Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Communication and Storytelling Studies

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Christine K. Anzur

Committee Members

Amber E. Kinser, Kelly A. Dorgan


The present study utilizes the relational turbulence model (RTM) to illuminate stepparent experiences of relational uncertainty and partner interference within the context of the stepparent-biological parent marriage. In-depth, semi-structured interviews with 6 stepparents revealed four primary themes pertaining to how stepparents experienced relational uncertainty: (a) enactment of parenting, (b) competing expectations, (c) shifts in attitude and behavior by spouse, and (d) differences between marriage partners. Interference from partners was experienced by stepparents in relation to the enactment of parenting and the maintaining of the marriage as an intimate relationship.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.