1st Edition

The Stepfamily Puzzle Intergenerational Influences

By Craig Everett Copyright 1993
    252 Pages
    by Routledge

    252 Pages
    by Routledge

    Do stepfamilies experience greater levels of stressors than first families? Do they also experience more negative manifestations of stress? Find the latest research on these questions and more in this groundbreaking exploration of the complex factors and dynamics that make up stepfamilies. The Stepfamily Puzzle fills a gap in research that has not kept pace with the rapid growth of interest in this subject. It sets some of the pieces of the stepfamily puzzle into an intergenerational framework that includes the roles of grandparents, parent-child interactions, the struggles to define boundaries and achieve marital intimacy, and the underlying effects of financial support on stepfamily well-being.

    The Stepfamily Puzzle compares the effects of stress in stepfamilies and conditions in other families and reveals that the differences between the two types of families may not be as dramatic as long assumed. It also examines in-depth the emotional and financial stressors that impact stepfamilies and how this stress is exhibited in family relationships. Other groundbreaking research presented in this book includes:

    • the closeness of relationships between children and grandparents in stepfamilies as compared to children and grandparents in first families
    • effects of ongoing attachment to the former spouse on post-divorce relationships
    • stepsibling subsystems
    • a comparison of self-esteem and behavior problems of stepchildren and children in other family structures
    • social support received by children in stepmother, stepfather, and intact families
    • quality of stepfather-adolescent relationships
    • effect of child support on stepfamily satisfaction

      Therapists, attorneys, and those interested in the numerous therapeutic and psychoeducational programs, self-help groups, and trade literature available on stepfamily relationships will find The Stepfamily Puzzle a valuable introduction to current research in this area. By presenting the complex variables that interact within stepfamilies, this book helps professionals understand the dynamics behind stepfamily relationships so they can provide effective support and care.

    Contents Introduction
    • Stressors, Manifestations of Stress, and First-Family/Stepfamily Group Membership
    • The Transition to Stepgrandparenthood
    • Grandparents: A Special Resource for Children in Stepfamilies
    • Relationships With Former In-Laws: Normative Guidelines and Actual Behavior
    • Differentiation from Ex-Spouses and Stepfamily Marital Intimacy
    • The Presence of Children and Blended Family Marital Intimacy 
    • The Effects of Postdivorce Attachment on Coparenting Relationships
    • An Exploratory Study of Stepsibling Subsystems
    • A Meta-Analytic Comparison of the Self-Esteem and Behavior Problems of Stepchildren to Children in Other Family Structures
    • Social Support Received by Children in Stepmother, Stepfather, and Intact Families
    • Influences on the Quality of Stepfather-Adolescent Relationships: Views of Both Family Members
    • The Effects of Child Support Receipt and Payment on Stepfamily Satisfaction: An Exploratory Study
    • What’s Fair? Concepts of Financial Management in Stepfamily Households
    • Reference Notes Included


    Everett, Craig