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The remarriage family and the former spouse : marital adjustment and family cohesion Marshall, Deborah Ann 1987

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THE REMARRIAGE FAMILY AND THE FORMER SPOUSE - MARITAL ADJUSTMENT AND FAMILY COHESION BY DEBORAH ANN MARSHALL B.A., Simon Fr a s e r U n i v e r s i t y , 1976. A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES ( C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH March 1987 © D e b o r a h Ann M a r s h a l l , COLUMBIA 1987 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of /^S y'£/J-o£-C><h V The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date Apse,*- / ^ f 7 . DF-fin/ft-n 11 A B S T R A C T I t h a s b e e n s u g g e s t e d t h a t 25% o f m a r r i a g e s i n C a n a d a a r e r e m a r r i a g e s ( S c h l e s i n g e r , 1 9 8 1 ) . I n s u c h r e m a r r i a g e s i t h a s b e e n r e c o m m e n d e d t h a t t h e n o n - c u s t o d i a l p a r e n t h a v e m i n i m a l c o n t a c t w i t h t h e new f a m i l y ( G o l d s t e i n , F r e u d & S o l n i t , 1 9 7 3 ) . M o r e r e c e n t l y , t h e r a p i s t s h a v e b e g u n t o r e c o g n i s e t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f h a v i n g p e r m e a b l e b o u n d a r i e s i n r e m a r r i a g e f a m i l i e s w h i c h a l l o w a l l s i g n i f i c a n t f a m i l y members t o s t a y i n v o l v e d ( M e s s l n g e r , 1 9 8 5 ; S a g e r e t a l . , 1 9 8 3 ) . T h i s r e s e a r c h s t u d y I n c l u d e d 33 f a m i l i e s i n w h i c h t h e w i f e h a d r e m a r r i e d a f t e r a d i v o r c e , a n d had c h i l d r e n f r o m t h e p r e v i o u s m a r r i a g e . A t o t a l o f 105 s u b j e c t s p a r t i c i p a t e d i n c l u d i n g 33 w i v e s , 30 s t e p f a t h e r s a n d 42 a d o l e s c e n t s . E m p l o y i n g a n a n o n y m o u s q u e s t i o n n a i r e f o r m a t , t h e f o l l o w i n g h y p o t h e s e s w e r e t e s t e d : ( 1 ) T h e r e i s a s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n t h e w i f e ' s c o n t a c t w i t h h e r f o r m e r s p o u s e a n d f a m i l y c o h e s i o n . ( 2 ) T h e r e i s a r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n c o n t a c t w i t h t h e f o r m e r s p o u s e a n d m a r i t a l a d j u s t m e n t . (3 ) T h e r e i s a p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n b a l a n c e d c o h e s i o n a n d m a r i t a l a d j u s t m e n t . ( 4 ) T h e r e w i l l be l e s s v a r i a n c e b e t w e e n f a m i l y members on c o h e s i v e n e s s when t h e r e i s m o d e r a t e c o n t a c t w i t h t h e f o r m e r s p o u s e . The t o t a l f r e q u e n c y o f c o n t a c t was a s s e s s e d o v e r a t h r e e m o n t h p e r i o d , a n d s u b j e c t s w e r e g r o u p e d a c c o r d i n g t o No C o n t a c t , T e l e p h o n e C o n t a c t O n l y a n d P e r s o n a l C o n t a c t . i n E i g h t y - t w o p e r c e n t of the c h i l d r e n were found t o have c o n t a c t w i t h t h e i r n o n - c u s t o d i a l f a t h e r once per month or l e s s . S t a t i s t i c a l a n a l y s i s s u p p o r t e d the r e l a t i o n s h i p between m a r i t a l a djustment and former spouse c o n t a c t . Pearson C o r r e l a t i o n C o e f f i c i e n t s r e v e a l e d a s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p between c o h e s i o n and m a r i t a l a d j u s t m e n t . The s t r o n g e s t r e l a t i o n s h i p s were found In the husband s c o r e s i n both c a s e s . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between c o h e s i o n and f r e q u e n c y of c o n t a c t w i t h the former spouse was not s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t . No s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e i n v a r i a n c e on c o h e s i o n s c o r e s was found between groups w i t h No C o n t a c t or P e r s o n a l C o n t a c t w i t h the former spouse. The sample was found t o be w i t h i n the norms ( S p a n i e r , 1976) on the m a r i t a l a d j u s tment measure, and s i g n i f i c a n t l y below e s t a b l i s h e d norms (Ol s o n e t a l . , 1985) on c o h e s i o n . i v T A B L E OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i L I S T OF T A B L E S v i i . L I S T OF F I G U R E S v i i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS i x CHAPTER I - INTRODUCTION 1 D e m o g r a p h y 1 N a t u r e o f t h e P r o b l e m 2 P u r p o s e o f t h e S t u d y 5 D e f i n i t i o n o f T e r m s 6 R e s e a r c h Q u e s t i o n s 7 CHAPTER I I - REVIEW OF THE L I T E R A T U R E 9 I n t r o d u c t i o n t o C h a p t e r 9 H i s t o r y o f D i v o r c e a n d R e m a r r i a g e L i t e r a t u r e . . . . 1 1 L i m i t a t i o n s o f R e m a r r i a g e L i t e r a t u r e 15 S t r u c t u r a l F a m i l y T h e o r y 18 B o u n d a r i e s 19 The M a r i t a l S u b s y s t e m 22 E f f e c t o f F o r m e r S p o u s e S u b s y s t e m on t h e R e m a r r i a g e C o u p l e 23 The C h l l d r e n s ' S u b s y s t e m 27 The N a t u r a l P a r e n t 28 M u l t i p l e T r a c k s o f t h e R e m a r r i a g e F a m i l y 30 H y p o t h e s e s 31 CHAPTER I I I - METHODOLOGY 37 D e s c r i p t i o n o f S u b j e c t s 37 R e c r u i t m e n t o f S u b j e c t s 38 V D a t a C o l l e c t i o n 40 M e a s u r e m e n t 42 D e m o g r a p h i c i n f o r m a t i o n F o r m 42 F r e q u e n c y o f C o n t a c t with E x - s p o u s e 42 F a m i l y C o h e s i v e n e s s M e a s u r e 45 M e a s u r e o f M a r i t a l A d j u s t m e n t 46 S t a t i s t i c a l P r o c e d u r e s 48 CHAPTER I V - R E S U L T S 50 D e m o g r a p h i c D a t a 50 F r e q u e n c y o f C o n t a c t W i t h F o r m e r S p o u s e S c o r e s . . . . 5 3 H y p o t h e s i s One 55 H y p o t h e s i s Two 57 H y p o t h e s i s T h r e e 63 H y p o t h e s i s F o u r 66 L e n g t h o f T i m e B e t w e e n M a r r i a g e s a n d C o m p l e x i t y o f F a m i l y 67 CHAPTER V - D I S C U S S I O N 68 D i s c u s s i o n o f V i s i t a t i o n a n d F o r m e r S p o u s e C o n t a c t 68 D i s c u s s i o n o f C o h e s i o n a n d D y a d i c A d j u s t m e n t 71 D y a d i c A d j u s t m e n t a n d F o r m e r S p o u s e C o n t a c t . 72 C o h e s i o n a n d F o r m e r S p o u s e C o n t a c t 77 D y a d i c A d j u s t m e n t a n d C o h e s i o n 79 V a r i a n c e on C o h e s i o n S c o r e s 81 C o n c l u s i o n 81 L i m i t a t i o n s 85 v i impl icat ions and suggestions for Further Research 86 REFERENCES 88 Appendix A - Introduction Letter to Famil ies 96 Appendix B - Subject Information - Wife 98 Appendix C - Subject Information - Husband 100 Appendix D - Contact With Former Spouse 102. Appendix E - Adolescent Letter 104 v i i LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1 Demographic Information of Husbands and wives 52 2 Frequency of V i s i t a t i o n of Chi ldren by Their Non-Custodia l Fathers 52 3 a) Comparison of Sample Cohesion and Establ i shed Norms 54 b) Comparison of Sample Dyadic Adjustment and Establ i shed Norms 54 4 Former Spouse Con f l i c t and Issues During the Past Year 56 5 Means, Standard Deviations and F Values of Cohesion by Former spouse Contact 58 6 Means and Standard Deviations for Dyadic Adjustment by Former Spouse Contact - Husband & Wife 60 7 ANOVA Table for Dyadic Adjustment by Former Spouse Contact - Husband & Wife. . . . .60 8 Means and Standard Deviations for Dyadic Adjustment by Former Spouse Contact - Husband 61 9 ANOVA Table for Dyadic Adjustment by Former Spouse Contact - Husband 61 10 Means and Standard Deviations for Dyadic Adjustment by Former Spouse Contact - Wife 62 11 ANOVA Table for Dyadic Adjustment by Former Spouse Contact - Wife 62 12 Pearson Corre la t ion Coef f i c ient s for Dyadic Adjustment and Cohesion 64 13 Means and Standard Deviations of Variance in Family Cohesion by Former Spouse Contact 64 v i i i LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 1. s ca t terp lo t for Dyadic Adjustment by Cohesion -Wife and Husband Scores 65 i x ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would f i r s t l i ke to thank the members of my thes is committee; Drs. John Fr iesen, Harold Ratz la f f and Lorette Woolsey. Their support and cooperation made i t poss ible to complete th i s thes is while l i v i n g a long fe r ry r ide away from the un iver s i t y . Dr. Fr iesen helped me to s t re tch my understanding of f ami l i e s . Dr. Ratz la f f pa t i en t l y guided me along the treacherous path of s t a t i s t i c s and, to my surpr i se , I not only survived but enjoyed i t . Secondly, I extend my love to my young daughter Emily, who does not remember when her mother was not a student. She has been my reminder that there are many things more important than deadl ines. I would a lso l i k e to thank my employer, Nanaimo Family L i f e Assoc iat ion. They have always granted my requests for educational leave no matter how inconvenient to the agency, and have encouraged me to take on challenges that keep me growing as a counsel lor and a person. It was there that I f i r s t developed my Interest in learning more about fami l ie s , and eventual ly about remarriage fami l ies in p a r t i c u l a r . F i n a l l y , my greatest appreciat ion is to my parents, Robert and Margaret B i ss . Their emotional and f i n a n c i a l support, and the loving grandparenting they give Emily, enabled me to return to school. It is to them that I dedicate th i s thes i s . 1 Chapter I - Introduction Demography Many fami l ies in North America are s trugg l ing to reorganise the i r ro les and re la t ionsh ips a f te r divorce and remarriage. As divorce rates continue to esca late, the rate of remarriages i s a lso growing. In 1970, 30% of marriages in the U.S.A. were of couples in which at least one of the partners had been previous ly married. By 1980 th i s f igure had increased to 41% (Furstenburg, 1980). A 1981 demographic study of family trends in Canada found that one out of every four Canadian marriages were remarriages (Schlesinger, 1981). It has been estimated that i f current divorce and remarriage rates continue through the 1980's and 1990's, 25% of a l l American ch i ld ren w i l l become s tepch i ldren and 25% of a l l adults w i l l become stepparents (Cher l in , 1981). Despite these large f i gures , the area of remarriage fami l ies has only recent ly received much at tent ion from researchers. Loss i s a common experience for members of remarriage f ami l i e s . This may be the loss of a parent, a spouse, a dream for the future, or f i n a n c i a l s t a b i l i t y . It may be the permanent and t o t a l loss fol lowing a death or a p a r t i a l loss a f te r a divorce (Vlsher & Visher, 1979). Nearly 90% of remarrying men and women are d ivorced, the rest widowed (Gl ick, 1980). In add i t ion , 60% of couples in remarried 2 fami l ies have custody of one or more ch i ldren and 20% involve a non-custodia l parent (G l lck, 1980). For th i s large populat ion, the beginning of a new marriage w i l l a lso involve ch i ld ren born from a former re l a t i on sh ip , the existance of a former spouse and his/her re l a t i on s , and the trauma associated with d ivorce. Resolving these losses is considered to be an Important prerequ i s i te for the successfu l formation of a new family (McGoldrick & Carter, 1980; Ranson, Schlesinger & Derdyn, 1979; Visher & Visher, 1979). Some c l i n i c i a n s bel ieve that a t o t a l emotional divorce r a re l y occurs when ch i ld ren are involved (Sager, Brown, Crohn, Engel, Rodstein & Walker, 1983). Nature of the Problem The development of a remarriage family d i f f e r s s i g n i f i c a n t l y from that of an intact family. F i r s t marriage couples move through a ser ies of t r a n s i t i o n a l steps that can be more or less ant ic ipated for those who are prepared (Messinger, 1984). There is opportunity for the couple to focus on the mar i ta l subsystem before ch i ld ren are born. This opportunity does not ex i s t for the remarried couple (Random et a l . , 1979). Not only are the t r a n s i t i o n a l steps uncharted, but they move immediately into a parenting stage of family development which requires the Interweaving of three or more f ami l i e s . The spouses may be at very d i f f e r e n t phases of the family l i f e cyc le as a resu l t of 3 the i r previous family experiences, which can make the t r a n s i t i o n to an integrated, workable family more d i f f i c u l t (McGoldrick & Carter, 1980). The ch i l d ren , having already suffered the loss of one parent may be f e a r f u l that th i s new re l a t i onsh ip w i l l weaken the i r re l a t i onsh ip with the remaining parent. There l i k e l y has been a s ing le parent phase In the family where there Is a tendency for the custod ia l parent and ch i ld ren to develop closed boundaries (Messlnger & Walker, 1979). This Is one of many factors that can make i t d i f f i c u l t for a new person to enter the family system and for the spouse subsystem to develop a primary bond (Ransom et a l . , 1979). The manner in which remarriage fami l ies are inf luenced by members of the former nuclear family i s not wel l documented. C l i n i c i a n s and researchers have c o n f l i c t i n g views of the e f fec t that re la t ionsh ips with a former spouse have on the remarried family. Some caution that the less ex-spouses see or ta lk to each other, or mention the other to the ch i l d ren , the better for a l l concerned (Mayleas, 1977), and others conclude that the ex-spouse genera l ly has a negative inf luence on the remarriage (Duberman 1975). The most frequent view of contemporary therapis ts and reseachers Indicates that some cooperation is In order, vlsher and Visher (1979) recommend cooperation between ex-spouses but not extreme emotional involvement. Ahrons (1981) found that a f ter a d ivorce, parents need to d i sso lve many aspects of 4 the nuclear family; redefine the i r re la t ionsh ip to el iminate the spousal ro les while es tab l i sh ing new parental ro le s , she a lso expressed the opinion that continuing to share some elements of f r iendsh ip minimizes losses for the parents and the ch i l d ren . A workable parenting re l a t i onsh ip formed by the b i o l o g i c a l parents a f te r separation and divorce