Navigation Links
Children relate to stepparents based on perceived financial, emotional benefits, study finds
Date:4/6/2011

COLUMBIA, Mo. - More than 40 percent of Americans have at least one step relative, according to a recent Pew Center study. Relationships between stepchildren and stepparents can be complicated, especially for children. University of Missouri experts have found that stepchildren relate with stepparents based on the stepparents' treatment of them and their evaluations, or judgments, of the stepparents' behaviors.

"It takes both parties children and adults to build positive relationships in stepfamilies," said Larry Ganong, professor in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies. "Children and stepparents should think of it as building a friendship. There's no perfect formula for doing this, and even if stepchildren initially reject their stepparents, it shouldn't be viewed as permanent. Relationships among stepchildren and stepparents can grow in acceptance, friendship and bonding, regardless of how they begin. Negative relationships don't have to last forever."

Ganong and Marilyn Coleman, Curators Professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences, identified factors that are related to positive and negative stepchild-stepparent relationships. They found that stepchildren build positive or negative relationships based on their evaluations, or judgments, of stepparents' behaviors toward them and their family. Children also are affected by the opinions and actions of their biological parents and other family members as they develop relationships with stepparents.

The MU researchers evaluated stepchildren's participation and contributions in building relationships with stepparents. They identified six patterns of step-relationship development from stepchildren's perspectives: accepting as a parent, liking from the start, accepting with ambivalence, changing trajectory, rejecting and coexisting.

"Whether or not stepparents are accepted by stepchildren depends on the overall family situation and if they are recognized as being beneficial to their family, either financially or emotionally," Ganong said. "However, step-relationships aren't determined solely by individual actions, but by the collective interactions of both persons in the relationship."

Another complication is the presence of interested third parties, such as biological parents and siblings, and their reactions to stepparents. Through a process called triangulation, many nonresidential birth parents work to get their children to "side" with them and therefore, reject stepparents.

"Rather than engage children against stepparents, parents should seek counsel from persons outside the family, such as a minister, a therapist or best friend, and avoid getting kids involved," Ganong suggests. "Parents should remember that they won't be replaced by stepparents if they maintain strong bonds and that their kids will still love them, even if they also love their stepparents. Relationships are not a zero sum game; there isn't a limit on how much and who people can love."


'/>"/>

Contact: Emily Martin
MartinEm@Missouri.edu
573-882-3346
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Emergency department CT exams of children have increased substantially
2. Safer CT scanning for children developed at the Queen Silvia Childrens Hospital
3. Childrens health is focus of annual meeting of Pediatric Academic Societies
4. ALSPAC/Children of the 90s: 20 years old today
5. Remove childrens catheters as soon as possible to prevent bloodstream infections
6. Meeting in Montreal focuses on major issues for children
7. Study suggests a relationship between migraine headaches in children and a common heart defect
8. Stepchildren relate to stepparents based on perceived benefits, researchers find
9. Death Rates of Children, Young Adults Show Reversal
10. Children With Tourette Syndrome Have Better Motor Control, Study Finds
11. Children of women who smoked during pregnancy at increased risk of becoming smokers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... , ... Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs today announced the opening of a new ... St. Topeka, Kan. 66604 (near 21st and Gage). It is owned and operated by ... locations in the Topeka and Bonner Springs, Kan. area. , “Goodcents has such ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... Ensuring meat products have reached ... the importance of correctly using a meat thermometer. The videos feature University of ... on consumer food safety habits. Dr. Bruhn explains the variety of meat thermometers ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... , ... June 23, 2017 , ... 21 Middle East ... (EF) has selected 21 leaders from government, business and civil society in 11 countries ... the U.S. this fall, engaging in a transformative exchange of knowledge and ideas with ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... PureLife Dental is pleased to announce that California ... members. As part of the amalgam separator endorsement, all CDA members may purchase an ... off the retail value. This partnership between PureLife and CDA is especially timely as ...
(Date:6/23/2017)... ... June 23, 2017 , ... American Farmer, will feature ... which is slated to air fourth quarter 2017. American Farmer airs Tuesdays at 8:30aET ... a Danish pharmacist, founded Chr. Hansen in Denmark in 1874 after a groundbreaking discovery ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/9/2017)... AirXpanders, Inc. (ASX: AXP) (AirXpanders or Company), ... sale and distribution of the AeroForm® Tissue Expander System, ... commercial roll-out in the United States ... hundred (100) medical institutions and health systems, located throughout ... alternative for women who choose reconstructive surgery following a ...
(Date:6/8/2017)... June 8, 2017   Responding to Heath Ledger,s ... the death of singer Chris Cornell in May, ... International offers a free online psychiatric drug ... and families about psychotropic drug risks. The ... died from an accidental overdose, has called for tighter rules ...
(Date:6/7/2017)... , June 7, 2017  Novavax, Inc., (Nasdaq: ... two Phase 2 trials of its RSV F protein recombinant ... bearing age have been published in the journal ... been shared in prior scientific conferences). The Company previously announced ... 2014. Novavax is developing the RSV F Vaccine with the ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: