions are valuable to researchers, teachers, and students as well as policymakers and legislatures.
"...an important contribution to the stepfamily literature ...replete with suggestions for further research with stepfamilies."
—Journal of Marriage and the Family
"...the reader benefits not only from a thorough review or presentation of original research but also from several other researchers' thoughtful discussion, elaboration, and sometimes dissent from the perspective of the lead scientist....This book is tailor-made for those wishing to come up to speed rapidly in a growing area of research. The individual research chapters will reward the time spent digesting them; the discussion chapters are sufficient to acquaint the newcomer with at least some of the major issues or research controversies in the area; and the chapter bibliographies are a good next step for further grounding."