may not continue a f te r one of them remarries. A study conducted by Crosbie-Burnett (1983) showed that half of men and women reported a change in the i r re l a t i onsh ip with the i r ex-spouses a f ter remarriage. Twice as many women in th i s study enjoyed improvement in th i s re l a t i onsh ip as experienced de te r i o ra t i on . This study a lso showed that the amount of contact a natural father maintains with his ch i ld ren drops s i g n i f i c a n t l y a f te r remarriage. This reduction in contact may account for some of the increase in harmony, but there is i n s u f f i c i e n t research to substantiate t h i s . A study of f o r ty stepparent couples by Clingempeel (1981) placed couples in three equal s ized groups according to the leve l s of contact the wife maintained with her former husband. He found that couples where moderate contact (one to three contacts per month) was maintained with the ex-husband exhibited higher mar i ta l qua l i t y than those with e i ther high or low leve l s of contact. These resu l t s were 5 not rep l i ca ted in a l a ter study which u t i l i z e d a modified methodology (Clingempeel & Brand, 1985). Purpose of the study The purpose of the present study was to invest igate some of the e f fec t s of contact with the ex-spouse on the remarriage fami ly. The acknowledgement of the former family appears to be important in the formation of a remarriage family. It then follows that i t Is valuable to add to the knowledge of th i s re la t ionsh ip through research. The Clingempeel studies (1981, 1985) are among the very few s p e c i f i c research projects in th i s area. Further empir ica l information about th i s aspect of the remarriage family should lead to better understanding of the funct ioning o£ these f ami l i e s , and help to c lear some of the confusion regarding the e f f ec t of the ex-spouse on the remarriage family system. In add i t ion , i t may be useful in creat ing guidel ines for both the fami l ies s t rugg l ing with the challenge of blending a family and the c l i n i c i a n s helping them. The theo re t i c a l framework for examining the remarriage family In th i s study w i l l be that of family systems theory. This approach assumes that a change in any part of the system w i l l have an e f f ec t on the ent i re system. It provides a valuable framework for understanding how the ent i re family reacts when In a period of change. in 6 p a r t i c u l a r , the S t ructura l approach of Salvador Minuchln, with Its emphasis on boundaries and subsystems i s u t i l i z e d . In add i t ion the concept of mult ip le tracks (Sager et a l . , 1983) provides a theore t i ca l framework for understanding the complex kin re la t ionsh ips of the remarriage family. De f in i t i on of terms Boundary- the in terna l world of a person's experience as well as the phys ica l ba r r ie r between oneself and others (Walker & Messinger, 1979). Cohesion- "the emotional bonding that family members have toward one another" (Olson, McCubbin, Barnes, Larsen, Muxon & Wilson, 1985, p. 3). Complex stepfather fami ly - fami l ies which re su l t from the marriage of a divorced man with ch i ld ren from his previous marriage (but without custody) and a divorced woman with custody of ch i ld ren from her former marriage (Clingempeel, 1981). S imp le s t e p f a t h e r f a m i l y - a family which resu l t s from the marriage of a man without ch i ld ren from a former re l a t i on sh ip , and a divorced woman with custody of ch i ld ren from a former re l a t i on sh ip . Custodial parent- a parent that provides the primary residence for one or more of h is/her ch i l d ren . Non-custodial parent- a parent that does not provide a primary residence for one or more of h is/her ch i l d ren . Former spouse- a person who was formerly re lated by marriage, a f te r the marriage is ended by d ivorce. This w i l l be used interchangeably with the term ex-spouse. Frequency of contact - a count of the number of times, within a spec i f i ed time per iod, that designated persons have a face- to - face meeting that includes the exchange of at least one word. Intact fami ly- a family in which both the husband and wife are in the i r f i r s t marriage, and the ch i ld ren l i v i n g in the home are the i r b i o l o g i c a l ch i l d ren . 7 Mar i ta l Adjustment- "a process, the outcome of which is determined by the degree of: (1) troublesome mar i ta l d i f f e rences ; (2) interspousal tensions and personal anxiety; (3) mar i ta l s a t i s f a c t i o n ; (4) dyadic cohesion; (5) consensus on matters of importance to marita l funct ion ing" (Spanier, 1976, p. 17). Remarriage fami ly- a family that is created by the marriage (or l i v i n g together in one domici le) of two partners, one or both of whom had been previous ly married and then divorced or widowed (Sager er a l . , 1981). Quas l -k ln - former spouses, the kin of former spouses and the people former spouses marry (Bohannon, 1970). Stepfather- a man who marries a woman who has custody of her b i o l o g i c a l ch i l d ren . S tepch i ld - a c h i l d whose natural mother or father or both has remarried. Research Questions The major object ives of th i s study were to determine the re la t ionsh ips between: (a) The frequency of contact between ex-spouses who have one or more ch i ld ren and the l e ve l of cohesion as perceived by family members in the remarriage family. (b) The frequency of contact between ex-spouses who have one or more ch i ld ren and the l eve l of mar i ta l adjustment demonstrated by the remarried couple. (c) The cohesion as perceived by the family members in the remarriage family and the l e ve l of mar i ta l adjustment demonstrated by the remarried couple. 8 Other var iab les such as length of time between marriages, mother's s a t i s f a c t i o n with the parental involvement of the former spouse, age of ch i l d ren , and d i f ferences between simple and complex stepfather fami l ies were a lso examined to determine i f there are any s i gn i f i c an t patterns. 9 Chapter II - Review of the L i tera ture introduct ion The myths in our cul ture about s tepfami l ies are very o ld . Stor ies about wicked stepmothers in ta les such as Snow W h i t e , C i n d e r e l l a and Han se l and G r e t e l have been passed down through the ages. Remarriage is on the increase but is not a new phenomenon. In a demographic survey (1977) Bohannan and Erickson found that almost a l l of the 84 natural fami l ies they interviewed had at least one stepparent a generation back. They commented that "...most people today appear to have some (personal) experience with a s tep - re l a t i onsh ip " (Bohannen & Er ickson, 1977, p.2). Despite these confirmations of the long-term and widespread existance of remarriage fami l ie s , research and c l i n i c a l in teres t in the area is r e l a t i v e l y new (Visher & Visher, 1979; Walker, Rogers & Messinger, 1977). The soc io log i s t Cher l in (1978), hypothesized that the higher rate of divorce for remarriages a f ter divorce than a f ter death of a spouse (Bumpass & Sweet, 1972; Cher l i n , 1977) i s due to the incomplete i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n of remarriage. Cher l in argued that in tact fami l ies have I n s t i tu t i ona l i zed patterns of behaviour recognized and supported by the soc ie ty . Remarriage f ami l i e s , however, face very d i f f e r e n t problems due to the fact that the i r complex family re la t ionsh ips are 10 not well defined in Western soc iety . Appropriate s o c i a l behavior with ex-spouses, post-divorce shared parenting, re la t ionsh ips with kin and new spouses of former spouses are a l l without s o c i a l gu ide l ines . The be l i e f that lack of guidel ines for ro les and re la t ionsh ips is the primary problem, rather than the complexity of the i n s t i t u t i o n i t s e l f , has been supported by other researchers in the f i e l d (Walker, Rogers, & Messinger, 1977; Furstenburg, 1980). Emily and John Visher, in the i r frequently quoted book Stepfami l ies : A Guide to Working With Stepparents and  Stepchi ldren (1979, state that many s tepfami l ies are re luctant to i den t i f y themselves as such due to the s oc i a l stigma and the i r own feel ings of f a i l u r e . An a r t i c l e by Azubike Uzoka (1979) may provide some explanation for the slowness of our cu l ture to acknowledge the existence and a c c e p t a b i l i t y of the remarriage fami ly. Uzoka bel ieves that the American focus on the s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y of the nuclear family i s "Inadequate, misleading and extremely pernicious when r e l i e d on for an understanding of the dynamics of family funct ioning . . . " (p.1095). He explored the roots of the nuclear family idea l and interpreted them as a necessary adjustment at the time of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n when extended fami l ies were separated and communication and transportat ion systems were poor. This is no longer the case, but the myth of the nuclear family remains despite the lack of support and lonel iness i t generates even in members of these 11 " Idea l " , Intact nuclear f ami l i e s . Using th i s perspective to examine the remarriage family, i t can be seen that in order for i t to resemble the idea l i t must deny i t s own h i s tory . Famil ies of remarriage have s i g n i f i c a n t members of the family system l i v i n g outside of the family household (Kent, 1980), and yet the c u l t u r a l idea l i s to revere the s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y and closed boundaries of the nuclear family (Uzoka, 1979). Many other invest igators of remarriage have referred to the detrimental e f fec t s of recreat ing the nuclear family ( Anspach, 1976; Visher & Visher, 1979; Wal lerste in & Ke l l y , 1980). The term b i -nuc lear family has recent ly become evident in remarriage family l i t e r a t u r e (Messinger, 1984). This concept of a family with two stepfamily homes in which the ch i ld ren move f r e e l y between, may prove to be the r e d e f i n i t i o n of a normal remarriage family (Messinger, 1984). History of Divorce and Remarriage Research The f i r s t major research project about remarriage was the soc i o l o g i ca l study by Jess ie Bernard (1956). Now considered a c l a s s i c , th i s study gathered information from census data, ind iv idua l case mater ia l and questionnaires completed by 2009 informants who were c l o se l y connected with remarriage f ami l i e s . Bernard showed evidence that although there are ind iv idua l s who repeatedly f a i l at marriage, a sample taken at any given time w i l l show that most are as 12 successfu l In the i r remarriages as those in f i r s t marriages. She also found that the success of remarriages a f ter death of a spouse was higher than a f ter d ivorce. Her d iscuss ion of the infuence of the ex-spouse assumed that the breakup of the f i r s t marriage was inst igated by the husband and that the wife has suf fered great loss . she maintains that divorced men tend to remarry more often than divorced women, and the d i s t res s of the spouse that does not remarry w i l l l i k e l y have a negative e f fec t on the remarriage. This study presents many of the problems of adjustment in remarriage f ami l i e s . Its v a l i d i t y i s l im i ted by the fact that the population is neither random nor representat ive of the populat ion. A l a ter Canadian study (schles lnger, 1978) used s im i l a r methodology in i t s interview study of 96 Toronto couples. This work was l a rge ly de sc r i p t i ve , inc luding many quotations from the subjects, and contains l i t t l e quant i tat ive data. Some observations relevant to the present study inc lude: seventy-three percent of the previous ly married women f e l t i t was more d i f f i c u l t to be the remarried partner than the previous ly s ing le partner, widows stated more s a t i s f a c t i o n with both of the i r marriages than divorced women, and eighty-one percent of the respondants f e l t that the i r present marriage met the i r expectations very s a t i s f a c t o r i l y . 13 Another ear ly major study, conducted by Wil l iam Goode (1956), explored the e f fec t s of divorce on mothers. This random sample of 425 urban women was div ided into four groups according to how long they had been divorced at the time of the research interview, one f ind ing of th i s study, that the majority of mothers thought the i r ch i l d ren ' s l i ve s had improved a f ter the d ivorce, has been widely referred to in subsequent research. Other research has indicated that divorce and remarriage did not necessar i l y have detrimental e f fec t s on ch i ld ren (Burchinal, 1964), although the emotional trauma of separation and divorce needs to be resolved in order for the t r a n s i t i o n to remarriage to be successfu l (Bitterman, 1968). Despite these f ind ings , which have been substantiated by recent research (Ganong & Coleman, 1984), the majority of ear ly studies were genera l ly pess imist ic and searched for the d e l e t e r i ous e f fec t s that remarriage had on family members (Esses & Campbell, 1984). Soc io log i s t Paul Bohannen made a valuable contr ibut ion to the l i t e r a t u r e of divorce and remarriage. Divorce and  After presented a r t i c l e s about the aftermath of d ivorce. While invest igat ing the patterns of divorce and remarriage, Bohannen discovered some in teres t ing patterns of i n terac t ion between ex-spouses and the i r new partners. He found in some cases that new re la t ionsh ips formed between the two new spouses of ex-spouses. He ca l l ed these re la t ionsh ip patterns between ex and current spouses, "divorce cha ins" , 14 and coined the term "quas i -k in " to refer to ex-spouses and the kin of ex-spouses. The complications in family re la t ionsh ips when households are made up of members who are not kinsmen of one another are out l ined by Bohannen. He suggests that emphasis needs to be put on household re la t ionsh ips as wel l as genetic re l a t i onsh ip s , and points out that there are no r e a l i s t i c guidel ines for fami l ies to do t h i s . An a r t i c l e In th i s c o l l e c t i o n by Margaret Mead explored the c o n f l i c t of stepfamily re la t ionsh ips in our soc ie ty when ch i ld ren are taught to love and t rus t only one set of parents. Though not backed by empir ica l