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Adolescents' perceptions of the stepparent role and their role: How it impacts adolescent adjustment to living in stepfamilies and their academic achievement
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis study aims at understanding stepfamily functioning from an adolescent's viewpoint in Kuwait to offer additional understanding of how members in stepfamilies interact. Stepfather-adolescent interaction as compared to the stepmother-adolescent interaction will be the main focus. Adolescent's satisfaction and communication with stepparent are the measures applied to assess the adolescent's adjustment to living with a stepparent. Additionally, how stepfamily satisfaction and communication relate to adolescents' school achievement is explored. A self-report questionnaire consisting of three sections was used, with separate forms for stepfather and stepmother households. Section one obtained demographic information of the subjects and their family. Section two is the stepparent-adolescent communication scale based on Barnes and Olson Inventory (1982). Section three is the satisfaction scale based on Olson and Wilson Inventory (1982). The sample consisted of 215 adolescents, of which 31 males and 82 females live with a stepfather and 32 males and 70 females live with a stepmother. Pearson product moment correlations were tested for significance of adolescents' perception of their satisfaction with the stepfamily and communication with stepparent, and GPA for each stepparent group to determine if there were significant relationships between the dependent variables. T-tests for two independent population means were used for comparative analysis between stepfather and stepmother households to determine if adolescents' stepfamily satisfaction, communication with stepparent, and GPA was the same in both households. For each dependent variable namely, adolescents' satisfaction, communication with stepparent, and GPA, a two-way analysis of variance based on adolescent's gender and grade level at time of transition to stepparent family as representative of their developmental stage was performed for each stepparent group. Lastly, Chi-Square analyses of other family factors and the dependent variables were performed. The results indicated a significant correlation between adolescents' satisfaction and communication with stepparent in both types of stepfamilies. Additionally, adolescents' average satisfaction response and GPA was significantly higher in stepfather households than in stepmother households. Other family demographic factors that related to adolescents' adjustment to the stepfamily environment were number of siblings, stepfather education level, and number of wives. Limitations of the study and implications for future research and practice are discussed.
Degree ProgramGraduate College