Affinity-Seeking in Steprelationships: A Dyadic Analysis

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Family clinicians and researchers speculate that stepparents’ ability to bond with stepchildren may be critical to couple, family, and stepparent-stepchild relationships. Using an Actor-Partner Interdependence Model to analyze data from 238 married stepfamily couples we evaluated how repartnered parents’ and stepparents’ perceptions of stepparents’ affinity-seeking behaviors were associated with their own and their spouse’s marital satisfaction, perceptions of stepparent-stepchild conflict, and stepfamily cohesion. Preliminary results show significant actor effects for parents across all outcomes and two significant partner effects. For stepparents, there were no significant partner effects, but some actor effects. Implications will be discussed.


San Diego California

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