School of Behavioral Sciences
Doctor of Education in Community Care and Counseling (EdD)
Blended family, co-parenting, protective factors, remarriage, stability, step parenting
Counseling | Social and Behavioral Sciences
Travers, Marion F., "Understanding Blended Family Stability: A Phenomenological Study" (2021). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 3287.
Most remarriages and blended families dissolve within 1-5 years, and last an average of 3.05 years. The factors that contribute to their dissolution have been defined well in the literature; however, specific protective factors that lead to blended family stability have not. In this study, ‘blended family stability’ refers to individual participants who have remained in their blended family for more than five years and reported more positive than negative factors. This study sought to define the nuclear family and the blended family, and highlight the vast differences across blended families by (1) examining the challenges experienced in remarriage and blended families, and (2) identifying strategies to improve familial stability. This study also explored unpreparedness, transitions, parenting, co-parenting, stepparenting, communication, relationship building, rituals and traditions, boundaries, counseling, and spirituality. Families who engage in counseling or explore educational avenues to understand their blended family better increase their likelihood of achieving family stability significantly. This study’s research methodology was epistemological, which allowed for a greater understanding of individuals’ lived experiences through in-depth interviews and precise data analysis. Family systems theory guided this study, and provided a lens through which to view and approach blended families.