study, these frequent ly quoted theo re t i c a l a r t i c l e s recognised new kinship patterns that challenged the nuclear family myth. L u c i l l e Duberman (1973, 1975) was one of the f i r s t , and remains one of the few, researchers who focused on the remarriage family as a unit (Sager et a l . , 1979). A random sample of e ighty-e ight couples remarried in 1965-69 was drawn from the marriage l i cence bureau in Cleveland. she focused on the qua l i t y of re la t ionsh ips of members of remarriage f ami l i e s , using a "Family Integrat ion" scale to determine how close each member f e l t to his/her fami ly. Her resu l t s support the view that a weak mar i ta l system a f fec t s the l eve l of family funct ioning (Lewis, Beavers, & Gossett, 1976; Minuchin, 1974). Due to the small sample s i z e , an unrepresentative population and the ex-post - facto nature of the study, Duberman's f ind ing must be considered to be 15 tentat ive (Sager et a l . , 1979). Despite these l im i t a t i on s , Duberman provides a valuable exploratory study of the issues and re la t ionsh ips of remarriage f ami l i e s . L i m i t a t i o n s o f Remar r i age L i t e r a t u r e The research l i t e r a t u r e in the area of remarriage is plagued by problems common to the study of f ami l i e s . According to Walker, Rogers and Messlnger (1977), some of the l im i ta t ions include non-random, unrepresentative samples (Bernard, 1956; Schlesinger, 1978), small random samples focusing on one aspect of the family (Duberman, 1973), non-random c l i n i c samples (Fast & Cain, 1966), studies conducted in the past (Bernard, 1956; Duberman, 1973), or at one point in time (Bowerman & I r i sh , 1962). Walker et a l . (1977) comment that most of the f indings reported are "suggestive - poss ib ly v a l i d , but unproven." Esses and Campbell (1984) discussed s im i l a r weaknesses in the methodology inc luding a lso the use of unstandardized instruments, open-ended interviews and questionnaires with inadequate tes t ing for v a l i d i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y . They point out the need for long i tud ina l research and for an adequate theore t i ca l model of stepfamily funct ion ing. The l a t t e r may have been addressed by the comprehensive concept of mult ip le tracks developed by C l i f f o r d Sager and associates (1983). 16 The d i f f i c u l t i e s of f ind ing su i tab le remarried populations for study is complicated by the fact that there are eight recognised combinations of fami l ies caused by remarriage, which may d i f f e r widely in the i r dynamics. The s i tua t i on most often studied are stepfather fami l ies because they occur more frequently than stepmother f ami l i e s . Another problem in f ind ing subjects may be the previous ly mentioned i n v i s i b i l i t y factor discussed by Visher and Visher (1979) which i nh ib i t s remarriage fami l ies from ident i f y ing themselves, much less agreeing to par t i c ipa te In research. The phenomenon of pseudo-mutuality, in which the family presents the external image of a happy family despite the presence of c o n f l i c t , has a lso been recognised frequent ly in remarriage fami l ies (Messinger, 1976), and may be a deterre nt for a family to volunteer to be studied. The majority of studies in the remarriage area have been focused in one of three areas. The f i r s t group of studies are those which compare remarriage fami l ies with intact fami l ies (Anderson, 1983). A large number of these have focused on the success or s a t i s f a c t i o n of f i r s t marriages compared to remarriages (Glenn & Weaver, 1977; McCarthy, 1978; Weingarten, 1980). The resu l t s of these studies have been contrad ic tory, but the most frequent resu l t s seem to indicate that remarriages have s l i g h t l y higher f a i l u r e rates and s l i g h t l y lower s a t i s f a c t i o n than do f i r s t marriages, that remarried males are on the whole more 17 s a t i s f i e d with marriage than remarried females, and that remarried females are more s a t i s f i e d with the i r present marriage than the i r previous marriage. A second group of studies examine the adjustment of ch i ld ren to remarriage. A review of t h i r t y - e i g h t studies in th i s area was conducted by Ganong and Coleman (1984). Although problems with methodology were reported, they concluded that in general there was l i t t l e evidence that ch i ld ren in s tepfami l ies d i f f e r from ch i ld ren In other family s t ructures . The f i ve year long i tud ina l study of ch i ld ren of divorce by Wal lerste in and Ke l l y (1980) concluded that diminished or disrupted parenting rather than the family s tructure i t s e l f , was connected with the incidence of depression in ch i ld ren of d ivorce. In add i t ion they found that the extent to which the c h i l d benefited from a remarriage depended on how well the c o n f l i c t between the father and stepfather had been resolved and the c h i l d having a continued contact with the non-custodial parent. The majority of ch i ld ren in th i s study were l i v i n g with the i r b i o l o g i c a l mother and a s tepfather. When Bernard (1956) invest igated the mental health of s tepch i ldren, using un iver s i t y students as her subjects, she found no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f ference in terms of s t a b i l i t y , s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y or dominance compared to non-stepchi ldren. No long-term, n o n - c l i n i c a l research has been conducted on the ch i ld ren of remarriage within the context of the fami ly. 18 The subject of s tepparent-s tepchi ld re la t ionsh ips has probably resu l ted in the largest number of research pro ject s . The majority of these have studied stepfather s tepch i ld re l a t i onsh ip s . An ear ly study (Bowerman & I r i sh , 1962) found that in stepfamily homes with adolescents, stepmothers had more d i f f i c u l t ro les than stepfathers, and stepdaughters had more extreme react ions towards the i r parents than did stepsons. These f indings have been supported by more recent research (Chilman, 1983). Another ear ly study (Fast & Cain, 1966) set the tone of pathology in the i r a r t i c l e "The stepparent r o l e : Potent ia l for disturbance in family fuc t i on ing " . Many of the studies that followed invest igated the d i f f i c u l t i e s of these a d u l t - c h i l d re la t ionsh ips rather than the pos i t i ve features (Pink, 1985; Ra i l ings , 1976; Stern, 1978). S t r u c t u r a l F a m i l y Theory St ructura l Family Theory, as developed by Salvador Minuchin (1974), is based on viewing man as act ing and react ing as a member of d i f f e r e n t s o c i a l contexts. The family Is a very i n f l u e n t i a l s o c i a l system, and there is an interdependence between the Indiv idual and the i r family (Minuchin, 1974). This model emphasizes the importance of the fami ly ' s s t ruc tu ra l organisat ion for the funct ioning of the family unit and the growth of i t s Indiv idual members. An ind iv idua l w i l l be a member of a number of subsystems in 19 which he or she w i l l have a va r ie ty of ro le s , a varying amount of power and d i f f e r i n g s k i l l s . A subsystem refers to groupings within the family which may include ind iv idua l s , dyads or larger groups. In a remarriage family, the p o s s i b i l i t y for subsystems are even greater than the intact fami ly. Another centra l concept to S t ructura l Theory is the concept of boundaries. Boundaries. Minuchin re fers to boundaries as being the rules def in ing who par t i c ipa tes in subsystems and how they par t i c ipa te (1974, p. 53). For a family to be funct iona l , the boundaries must be c lear and def ined. This is Important so that the members can carry out the i r functions without in ter ference, but can a lso have contact with other members of the subsystem and those outside of the subsystem. The establishment of appropriate boundaries aids in the development of the family hierarchy and helps create an e f f e c t i v e unit in which to perform necessary parenting funct ions. When th i s balance is not maintained, the family system may become enmeshed or disengaged. These same concepts are used by olsen et a l . in the i r Circumplex Model (Olson, et a l . 1979). The cohesion subscale of the associated Family Adaptab i l i t y and Cohesion Scale III (Olson et a l . , 1985) i d e n t i f i e s two adequate leve l s of cohesion l abe l led separated and connected, and the extremes of disengaged and enmeshed. 20 Enmeshment r e f e r s to a p r e f e r e n c e w i t h i n the f a m i l y to Increase communicat ion and concern u n t i l the boundar ies become b l u r r e d and the members cannot d i f f e r e n t i a t e (M inuch in , 1974). T h i s i s a common f e a t u r e of s i n g l e parent f a m i l i e s . I t can make the t r a n s i t i o n to a remarr i age f a m i l y v e r y d i f f i c u l t i f the f a m i l y Is not a b l e to r e d e f i n e the boundar ies i n order f o r the new member to deve lop a r o l e . T h i s enmeshment of the s i n g l e parent f a m i l y subsystem can a l s o make i t u n l i k e l y f o r the spousa l subsystem to deve lop c l e a r b o u n d a r i e s . The o r i g i n a l s i n g l e parent f a m i l y members w i l l remain a s i g n i f i c a n t subsystem due to t h e i r common e x p e r i e n c e s and memories, even when the boundary i s sue s a re r e s o l v e d s u c c e s s f u l l y (Keshet, 1980). Disengagement r e f e r s to a p r e f e r e n c e w i t h i n the f a m i l y to ma in t a i n d i s t a n c e through decreased communicat ion and o v e r l y r i g i d boundar ies (M inuch in , 1974). In order f o r a f a m i l y to s u c c e s s f u l l y n e g o t i a t e the t r a n s i t i o n i n t o remarr i age they w i l l need to be f l e x i b l e . Whi le an enmeshed system r e a c t s w i th i n t e n s i t y to eve ry change, r e g a r d l e s s of I t s s i g n i f i c a n c e , the d i sengaged f a m i l y does not a l l o w enough c l o s e n e s s to r e a c t and adapt to change, even when i t i s nece s s a r y f o r the h e a l t h y f u n c t i o n i n g of the f a m i l y . Boundar ies i n a n u c l e a r f i r s t - m a r r i a g e f a m i l y are g e n e r a l l y w e l l d e f i n e d (Walker & Mess inger , 1979). P e r i o d s of t r a n s i t i o n a re s t r e s s f u l f o r f a m i l i e s and a p e r i o d of 21 boundary dysfunction can be a normal way for a family to react (Wood & Talmon, 1983). According to Wood and Talmon th i s reformation of boundaries is a c r u c i a l part of the process of family t r a n s i t i o n . For the s ing le parent or remarriage family , one of the most d i f f i c u l t Issues is to know how to l e t go of the i r old s t ructures . "If the family hangs on to the 'b luepr ints* of the phantom-intact family, they may get stuck in the process" (Wood & Talmon, 1983, p.354). It i s a de l i ca te process for a family to maintain a s tructure to support i t during the confusion of t r a n s i t i o n , yet be able to y i e l d that s tructure in order to adapt to the new system. Sometimes the s t r e s s f u l s i t ua t i on of boundary ambiguity ex is ts in which the family Is unsure who is in or out of the family (Boss, 1984). v isher and visher (1979) indicate that d i sorganisat ion and c o n f l i c t should be considered a normal state for the f i r s t one and one hal f to two years of remarriage, while these issues are resolved. Walker and Messinger (1979) re fer to the l inks that connect remarriage fami l ies to the previous marriage as an ind ica t ion of more "permeable" boundaries in these fami l ies than in t r a d i t i o n a l nuclear f ami l ie s . They i den t i f y lack of prescribed t r a d i t i o n s , d i f f i c u l t i e s in ta lk ing to ch i ldren about the other parent, and the qua l i t y of parenting by non-custodial parents, as problems associated with the permeabi l i ty of boundaries. Despite these problems, they advocate the healthiness of f l e x i b l e , permeable boundaries 22 between the former spouse and his k in , and the new remarriage family (Walker & Messinger, 1979). This i s supported by other c l i n i c i a n s and researchers in the f i e l d (Ahrons, 1980, Crosbie-Burnett, 1983; Kent, 1980; Visher & Visher, 1979). McGoldrlck and carter (1980) Ident i fy the boundary issues within the stepfamlly as being membership, space, author i ty and time. while these can be issues In any family, the questions of who belongs in the family; phys ica l a l l o c a t i o n and respect of space; who is in charge of d i s c i p l i n e , money and dec i s ions ; and the rat ion ing of time together, qu ick ly become loaded issues in remarriage f ami l i e s . The reso lu t ion of these boundary issues is complicated by the fact that the various subsystems within the family may have d i f f e r i n g developmental needs. The M a r i t a l s ub sy s tem In an exploratory study of healthy family funct ion ing, Lewis et a l . , (1976) found that health in a family was character ized by the establishment of a boundary for the spousal re l a t i on sh ip , and the existance of strong mar i ta l un i ty . The primary importance of the mar i ta l re l a t i onsh ip has been stressed by many other family therapis ts (Minuchin, 1974; Sa t i r , 1967). Therapists and researchers in the f i e l d of remarriage have genera l ly supported the be l i e f that the 23 mar i ta l unit is centra l to the fuct lon lng of the family (Duberman, 1975; Messinger, 1984; Sager et a l . , 1983). Visher and Visher (1979) stressed the Importance of the mar i ta l bond, but concluded that there tends to be less coheslveness among remarriage fami l ies as a whole compared to intact family bonding. Crosbie-Burnett (1984) challenges the importance of the couple re l a t i onsh ip in pred ic t ing family happiness. She found that s a t i s f a c to ry re la t ionsh ips between the stepparent and s tepchi ldren had a greater e f fec t on family happiness. Anderson (1983) found that dysfunct ional s tepfami l ies often exh ib i t high leve l s of mar i ta l involvement and marita l adjustment. An inverse re l a t i onsh ip has been reported between the presence of ch i ld ren from a former re l a t i onsh ip and adult s a t i s f a c t i o n with the present family s i tua t i on (Pasley & Ihinger-Tallman, 1984). When one member of the