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Research sheds new light on stepfamilies

Filed under: Law & Courts — JohnPotter @ 11:53 am Mon 9th August 2004

Stepparents and non-resident parents play just as important role in the behaviour and well-being of their children as the parent they live with, Victoria University researchers have found.

Centre Director, Associate Professor Jan Pryor, says the study found children’s relationships with their stepparents and non-resident parents are much more important than previously thought and not only affect their relationship with the parent they live with but also their own behaviour, self esteem and happiness. The quality of these relationships was also linked with the quality of family life in their stepfamilies.

“This means a child’s perceptions of their relationships will give a clear indication of how well their family is functioning, which has important implications for how the Family Court, professionals working with families, and parents think about managing separation and divorce, and the best interests of children.”


  1. Its very true that step mothers and fathers play a very important role. My fiance has a wee girl, shes a part of my life too, so i think the court process also needs to include not just biological parents but also the new partners, as it affects our lives too.

    Comment by ange — Fri 20th August 2004 @ 12:36 pm

  2. Based on my experience over the last three years, my children have been and continue to be disadvantaged by the erratic and irrational behaviour of their mother.

    The fact that they were completely uninterested when their mother telephoned to tell them she was out of hospital speaks volumes.

    My girl-friend has been a wonder with my Team of three and a miracle for me.

    New partners do have a very big part in the lives of children of separated parents. Most especially in showing that an adult relationship can happen without any of issues their mother has forced them to be a part of. They also provide the opposite gender and this has been especially important for my daughter (even though her Dad is special he is not a girl).

    Comment by Mark Shipman — Wed 6th October 2004 @ 12:41 pm

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