Since the mid-1970's, the texture of modern society has been changed dramatically by the increasing presence of the stepfamily. No longer considered the exception to the norm, the stepfamily has been thrust into the mainstream by a 50% divorce rate combined with a high incidence of remarriage. According to some estimates, 35% of children born in the 1980's will experience stepfamily living by the time they reach the age of 18. Although interest in remarriage and stepfamily relationships is growing, the literature often takes the form of popular work or anecdotal accounts with minimal data.
This volume provides a much-needed overview of current research and theory in the field. It stems from a series of meetings sponsored by the Society for Research in Child Development and funded by the Foundation for Child Development. The nine scholars who participated in the year-long study group, along with two others prominent in the field, have produced a work which explores the intricacies of remarriage and stepfamily living from a variety of perspectives. How do divorce and remarriage determine parent's adjustment and parent-child relationships? How are the boundaries set within this new family form? What are the dynamics between biological and step parents, both within the newly-created nuclear family and within the linked family units--those tied together for life by their common children?
This comprehensive volume sheds new light on these issues and more, including the relatively untouched area of stepsibling relationships. It incorporates findings from five recent research studies, providing data not available elsewhere. The contributors also examine the stepfamily within historical, social, and cultural contexts--from changing demographics to stepfamily stereotypes. They cast a critical eye on current literature in the field and on research methodologies, providing insights on the changing nature of the stepfamily, and developing conceptual frameworks for further research.
With so much important, up-to-date scholarship under one cover, REMARRIAGE AND STEPPARENTING TODAY is a valuable resource for researchers and clinicians in the areas of sociology, psychology, psychiatry, and social work, as well as for advanced students pursuing any of these disciplines.
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Kay Pasley ,Colorado State University , Fort Collins , CO.
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