couple has ch i l d ren , and the other not, there are d i f ferences between the i r viewpoints and expectations which may become a source of c o n f l i c t (Maddox, 1975; Schulman, 1972; Visher & Visher, 1979). It appears that the couple re l a t i onsh ip is general ly thought to be Important to the su rv i va l of the remarriage family but may d i f f e r in p r i o r i t y when compared to an intact fami ly. E f fec t of Former Spouse Subsystem on the Remarriage  Couple. The existence of a former spouse can have an e f fec t on the re l a t i onsh ip of a remarried couple. It was 24 demonstrated that people who remarry a f ter a death have higher mar i ta l s a t i s f a c t i o n than those who remarry a f ter a divorce (Bernard, 1956; Bumpass & Sweet, 1972). As previous ly discussed, i t is not wel l researched but usua l ly recommended by therap i s t s , that cooperation between the remarriage family and the former spouse is h e l p f u l . There is even less conclusive information about the e f fec t s of the former spouse on the mar i ta l r e l a t i on sh ip . The writ ings on remarriage have l a rge ly ignored the existence of a re l a t i onsh ip between former spouses and i t s e f fec t s on the boundaries of the new system (Ahrons, 1980). A small body of research on the re l a t i onsh ip between parents a f ter divorce supports the family systems model, in that the members continue to be interdependant. Parents general ly continue to share r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , concerns and joys of c h i l d rear ing (Ahrons, 1981; Goldsmith, 1980). In fami l ies one year a f ter d ivorce, parents who had a mutually supportive and cooperative co-parenting re l a t i onsh ip a lso interacted frequent ly and shared more than ch i l d - rea r i n g (Ahrons, 1980). Women general ly prefer more distance in former spouse re la t ions than men (Goetting, 1979), and are less s a t i s f i e d with the co-parental re l a t i onsh ip than men (Ahrons, 1981). Non-custodial fathers view themselves as more involved with the rear ing of the ch i ld ren than the cus tod ia l mothers acknowledge (Goldsmith, 1980). It Is recognised that the re l a t i onsh ip changes between divorced 25 parents when one of them remarries (Crosbie-Burnett, 1983), but th i s process i s l a rge ly uncharted. The majority of writ ings that refer to the former spouse a f te r remarriage warn of poss ib le negative e f fec t s of th i s re l a t i onsh ip on the remarried couple, although they may recommend continuing communication for the good of the ch i ld ren (Duberman, 1975; Messlnger, 1984; visher & v i sher , 1979). Messlnger (1984) comments that most people look for e x c l u s i v i t y of love and l oya l t y in marriage, but that the new spouses and the former spouse often get caught in a t r iangu lar power strugg le. In a remarriage where there are ch i l d ren , there w i l l remain a l ink through the ch i ld ren to the former marriage. In add i t ion to th i s reminder of the former marriage, an Inverse re l a t i onsh ip has been found between the report ing of unresolved problems from f i r s t marriages, and the report ing of a successfu l second marriage (Bernard, 1956; Messlnger, 1983). Clingempeel (1981) found a cu rv i l i nea r re l a t i onsh ip between contact with former spouses and mar i ta l qua l i t y in remarriage. The contact between spouses was measured by a frequency count of meetings over the previous s ix months. The subjects were then grouped into three equal s ized groups of low, moderate and high contact according to the frequency of contact. The low contact group were found to have 0-3 contacts over s ix months, the moderate group had 1-3 26 contacts per month, and the high contact group had contact at least weekly with the i r former spouse. Moderate contact corre la ted with high leve ls of mar i ta l qua l i t y and high and low contact were associated with low mar i ta l qua l i t y . He a lso found In th i s study that mar i ta l qua l i t y was higher In simple stepparent fami l ies than in complex stepparent f ami l i e s . This l a ter resu l t was confirmed in a l a ter study (Clingempeel & Brand, 1985), but the re l a t i onsh ip between former spouse contact and mar i ta l qua l i t y was not obtained. A cu rv i l i nea r re l a t i onsh ip between in teract ion with kin and mar i ta l funct ioning in intact fami l ies was obtained by Blood (1969). Extremely high and low leve l s of k inship in terac t ion were re lated to lower leve l s of mar i ta l s o l i d a r i t y and cohesion, while moderate leve l s of in terac t ion were re lated to enhanced mar i ta l qua l i t y (Blood, 1969). Roberts (1985) found that there was a negative re l a t i onsh ip between a " l i k i n g " attachment to the former spouse, and mar i ta l adjustment. He also found that family cohesion and mar i ta l adjustment were p o s i t i v e l y re lated (1985). Duberman (1973) concluded that the Influence of an ex-spouse is genera l ly negative, and that the re jec t i on of the remarriage by his r e l a t i ve s may help the remarriage spouses to be c loser in mutual defense and support. sager et a l . (1983) state that i f the two present spouses are 27 . . .emot ional ly divorced enough from the i r past l i v e s , are mature people who can be open with each other, and neither has a charactero log lca l d i sorder , nor is the least neurot ic , psychot ic, border l ine or s en i l e , they can usua l ly deal with and weather the provocations of the most d i f f i c u l t ex-spouse. However, s ince few among us can c la im th i s state of per fec t ion , an ex-spouse can be the object that the Rem couple uses to provoke a l l degrees of negative processes between them, from mild I r r i t a t i o n to Insane jealousy and the contemplation of murder, (p. 202) It appears that one of the challenges for a remarried couple is to negotiate a re la t ionsh ip with the former spouse that allows for the development of c lear boundaries around the marita l system and the remarriage family un i t , while permitt ing communication at the parental l e v e l , and acceptance of a re l a t i onsh ip between ch i ld ren and the non-custodia l parent. The Ch i ld ren ' s subsystem One of the major stressors for ch i ld ren in remarriage fami l ies is the d i s rupt ion of the ind iv idua l l i f e cycle (Sager et a l . , 1983). This happens I n i t i a l l y when the family l i f e cycle Is disrupted by the separation of the parents, and again when one of the parents remarries. The adjustment to these changes, as discussed e a r l i e r , has 28 at t racted some research and c l i n i c a l Interest, but few studies have looked at the c h i l d as a member o£ the family system. Subsystems of ch i ld ren are often formed by age with the younger ch i ld ren and older ch i ld ren having membership in separate subsystems to carry out many of the family funct ions. This may vary considerably in remarriage fami l ies where there is the p o s s i b i l i t y of ch i ld ren l i v i n g together who are b i o l o g i c a l ch i ld ren of the mother only, of the father only, or are born to the remarried couple. There is a tendency for c loser a l l i ances between blood re l a t i ve s within a remarriage family (Anderson, 1983). Chi ldren of s imi la r ages brought together as s i b l i ng s by remarriage may become very competitive and protect ive of the i r respect ive parents a t tent ion (Visher & Visher, 1979). The establishment of appropriate boundaries is e spec i a l l y important to protect the " inces t taboo" when there are teenagers brought together in a household. The heightened sexua l i ty in a newly remarried household can be both f r ighten ing and st imulat ing for an adolescent. They may be at t racted to the i r s tep - s ib l ing s or to a stepparent. Often these boundaries are maintained with h o s t i l i t y and withdrawal as the adolescent masks his unacceptable feel ings (Visher & Visher, 1979). 29 The Natural Parent- Wal lerste ln and Ke l l y (1980), found that most of the ch i ldren in the i r sample retained a deep i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with, and attachment to, both b i o l o g i c a l parents f i ve years a f te r the i r d ivorce. This was true even when the non-custodial parent had l i t t l e contact with the c h i l d , and when the cus tod ia l parents remarried creat ing a stepparent for the c h i l d . The most severe developmental and emotional d i s t res s was displayed by ch i ld ren with l i t t l e or no father contact. They a lso reported that the c h i l d would continue to yearn for the b i o l o g i c a l parent even when there was a pos i t i ve re l a t i onsh ip with the stepparent. There Is some evidence that the frequency of v i s i t i n g i s reduced a f ter one of the parents remarries (Anderson, 1983; Crosbie-Burnett, 1983). Adolescents tend to have less contact with non-custodial parents than younger ch i l d ren . This may be due in part to the natural move towards a f f i l i a t i o n with the peer group during adolescence. When studying k inship patterns in remarriage f ami l i e s , Anspach (1976) found that fathers are the p i vo ta l l ink to k in for the i r ch i l d ren . When contact is diminished with the non-custodial parent, the ch i l d may also lose contact with grandparents and other important family f i gures . In the i r much quoted book Beyond the Best Interest of the Ch i l d , Go ldste in, Freud and Solnet (1973) made recommendations on c h i l d custody and v i s i t a t i o n a f ter 30 d ivorce. They strong ly advocated that the contro l of v i s i t a t i o n should be with the custod ia l parent, that the non-custodial parent should have no l e g a l l y enforcable r ight to v i s i t the c h i l d , and that a clean break with the c h i l d by the non-custodial parent presents less danger to both fami l ies in the long run. These widely quoted guidel ines are unsupported by most current c l i n i c a l writers (Messinger, 1984; sager, et a l . , 1983; v isher & v i sher , 1979). The preservat ion of the parent -ch i ld re la t ionsh ip and the recognit ion of th i s re l a t i onsh ip by the fami l ies is genera l ly recommended, supporting the prev ious ly discussed f indings of Wal lerste in and Ke l l y (1980). The ch i ld ren are the l ink between the former family and the new remarriage family. Often the natural father does not accept that i t is in the c h i l d ' s best interests for the new stepfather to develop a ro le in the c h i l d ' s l i f e (Messinger, 1984). The custod ia l parent may become less open to co-parenting with the ex-spouse a f ter remarriage (McGoldrick & Carter, 1980). The c h i l d ' s p i vo ta l pos i t ion in the remarriage family indicates the need for cooperation between adu l t s , and the establishment of c lear boundaries between a l l subsystems. M u l t i p l e Tracks of the Remarriage Family Sager et a l . (1983) conceptual ize remarriage as the 31 creat ion o£ a Remarriage Family Suprasystem that Includes the ent i re network of k in from past and present marriages that impinge on the remarriage family. They discuss the needs of the subsystems in the context of an evolut ionary system that includes i nd i v i dua l , mar i ta l and family l i f e cyc les . The precursor to remarriage has been the d i s rupt ion in a l l three l i f e cyc les and so turbulence is expected. The remarriage creates an add i t iona l set of l i f e t racks, the remarriage l i f e c yc l e . It w i l l be a remarriage family l i f e cyc le when ch i ld ren are Involved. In th i s case, the " o l d " nuclear family w i l l continue in some form, continuing on the former family l i f e cyc le while the new remarriage cycle evolves. This framework is in many ways compatible with the S t ructura l Family Theory model as developed by Salvador Minuchin. It is systems- or iented, and focuses on the process of developing sub-systems and boundaries. The new concept of mult ip le tracks acknowledges the existence of the complex interact ions and re la t ionsh ips that ex i s t within the remarriage family. It provides a new framework for looking beyond the nuclear family structure to a broad remarriage family structure with permeable boundaries. Hypotheses In tes t ing the fol lowing hypotheses, family cohesion w i l l be measured using the cohesion subscale of the Family 32 Adaptab i l i t y and Cohesion Scale III (Olsen, et a l . , 1985); frequency of contact w i l l be measured using the contact with Former Spouse Questionnaire, modified for th i s study from Clingempeel (1981); and Mar i ta l Adjustment w i l l be measured using the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (spanler, 1976). 1. In a remarriage family, there is a s i gn i f i c an t re l a t i onsh ip between family cohesion, and the frequency of contact between a remarried wife and her former husband. Low and high leve l s of contact are associated with extreme measures of cohesion, and moderate leve l s of contact are associated with balanced leve l s of cohesion. Rat ionale: It has been establ ished in the l i t e r a t u r e reviewed that the acceptance of communication between a non-custodial parent and his former spouse's remarried family is important for the well being of the ch i l d ren . There Is evidence (Boss, 1980) that indicates that reso lv ing issues from a former marriage is necessary for the success of a remarriage. The r e d e f i n i t i o n of boundaries is Important in remarriage fami l ies in order that they occur as sources of support rather than sources of po tent ia l c o n f l i c t (Kent, 1980). Clingempeel, (1981) found that there was a high co r re l a t i on between the frequency of contact that ch i ld ren had with the i r non-custodial fathers, and the frequency of contact between the ch i l d ren ' s mother and her former husband, in fami l ies where there is contact between 33 wife and former husband, therefore, there is a lso l i k e l y s im i l a r contact between father and ch i l d ren . The measure of the wi fe ' s contact i s l i k e l y a more accurate r e f l e c t i o n of the f am i l i e s ' acceptance of contact because fami l ies in which the ch i ld ren v i s i t but are used as message-carriers for the i r parents, or where there is no contact between parents, w i l l be measured as low contact f ami l i e s . Evidence has been presented that indicates that a re l a t i onsh ip with the former husband w i l l l i k e l y e f f ec t the marita l r e l a t i on sh ip . in order for a family to e s tab l i sh a funct iona l (balanced) l eve l of cohesion i t would appear that some contact between former spouses is necessary for the wel l -being of the ch i l d ren . This would be an Indicat ion of the recommended 'permeable boundaries' between the fami l ies (Walker & Messlnger, 1979). Too much contact may be an ind ica t ion that the former spouse is enmeshed in the system, and that inadequate boundaries have been formed around the remarriage fami ly. This would l i k e l y in ter fe re with the formation of a re l a t i onsh ip between the ch i ldren and the stepfather (Schulman, 1981), and would a lso a f f ec t the marita l re l a t i onsh ip (Messlnger, 1984). L i t t l e or no contact may be an ind ica t ion of over ly r i g i d boundaries between the family systems. It has been establ i shed that th i s i s detr imental for the ch i l d ren , making the i r adjustment to the remarried family d i f f i c u l t and a f f ec t i ng the family cohesion. 