Stress in Stepfamilies Term Paper by Nicky

A review of some of the key issues facing families in a stepparent situation.
# 149983 | 2,675 words | 10 sources | APA | 2011 | US

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The paper provides a literature review on the difficulties and stresses facing stepfamilies and stepchildren in particular. The paper shows how in a newly formed family, the children are the ones who potentially suffer and struggle with stressors more than either of the parents. The paper concludes by summarizing the important information that this research brought to light.

Development of Content - Literature Review
Summary and Conclusion
Personal Opinion

From the Paper:

"About one half of divorced individuals remarry within five years in the United States, according to Dr. Charles Bryner, Jr. Writing in the Journal of the American Board of Family Practice (JABFP). Bryner explains that the stepfamily that emerges when a divorced adult remarries creates a "life transition" for the family (Bryner, 2000, p. 206). That life transition of course creates a mountain of stress as "kids that did not grow up together" are now expected to "behave as brothers and sisters" (p. 206) and new grandparents and ex-spouses are part of the picture. Moreover, visitations with the non-custodial parent means that children will be "coming and going, making it tough to keep track of who will be where for dinner on the weekends" (p. 206).
"Adding to the confusion and stress is the issue of how to refer to grandparents, cousins, uncles, and aunts from the family of the previous spouse and from the family of the newly arrived spouse, Bryner explains. No template has been created for a family or child to seamlessly adapt to the blur of these sudden, stunning changes. But studies have been studies conducted (notably Furstenberg's Remarriage and Step-parenting) that in general stepfathers are "well accepted by younger children" (p. 207) if the mother is the biological parent. But it is a different story when the stepfather deals with stepchildren that are older. When a male adult is brought into the household, boys tend to adjust fairly well, but "girls react poorly" (Bryner, p. 207), often causing tremendous stress in the new family."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Adler-Baeder, Francesca, and Higginbotham, Brian. (2004). Implications for Remarriage andStepfamily Formation for Marriage Education. Family Relations, Vol. 53, 448-458).
  • Bryner, Charles L. (2001). Clinical Review: Children of Divorce. Journal of the AmericanBoard of Family Practice, 14(3), 201-209.
  • Divorce Rate. (2009). What is the current divorce rate in America. Retrieved July 21, 2009,From
  • Eckler, James D. (1993). Step-by Step-Parenting. New York: Writer's Digest Books.
  • Gurman, Alan S. (2008). Clinical Handbook of Couple Therapy. London: Gilford Press.

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Stress in Stepfamilies (2012, January 16) Retrieved February 21, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Stress in Stepfamilies" 16 January 2012. Web. 21 February. 2020. <>