A family is a group of people that consist of two parents and children in which the parents are the biological parents of the children. There are some circumstances that lead to the split of the family where the two parents' separate and only one is allowed the full custody of the children. The separation of parents is referred to as divorce. The single parent may decide to start another family with another spouse and this forms a blended family. According to Claire, remarriages are the blended families which consist of the family parts that come together as new families.
Blended families are two different families merge together to form one family, this happens because of divorce and remarriages. In the recent years, divorce and remarriages have become a common experience among middle-aged and older people due to the trends in the society. According to Berardo (133), divorce and remarriages occur due to a developing acceptance of divorce, greater personal freedom, increased gainful employment for women and a general weakening of institutional norms. However, Stan Albrecht (242) advances the reasons for the growing rate of divorce as follows, liberalization and reform of divorce laws, changes in the traditional roles of women, changes in the traditional institutions such as family, the acceptance of divorce, the reduction in fertility rate and increase in premarital conception. From the above study by different authors, there is a clear indication that the recent role in women have become hardworking and independent such that they manage to live on their own without the support of their husbands. The independence of women has led to many cases of divorce.
There are many issues or problems that occur in blended families especially the children involved have a hard time to adjust and coping with the new family. Children may find it hard to share their parents love with the other stepchildren. The children may also face difficulties in loving the new parent introduced in the family. Apart from the children the new parents also experience difficulties in the new relationship especially with it comes to financial issue and other family issues. According to Donna, the problems that are associated with remarriage arise from age, previous marital status, sex ratios, geographic residence and kinship relationship (135). On the other hand, Claire states that lack of trust in the new relationship due to the experiences in the former relationships (243). Moreover, Kirby suggests that financial issues are the main concerns in the new family (23). Kirby explains how it is difficult for the new parents to share their money if they have been in control of their finances for a long period of time. Also, another problem arises when it comes to inheritances the parents will have to divide the inheritance again amongst the biological and stepchildren. The success and failure of the blended families depend on the institutionalized norms that fit the situation involved.
The problems and difficulties to cope with the new family or relationship in the blended family can lead to another separation if proper cautions are not taken into consideration. According to Claire, the establishment of the power structure and the issue of authority is the crucial area of negotiation for the blended family (244). It implies that members of the blended family must learn to deal with the changes and that the feelings and wishes which may interfere with the efficiency in adaptation must be put aside. Kirby states that the main way to have a successful relationship with the blended family in terms of finances is to ask assistance from a therapist on how to manage their finances (24). There are different ways of collecting data during a particular study. In this case, data collection process can occur through interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, and observation. The technique used in data collection is very crucial since if offers first hard information and the data collected are efficient.
Berardo, Donna Hodgkins. "Divorce and Remarriage at Middle Age and Beyond." The Annals of the American Academy of the Political and Social Science, vol.464, 1982, pp.132-139. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1043819.
Kirby Paula G. "Blended Families in the Over-50 Crowd." American Journal of Family Law, vol.25, no.2, Summer 2011, pp.20-25. EBSCOhost, url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=60496098&site=ehost-live.
Leffel, Claire, et al. "Comments on Albrecht's 'Correlates of Marital Happiness among the Remarried." Journal of Marriage and Family, vol.43, no.2, 1981, pp.241-245. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/351373.
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