What are the research trends and future challenges in studying stepfamilies? Over the past few years, among researchers there is greater sophistication in research designs, a better understanding of stepfamily complexity, more theorizing and theory-building, and greater awareness of how beliefs and values affect stepfamily scholarship. Challenges to scholars remain: (1) finding samples, particularly from ethnic and racial minority groups, (2) examining structural transitions experienced by stepfamily members, and (3) evaluating interventions with stepfamilies. Nonresidential parents and stepparents are under-investigated, as are extended kin and relationships among siblings, half-siblings, and stepsiblings. Cohabiting stepfamilies require more attention by researchers than they have received. We conclude this chapter by discussing new directions for stepfamily scholars.
KeywordsResearch designs Structural transitions Cohabiting stepfamilies Theory-building Transitions
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