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Keywords:

  • divorce;
  • family psychology (PX);
  • risk factors;
  • social adjustment;
  • stepfamilies

Abstract:  With new relationships common after divorce, researchers have tried to determine the factors that predict how well children adjust to their stepfamily. The many potential factors are often grouped into the categories of family process, individual risk and vulnerability, and ecological variables. Family process is concentrated on the impact of disrupted family relationships; positive outcomes are associated with low conflict and authoritative parenting. Individual risk and vulner­ability includes attributes of the child and the adults; positive outcomes are associated with children who have an easy temperament. Adolescents and girls may have particular difficulty adjusting. Ecological perspectives include the larger social environment such as peers and school.