New Stepfamily Research Findings


Coleman, M., Ganong, L., Russell, L., & Frye-Cox, N. (2015). Stepchildren’s Views About Former Step-Relationships Following Stepfamily Dissolution. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77(3), 775-790. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12182

King, V., Boyd, L. M., & Thorsen, M. L. (2015). Adolescents’ Perceptions of Family Belonging in Stepfamilies. Journal of Marriage and Family, 77(3), 761-774. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12181

Interesting New Research Findings


Garneau, C. L. and Adler-Baeder, F. (2015), Changes in Stepparents’ Coparenting and Parenting Following Participation in a Community-Based Relationship Education Program. Family Process. doi: 10.1111/famp.12133

Ly Dan P, Seabury Seth A, Jena Anupam B. Divorce among physicians and other healthcare professionals in the United States: analysis of census survey data

Mauskopf Susan S., O’Leary Allison K., Banihashemi Adria, Weiner Michelle, and Cookston Jeffrey T.. Childhood Obesity. http://dx.doi:10.1089/chi.2014.0053.

Schrodt, P. (2015).  Relational frames as mediators of everyday talk and relational satisfaction in stepparent–stepchild relationships Journal of Social and Personal Relationships,  first published on January 28, 2015 doi:10.1177/0265407514568751

Shafer, K., & Pace, G. T. (2015).  Gender Differences in Depression across Parental Roles Social Work first published online February 5, 2015 doi:10.1093/sw/swu057

New Stepfamily Research 2015


Coleman, M., Ganong, L., Russell, L. and Frye-Cox, N. (2015), Stepchildren’s Views About Former Step-Relationships Following Stepfamily Dissolution. Journal of Marriage and Family. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jomf.12182

Favez, N., Widmer, E. D., Doan, M., & Tissot, H. (2015). Coparenting in stepfamilies: Maternal promotion of family cohesiveness with partner and with father. Journal of Child and Family Studies, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10826-015-0130-x

Ganong, L., Coleman, M., Jamison, T., Feistman, R. 2015, March 2).  Divorced Mothers’ Coparental Boundary Maintenance After Parents Repartner. Journal of Family Psychology,   http://psycnet.apa.org/index.cfm?fa=buy.optionToBuy&id=2015-09313-001

Pace, G. T., Shafer, K., Jensen, T. M., & Larson, J. H. (2015). Stepparenting issues and relationship quality: The role of clear communication. Journal of Social Work, 15(1), 24-44. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1468017313504508

Zito, R. C. (2015). Family structure history and teenage cohabitation: Instability, socioeconomic disadvantage, or transmission? Journal of Family Issues,36(3), 299-325. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0192513X13490933

Stepfamily Research 2014


Doodson, L. J. (2014). Understanding the factors related to stepmother anxiety: A qualitative approach. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(8), 645-667. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10502556.2014.959111

Doodson, L. J., & Davies, A. P. C. (2014). Different challenges, different well-being: A comparison of psychological well-being across stepmothers and biological mothers and across four categories of stepmothers. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(1), 49-63. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10502556.2013.862094

Finlay, A. K., Cookston, J. T., Saenz, D. S., Baham, M. E., Parke, R. D., Fabricius, W., & Braver, S. (2014). Attributions of fathering behaviors among adolescents: The role of gender, ethnicity, family structure, and depressive symptoms. Journal of Family Issues, 35(4), 501-525. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0192513X13478404

Fox, W. E., & Shriner, M. (2014). Remarried couples in premarital education: Does the content match participant needs? Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(4), 276-299. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10502556.2014.901841

George, C. M., & Fernandez, M. S. (2014). A case study of a stepfamily’s relationship experiences before and after the death of a custodial biological parent. The Family Journal, 22(2), 258-264. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1066480713513556

Jensen, T. M., Shafer, K., & Larson, J. H. (2014). (Step)parenting attitudes and expectations: Implications for stepfamily functioning and clinical intervention. Families in Society, 95(3), 213-220. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1606/1044-3894.2014.95.27

Jovic, S., Delpierre, C., Ehlinger, V., Sentenac, M., Young, H., Arnaud, C., & Godeau, E. (2014). Associations between life contexts and early sexual initiation among young women in France. Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 46(1), 31-39. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1363/46e0214

Kellas, J. K., Baxter, L., LeClair-Underberg, C., Thatcher, M., Routsong, T., Normand, E. L., & Braithwaite, D. O. (2014). Telling the story of stepfamily beginnings: The relationship between young-adult stepchildren’s stepfamily origin stories and their satisfaction with the stepfamily. Journal of Family Communication, 14(2), 149-166. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15267431.2013.864294

