Treating Stepfamilies

  • Les Katz
  • Sharon Stein


Stepfamilies are families in which either one or both partners in a remarriage have been previously married, with at least one of the partners having had children from that previous marriage. These families have also been referred to as blended, remarried, reconstituted, or second families. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of stepfamilies in our society, paralleling the high divorce rate. In fact, along with the nuclear family, and the single parent family, it is one of three major western world family forms, and comprises over 13 percent of all families with children under 18 in the United States (Visher & Visher, 1979, p. 4). In the past several years there has been a steady growth of both popular and professional interest in the stepfamily, rectifying a previous situation of virtual neglect (see Visher and Visher, 1978). The inclusion of a chapter on stepfamilies in this Handbook is one example of this new interest. The stereotyped views of the stepfamily as being inferior, and consisting of a “wicked” stepmother, or a “cruel” stepfather, and “neglected” stepchildren, is giving way to a broader understanding of the many unique features of this type of family form.


Nuclear Family Biological Parent Family Form Task Work Family Unit 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Les Katz
    • 1
  • Sharon Stein
    • 2
  1. 1.AuroraUSA
  2. 2.Department of Behavioral SciencesChildren’s HospitalDenverUSA

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