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Brave New Stepfamilies


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Table of Contents

Preface Acknowledgments 1. Brave New Stepfamilies The Evolution of an Institution The Problem of Estimating the Prevalence of Stepfamilies Summary 2. Understanding and Explaining Stepfamilies Theoretical Developments in Stepfamily Research Biosocial Perspective Deficit-Comparison Approaches Social Capital Family Stress Selection Perspective Risk-and-Resiliency and Family Processes Perspectives Family Systems, Definitions, and Boundaries Incomplete Institutionalization Stigma Family Obligations Culture Shock in Stepfamilies The Stepfamiliy Cycle Comprehensive Models Summary 3. Stepfamilies Created by Divorce and Remarriage Stepfamiliy Roles and Relationships Stepfamiliy Adjustment and Well-Being Other Variables in the Study of the Stepfamily Summary 4. Stepfamilies Created by Nonmarital Childbearing Trends in Nonmarital Childbearing Self-Perceptions of Stepfamilies Created by Nonmarital Childbearing Relationships in Stepfamilies Created by Nonmarital Childbearing The Well-Being of Stepfamilies Created by Nonmarital Childbearing Summary 5. Cohabiting Stepfamilies Trends in Cohabitation The Meaning of Cohabitation to Stepfamily Living Relationships in Cohabiting Stepfamilies The Well-Being of Cohabiting Stepfamilies The Well-Being of Children in Cohabiting Stepfamilies Summary 6. Multihousehold Stepfamilies The Tradition of the Household as the Unit of Analysis Why Studying Stepfamily Households Doesn't Work Conceptualizations of Stepfamilies That Extend Across Households Nonresident Stepfamily Relationships Summary 7. African American Stepfamilies Family Patterns Among African Americans Distinctive Features of African American Stepfamilies Stigmatization of African American Stepfamilies Relationships in African American Stepfamilies The Well-Being of African American Stepfamilies Summary 8. Stepfamilies With Gay or Lesbian Parents Defining Stepfamilies With Gay or Lesbian Parents Limitations of Previous Research A Triple Stigmatized Group Institutionalization of Stepfamilies With Gay or Lesbian Parents Relationships in Stepfamilies With Gay or Lesbian Parents The Well-Being of Stepfamilies With Gay or Lesbian Parents Summary 9. Stepfamilies With Adult Stepchildren The Rise of Stepfamilies With Adult Stepchildren Relationships in Stepfamilies With Adult Stepchildren The Well-Being of Later-Life Stepfamilies Summary 10. New Stepfamilies in an Old World Implications for Theory and Research Implications for Policy and Practice Summary

About the Author

Dr. Susan Stewart is a family sociologist and demographer in the Department of Sociology at Iowa State University. Dr. Stewart's work involves analyzing national family surveys and documenting U.S. family patterns, family diversity, and family change. Her research on fertility, parenting, relationship dynamics, and child and adult well-being in non-traditional family forms, including stepfamilies, has appeared in Journal of Marriage and Family, Demography, Journal of Family Issues, Population Research and Policy Review, Journal of Family and Economic Issues, Family Planning Perspectives, and Social Biology. Dr. Stewart has extensive personal experience with stepfamily living; She has been part of a cohabiting stepfamily, a multi-household stepfamily, and is an adult stepchild.

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