Koren, C., & Lipman-Schiby, S. (2014). “not a replacement”: Emotional experiences and practical consequences of israeli second couplehood stepfamilies constructed in old age. Journal of Aging Studies, 31, 70-82. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaging.2014.09.002

Lucier‐Greer, M., Adler‐Baeder, F., Harcourt, K. T., & Gregson, K. D. (2014). Relationship education for stepcouples reporting relationship instability—Evaluation of the Smart Steps: Embrace the Journey curriculum. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 40(4), 454-469. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jmft.12069

Meggiolaro, S., & Ongaro, F. (2014). Family contexts and adolescents’ emotional status. Journal of Youth Studies, 17(10), 1306-1329. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13676261.2014.918246

Niolon, R. (2014). The triumph of hope over experience: Stepfamily formation. Psyccritiques, 59(14) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0035924

Nuru, A. K., & Wang, T. R. (2014). “She was stomping on everything that we used to think of as a family”: Communication and turning points in cohabiting (step)families. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(2), 145-163. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10502556.2013.871957

Oliva, A., Arranz, E., Parra, A., & Olabarrieta, F. (2014). Family structure and child adjustment in Spain. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 23(1), 10-19. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10826-012-9681-2

Parent, J., Clifton, J., Forehand, R., Golub, A., Reid, M., & Pichler, E. R. (2014). Parental mindfulness and dyadic relationship quality in low-income cohabiting Black stepfamilies: Associations with parenting experienced by adolescents. Couple and Family Psychology: Research and Practice, 3(2), 67-82. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/cfp0000020

Pryor, J. (2014). Stepfamilies: A global perspective on research, policy, and practice. New York, NY, US: Routledge/Taylor & Francis Group, New York, NY.

Ryan, R. M., Claessens, A., & Markowitz, A. J. (2014). Associations between family structure change and child behavior problems: The moderating effect of family income. Child Development, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12283

Shapiro, D. (2014). Stepparents and parenting stress: The roles of gender, marital quality, and views about gender roles. Family Process, 53(1), 97-108. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/famp.12062

Sherman, C. W., Webster, N. J., & Antonucci, T. C. (2014). “Dementia caregiving in the context of late-life remarriage: Support networks, relationship quality, and well-being.”: Erratum. Journal of Marriage and Family, 76(1), 246.

Skogrand, L., Mendez, E., & Higginbotham, B. (2014). Latina women’s experiences in a stepfamily education course. The Family Journal, 22(1), 49-55. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1066480713505053

Thomson, E. (2014). Family complexity in Europe. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 654(1), 245-258. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0002716214531384

Vanassche, S., Sodermans, A. K., Matthijs, K., & Swicegood, G. (2014). The effects of family type, family relationships and parental role models on delinquency and alcohol use among Flemish adolescents. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 23(1), 128-143. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10826-012-9699-5

New Stepfamily Research Findings.


Heintz-Martin, V., Le Bourdais, C., & Hamplova, D. (2014). Childbearing among canadian stepfamilies  . Canadian Studies in Population, 41(1-2), 61-77. doi:https://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/csp/article/view/21636

King, V., Thorsen, M. L., & Amato, P. R.Factors associated with positive relationships between stepfathers and adolescent stepchildren. Social Science Research, (0) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2014.03.010

Updated List of Divorce & Remarriage Research Listing for 2013


The list of some of the most important research studies related to divorce, remarriage and stepfamilies has been updated for the year 2013.  This is not a complete list, but the major studies that provide new insights into marriage formation, custody, law and so forth.

Similar summaries can be found for 2010, 2011, and 2012.

New results for 2014 are also summarized here.  

Reducing Stepmothers’ Stress


Stepparents will tell you that this is a hard and stressful role.  Stepmothers in particular have many challenges.  Although there is much research that supports this finding, there is still relatively little understanding of the mechanisms and factors that contribute to this stress.  And there is even less information about what we can do about it.

Recent work by Danielle Shapiro at the University of Michigan provides some new insights about the parenting stress experienced by stepmothers.  She notes that in general couples with higher quality marriages report less parenting stress and writes, “…this was particularly pronounced for stepparents. In addition, stepparents with traditional gender views reported higher levels of parenting stress…  for stepparents, both nontraditional gender views and high marital quality jointly predicted the greatest protection from parenting stress. In fact, stepparents with both high marital adjustment and nontraditional gender views were indistinguishable in terms of parenting stress from biological parents, while stepparents who were low on one or both of these dimensions experienced substantially more parenting stress.”

Shapiro suggests that programs and treatment programs for stepparents should include attention to gender roles and marital quality as ways to address parental stress.

