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Boundary ambiguity : contact consistency and role confusion in complex stepfamily households

Title:

Boundary ambiguity : contact consistency and role confusion in complex stepfamily households

Mirshak, Aida (1993) Boundary ambiguity : contact consistency and role confusion in complex stepfamily households. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

This study explores the difficulties which arise in complex stepfamilies, where both partners have children from previous marriages. Problems of family integration which create discord among family members include boundary ambiguity, contact consistency and role confusion. Boundary ambiguity refers to the uncertainty surrounding family membership which develops because of the extended network of family members acquired in the previous marriage(s) and the present one. Contact consistency relates to the consistency/inconsistency of patterns of contact between stepfamily members and the non-residential children or stepchildren. Role confusion applies primarily to the lack of clarity in respect to the roles and responsibilities of stepparents vis-a-vis their stepchildren. The sample in this study consists of eight remarried/cohabiting couples, with children from previous marriages. The sixteen men and women participants were interviewed separately in their homes. Their perceptions were examined in an attempt to verify whether or not these issues are indeed part of the common and recurring problems they face as parents and stepparents. The findings indicate that the most serious and recurring problems for members of this sample involve their children and stepchildren. Out of the three concepts examined in this research, role confusion represents the most crucial and difficult one, followed by contact consistency, whereas boundary ambiguity seems to be the least problematic of the three

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Sociology and Anthropology
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Mirshak, Aida
Pagination:ix, 106 leaves ; 29 cm.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Theses (M.A.)
Program:Sociology and Anthropology
Date:1993
Thesis Supervisor(s):Hoecker-Drysdale, Susan
ID Code:2637
Deposited By:Concordia University Libraries
Deposited On:27 Aug 2009 15:19
Last Modified:08 Dec 2010 10:27
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