34 2. There is a re la t ionsh ip between contact with a remarried wi fe ' s former spouse and the mar i ta l adjustment in the remarried couple. Rat ionale: It has been establ i shed by previous research that the former spouse has an e f f ec t on the marita l r e l a t i on sh ip . In add i t ion the remarried couples ' mar i ta l adjustment has been said to be negat ively a f fected by unresolved issues from the former marriage. The l i t e r a t u r e is not consistent as to the extent and the d i r ec t i on of the e f f ec t of former spouse involvement on the remarriage. Clingempeel (1981) found that moderate leve l s of contact (1-3 contacts per month) with a former spouse were re la ted to better mar i ta l qua l i t y than high or low leve l s of contact. This f ind ing was not rep l i ca ted in a modified study (Clingempeel, 1985). It is conslstant with the S t ructura l Family Theory model, and the f indings of Lewis et a l . (1976) that high leve l s of contact with a former spouse may Indicate highly d i f fu se boundaries around the couple subsystem and would be associated with low mar i ta l adjustment. It i s not c lear from the l i t e r a t u r e what l e ve l of mar i ta l adjustment would be associated with low leve ls of former spouse contact. There is c lear ind i ca t ion that contact is necessary for the adjustment of the ch i l d ren , and contrad ictory evidence of Its e f f ec t on the couple. No contact may be an ind ica t ion of unresolved issues from the former marriage, which has been determined to e f f ec t the 35 remarriage couple re l a t i on sh ip . A cu rv i l i nea r re la t ionsh ip s imi la r to the resu l t s of Clingempeel (1981) and Blood (1969) is a p o s s i b i l i t y . An a l ternate re l a t i onsh ip may be a negative l inear re l a t i onsh ip between contact and mar i ta l adjustment. This would support Duberman's observations (1976), and Roberts (1985) f ind ing that ' l i k i n g ' of former spouse was negat ively re lated to mar i ta l qua l i t y . 3. There is a pos i t i ve re l a t i onsh ip between balanced leve l s of family cohesion and mar i ta l adjustment In a remarried fami ly. Rat ionale: It has been recognised by Lewis et a l . (1976) and Minuchin (1974) that optimal family funct ioning is character ised by a strong mar i ta l r e l a t i on sh ip . This i s supported by many other family theor i s t s , inc luding the majority of experts in the remarriage family f i e l d (Messlnger, 1984; Sager et a l . , 1983; Visher & Visher, 1979). There has been some evidence presented that the couple re l a t i onsh ip may not be as important as other re la t ionsh ips in pred ic t ing the happiness in remarriage fami l ies (Crosbie-Burnett, 1984). Most of the evidence supports Roberts (1985) that there is a postive re la t ionsh ip between family cohesion and mar i ta l adjustment in remarried f ami l i e s . 36 4. There w i l l be l e s s v a r i a n c e f o r f a m i l y members on the c o h e s i v e n e s s s c o r e s i n f a m i l i e s where t h e r e i s moderate c o n t a c t w i t h former spouse than i n f a m i l i e s where t h e r e i s low or h i g h c o n t a c t . R a t i o n a l e : V i s h e r and V i s h e r (1979) s t a t e d t h a t " c h i l d r e n who a r e the o n l y c o n t a c t w i t h ex-spouses have a v e r y p o w e r f u l p o s i t i o n which o f t e n works t o everyone's d i s a d v a n t a g e " (p. 210-11). I f the f i r s t h y p o t h e s i s i n t h i s s t u d y I s s u p p o r t e d , I t s h o u l d f o l l o w t h a t the c o h e s i v e n e s s s c o r e s of the f a m i l y members w i l l have a s m a l l range, i n d i c a t i n g t h a t the p e r c e p t i o n of f a m i l y c o h e s i o n of a l l f a m i l y members i s f a i r l y s i m i l a r . I f t h e r e Is low c o n t a c t , t h e r e w i l l l i k e l y be c h i l d r e n who a r e not w e l l a d j u s t e d t o the r e m a r r i a g e f a m i l y and would have a r e s u l t i n g extreme c o h e s i v e n e s s s c o r e . A new husband i s l i k e l y t o r e s e n t h i g h c o n t a c t and f i n d i t more d i f f i c u l t t o e s t a b l i s h a r o l e i n the f a m i l y , a l s o r e s u l t i n g i n an extreme s c o r e . A p p r o p r i a t e c o n t a c t appears t o be a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the e s t a b l i s h m e n t of permeable b u n d a r i e s , not r i g i d or d i f f u s e b o u n d a r i e s . I t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t t h e r e w i l l be f a m i l i e s w i t h a s m a l l v a r i a n c e between s c o r e s i n the h i g h or low c o n t a c t w i t h former spouse groups, due t o the f a c t o r s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the extreme l e v e l s of c o n t a c t d i s c u s s e d above. 37 Chapter III - Methodology Descr ipt ion of Subjects Subjects were r e s t r i c t e d to simple or complex stepfather f ami l i e s , made up of a b i o l o g i c a l mother with custody of one or more ch i l d ren , and a s tepfather. The b i o l o g i c a l mother had ch i ld ren from a previous marriage and that marriage ended in d ivorce. The stepfather may or may not have been prev ious ly married, or have ch i ld ren from a previous re l a t i on sh ip . There may be ch i ld ren born to the remarriage couple. stepfather fami l ies were se lected because they are more numerous than stepmother fami l ies and so would p o t e n t i a l l y be easier to r e c r u i t . Due to the d i f f i c u l t i e s in r e c r u i t i n g s u f f i c i e n t f ami l i e s , further d e f i n i t i o n of c r i t e r i a was avoided, so that a l l stepfather fami l ies as out l ined above could pa r t i c i pa te . This created an opportunity to increase the population s ize and create more sub-categories for the study of s i g n i f i c a n t re l a t i onsh ip s . In add i t ion , where ever poss ib le , the fol lowing c r i t e r i a were a lso included. At least one of the ch i ld ren was between ages twelve and nineteen inc lus ive and able to respond to the FACES measure of family cohesion. The stepfather d id not provide the primary residence for any of his ch i l d ren , but his ch i ldren may v i s i t in the subjects home. The couple were l e ga l l y 38 married or l i v i n g together as a couple for a minimum of two years. The l i t e r a t u r e on remarriage Indicates that there is a period of approximately two years for s t a b i l i z a t i o n to occur in remarriage fami l ies (McGoldrick and Carter, 1980; Stern, 1978). Famil ies that are beyond the two year point are more l i k e l y to be representat ive of the population of remarriage f ami l i e s . In cases where a family member other than the wife refused to pa r t i c i pa te , data was to be co l l ec ted from the remaining members. Recruitment of Subjects The goal was to r e c r u i t t h i r t y fami l ies that f i t the preceeding c r i t e r i a . Recruitment occurred in a va r ie ty of methods and locat ions . A r t i c l e s appeared in the two l o ca l Nanaimo newspapers, g iv ing general Information about the remarriage family study, and i n v i t i n g subjects to contact the researcher. S imi lar information was posted at the Un ivers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, Malaspina College and community notice boards In Nanaimo. The researcher v i s i t e d classes at Malaspina Col lege. Students were asked to pass on an information l e t t e r to anyone they thought may be interested in p a r t i c i p a t i n g . A col legue of the researcher v i s i t e d three classes at U.B.C. Nanaimo Family L i f e Assoc iat ion, an agency which provides educational programs and counse l l ing to f ami l i e s , gave Information about the 39 study to appropriate c l i e n t s during the i r intake procedure. A Nanaimo women's group that promotes research about women's ro le s , Women in Dialogue, was canvassed. An information l e t t e r was included in a l l questionnaire packages for subjects to pass on to other interested f ami l i e s . This approach was found to be the most e f f ec t i ve method of r e c r u i t i n g subjects in one remarriage family study (Curt i s , 1983). When potent ia l subjects were i d e n t i f i e d by the above methods, they were asked to contact the researcher, or where poss ib le to leave the i r name and phone number so they could be contacted. This procedure did not provide a random sample, so the subjects may not be representat ive of the general population of remarriage f ami l i e s . The subjects were volunteers and so are l i k e l y better educated, of higher socio-economic status, more i n t e l l i g e n t and more sociable than the general population (Borg & G a l l , 1983). The chance of subjects having these a t t r ibutes was increased by the recruitment of subjects from col lege and un iver s i t y campuses. However, the var ie ty of recruitment methods should prevent the problems of some past studies (Bohannen, 1975; Fast & Cain, 1966) associated with focusing on one l imi ted population such as a c l i n i c populat ion. After subjects volunteered to p a r t i c i p a t e , they were ca l l ed and asked selected demographic questions to ascerta in 40 that they met the c r i t e r i a , and were given basic information about the study. contact was made in th i s manner to deal most e f f e c t i v e l y with the spread of geographic area that the subjects covered. The researcher made any long distance c a l l s that were necessary. If subjects q u a l i f i e d and agreed to pa r t i c i pa te , they were sent the data package inc luding a l e t t e r ou t l i n ing the general purpose of the study, the tasks they would be asked to perform, c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y , and information about the graduate student researcher. They were to ld that they could request the resu l t s of the study upon completion, and that they had the r i ght to withdraw at any time. It was ant ic ipated that there may be some problems with adolescents refus ing to pa r t i c i pa te , or changing the i r minds before completion of the data c o l l e c t i o n . A l e t t e r contained in the adolescent ' s data c o l l e c t i o n envelope attempted to make the adolescent f ee l valued in the pro ject . Data Co l l e c t i on Famil ies were sent the measurement intruments along with the above mentioned l e t t e r . This consisted of separate packages for each family member. The wife received a copy of the Subject Information - Wife Form, Former Spouse Contact Form, FACES III and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. The husband received the Subject Information - Husband Form, FACES III and the Dyadic Adjustment Scale. The adolescent 41 ch i ld ( ren) received FACES III and a l e t t e r . Other than the Former Spouse Contact Form in which co l l aborat ion was encouraged, they were asked to complete the enclosed forms without communication with other members u n t i l a f te r the information was returned. Each package was in an envelope that could be sealed. The family was Instructed to place the i r completed forms in the sealed envelope and put them a l l in the provided stamped, addressed envelope to be sent back to the researcher. In th i s way, each family member could complete the i r own documents, but the l i ke l i hood of only some members returning them was reduced by gathering them in one common envelope. Visher and Visher (1979) found that s tepfami l ies tend to be re luctant to i den t i f y themselves. It was hoped that by c o l l e c t i n g data without personal contact that subjects would be more w i l l i n g to pa r t i c i pa te , less concerned about c o n f i d e n t i a l i t y , and less l i k e l y to d i sp lay the psuedo-mutuallty that i s common to remarriage fami l ies (Messlnger, 1979), than i f there were face to face contact with the researcher. This was a lso he lp fu l in data c o l l e c t i o n , as the subjects were spread over a wide geographical area. A drawback to using an Impersonal method of data c o l l e c t i o n may have been that subjects f e l t less personal involvement with the research and researcher and therefore less commitment to complete the data c o l l e c t i o n . This concern was dea l t with in part by s t ress ing in the Introductory l e t t e r the spec ia l concerns of remarriage fami l ies and the importance of further research in the area. An add i t iona l drawback was that questions about the procedures were not answered at the time by the researcher. This was dealt with by g iv ing very c lear written in s t ruc t ions , and welcoming subjects to contact the researcher ( co l l ec t ) i f there were any questions. Measurement Demographic Information Form There were two versions of th i s form, one for wives, one for husbands. The co l l ec ted data included information with regard to present family members, past marriages, ch i l d ren , custody arrangements, occupations e tc . Subjects were requested to complete these questionnaires without co l l abora t i on . Frequency of contact with ex-spouse A modif icat ion of the Quasi-Kin Relat ionships Questionnaire developed by Clingempeel (1981) was u t i l i s e d . The o r i g i n a l instrument requested each remarried person to indicate the frequency of face- to- face contact they had with the i r former spouse and the i r spouse's former spouse. The present