ASSOCIATIVE FACTORS FOR STEPFATHER INTEGRATION WITHIN THE BLENDED FAMILY
This study was designed to add empirical knowledge to current information on remarriage and the stepfather. Based upon the premise that a satisfactory spousal relationship is pivotal for successful stepfather integration, the variables of involvement with stepchildren, discipline, and financial conflict were explored. Fifty stepfather couples who had married during 1978 to 1979 were chosen from the Marriage License Bureau in Montgomery County, Maryland. Twenty-five stepfathers had biologic children and the remaining half did not. At least one stepchild under the age of twelve was in residence at the time of the study. Subjects were located by telephone and visited in their homes where they filled out self-report questionnaires. The Dyadic Adjustment Scale (Spanier, 1976) measured spousal satisfaction, the Integrative Variable Questionnaire procured data on perceived stepfather involvement with stepchildren, discipline and finances, and a demographic questionnaire gathered descriptive data. The major hypothesis stated that stepfathers who experienced a greater degree of marital satisfaction were expected to report a greater degree of integration. Results of a Pearson Product Moment Correlation did not confirm the hypothesis, although a slight relationship was found (r = .38). The second hypothesis stated that spousal satisfaction would be positively correlated with stepfather involvement with stepchildren. A very slight positive correlation was found to exist (r = .22). However, when an analysis was performed for stepfathers who did not have biological children, a marked increase was noted (r = .42). The third hypothesis stated that spousal satisfaction would correlate negatively with stepcouple conflict over discipline. Results indicated a significant correlation, although the value was not large enough to be considered important (r = -.30). The last hypothesis indicated that spousal satisfaction would correlate negatively with financial conflict. Results showed a significant and important correlation (r = -.57) between the variables.