ERIC Number: ED305561
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
How Many Parents? Support for Stepfamilies.
Hutchinson, Laetitia C.
In today's society, there are numerous types of family structure and each tends to be known by its own stereotypical pattern. Approximately 30% of American families can be classified as stepfamilies. Stepfamilies have their own set of family dynamics and problems faced by each member of the family. An estimated 40% of second marriages end in divorce within 4 years, and this may be attributed in part to the myths on which numerous stepfamilies are based and upon which they attempt to function on a daily basis. These include the myths that: (1) stepfamilies can and should function just like a nuclear family; (2) stepfamilies are created instantly; (3) children readily adapt to stepfamily living; (4) love happens instantly; and (5) stepmothers are wicked. As one examines the stepfamily as it exists today with the increasing numbers of people involved and the high rate of failure, it becomes apparent that counselors need to become more involved and offer the support these families need. There are several ways that counselors can provide therapy for troubled stepfamilies and prevention programs for new stepfamilies. Counselors can be instrumental in setting up support groups for stepparents and providing stepfamilies with techniques to encourage them to face their problems and learn adjustment skills that will lead to healthy family functioning. (NB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Counselors; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Counseling and Development (Boston, MA, March 15-18, 1989).