School of Behavioral Sciences


Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)


Suzie Johnson


Blended Family, Attachment Styles, Remarriage, Abandonment, Adulthood, Phenomenological


Counseling | Education


Research indicates that three out of four people who go through a divorce may marry again, and more than half of all marriages today are at least the second marriage for one partner. Recent studies estimate that 65% of remarriages involve children from a prior marriage creating a blended family or stepfamily during their lifetime. This study explored the lived experience of individuals raised in a blended family or stepfamily and what, if any, was the impact on their development and adult attachments. It also explored why adults often report adjusting to communication styles, abandonment, self-esteem, and individual behavior issues as a result of being raised in a blended family or stepfamily. A phenomenological study, i.e., a study of lived experience, provided an in-depth description of the participants’ emotional struggles, adult attachment issues, feelings of abandonment, and development between successful or failed relationships. The research design enabled the researcher to effectively address the problem, i.e., the impact of growing up in a blended family and transitioning into adulthood. The findings indicated that as children from blended or stepfamilies grow up and transition into adulthood, relational issues, attachment styles, and traumatic challenges follow them into their adult relationships, yielding social and interpersonal effects.