Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


As of 1985, over 15 million children in the United States were members of a stepfamily. Each year one million more children are expected to become a part of a stepfamily. With one of two marriages ending in divorce, it is likely the statistics will rise (Martin & Martin, 1985). According to Winch (1971), "A stepfamily is a domestic family in which one or both parents have children from a previous union living most of the time in the same household" (p. 10). A stepfamily may have the appearance of a traditional family but they do not function in the same manner. The stages in the life cycle of stepfamilies differ dramatically from biological families. Stresses found in the natural family occur in an exaggerated form in the stepfamily. At the same time the stepfamily also encounters stresses that are not common to more traditional families.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Educational Administration and Counseling

First Advisor

Robert T. Lembke


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