Keywords

closeness, relationship quality, stepchildren, stepfamily

Abstract

Current research on stepfamily well-being often overlooks the perspective of children, and deals primarily with factors as reported by the adults involved. The authors examine a number of family role characteristics, parental subsystem characteristics, and resources that might influence how children perceive the quality of their stepfamily relationships. A sample of 1,088 children in households with a mother and stepfather, ages 10 to 16 years, in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 cohort—Children and Young Adult Sample, is used for the analyses. Results indicate that open communication between children and their mothers, low amounts of arguing between mothers and stepfathers, along with agreement on parenting, and gender, all affect the closeness children report having with their stepfathers. Conclusions, limitations, and clinical implications are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Jensen, T.M.* & Shafer, K. (2013). “Stepfamily Functioning and Closeness: Children’s Views on Second Marriages and Stepfather Relationships.” Social Work, 58(2): 127-136.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date

2013-03-24

Publisher

Social Work

Language

English

College

Family, Home, and Social Sciences

Department

Sociology

University Standing at Time of Publication

Associate Professor

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