Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Research shows stepdads how to avoid missteps

09.04.2013
As any stepdad can tell you, it’s one thing to win a mom’s heart and another to win over her children.
Although one-third of American children live in a stepfamily during part of their childhood, little is known about the development of the relationship between stepfathers and stepchildren.

New research from Brigham Young University fills that gap with a study that identified three factors that significantly contribute to closeness in stepfamilies:
The couple keeps arguments to a minimum
Mothers help children feel comfortable sharing their frustrations
The stepfather and mother agree on how to parent

BYU professor Kevin Shafer’s research on stepfamilies appears in the academic journal Social Work.

“Family roles can be negotiated and there is going to be some bumpiness,” said Shafer, who teaches and researches in BYU’s School of Social Work. “The notion that couples should put the couple first and everything else will fall into place is false.”

Shafer and BYU grad student Todd Jensen analyzed data from a nationally representative sample of 1,088 children in stepfamilies. From the children’s perspective, frustrations occur when the new dad assumes too much parental authority or when he disrupts the family’s normal way of doing things.

“Moms need to let their children know that it’s ok to talk if they have a problem with their stepfather because everybody is still trying to figure out this new family dynamic,” Shafer said.

And the lack of history between stepdads and children amplifies the detrimental effects of parental conflict.

“Full-blown arguments set up stepfamilies for failure,” Shafer said.

Couples typically make one of two mistakes in the transition. The first type involves the couple acting as though nothing major has changed – that the new father is a replacement instead of an addition. The second type of mistake is for mom to take upon herself all of the parenting.

The common thread in both scenarios is that the children’s voices are missing.

“If you have teenagers, they should be a pretty active participant in discussions of what the family is going to look like and how the family is going to function,” Shafer said.

The study contains one pleasant surprise: Communicating openly and avoiding arguments contributes to closeness regardless of family income or education level.

“It really is the interpersonal dynamic that predicts family closeness,” Shafer said. “You can build these bonds in spite of financial challenges.”

Jensen appears as a co-author on the paper and will receive a master’s degree in social work from BYU this month. Next fall he will enroll in the University of North Carolina’s Ph.D. program in social work.

Joe Hadfield | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.byu.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>