Stepfamily Relationships: Development, Dynamics, and Interventions

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Springer Science & Business Media, Jun 27, 2011 - Social Science - 270 pages
The proliferation of divorces and remarriages at the end of the 20th century has made the concept of the stepfamily a common one in today's society. In the U.S., for example, half of all marriages are remarriages for one or both partners, and nearly one-third of the children in the U.S. will spend some time living in a stepparent household before they reach adulthood. Relationships within these blended families have their own characteristics, and much is known about their development. Despite advances in both research and clinical interventions, however, there has been little synthesis of knowledge beneficial to both investigators and practitioners.
Stepfamily Relationships: Development, Dynamics, and Interventions offers what has so far been missing in the field - a comprehensive, multidisciplinary text that provides a state-of-the-art look at this important facet of family study. This volume examines the variety of relationships within step-households as well as between households, focusing on internal family dynamics while maintaining a cultural and historical viewpoint. The diversity and complexity of families is emphasized throughout, including gay and lesbian stepfamilies, stepfamilies of varying racial and ethnic backgrounds, and stepfamilies across the life course. It will be a welcome text and reference for all those who study and work with stepfamilies and families in general.
 

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Contents

Studying Stepfamilies
1
The Cultural Context of Stepfamilies
25
Paths to Stepfamily Life
39
Courtship in Stepfamilies
59
Couple Dynamics in Stepfamilies
75
Gay and Lesbian Cohabiting Couples in Stepfamilies
99
The Dynamics of Parenting and Stepparenting
109
Effects of Stepfamily Living on Children
145
Siblings HalfSiblings and Stepsiblings
159
Grandparents and Stepgrandparents
171
Clinical Perspectives on Stepfamily Dynamics
189
Epilogue
227
References
237
Index
267
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About the author (2011)

Lawrence H. Ganong, Ph.D. is a professor of Nursing and Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Missouri (MU) Sinclair School of Nursing. A noted authority on post divorce families, Ganong's research has included intergenerational family obligations, post-divorce family dynamics and social cognitions related to family life. Ganong is a member of the National Council on Family Relations Board of Directors, and has conducted workshops for stepfamily members and for professionals working with stepfamilies. He is the co-editor of numerous articles, books, and book chapters on post-divorce family relationships and step families.

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