Shapiro, D. (2014). Stepparents and parenting stress: The roles of gender, marital quality, and views about gender roles. Family Process, 53(1), 97-108. doi:10.1111/famp.12062

More 2014 studies on stepparenting and stepfamilies…..

Doodson, L. J., & Davies, A. P. C. (2014). Different challenges, different well-being: A comparison of psychological well-being across stepmothers and biological mothers and across four categories of stepmothers. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(1), 49-63. doi:10.1080/10502556.2013.862094

Ganong, L., & Coleman, M. (2014). Responsibility inferences and intergenerational obligations to parents and stepparents: Are Step/Children less obligated when older adults are at fault for their problems? Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(1), 64-81. doi:10.1080/10502556.2013.862098

Nuru, A. K., & Wang, T. R. (2014). “She was stomping on everything that we used to think of as a family”: Communication and turning points in cohabiting (step)families. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(2), 145-163. doi:10.1080/10502556.2013.871957

New Research Articles on Divorce–Jan & Feb., 2014


A complete list of the major articles published in 2014 with links to other articles.  Complete list of articles from 2010-2015. 

Divorce continues to be an important area of family and social science research.  Below are a few of the studies published in the early part of 2014 that provide insight into divorce issues.  Included in this summary are demographic, economic, causes of divorce, adjustment issues for adults and children, divorce education, marriage & relationship education, non-residential parenting and a new report on custody and shared parenting.

Demographic Issues

Bellido, H., & Marcén, M.Divorce laws and fertility. Labour Economics, (0) doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.labeco.2014.01.005

Kennedy, S., & Ruggles, S. (2014). Breaking up is hard to count: The rise of divorce in the united states, 1980-2010. Demography, , 1-12. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13524-013-0270-9

Kulu, H. (2014). Marriage duration and divorce: The seven-year itch or a lifelong itch? Demography, , 1-13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13524-013-0278-1

Divorce & Economics– Especially the Recession

Baghestani, H., & Malcolm, M. (2014). Marriage, divorce and economic activity in the US: 1960-2008. Applied Economics Letters, , 528-532. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13504851.2013.872753

Cohen, P. (2014). Recession and divorce in the united states, 2008-2011. Population Research and Policy Review, 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11113-014-9323-z

Causes of Divorce

Røsand, G. B., Slinning, K., Røysamb, E., & Tambs, K. (2014). Relationship dissatisfaction and other risk factors for future relationship dissolution: A population-based study of 18,523 couples. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 49(1), 109-119. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00127-013-0681-3

Adult Adjustment to Divorce

Kulik, L., & Kasa, Y. (2014). Adjustment to divorce: A comparison of ethiopian immigrant and israeli-born men. Journal of Community Psychology, 42(2), 191-208. http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcop.21604

Children’s Adjustment to Divorce

Mandemakers, J. J., & Kalmijn, M. (2014). Do mother’s and father’s education condition the impact of parental divorce on child well-being? Social Science Research, 44(0), 187-199. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ssresearch.2013.12.003

Non-residential & Shared Parenting Issues

Finzi-Dottan, R., & Cohen, O. (2014). Predictors of parental communication and cooperation among divorcing spouses. Journal of Child and Family Studies, 23(1), 39-51. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10826-012-9684-z

Modecki, K. L., Hagan, M. J., Sandler, I., & Wolchik, S. A. (2014). Latent profiles of nonresidential father engagement six years after divorce predict long-term offspring outcomes. Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology, , 1-14. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/15374416.2013.865193

Rodriguez, S. R. (2014). “We’ll only see parts of each other’s lives:” the role of mundane talk in maintaining nonresidential parent–child relationships. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0265407514522898

Aging, Intergenerational Issues and Divorce

Cooney, T. M., Proulx, C. M., Snyder-Rivas, L., & Benson, J. J. (2014). Role ambiguity among women providing care for ex-husbands. Journal of Women & Aging, 26(1), 84-104. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08952841.2014.859502

Ganong, L., & Coleman, M. (2014). Responsibility inferences and intergenerational obligations to parents and stepparents: Are Step/Children less obligated when older adults are at fault for their problems? Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(1), 64-81. doi:10.1080/10502556.2013.862098

Stepfamily Issues

Doodson, L. J., & Davies, A. P. C. (2014). Different challenges, different well-being: A comparison of psychological well-being across stepmothers and biological mothers and across four categories of stepmothers. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(1), 49-63. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10502556.2013.862094

Marriage & Relationship Education

Cordova, J. V. (2014). Findings and future directions for marriage checkup research. Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association, Washington, DC. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/14321-011

