Graduate Research Papers


Open Access Graduate Research Paper


The traditional meaning of "family" as the biological unit of father, mother and child(ren) can no longer be assumed in today's society. There are many other types of structures functioning in our society fulfilling all of the traditional family roles and responsibilities, and an increasingly prevalent one of these is the "stepfamily". One definition of stepfamily in the literature was the complex description offered by Sager, Walker, Brown and Rodstein (1981) of "one that is created by the marriage (or living together in one domicile) of two partners, one or both of whom have been married previously and was divorced or widowed, with or without children who visit or reside with them" (p. 3). A more simplified explanation was given by Prosen and Farmer (1982), "A stepfamily is any family in which at least one adult is a stepparent" (p. 393). This latter definition is the one to be used as the operational definition for this paper.

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Degree Name

Master of Arts


Department of Educational Administration and Counseling

First Advisor

R. T. Lembke


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