Jensen, T. M. (2018). A typology of interactional patterns between youth and their stepfathers: Associations with family relationship quality and youth well-being. Family Process.
Stepfamilies are an increasingly common family form, many of which are headed by a resident mother and stepfather. Stepfather-child relationships exert notable influence on stepfamily stability and individual well-being. Although various stepfather roles have been observed, more research is warranted by which stepfather-child interactions are explored holistically and across a variety of life domains (e.g., recreational, personal, academic, and disciplinary). Thus, the primary purpose of the current study is to explore varying interactional patterns between youth and their stepfathers. A latent class analysis is conducted using a representative sample of 1,183 youth (53% female; mean age = 15.64 years, SD = 1.70 years; 62% non-Hispanic White) residing in mother-stepfather families from Wave I of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health. Latent-class enumeration processes support a four-class solution, with latent classes representing inactive, academically oriented, casually connected, and versatile and involved patterns of youth-stepparent interaction. Notable differences and similarities are evident across patterns with respect to family relationship quality, youth well-being, and socio-demographic characteristics. Differences are most stark between the inactive and versatile and involved patterns. Ultimately, the results showcase notable variation in youth-stepparent interactional patterns, and one size does not necessarily fit all stepfamilies. Family practitioners should be mindful of variation in youth-stepparent interactional patterns and assist stepfamilies in seeking out stepparent-child dynamics that are most compatible with the needs and dynamics of the larger family system.
Family Processes Parent Relationships Stepfamily Well-Being Youth bienestar familia ensamblada jovenes padre procesos familiares relaciones
Jensen, T. M.
March 9, 2018