Cordova, J. V. (2014). The marriage checkup practitioner’s guide: Promoting lifelong relationship health. Washington, DC, US: American Psychological Association, Washington, DC. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/14321-000

Divorce Education

Stallman, H. M., & Sanders, M. R. (2014). A randomized controlled trial of family transitions triple P: A group-administered parenting program to minimize the adverse effects of parental divorce on children. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 55(1), 33-48. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10502556.2013.862091

Legal Issues and Divorce Services 

Pruett, M. K., & DiFonzo, J. H. (2014).  Closing the Gap: Research, Policy, Practice and Shared Parenting AFCC Think Tank Final Report to be published in Family Court Review

Research Methods for Divorce Research

Lamela, D., Figueiredo, B., Bastos, A., & Martins, H. (2014). Psychometric properties of the portuguese version of the posttraumatic growth inventory short form among divorced adults. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 30(1), 3-14. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1027/1015-5759/a000161

Other Summaries of divorce research for 2010,  2011, 2012, 2013 

Qualitative Insights into Divorce’s Impact on Children


November 8, 2013 Time:   2:30 pm – 4:00 pm  Bowie A

Maintaining Intergenerational Stepkin Relations in Divorced Families

Presented by: Caroline Sanner, Ashton Chapman, Luke Russell, Lawrence Ganong, Marilyn Coleman

Remarriages have higher divorce rates than first marriages, suggesting that children may experience multiple stepfamily transitions. Little is known about how families navigate ex-stepkin relationships resulting from these transitions. Given the demonstrated importance of stepgrandparent/stepgrandchild relationships in remarried families, our grounded theory study seeks to explore relationship maintenance strategies with ex-stepgrandparents employed by stepgrandchildren following parental divorce. 13 former stepchildren were interviewed and common themes were identified. Preliminary results indicate that stepgrandchild’s age, steprelationship length, relationship quality, and presence of biological grandparents impacted young adults’ decisions to maintain contact with ex-stepgrandparents post-divorce.

Negotiating Nonresidential Parent-child Relationships in Emerging Adulthood

Presented by: Richard Feistman, Marilyn Coleman, Lawrence Ganong

The well-being of emerging adults’ (ages 18 to 25) often relies on the emotional and financial support provided by their parents. However, relationships between emerging adults and their divorced parents, particularly their nonresidential parents, are fragile. Our grounded theory study will result in a model of the processes involved in forming or maintaining relationships between emerging adults and their nonresidential parents. Preliminary results from 32 participants indicate that emerging adults’ often control levels of contact. Several factors, such as attitudes on family ties, influence the degree of contact emerging adults have with nonresidential parents.

Custody Arrangement Decisions Among Divorcing or Separating Parents

Presented by: Jaimee Hartenstein, Melinda Stafford Markham

A secondary qualitative data analysis of a database of interviews from a previous grounded theory study of 30 participants was conducted. This study investigated how divorced or separated parents determine the custody arrangements for their children. Four categories emerged from the data including no court involvement, agreement decided by couple to be included in divorce decree, court ordered arrangement, and custody changed over time. The findings suggest that there is a great deal of variation in the custody arrangements among divorcing or separating parents. There is not a universal arrangement that will be suitable for all divorcing or separating parents.

Custody Arrangement Decisions among Divorcing or Separating Parents

Young Adults’ Socialization Narratives After Parental Divorce

Presented by: Mick Cunningham, Kelly Skillingstead

Despite the enormous body of evidence investigating parental influences on children, we know remarkably little about how people think and talk about socialization processes. The current study focuses on young adults’ narrative explanations of how they perceive they were affected by their parents’ divorce. Results show that many young adults 1) believe that their parents have modeled behavior that the offspring hope to avoid in their own marriages, 2) lament the absence of effective relationship modeling, and 3) suggest they will themselves act in ways that are opposite of the behaviors they observed in their parents’ marriages.

Downloads: Young Adults’ Socialization Narratives after Parental Divorce

 

Stepfamilies as “Coalition Governments”– Tom Blume


National Council on Family Relations–Divorce & Stepfamily Sessions

November 5, 2013 Time:  12:00 pm – 1:45 pm   Bowie B

Stepfamilies and Coalition Governments

Presenter: Tom Blume

except from abstract…..I propose a theoretical integration that compares stepfamilies with coalition governments, suggesting that they share many developmental patterns and the factors influencing positive development or dissolution may be similar. Using political science concepts, I suggest that family adaptation to stepfamily life may be enhanced by focusing more explicitly on shifting alliances among family members and on perceived child well-being. A proposed strategy for prevention and intervention emphasizes issues of loyalty and representation in the political system of the stepfamily.