< Back to previous page


Father reflections on doing family in stepfamilies

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Objective To explore fathers' experiences as biological parents in father-stepmother families. Background Biological parents play an important role in the formation and development of stepfamily relationships, but little is known about fathers in stepfamilies. Method In-person interviews were conducted with 10 Belgian fathers. Interviews were analyzed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Results Three themes emerged from the data: (a) reflecting on children's experiences and transitions, (b) pursuing a shared family understanding, and (c) innovating new ways of doing fatherhood and family. The first theme centers on fathers' concerns about the impact family transitions may have on their children. The second theme centers on fathers' pursuit of a shared understanding that clarifies family roles and expectations within the stepfamily. The last theme addresses the creativity of these fathers as they co-construct new stepfamily and fatherhood identities in the absence of culturally ascribed norms. Conclusion Given their connecting role as parent and partner, biological fathers in stepfamilies are key to the formation and development of a new family narrative. Findings contribute to family practitioners' understanding of how fathers experience stepfamily life.
Journal: Family Relations
ISSN: 0197-6664
Issue: 4
Volume: 68
Pages: 500 - 511
Publication year:2019