Children of divorce: Stepfamilies


Part of the Divorce Statistics Collection, from Americans for Divorce Reform
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NOTE: Newer information on the same topics is available on The Divorce Statistics and Studies Blog. But a lot of important, pre-2008 information is collected only on this site, the Divorce Statistics Collection. So you should check both this site and the blog.

Stepchildren have more behavioral problems
How stepfamilies work or don't work


Also, more stepfamily statistics are available from the Stepfamily Foundation

"Stepparents and noncustodial parents are far less willing to lay out cash for college than parents in intact marriages."
Gary D. Sandefur, Sara McLanahan, and Roger A. Wojtkiewicz, "The Effects of Parental Marital Status During Adolescence on High School Graduation," Social Forces 71, no. 1 (1992): 103-121. Cited on page71 ofThe Abolition of Marriage, by Maggie Gallagher

Both teens in single-parent families and teens in stepfamilies are three times more likely to have needed psychological help within the past year.
Peter Hill, "Recent Advances in Selected Aspects of Adolescent Development," Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 34, no. 1 (1993): 69-99. Cited on page 72 ofThe Abolition of Marriage, by Maggie Gallagher

A study found that "disturbed adolescent functioning" is as common among teens of stepfamilies as in teens of single-parent families, and much more common than in intact families. Thus, it is concluded that remarriage does nothing for the psychological well-being of adolescents.
Furstenberg and Cherlin, Divided Families,   89. Cited on page 72 ofThe Abolition of Marriage, by Maggie Gallagher

"It appears that children in stepfamilies have the same frequency of problems as do children in single-parent families."
Jiang Hong Li and Roger A. Wojtkiewicz, "A New Look at the Effects of Family Structure on Status Attainment," Social Science Quarterly 73 (1992): 581-595. Cited on page72 ofThe Abolition of Marriage, by Maggie Gallagher

"Living in a mother/stepfather family has as much negative effect as living in a mother-only family."
Furstenberg and Cherlin, Divided Families, 77. Cited on page72 ofThe Abolition of Marriage, by Maggie Gallagher

Remarriage turned up in a study to be more unstable than the first marriage.
See for example, Andrew Cherlin, "Remarriage as an Incomplete Institution," American Journal of Sociology 84 (1978): 634ff; Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr., and Graham B. Spanier, Recycling the Family: Remarriage After Divorce (Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1987), 86-90. Cited on page71 ofThe Abolition of Marriage, by Maggie Gallagher

"Children in stepfamilies do no better on average than children in single-parent homes."
J.A. Jacobs and Frank F. Furstenberg, Jr., "Changing Places: Conjugal Careers and Women's Marital Mobility,"  Social Forces 64: 714ff. Cited on page71 ofThe Abolition of Marriage, by Maggie Gallagher

"Children that are close to their stepparents are more likely to be satisfied with their family and do better in school. But children from a family that consists of both biological parents are still more likely to be more satisfied and doing better in school."
Furstenberg and Cherlin, "Divided Families," 14. Cited on page76 ofThe Abolition of Marriage, by Maggie Gallagher

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