Factors Associated with Positive Relationships Between Stepfathers and Adolescent stepchildren.

Journal Name
Social Science Research
Journal Volume
Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
King, V.
Thorsen, M. L.
Amato, P. R.
Resource Type
Journal Article

This study employs nationally representative data on adolescents and their stepfathers (n=2085) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health to examine factors associated with positive stepfather-stepchild relationships in married stepfamilies. Results reveal substantial variability in the perceived quality of adolescents' relationships with stepfathers. Structural equation models using Wave I data reveal that close relationships with mothers and close ties between mothers and stepfathers are positively related to the perceived quality of adolescents' relationships with stepfathers. Longitudinal models using Waves I and II do not yield definitive results but suggest that the direction of influence runs in both directions, with the mother-child relationship and the stepfather-stepchild relationship mutually reinforcing one another. We identify a number of other factors that are associated with positive stepfather-stepchild ties, as well as a few factors that may be less consequential than previously thought. Most of the correlates of positive stepfather-stepchild relationships are similar for boys and girls; for Whites, Blacks, and Hispanics; and for stepfamilies of various durations. (Author abstract)

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