Our understanding of contemporary stepfamily life requires incorporating emerging trends in cohabitation and nonresident stepparenting into our `traditional' definition of a stepparent (married adult with resident stepchildren). Using the National Survey of Families and Households, I provide a demographic profile of stepparents that includes cohabiting and nonresident stepparents. Adopting this revised view of stepparenthood alters our knowledge of both the prevalence and composition of stepparent families. The `traditional' definition of a stepparent is shown to describe less thanhalf of all stepparents today. Results also highlight diversity in stepparents' parenting obligations and sociodemographic characteristics. This revised view of stepparenthood has implications for future research on and policy targeted at stepfamilies.
Population Research and Policy Review – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 3, 2004
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