Remarriage and Stepfamilies: Strategic Sites for Family Scholarship in the 21st Century


Department of Sociology, California Center for Population Research, 264 Haines Hall, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095 (


This article reviews areas of advancement over the past decade in our understanding of remarriage and stepfamilies and suggests promising new directions for future work. Profound shifts in the demographic context of family life motivate central themes in recent scholarship on remarriage and stepfamilies, including the diversity and complexity of stepfamily structures and processes, the consequences of multiple partnerships for adults and children, and potential selectivity in the characteristics of individuals entering remarried families and stepfamilies. Despite challenges to further progress, I argue that remarriage and stepfamilies offer strategic opportunities to investigate many core concerns of family scholars.