Theory Use in Stepfamily Research

Authored by: Alan C. Taylor , Mihaela Robila , Bethany Fisackerly

Handbook of Family Theories

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  March  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415879453
eBook ISBN: 9780203075180
Adobe ISBN: 9781135118754

10.4324/9780203075180.ch16

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Abstract

Stepfamilies result from the union of two adults in which at least one partner has a child from a previous relationship (Ganong & Coleman, 2004). With over 40% of marriages ending in divorce, the US has one of the highest divorce rates in post-industrialized societies (Demo & Fine, 2010). With a high propensity for marriage, the US also stands as a nation with relatively high rates of re-marriage; consequently, stepfamilies are more common in the US than in other country (Teachman & Tedrow, 2008). In fact, nearly 50% of marriages are a remarriage for at least one partner. However, 60% of second marriages and 73% of third marriages end in divorce (US Bureau of the Census, 2006). The high divorce rates among couples in stepfamilies have increased both scholars’ and the general public's interest in the patterns that characterize successful relationships among stepparents, stepchildren, and stepsiblings.

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