An exploratory study on intergenerational ambivalence and aging stepfamilies: the challenges and rewards faced by adult stepchildren

Golletz, Shannon Lee
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University of Guelph

This thesis examines adult stepfamily membership from the perspective of young adult stepchildren. The primary goal of this thesis was to investigate the challenges and rewards associated with stepfamily relationships, support, and traditions. The objective was to determine what the challenges and rewards of adult stepfamily life are from the perspective of young adult stepchildren. Guided by ideas emerging from the concept of intergenerational ambivalence, this research explored stepfamily relationships, intergenerational stepfamily support, and stepfamily traditions through interviews with a small sample of young adult stepchildren from the Guelph and Kitchener-Waterloo area. Findings suggest that young adult stepchildren identify both rewards and challenges with regards to relationships, support, and traditions celebrated with the stepfamily. The framework of intergenerational ambivalence appears to be a promising tool for future stepfamily studies.

adult stepfamily life, perspectives, young adult stepchildren, stepfamily relationships, challenges, rewards, intergenerational stepfamily support, stepfamily traditions