The effects of stepfather

Date

1982-05

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title

Publisher

Texas Tech University

Abstract

Each year in the United States one-half million adults become stepparents and one million children become part of a stepfamily. However, few studies have explored the dynamics of stepparent families.

The purpose of the present study was to examine specific aspects of stepfamily adjustment relative to the stepfather's interaction with his family. The aspects of interaction which were hypothesized to be related to mother and father stepfamily satisfaction and child self-esteem were the stepfather's communication, supportive interaction, and time spent with a target child, and the amount of emotional support he received from his wife for his involvement in disciplining a target child. One hundred and ten middle-class, white stepfamilies participated in the study. A stepfather, mother, and target child in each family filled out an extensive questionnaire, and multiple regression was used to test the hypotheses.

Three variables were found to be significant predictors of stepfather satisfaction in stepfamilies. They were the stepfather's communication with a target child, the time he spent with a target child, and the support he received from his wife for his involvement in disciplining the target child. These were related in a positive way to his stepfamily satisfaction. The only significant predictor of mother satisfaction identified in the present study was her support of the stepfather's discipline of the target child. A positive relationship was found to exist between her support of the stepfather's discipline and her stepfamily satisfaction. The target child's self-esteem was predicted by the stepfather's supportive interaction with the child and a positive relationship was found between supportive interaction and self-esteem.

Description

Keywords

Family, Stepparents, Stepchildren, Stepfathers

Citation