Cementing the stepfamily?

Biological and stepparents' relationship satisfaction after the birth of a common child in stepfamilies

Katya Ivanova*, Nicoletta Balbo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Abstract

This article studies the relationship between having a common child in stepfamilies and partners' relationship satisfaction. Previous works have primarily looked at children's adjustment in stepfamilies and have cautioned against seeing a common offspring as a way to "cement" the partnership because the addition of a shared child does not benefit the child from an earlier union. We used seven waves of the German "Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics" to examine the relationship satisfaction of partners in a stepfamily and its association with the potential birth of a common child. After controlling for initial relationship satisfaction, we see that having a common child is linked to higher satisfaction over time. Interestingly, for those whose common child is between 1 and 3 years old, we saw temporarily lower relationship satisfaction, which was less pronounced for the partner who was a stepparent in the context of the union.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1346-1363
JournalJournal of Family Issues
Volume40
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • common child
  • fertility
  • relationship satisfaction
  • stepfamily
  • (step)parent
  • MARITAL SATISFACTION
  • RELATIONSHIP QUALITY
  • REMARRIAGE
  • FERTILITY
  • FAMILY
  • CHILDBEARING
  • PARENTHOOD
  • HAPPINESS
  • TRANSITION

Cite this

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title = "Cementing the stepfamily?: Biological and stepparents' relationship satisfaction after the birth of a common child in stepfamilies",
abstract = "This article studies the relationship between having a common child in stepfamilies and partners' relationship satisfaction. Previous works have primarily looked at children's adjustment in stepfamilies and have cautioned against seeing a common offspring as a way to {"}cement{"} the partnership because the addition of a shared child does not benefit the child from an earlier union. We used seven waves of the German {"}Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics{"} to examine the relationship satisfaction of partners in a stepfamily and its association with the potential birth of a common child. After controlling for initial relationship satisfaction, we see that having a common child is linked to higher satisfaction over time. Interestingly, for those whose common child is between 1 and 3 years old, we saw temporarily lower relationship satisfaction, which was less pronounced for the partner who was a stepparent in the context of the union.",
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author = "Katya Ivanova and Nicoletta Balbo",
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Cementing the stepfamily? Biological and stepparents' relationship satisfaction after the birth of a common child in stepfamilies. / Ivanova, Katya; Balbo, Nicoletta.

In: Journal of Family Issues, Vol. 40, No. 10, 2019, p. 1346-1363.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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T2 - Biological and stepparents' relationship satisfaction after the birth of a common child in stepfamilies

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AU - Balbo, Nicoletta

PY - 2019

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N2 - This article studies the relationship between having a common child in stepfamilies and partners' relationship satisfaction. Previous works have primarily looked at children's adjustment in stepfamilies and have cautioned against seeing a common offspring as a way to "cement" the partnership because the addition of a shared child does not benefit the child from an earlier union. We used seven waves of the German "Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics" to examine the relationship satisfaction of partners in a stepfamily and its association with the potential birth of a common child. After controlling for initial relationship satisfaction, we see that having a common child is linked to higher satisfaction over time. Interestingly, for those whose common child is between 1 and 3 years old, we saw temporarily lower relationship satisfaction, which was less pronounced for the partner who was a stepparent in the context of the union.

AB - This article studies the relationship between having a common child in stepfamilies and partners' relationship satisfaction. Previous works have primarily looked at children's adjustment in stepfamilies and have cautioned against seeing a common offspring as a way to "cement" the partnership because the addition of a shared child does not benefit the child from an earlier union. We used seven waves of the German "Panel Analysis of Intimate Relationships and Family Dynamics" to examine the relationship satisfaction of partners in a stepfamily and its association with the potential birth of a common child. After controlling for initial relationship satisfaction, we see that having a common child is linked to higher satisfaction over time. Interestingly, for those whose common child is between 1 and 3 years old, we saw temporarily lower relationship satisfaction, which was less pronounced for the partner who was a stepparent in the context of the union.

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KW - (step)parent

KW - MARITAL SATISFACTION

KW - RELATIONSHIP QUALITY

KW - REMARRIAGE

KW - FERTILITY

KW - FAMILY

KW - CHILDBEARING

KW - PARENTHOOD

KW - HAPPINESS

KW - TRANSITION

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