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Chapter 11

FRHD 1020 Chapter Notes - Chapter 11: Stepfamily, Money Management, List Of Entertaining Comics Publications

Family Relations and Human Development
Course Code
FRHD 1020
Sarah Murray

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The Family Dynamic: Chapter 11 Summary
The Second Time Around
Remarriage – A New Trend
The divorce rate is increasing and so are remarriages
In 2001, 1 in 10 Canadians who had been married had been married more than once,
but third and fourth marriages were rare
The majority of individuals with a single marriage were older and younger people were
more likely to have been divorced
Before WWII most remarriages were due to the death; now they are more likely due to
Reasons for the increase in remarriage due to divorce and not due to widowhood
It is less likely for people to be widowed because life expectancy has increased
Divorce rates have increased enormously due to changes in the law in 1968 and
There is now greater acceptance of common-law unions and single living
Many families that have one or both parents remarried are stepfamilies
Men and women with custody of their children tend to find a partner with children as well
1/5 of children born from 1983-84 have experienced family breakup before they were 10
Thirteen years later 85% of these children had a new parent
Although most second marriages are stable, the divorce rate is higher than first
Problems that led to breakup of the first marriage, such as violence, alcoholism, or
psychological disorders, often create similar difficulties in a later marriage
Stepfamilies are more likely to involve cohabitation (common law) unions, and these
relationships are less stable than marriages
Many remarriages include children and thereby involve many additional relationships
Reconstituted families, or remarriage families, do not fit the expected patterns for first-
marriage families and have their own norms to guide them
Stages of Remarriage-Family Formation
There are 3 distinct stages in establishing a second marriage
They are similar to a first-marriage family but children and ex-partners create
1. Entering the new relationship
First, people must achieve an emotional divorce; if anger continues between
spouses the emotional divorce will not be achieved
Next, the couple must commit themselves to the new family, which sometimes
involves being a stepparent as well as a romantic partner
2. Planning the new marriage
Open and honest communication is important
New spouses need to maintain relationships with others outside the household
Extended family must establish relationships with the new spouse and children
Children need to stay connected with the extended families of both biological
3. Forming the new family
Involves renegotiating boundaries and rules
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Must let children maintain their relationships with their biological parents and
The new family needs to develop its own rituals to promote a sense of belonging
The stepparent must become involved in parenting
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