study focused only on the wife and her contact with 43 her former spouse. Contact was defined by Clingempeel as any face- to - face encounter that consisted of at least one word being exchanged. This d e f i n i t i o n was maintained. The Clingempeel questionnaire asked subjects to record the i r responses on a chart with one square representing each of s ix months, and columns for t o t a l l i n g the frequency. This was modified in the present study by u t i l i z i n g three one-page calendar sheets representing the three months previous to c o l l e c t i o n of data. These calendars contained the days of the month and indicated s tatutory hol idays. The subject Indicated each contact with an "x" . The researcher t o t a l l e d the frequency for each month at the top of the page, and a grand t o t a l on the f i r s t page. By using th i s type of v i sua l a i d , i t was bel ieved that the subject should better be able to r e c a l l past contact. Pretest ing of the instrument indicated that s ix month r e c a l l was d i f f i c u l t and therefore not accurate, so the time was reduced to three months. As in the Clingempeel study, the subjects were asked to do the fol lowing to improve the r e l i a b i l i t y : (a) consider the t y p i c a l v i s i t a t i o n schedule and any spec ia l events such as birthdays (b) co l laborate on responses with present spouse in order to improve memory. Subjects were then asked to remember how they f e l t during each contact In the most recent month, and to 44 indicate whether the contact was po s i t i ve , neutral or negative, subjects were also asked to indicate the t o t a l number of phone contacts that occurred between the ex-spouses in the previous two weeks (fourteen days). The r e l i a b i l i t y of th i s Instrument, as pointed out by Clingempeel, i s suscept ib le to memory d i s t o r t i o n over time. Tes t - re tes t r e l i a b i l i t y was obtained in his study by randomly se lec t ing twenty of the remarried people between one and one-half months and two and one-half months a f ter the study and asking them again about the quas i -k in contact. They were placed in three d i sc rete groups as they had been in the o r i g i n a l study. Group placement remained the same In seventy- f ive percent of the cases. In the present study, subjects were a lso to be placed in d i sc rete groups which would a lso Improve the r e l i a b i l i t y of the Instrument. This instrument was pre-tested by administering i t to three d ivorced, unmarried women, who were asked for the i r comments and suggestions. The format and ins t ruct ions were modified numerous times and then administered to two more divorced, unmarried women. 45 Family Cohesiveness Measurement The concept of family cohesiveness re fer s to the degree of emotional distance or closeness that ex i s t s in a family (Fr iesen, 1983). It is re la ted to the concept of boundary, discussed in Chapter II. Cohesion was measured in the present study by the cohesion subscale of the Family Adaptab i l i t y and Cohesion Evaluat ion Scales III (Olson, et a l . , 1985). This subscale measures the degree to which family members are separated from or connected to the i r family. This dimension is one of the three primary dimensions integrated in the Circumplex Model developed by the authors, the other two being adap tab i l i t y and communication. Cohesion was analysed in the Circumplex Model as having four leve l s ranging from extremely low (disengaged) to extremely high (enmeshed). The moderate l e v e l s , separated and connected, were considered to be ind ica t i ve of healthy family funct ioning and the extreme leve l s are general ly seen as dysfunct ional for the fami ly. FACES III i s a twenty item s e l f - r e p o r t scale which measures a family member's perception of h is /her fami ly ' s funct ion ing. It i s designed to be appropriate for persons twelve and over. In order to receive the most accurate score r e f l e c t i n g a f am i l i e s ' funct ioning, FACES III was administered where ever possible to both parents and a 46 minimum of one c h i l d between the ages of twelve and nineteen. Olson et a l . (1985) found that there was wide v a r i a b i l i t y between d i f f e r e n t family members' cohesiveness scores and stressed the importance of administering the scale to as many family members as poss ib le. Cutting points and norms are ava i l ab le to place the combined family score into one of the above four categor ies. The adaptab i l i t y subscale was not considered in th i s study. V a l i d i t y and r e l i a b i l i t y f igures are contained in Family  Inventories (Olson et a l . , 1985). Family scores were formed only in fami l ies where an adolescent had pa r t i c i pa ted . A mean was ca lcu la ted from the scores of a l l family members who completed the task. These family scores, were used in tes t ing the hypotheses involv ing family cohesion. in add i t ion they were tested using the mean couple cohesion scores, wife scores, husband scores and adolescent scores. In tes t ing Hypothesis Three, only scores from the fami l ies which had both husband and wife scores and at least one adolescent score were considered. Measure of Mar i ta l Adjustment Mar i ta l adjustment was measured by the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (Spanier, 1976). This is a s e l f - r e p o r t scale that has th i r ty- two items measuring four dimensions: Dyadic Cohesion, Dyadic Sa t i s f ac t i on , Dyadic Consensus and 47 A f fec t i ona l Expression. The scores for these subscales are t o t a l l e d to give an ind iv idua l t o t a l score. A couple score was obtained by taking the mean of the two scores. Based on a review of the l i t e r a t u r e , Spanler (1976) defined mar i ta l adjustment as " . . . a process, the outcome of which Is determined by the degree of: (1) troublesome mar i ta l d i f ferences (2) interspousal tensions and personal anxiety (3) mar i ta l s a t i s f a c t i o n (4) dyadic cohesion (5) consensus on matters of importance to mar i ta l funct ion ing . " (p.156). The DAS Is widely used in family research. clingempeel (1985), who o r i g i n a l l y used the Locke-Wallace Mar i ta l Adjustment Scale in his 1981 study, used DAS in his r e p l i c a t i o n study). Content v a l i d i t y for th i s scale was establ i shed using an evaluat ion by three judges. C r i t e r i o n v a l i d i t y was supported by f ind ing a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f ference between a married sample and a divorced sample. Construct v a l i d i t y was supported by a co r re l a t i on of .86 with the Locke-Wallace Mar i ta l Adjustment Scale (spanier, 1976). R e l i a b l l t y was determined for each component and for the t o t a l s ca le . Tota l scale r e l i a b i l i t y was found to be .96 (Spanier, 1976). 48 s t a t i s t i c a l p r o c e d u r e s The Independent var iab le In th i s research was the frequency of contact the wife maintained with her former spouse. Dependent var iab les measured were Cohesiveness and Mar i ta l Adjustment. Add i t iona l Independent var iab les were generated from the Demographic Information Sheet. Length of time between marriages and complexity of family were examined to determine i f there were any s i g n i f i c a n t re la t ionsh ips with e i ther of the dependent va r i ab le s . S t a t i s t i c a l analyses consisted of ca l cu l a t ing descr ip t i ve (X, s, r) and i n f e r e n t i a l (Z, t , F) s t a t i s t i c s . The z test used to determine i f the remarried population d i f f e r e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y from establ i shed norms on the Cohesion and Dyadic Adjustment measures. One-way Analysis of Variance (F test ) was used to determine any s i g n i f i c a n t d i f ferences among leve l s of Contact with Former Spouse and the dependent var i ab les . The contact measure was d iv ided into three leve l s for analys i s using both Family Cohesion and Dyadic Adjustment scores (Hypotheses 1 & 2). Post-hoc comparisons were made using the Tukey Hones t ly -S i gn i f i cant -Difference Test. Contact was d iv ided into two leve ls for analys is of the variance in cohesion scores between family members (Hypothesis 4). Pearson Product Moment Corre la t ion Coe f f i c ien t s were used to determine i f there was a s i g n i f i c a n t re l a t i onsh ip between Dyadic Adjustment and 49 Family Cohesion (Hypothesis 3 ) . Pearson Corre lat ions were a lso used to r e f l e c t re la t ionsh ips between the number of years between marriages and both Dyadic Adjustment and Family Cohesion. One-way Analysis of Variance with the Tukey procedure was used to determine s i g n i f i c a n t d i f ferences between three leve l s of family complexity and (a) Dyadic Adjustment (b) Family Cohesion (c) variance in Cohesion scores between family members. [ 50 C h a p t e r I V - R e s u l t s Demographic p a t a A t o t a l o f f o r t y - t w o f a m i l i e s a g r e e d t o p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s s t u d y . T w e l v e f a m i l i e s w e r e r e f e r r e d b y N a n a i m o F a m i l y L i f e A s s o c i a t i o n , 6 f r o m s c h o o l c o u n s e l l o r s , 6 f r o m w o r d o f m o u t h , 5 f r o m u n i v e r s i t y o r c o l l e g e c l a s s e s , 5 f r o m c o l l e a g u e s o f t h e r e s e a r c h e r , 5 f r o m o t h e r s u b j e c t s , a n d 3 f r o m t h e n e w s p a p e r a r t i c l e s . A t o t a l o f 30 f a m i l i e s w e r e f r o m t h e N a n a i m o a r e a , 7 w e r e f r o m G r e a t e r V a n c o u v e r , 3 f r o m V i c t o r i a , 1 f r o m S e a t t l e a n d 1 f r o m C a l g a r y . T h i r t y - t h r e e o f t h e f a m i l i e s r e t u r n e d c o m p l e t e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e s , c o m p r i s i n g 18.6% o f t h e number d i s t r i b u t e d . T h i r t y - t h r e e w i v e s , 30 h u s b a n d s a n d 42 a d o l e s c e n t s p a r t i c i p a t e d m a k i n g a t o t a l o f 105 i n d i v i d u a l s u b j e c t s . T w e n t y o f t h e f a m i l i e s met a l l o f t h e s p e c i f i e d i d e a l c r i t e r i a , 4 c o u p l e s w e r e m a r r i e d l e s s t h a n 2 y e a r s , 3 h a d no a d o l e s c e n t s i n t h e f a m i l y , 4 r e t u r n e d u n c o m p l e t e d q u e s t i o n n a i r e s b y e i t h e r t h e h u s b a n d o r a d o l e s c e n t , a n d 2 h a d a d o l e s c e n t c h i l d r e n f r o m t h e h u s b a n d ' s p r e v i o u s m a r r i a g e l i v i n g i n t h e s a m p l e f a m i l y . T h e r e w e r e a t o t a l o f t w e n t y - n i n e f a m i l i e s i n t h e s a m p l e i n w h i c h a t l e a s t one a d o l e s c e n t p a r t i c i p a t e d . T h e r e w e r e t w e n t y - s i x f a m i l i e s t h a t i n c l u d e d s c o r e s f r o m b o t h t h e w i f e , h u s b a n d a n d a t 51 least one adolescent. Demographic information about the wife and husband subjects is included in Table 1. There were 64 ch i ld ren In th i s sample who l i ved with the i r mother and stepfather at the time of the data c o l l e c t i o n . F i f ty - two of these ch i ld ren (81 %) see the i r natural father once per month or less , as indicated by the mother. The step- fathers in th i s sample had a t o t a l of 29 of the i r own ch i ld ren who did not l i v e with them. Eighteen of these ch i ld ren (62 %) are v i s i t e d by the i r non-custodial father once per month or less (Table 2). The women in th i s sample had a t o t a l of 67 ch i ldren from previous marriages with a mean age of 15.12 years. The men had a t o t a l of 33 ch i ld ren from previous marriages with a mean age of 17.88 years. Six fami l ies in the sample had one or more mutual ch i ld ren born to the remarried couple. In 100% of these s ix f ami l i e s , the husband had no ch i ld ren from a previous marriage. Ten men in the sample had not been previous ly married, and had no ch i ld ren from a previous marriage. There were nine ch i ld ren born to remarried couples with a mean age of 1.9 years. The sample d id not d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y from the establ i shed norms on the Dyadic Adjustment measure (Spanier, 1976). z-scores indicate that th i s sample does d i f f e r Table 1 52 Demographic Information of Wives and Husbands wife H u s b a n d Mean S.D. Mean S.D. Age at l a s t birthday. 37 .94 3 .66 41.13 8 .37 Age at f i r s t marriage. 19 .66 2 .61 ---Years between marriages. 4 .00 3 .46 3. 30 2 .10 Length of f i r s t marriage. 9 .81 3 .78 Length of present marriage. 