Do stepparents experience more parental antagonism than biological parents? A test of evolutionary and socialization perspectives

Alana O'Connor*, Simon Boag

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Research regarding the affective experiences of stepparents is sparse. This study investigated the relationship between parental type (step or biological) and parental socioemotional investment, resentment, and jealousy. The study explored whether evolutionary or socialization accounts of parenting were able to explain the differential treatment of step and biological children. The pattern of findings-that stepparents generally exhibit lower parental socioemotional investment and higher parental resentment and parental jealousy than biological parents-suggests that stepparental antagonism might be due to differences in innate motivations of step and biological parents. Implications for research, theory, and practice are discussed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)508-525
    Number of pages18
    JournalJournal of Divorce and Remarriage
    Volume51
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2010

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