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Addition of Family Members through Marriage

  • By: Brian J. Higginbotham
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Marriage can add an assortment of new family members. Through marriage, parents-in-law are gained, extended family networks are enlarged, and increasingly steprelationships are formalized. Additional familial relations and associated interactions can add a strain or a protective factor to a marriage. Ultimately, in terms of family well-being and individual health, the quality of new family relationships is more critical than quantity or proximity. Prominent explanatory frameworks in this line of research include attachment, family development, role, stress, and systems theories as well as Bronfenbrenner's social ecology model and the life course perspective.

According to the National Vital Statistics System, in the United States during the first decade of 2000, over 2 million marriages occurred each year; approximately half were remarriages for one of the spouses. ...

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