112: Shifting the Focus to What Works: Promotive Processes in Post-Divorce Families and Stepfamilies

Luke T. Russell; Jonathon J. Beckmeyer
8:30 AM
9:45 AM
Marquette VI
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Session Type
Session Focus
Organized By
Research & Theory
About the Session

Conference Attendance Hours: 1
NBCC CE Hours: 1

Research on post-divorce families and stepfamilies has largely emphasized between group analyses, comparing families that have experienced divorce and/or remarriage with first-married families (Jensen & Sanner, 2021). Such an approach reinforces deficit orientations towards structurally diverse families, especially as research outcomes are frequently indicators of stress, challenge, or negative well-being. Recently, scholars have called for research that moves away from comparison-based studies, with a greater focus on within family-structure analyses to identify family processes and experiences that promote resiliency (Beckmeyer et al., 2020). Ganong et al. (2021) have put this goal more directly, challenging scholars to focus on what works for families that have experiences parental divorce and/or remarriage. This symposium embodies the what works orientation by bring together four strengths-based studies focused on aspects of family life with the potential to help parents and children successfully navigate transitions and family tasks associated with parental divorce and stepfamily formation.


  • Highlight aspects of resiliency in post-divorce and stepfamily relationships.
  • Identify family processes that promote resilience in post-divorce families and stepfamilies
  • Describe how a what works orientation can enhance research on post-divorce families and stepfamilies.

Subject Codes: family structure, family processes, resilience
Population Codes: divorced, stepparent, U.S.
Method and Approach Codes: systematic literature review, regression: linear (simple/multiple/hierarchical), quantitative methodology

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