How do Children see Step-parents?

A single divorce is hard enough on children, but second marriages have a higher risk for divorce than first marriages. How do children think about multiple sets of step-parents? That’s what scientists at University of Missouri College of Human Environmental Sciences decided to study.


They interviewed 41 young adults who had watched their parents undergo multiple divorces growing up. The researchers wanted to know whether or not they claimed their step-parents as family or not and why. About half of the people interviewed said that they viewed their step-parent as family. About half of those still considered that person to be family after the divorce.


The decision whether or not to identify a step-parent as family hinged on three factors: emotional reactions to the divorce, patterns of support during and after the marriage, and whether the parent encouraged or discouraged interactions with their divorced spouse after the marriage ended.


The way that parents handle a divorce will have a life-long effect on their children. We can offer several resources for you to manage how to navigate divorce when a child is involved. You can take a look through our recommended reading page or give our offices a call for a free consultation. Elise Buie Family Law Group, PLLC specializes in collaborative divorce and mediation. We will not rush you to the courtroom if there is a better option. Call today to learn more.

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