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 Researchers simplify tiny structures' construction drip by drip
12.11.2018 | Princeton University, Engineering School

nachricht Mandibular movement monitoring may help improve oral sleep apnea devices
06.11.2018 | Elsevier

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: UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion

Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.

Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...

Im Focus: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Optical Coherence Tomography: German-Japanese Research Alliance hosted Medical Imaging Conference

19.11.2018 | Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New materials: Growing polymer pelts

19.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

Earthquake researchers finalists for supercomputing prize

19.11.2018 | Information Technology

Controlling organ growth with light

19.11.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>