6 .90 3 .66 5.33 3 .49 Table 2 Frequency of V i s i t a t i o n of Chi ldren by the i r Non-custodial F a t h e r s Numbers of ch i ld ren *Mothers' ch i ldren * *S tep fa ther s ' ch i ld ren More than once 1 4 per week Approximately 4 5 once per week 1 - 2 times 7 2 per week Less than once 43 16 per month Never 9 2 Tota l 64 29 * these ch i ld ren are l i v i n g in a sample family * * these ch i ld ren are not l i v i n g in a sample family 53 s i g n i f i c a n t l y from the establ i shed population norms (Olson et a l . , 1985) on the Cohesion Measure. The scores for wives, husbands and mean family scores are a l l s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower than the establ i shed norms. A summary of these comparisons is included in Table 3. There are no establ i shed norms for adolescent ind iv idua l s on th i s measure. The mean cohesion score of adolescent g i r l s was lower than the adolescent boys, although not s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t . Frequency of Contact With Former Spouse The frequency of contact that wives in th i s study maintained with the i r former spouses was lower than expected, based on the previous research conducted by Clingempeel (1981). There was only one score that f e l l within the comparable 'high frequency of contact group' in Clingempeel's study which included persons who have at least weekly contact with the i r former spouse, and made up one-th ird of his sample. Three scores (9%) in the present sample f e l l in his 'moderate' i n te rva l including persons who maintained 1 to 3 contacts per month. The remaining 29 scores (88%) had less than one contact per month and would f i t in the ' low' group in the Clingempeel study. Of these 29 scores, 23 (69% of t o t a l sample) indicated that they had no personal contact at a l l with the i r former spouse. It was Table 3 a) Comparison of Sample Cohesion Scores and Establ ished  Norms Mean S.D. z - score ind iv idua l 39.8 5.4 Adult Norm Wife 37,27 4.77 2.69 * Husband 33.53 7.36 6.33 * Family with 37.1 6.1 Adolescent Norm Family 33.79 6.39 5.52 * * p_. < .01 b) Comparison of Sample Dyadic Adjustment Scores and Establ i shed Norms Mean S.D. z - score Indiv idual 114.8 17.8 Adult Norm Wife 116.94 15.73 .69 Husband 113.13 14.46 .51 Wife & Husband 115.13 14.11 .15 55 decided, due to the low frequency of contact scores, to group th i s sample d i f f e r e n t l y than the Clingempeel study. Subjects were placed in three groups according to whether they maintained (a) no contact (b) telephone contact only or (c) personal contact with the i r former spouse. Eighteen wives had no contact, 5 had only telephone contact and 10 had some personal contact with the i r former spouse. In one hundred percent of the cases where ch i ldren had contact more often than once per month with the i r father, the wives had telephone or personal contact with him. Eighty-two percent of the women who had contact reported that the contact over the past three months was the same as they normally maintain with the i r former spouse. The qua l i t y of contact f ac tor , added to the data c o l l e c t i o n in th i s study, was not considered in the s t a t i s t i c a l analys is due to the low numbers of women who reported contact. Of the f i ve women who reported frequent c o n f l i c t in the past year with the i r former spouse, a l l Included c h i l d support as one of the issues (Table 4). H y p o t h e s i s one This hypothesis stated that there is a s i g n i f i c a n t re l a t i onsh ip between family cohesion, and the frequency of contact between a remarried wife and her former husband. S t a t i s t i c a l ana lys i s , using a One-way Analysis of 56 Table 4 Former Spouse Contact and Con f l i c t and Issues During the Past Year No c o n f l i c t Infrequent Frequent Total Con f l i c t Con f l i c t P e r g o n a l c o n t a c t c h i l d support v i s i t a t i o n custody T e l e p h o n e c o n t a c t c h i l d support v i s i t a t i o n custody No Contact c h i l d support v i s i t a t i o n custody other 13 3 (1) (3) 5 (2) (3) (1) (1) 2 (2) (1) 2 (2) (1) (1) 1 (1) 10 19 T o t a l i n d i v i d u a l s 20 33 57 Variance, indicated no s i g n i f i c a n t re la t ionsh ip between cohesion and frequency of contact. This analys is was conducted f ive times using the scores of the wives, husbands, adolescents, a l l spouses, and a l l family members. Although not s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t , in a l l f ive subgroupings, the highest mean cohesion scores were found in the Personal Contact Group. In the analys i s of the Husband Scores and the Adolescent Scores, the lowest mean cohesion scores were found in the Telephone Contact group. The lowest mean cohesion scores were found in the Low Contact Group in the other three subject groupings. The F value was highest In the analys is of the Husband Scores (E=1.95), followed by the Husband and Wife Scores (F_=1.76). Descr ipt ive and i n f e r e n t i a l s t a t i s t i c s are included in Table 5. Hypothesis Two This hypothesis stated that there is a re l a t i onsh ip between contact with a remarried woman's former spouse and the mar i ta l adjustment in the remarried couple. A s i g n i f i c a n t re l a t i onsh ip was found between the contact the wife maintained with her former spouse, and husband and wife scores on the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (F_.= 5.08, p. < .01) (Table 7). The Tukey Honest Dif ference Test, used to make palrwise comparisons, Indicated that the means Table 5 58 Means. Standard Deviations and F Values o£ Cohesion b y Former Spouse Contact Number Mean S.D. F Valv; wife No Contact 18 36.50 4.94 .53 Telephone 5 37.80 2.17 Personal 10 38.40 5.48 Tota l 33 37.27 4.77 Husband No Contact 15 32.53 5.46 1.95 Telephone 5 29.80 12.42 Personal 10 36.90 6.12 Tota l 30 33.53 7.36 Adolescent No Contact 22 30.55 6.34 .19 Telephone 6 29 .67 2.73 Personal 1 4 31.50 7.53 Tota l 42 ' 30 .74 6.31 H u s b a n d ft Wife No Contact 33 34.70 5.48 1.76 Telephone 10 35.90 5.55 Personal 20 37.65 5.71 Tota l 63 35.83 5.63 Family No Contact 55 33.04 6.13 1.13 Telephone 16 33.56 5. 54 Personal 34 35.12 7.10 Tota l 105 33.79 6.39 59 o f t h e No C o n t a c t G r o u p a n d t h e P e r s o n a l C o n t a c t G r o u p a r e s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t f r o m e a c h o t h e r a t t h e .05 l e v e l o f s i g n i f i c a n c e . D y a d i c A d j u s t m e n t S c o r e s w e r e l o w e r , i n d i c a t i n g p o o r e r m a r i t a l a d j u s t m e n t , i n t h e g r o u p i n w h i c h t h e w i f e h a d no c o n t a c t w i t h h e r f o r m e r s p o u s e (X = 109.64), t h a n i n t h e g r o u p i n w h i c h t h e w i f e h a d p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t w i t h h e r f o r m e r s p o u s e (X = 120.80). The r e s u l t s o f t h i s a n a l y s i s m u s t be c o n s i d e r e d t o be t e n t a t i v e , due t o t h e l a r g e v a r i a n c e s i n t h e D y a d i c A d j u s t m e n t m e a n s . T h i s may i n d i c a t e a v i o l a t i o n o f t h e a s s u m p t i o n t h a t t h e v a r i a n c e s i n t h e p o p u l a t i o n f r o m w h i c h t h e s a m p l e s a r e d r a w n a r e e q u a l . A l t h o u g h t h e means o f t h e T e l e p h o n e C o n t a c t G r o u p a r e a c t u a l l y h i g h e r i n a l l t h r e e s u b j e c t g r o u p i n g s , t h e r e a r e d i v e r s e v a r i a n c e s i n t h e D y a d i c A d j u s t m e n t s c o r e s . When t h i s o c c u r s , t h e s a m p l e w i t h t h e g r e a t e r v a r i a n c e w i l l t e n d t o f a l l a t t h e e x t r e m e s o f t h e r a n k s e q u e n c e i n t h e T u k e y P r o c e d u r e , a n d i n c o n s e q u e n c e w i l l be a s s i g n e d l o w e r r a n k s t h a n t h e s a m p l e w i t h l e s s v a r i a n c e . The l a r g e v a r i a n c e i n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h t h e l o w number o f s c o r e s i n t h e T e l e p h o n e C o n t a c t G r o u p , makes i t l i k e l y t h a t a n y p o s s i b l e a s s o c i a t i o n w o u l d n o t be d e m o n s t r a t e d s t a t i s t i c a l l y . D e s c r i p t i v e a n d i n f e r e n t i a l s t a t i s t i c s a r e i n c l u d e d i n T a b l e s 6 a n d 7. A s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p was a l s o f o u n d b e t w e e n t h e c o n t a c t a w i f e k e p t w i t h h e r f o r m e r s p o u s e , a n d t h e d y a d i c a d j u s t m e n t o f h e r p r e s e n t h u s b a n d (F =5.90, D.F.=29, p_. <.01). The T u k e y H o n e s t D i f f e r e n c e T e s t i n d i c a t e d t h a t 60 Table 6 Means and Standard Deviations for Dyadic Adjustment by Former Spouse Contact - Husband & Wife No Contact Telephone Contact Personal Contact Tota l Number Mean S.D. 33 109.64 16.54 10 121.90 16.26 20 120.80 8.15 ~63 115.13 15.29 Table 7 ANOVA Table for Dyadic Adjustment by Former Spouse Contact  - Husband & Wife Source D.F. Sum of Squares Mean Squares F Between Groups 2 2097.25 1048.62 5.08* Within Groups 60 12393.74 206.56 Tota l 62 14490.98 * p_. < .01 Table 8 Means and Standard Deviations for Dyadic Adjustment by  Former Spouse Contact - Husband Number Mean S.D. No Contact Telephone Contact Personal Contact Tota l 15 106.07 15.43 5 121.40 19.03 10 119.60 6.29 30 113.14 14.46 Table 9 ANOVA Table for Dyadic Adjustment by Former Spouse Contact - Husband Source D.F. Sum of Squares Mean Squares F Between Groups 2 2106.45 1053.23 5.9* Within Groups 27 4822.56 178.61 Tota l 29 6929.01 *p_. < .01 Table 10 Means and Standard Deviations for Dyadic Adjustment by  Former Spouse Contact - Wife Number Mean S.D. No Contact 18 112.61 17.26 Telephone Contact 5 122.40 17.57 Personal Contact 10 122.00 9.88 Tota l 33 116.94 15.73 Table 11 ANOVA Table for Dyadic Adjustment by Former Spouse Contact -Wife Scores Source D.F. Sum of Squares Mean Squares F Between Groups 2 742.40 371.20 1.5 Within Groups 30 7179.48 239.32 Tota l 32 7921.88 63 the means o£ the No co n t a c t Group and the Per s o n a l c o n t a c t Group are s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t from each other at the .05 l e v e l of s i g n i f i c a n c e . Again, the Dyadic Adjustment scores were lower i n the group i n which the wife had no co n t a c t with her former spouse (X=106.07) than the group i n which the wife had pe r s o n a l c o n t a c t with her former spouse (x=119.6). As i n the previous case, these f i n d i n g s must be co n s i d e r e d t e n t a t i v e due to the s m a l l sample s i z e and d i v e r s e v a r i a n c e s . D e s c r i p t i v e and i n f e r e n t i a l s t a t i s t i c s are i n c l u d e d i n Tables 8 & 9. One-Way A n a l y s i s of Variance d i d not r e v e a l any s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between Contact Groups i n the wife sample. D e s c r i p t i v e and I n f e r e n t i a l s t a t i s t i c s are i n c l u d e d i n Tables 10 & 11. H y p o t h e s i s T h r e e The t h i r d hypothesis s t a t e d t h a t there i s a p o s i t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p between moderate l e v e l s of f a m i l y cohesion and m a r i t a l adjustment i n a remarried f a m i l y . A n a l y s i s was conducted u s i n g the Pearson Product Moment C o e f f i c i e n t . The data c o l l e c t e d i n t h i s sample was made up almost e n t i r e l y of low and moderate cohesion s c o r e s . Only three I n d i v i d u a l scores out of a sample of 105 were over 45, the e s t a b l i s h e d I n d i v i d u a l score c u t t i n g p o i n t above which a 64 Table 12 Pearson Corre la t ion Coeff lents for Dyadic Adjustment and  Cohesion Number Wife 33 .42 * * Husband 30 .75 * Couple 63 .59 * Family 26 .43 * * * * p_.<.0005 ** p_.<.01 * * * p_.<.025 Table 13 Means and Standard Deviations of Dif ference scores* In  Family Cohesion By Former Spouse Contact Number of Famil ies Mean S.D F No Contact 14 11.00 5.14 .29 Contact 12 12.08 5.00 * Di f ference scores between the highest and lowest cohesion scores in fami l ies where there are scores representing a wife, a husband and at least one adolescent. Figure 1 65 S c a t t e r p l o t f o r Dyadic Adjustment by Cohesion - Wife and  Husband Scores D 150-y 145-a 140-d 135-i 130-c 125-120-A 115-d 110-j 105-u 100- % " s 95-t 90-m 85- 4 e 80-n 75-t 70-65-60-// 24 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42 44 46 48 50 Cohesion Wife Scores Husband Scores 66 s c o r e i s c o n s i d e r e d t o be h i g h o r e n m e s h e d ( O l s o n e t a l . , 1985). No f a m i l y s c o r e s w e r e i n t h e h i g h o r e n m e s h e d c a t e g o r y . B e c a u s e o f t h e s m a l l s a m p l e s i z e , a n d n o n - r a n d o m n e s s o f s e l e c t i o n i t i s i m p o s s i b l e t o d e t e r m i n e i f t h i s s a m p l e i s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e o f t h e p o p u l a t i o n o f r e m a r r i e d p e o p l e , o r i f i n f a c t i t h a s a t r u n c a t e d r a n g e w i t h t h e h i g h c o h e s i o n r a n g e m i s s i n g f r o m t h e s a m p l e . I n u s i n g t h e P e a r s o n c o r r e l a t i o n , t h e r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n f a m i l y c o h e s i o n a n d t h e c o u p l e d y a d i c a d j u s t m e n t was p o s i t i v e a n d s i g n i f i c a n t , (r_ = .43, p_. < .025, r_2 =.18) u s i n g a o n e - t a i l e d t e s t o f s i g n i f i c a n c e . The c o h e s i o n s c o r e s o f t h e c o u p l e s a n d t h e i r d y a d i c a d j u s t m e n t was a l s o p o s i t i v e l y r e l a t e d a n d s i g n i f i c a n t (r_ = .59, p_. < .0005, r_2_ = .34),. The s t r o n g e s t r e l a t i o n s h i p was b e t w e e n t h e c o h e s i o n a n d d y a d i c a d j u s t m e n t s c o r e s o f t h e h u s b a n d s ( r = .75, p_ < .0005, rJL = .56). T h e s e s c o r e s a r e i n c l u d e d i n T a b l e 12, a n d s h o w n g r a p h i c a l l y i n F i g u r e 1. H y p o t h e s i s F o u r T h i s h y p o t h e s i s s t a t e d t h a t t h e r e w i l l be l e s s v a r i a n c e b e t w e e n f a m i l y members on t h e c o h e s i v e n e s s s c o r e s w h e r e t h e r e Is m o d e r a t e c o n t a c t w i t h t h e f o r m e r s p o u s e t h a n i n f a m i l i e s w h e r e t h e r e i s l o w o r h i g h c o n t a c t . B e c a u s e o f t h e l a c k o f h i g h c o n t a c t s c o r e s d i s c u s s e d p r e v i o u s l y , t h e s a m p l e was d i v i d e d i n t o t w o d i s c r e t e g r o u p s o f ( a ) No C o n t a c t a n d 67 ( b ) T e l e p h o n e a n d / o r P e r s o n a l c o n t a c t . The d i f f e r e n c e s c o r e b e t w e e n t h e h i g h e s t a n d l o w e s t c o h e s i o n s c o r e i n a f a m i l y was o b t a i n e d o n l y f r o m t h e t w e n t y - s i x f a m i l i e s i n w h i c h a n a d o l e s c e n t s c o r e was i n c l u d e d . A O n e - w a y ANOVA d i d n o t i n d i c a t e a n y s i g n i f i c a n t m a i n e f f e c t i n c o h e s i o n s c o r e s a c r o s s t h e c o n t a c t w i t h f o r m e r s p o u s e f a c t o r , r e s u l t i n g i n a n " F " v a l u e o f . 2 9 . Means a n d s t a n d a r d d e v i a t i o n s a r e r e p o r t e d i n T a b l e 1 3 . L e n g t h o f T i m e B e t w e e n M a r r i a g e s a n d C o m p l e x i t y o f F a m i l y T h e r e w e r e no s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p s b e t w e e n t h e n u m b e r s o f y e a r s b e t w e e n m a r r i a g e s a n d e i t h e r D y a d i c A d j u s t m e n t o r F a m i l y c o h e s i o n . o n e - w a y ANOVA I n d i c a t e d no s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s b e t w e e n t h r e e l e v e l s o f f a m i l y c o m p l e x i t y a n d ( a ) D y a d i c A d j u s t m e n t ( b ) F a m i l y C o h e s i o n o r ( c ) v a r i a n c e i n C o h e s i o n s c o r e s b e t w e e n f a m i l y m e m b e r s . 