Families today are increasingly diverse. Family structure changes in divorce, remarriage, and stepfamily formation have added to the complexity of family membership. According to a 2010 nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center, more than four in 10 American adults have at least one step-relative, defined as a stepparent, a step- or half-sibling, or a stepchild. An increasing number of children can expect to live in a stepfamily at some point in their lives. The rise in stepfamilies is not limited to the United States; it is an international phenomenon and can be seen throughout North America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and increasingly in Asian countries. This entry covers ways in which stepfamily dynamics are unique as well as characteristics of various stepfamily relationships.

A stepfamily ...

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