Factors associated with positive relationships between stepfathers and adolescent stepchildren

Valarie King, Maggie L. Thorsen, Paul R. Amato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study employs nationally representative data on adolescents and their stepfathers ( n= 2085) from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health (Add 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)16-29
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Science Research
Volume47
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Sociology and Political Science

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