Relationships After Remarriage

Concurrent Sessions 7

Todd Jensen, Shenyang Guo, Kevin Shafer, Jeffry Larson; Muh-Chung Lin; Elizabeth Nixon, Kristin Hadfield; Lawrence Ganong, Ashton Chapman, Luke Russell, Youngjin Kang, Caroline Sanner, Marilyn Coleman
Discussant/Presider: David Schramm

1:15 PM
2:30 PM
Location
Tubman A/B
Session #
236
Session Type
Paper
Session Focus
  • Research
Organized By
  • Research & Theory

About the Session

  • Marriage Order and Relationship Stability: A Propensity Score Analysis
    Presented by: Todd Jensen, Shenyang Guo, Kevin Shafer, Jeffry Larson
  • Marital Happiness and Dyadic Interaction Patterns in Remarriage
    Presented by: Muh-Chung Lin
  • Parental Role Negotiation Among Couples in Stepfather Families
    Presented by: Elizabeth Nixon, Kristin Hadfield
  • Stepgrandparents' Relationships with Stepgrandchildren
    Presented by: Lawrence Ganong, Ashton Chapman, Luke Russell, Youngjin Kang, Caroline Sanner, Marilyn Coleman

Abstract(s)

Marriage Order and Relationship Stability: A Propensity Score Analysis

Presented by: Todd Jensen, Shenyang Guo, Kevin Shafer, Jeffry Larson

Theories used to explain remarital instability include the family process and selection perspectives. To date, researchers have attempted to address selection bias in this area but have not employed propensity score analysis to bolster causal inference. The purpose of this study is to assess the efficacy of covariate control methods for handling selection bias compared to propensity score matching and weighting procedures. We analyze 1679 first married and 410 remarried individuals drawn from the Relationship Evaluation Survey (RELATE). Results support the selection perspective, and suggest that a direct causal link between marriage order and relationship stability should not be inferred.

Marital Happiness and Dyadic Interaction Patterns in Remarriage

Presented by: Muh-Chung Lin

Extant literature suggests that remarriages lower in marital happiness, more conflict-ridden, and more fragile than first marriages. Using the National Longitudinal Study of Youth 1979, I find that remarried couples actually enjoy greater marital happiness than the continuously married or themselves in their own first marriages, net of marital duration. I also find remarried dyads have more harmonious relationships, with more positive and less negative interactions. Specifically, they are less likely to argue about children and in-laws. These findings help family sociologists understand why divorced people continue to remarry and why marriage remains a popular social institution in the U.S.

Parental Role Negotiation Among Couples in Stepfather Families

Presented by: Elizabeth Nixon, Kristin Hadfield

Biological mothers in stepfamilies act as protectors for their children (Weaver & Coleman, 2010), but it is unclear how that role is negotiated in conjunction with their partner. The current study employs a semi-structured interview methodology and thematic analysis to investigate how parenting roles are negotiated among 8 pairs of biological mothers and stepfathers (N=16). Emerging analyses indicate that the negotiation of the mother and stepfather roles was an active and dynamic process with interchanges between horizontal (shared parenting) and vertical (""mother-in-charge"") parenting structures. These results have important implications for understanding the development of and transitions in stepfamily relationships.

Stepgrandparents' Relationships with Stepgrandchildren

Presented by: Lawrence Ganong, Ashton Chapman, Luke Russell, Youngjin Kang, Caroline Sanner, Marilyn Coleman

Increased longevity and decades of marital transitions have resulted in large numbers of multigenerational stepfamilies, yet stepgrandparent-stepgrandchild relationships remain understudied. Given that stepgrandparents may be important resources for stepgrandchildren, we used grounded theory methods to explore stepgrandparent stepgrandchildren relationships. Eighteen stepgrandmothers and 3 stepgrandfathers (M age of 54) reported on 108 stepgrandchildren acquired across four unique family formation pathways. Most stepgrandparents were actively involved in stepgrandchildren's lives and considered them to be important kin. Stepgrandparent-stepgrandchild relationships were influenced by time in the stepfamily, proximity, shared interests, stepgrandparents' health, and the attitudes and actions of middle generation parents.

Bundle name
Conference Session