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 Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

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: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

Im Focus: Chemical reactions in the light of ultrashort X-ray pulses from free-electron lasers

Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.

Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microscopic trampoline may help create networks of quantum computers

17.07.2018 | Information Technology

In borophene, boundaries are no barrier

17.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells

17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>