68 Chapter V - Discussion Discussion of V i s i t a t i o n and Former Spouse Contact One of the surpr i s ing f indings of th i s study was the low frequency of contact between wives and the i r former spouses, and between the ch i ld ren and the i r natural fathers . In s ix ty -n ine percent of the sample f ami l i e s , the wives had no contact with the i r former spouses, and the ch i ld ren v i s i t e d with the i r father once per month or le s s . It would appear that in th i s sample there are genera l ly wel l -def ined boundaries between the former family and the present remarriage family, to the extent that they could be considered to be disengaged from each other. The major ity of fami l ies in th i s study included adolescent family members. The mean age of ch i ldren born to the previous marriage of the wives was 15.1 years. This l i k e l y had a major e f fec t on the amount of v i s i t a t i o n that the ch i ld ren had with the i r non-custodial parent. It has been found that adolescents have less contact than young ch i ld ren with the i r divorced fathers (Kel ly & Wal lers te ln , 1977). This alone does not account for the large numbers of ch i ld ren who had l i t t l e or no contact with the i r fathers . Ke l l y and Wal lerste in found that 8% of the ch i ld ren from divorced fami l ies in the i r study had 69 no contact with the i r father and 25% had contact less than twice per month, compared to 14% with no contact and 81% with contact less than twice per month in the present sample. One explanation may be that fami l ies in which there was l i t t l e v i s i t a t i o n and former spouse contact were more l i k e l y to volunteer as subjects in th i s research, which includes the ch i ld ren as subjects, and to complete the quest ionnaires. There has been l i t t l e family research In th i s f i e l d that includes parents and ch i l d ren . It i s a lso poss ib le that due to the small sample and non-random se lec t i on In th i s study, that these resu l t s are not representat ive of the population of ch i ldren from remarried f ami l i e s . Both the Clingempeel studies (1981, 1985) and the present study indicate that there is a connection between v i s i t a t i o n and the contact that is maintained between the former spouses. In view of the low v i s i t a t i o n , i t is not surpr i s ing that the contact with the former spouse in th i s study is a l so low. In the Clingempeel s tudies , one th i rd of the wives had weekly contact with the i r former spouse. An explanation for th i s may be the d i f ference between samples in age and family l i f e cyc le . In his research the couples had a mean age of 34.3 years, and the mean age of the oldest c h i l d was 10.2 years. In the present sample, 70 the mean couple age was 39.5 years, and the mean age of the i r combined ch i ld ren was 14.8 years. The fami l ies in the present sample are o lder, and general ly have adolescents in the home, whereas the Clingempeel sample are in an e a r l i e r developmental stage with young ch i l d ren . It i s a lso poss ib le that Clingempeel reported erroneously high contact f igures due to weaknesses in the measurement instrument. He asked his subjects to r e c a l l former spouse contact for a s ix month per iod, a length of time that was found to be d i f f i c u l t for accurate r e c a l l when i t was pretested in the present research. In add i t i on , clingempeel asked the subjects to enter month to ta l s without ind ica t ing ind iv idua l contacts, which could lead to an overestimation of frequency. The measurement instrument used in the present research would a lso be a f fected by memory, but to a lesser extent due to the shortened period of r e c a l l . The use of calendar pages to indicate contacts may give a more accurate account of actua l frequencies. The shortened designated time period may reduce the a b i l i t y to general ize contact throughout the year, but 82% of the women with contact indicated that It was the same l eve l as normal. 71 D i s c u s s i o n of Cohesion and Dyadic Adjustment The low cohesion scores combined with m a r i t a l adjustment w i t h i n the normal range, support v i s h e r and V i s h e r s ' (1979) c l a i m t h a t low f a m i l y cohesion may be normal f o r remarried f a m i l i e s . The remarriage f a m i l y s t r u c t u r e with i t s m u l t i p l e l i f e c y c l e s may not be conducive to enmeshment as a f a m i l y p r e f e r e n c e . Subsystems of the f a m i l y , e s p e c i a l l y the o r i g i n a l s i n g l e parent f a m i l y subsystem may enmesh under s t r e s s (McGoldrick & C a r t e r , 1980) but reduced connectedness i s the norm, e s p e c i a l l y i n f a m i l i e s with a d o l e s c e n t s . Whiteside (1983) s t a t e d t h a t the boundaries around remarried f a m i l i e s which i n c l u d e a d o l e s c e n t s are more permeable not only because of the need to e s t a b l i s h an independent i d e n t i t y , but a l s o because of the longer h i s t o r y of the f i r s t f a m i l y . C o n t r a r y to much of the l i t e r a t u r e , and i n support of Clingempeel (1981), wives i n t h i s study demonstrated higher m a r i t a l adjustment than husbands. T h i s may be because the present study focuses on s t e p f a t h e r f a m i l i e s , whereas other s t u d i e s have i n c l u d e d stepmother f a m i l i e s as w e l l (Glenn & Weaver,1977; Weingarten, 1980). I t i s g e n e r a l l y r e c o g n i s e d t h a t the d i f f i c u l t i e s are gr e a t e r f o r 72 stepmothers than other p a r e n t a l r o l e s i n remarriage (Visher & V i s h e r , 1979). T h i s may n e g a t i v e l y e f f e c t the m a r i t a l q u a l i t y , and have lowered the m a r i t a l adjustment scores i n s t u d i e s t h a t do not d i f f e r e n t i a t e between f a m i l y type. The wives were a l s o higher than the husbands i n t h e i r p e r c e p t i o n of the f a m i l y cohesion. T h i s would be expected because the wives have b i o l o g i c a l and f a m i l y r e l a t i o n s h i p s with the c h i l d r e n t h a t predate the marriage, while the husbands are the newcomers In the f a m i l y . Dyadic Adjustment and Former Spouse Contact The data supports the hypothesis t h a t there Is a r e l a t i o n s h i p between m a r i t a l adjustment and former spouse c o n t a c t . The r e s u l t s i n d i c a t e t h a t lack of co n t a c t with the former spouse i s r e l a t e d to lower m a r i t a l adjustment i n the remarriage, and pe r s o n a l c o n t a c t i s r e l a t e d to high m a r i t a l adjustment. T h i s r e f u t e s the t h e o r i s t s and re s e a r c h e r s such as Duberman (1975) and Mayleas (1977) who concluded t h a t the ex-spouse g e n e r a l l y has a negative e f f e c t on the remarriage. I n t e r e s t i n g l y , the s t r o n g e s t r e l a t i o n s h i p was between a wife's c o n t a c t with her former spouse and her husband's m a r i t a l adjustment. T h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p was s t r o n g enough to a l s o produce a s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p i n the couple 73 scores, but the re la t ionsh ip was not s i g n i f i c a n t when the wife scores were analysed on the i r own. It is poss ible that there are extraneous var iab les involved in the wife re l a t i on sh ip , such as v i s i t a t i o n , d i s c i p l i n e and other kin re l a t ionsh ips , that make i t d i f f i c u l t to accurate ly measure the re l a t i onsh ip between contact and mar i ta l adjustment. The majority of the contact frequencies were very low, yet there was a s i g n i f i c a n t d i f ference in mar i ta l adjustment for both the husband and the couple according to the contact the wife maintained with her former spouse. It appears that the a b i l i t y to maintain, or not maintain contact is in i t s e l f a c r u c i a l Issue. Not maintaining any contact when there are mutual ch i ld ren involved may be due to ongoing c o n f l i c t with the ex-spouse, and an i n a b i l i t y for the present marriage to withstand the s t r a i n . This supports the theor i s t s who maintain that issues from the previous marriage need to be resolved in order to success fu l l y form a new re la t ionsh ip (Visher & Visher, 1979; McGoldrick & Carter, 1980; Ransom et a l . , 1983). It could a lso be argued that when the husband has a high l eve l of marita l adjustment, he is more apt to support his wife in maintaining contact with her former husband. When the husband does not demonstrate mar i ta l adjustment, the wife may not take the r i sk of endangering her present marriage. 74 Messlnger (1984) stated that in order for new spouses to support t he i r partner in maintaining a co l l aborat ive re l a t i onsh ip with a former spouse, the marita l re l a t i onsh ip must be t ru s t ing , s o l i d and lov ing . She expands by s ta t ing : The new marriage must bu i ld a bridge with the former marriage that w i l l not weaken the new union. Hence, the co l l aborat ion regarding the ch i ld ren must be not only between the former spouses, but with the present partners. In order that the present partner(s) may be included in sharing the i r l i ve s not only with the spouse but with the spouse's ch i l d ren , there must be confidence that the f i r s t marriage is f in i shed and that the emotional aspects concern only the ch i l d ren , p. 226 Although not s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t , the wife scores indicate that the mean mar i ta l adjustment scores are approximately ten points lower in the No Contact Group than in the other two groups. It is poss ible that the I n a b i l i t y of the adults involved to resolve c o n f l i c t , and to maintain healthy intimate re la t ionsh ips could account for low leve l s of both contact and mar i ta l adjustment. This may be more obvious with the husband because there 75 would not be as many intervening var iab les involved. The fact that the husband's mar i ta l adjustment is re la ted to the contact that his wife maintains with her former husband supports S t ructura l Family Theory. One of the important tasks for a couple is to create a boundary to protect the i r re l a t i onsh ip (Lewis et a l . , 1976). This data supports the view that more permeable boundaries may be associated with healthy marita l re la t ionsh ips in remarriage (Messinger, 1984). When the re l a t ionsh ip is not strong, r i g i d boundaries are required to protect the re l a t i onsh ip from the stresses involved with reminders of the previous re l a t i on sh ip . Wood and Talmon (1983) in the i r work on boundaries indicate that f l e x i b i l i t y is an e s sent i a l part of growth and change, and yet that i t is a lso normal for boundaries to become less permeable when the system is s t ressed. Minuchin (1974) warned that when fami l ies respond to stress with r i g i d i t y i t can prevent the successfu l negot iat ion of t r a n s i t i o n a l points and dysfunct ional patterns may appear. Rigid family boundaries may serve to s t a b i l i s e the remarriage family in the short-term, but prevent the successfu l reso lu t ion of the many t rans i t i ons and periods of reorganisat ion. Conclusions from th i s data must be considered to be tenta t i ve , due to the diverse variances in Dyadic Adjustment scores apparent in the data, most obvious in 76 the Telephone Contact Group. Although the mean Dyadic Adjustment scores of th i s group are a c tua l l y larger in a l l three subject groupings than that of the Personal Contact Group, the small number of cases and the diverse variance within the scores prevents any conclusive r e s u l t s . It Is poss ible that Telephone Contact is a lso associated with Mar i ta l Adjustment, but a larger sample is needed to confirm that. The data does not include subjects who maintain a high l eve l of contact with the former spouse, so the cu rv i l i nea r re l a t i onsh ip found by Blood (1969) and Clingempeel (1981) Is not c l a r i f i e d . It is poss ib le that the present study ac tua l l y presents a truncated range and does not include the high contact f ami l i e s . If the study included a larger number of fami l ies with young ch i l d ren , there would l i k e l y be more fami l ies in th i s high contact category, and the cu rv i l i nea r re l a t i onsh ip might be evident. A l te rna te l y , the cu rv i l i nea r re la t ionsh ip may only ex i s t with fami l ies who have young ch i l d ren . R e a l i s t i c a l l y , the numbers of fami l ies at a l l stages that maintain low leve l s of contact with the former spouse are l i k e l y to be more numerous than high contact f ami l i e s . V i s i t a t i o n with the non-custodial parent often lessens with remarriage (Crosble-Burnett, 1983; Anderson, 1983). There is a trend in our cul ture to recreate the nuclear 77 f a m i l y s t r u c t u r e ( U z o k a , 1979), a n d t h e r e a r e f e w g u i d e l i n e s f o r m a i n t a i n i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h f o r m e r s p o u s e s ( C h e r l i n , 1977). T h o u g h i t i s n o t p o s s i b l e t o c o n f i r m t h e c u r v i l i n e a r r e l a t i o n s h i p , t h e d a t a i n t h i s s t u d y d o e s p a r t i a l l y s u p p o r t t h e f i n d i n g s o f C l i n g e m p e e l a n d B l o o d . The P e r s o n a l c o n t a c t G r o u p i n t h e p r e s e n t s t u d y h a s s i m i l a r f r e q u e n c i e s a s t h e m o d e r a t e g r o u p i n t h e C l i n g e m p e e l s t u d y . I n a l l t h r e e s t u d i e s , t h e s e f a m i l i e s w i t h a m o d e r a t e l e v e l o f c o n t a c t a l s o h a d h i g h m a r i t a l a d j u s t m e n t . C o h e s i o n a n d F o r m e r S p o u s e C o n t a c t The p r e d i c t i o n t h a t t h e r e i s a s i g n i f i c a n t r e l a t i o n s h i p b e t w e e n f a m i l y c o h e s i o n a n d f o r m e r s p o u s e c o n t a c t was n o t c o n f i r m e d b y t h e d a t a . T h e r e a p p e a r s t o be a t r e n d , a l t h o u g h n o t s i g n i f i c a n t , f o r t h e P e r s o n a l C o n t a c t f a m i l i e s t o i n d i c a t e h i g h e r l e v e l s o f c o h e s i o n t h a n f a m i l i e s i n t h e o t h e r g r o u p i n g s . I t may be t h a t t h e s k i l l s t o c o m m u n i c a t e w i t h a n e x - s p o u s e , s u c h a s a n a b i l i t y t o r e m a i n f l e x i b l e a n d c o m m u n i c a t e e f f e c t i v e l y ( M e s s i n g e r , 1984) may a l s o be p r e r e q u i s i t e s f o r c o h e s i o n w i t h i n t h e r e m a r r i a g e f a m i l y . A g a i n , t h e s t r o n g e s t r e l a t i o n s h i p was f o u n d i n t h e h u s b a n d g r o u p , f o l l o w e d b y t h e c o u p l e g r o u p i n g . F a m i l i e s i n w h i c h t h e h u s b a n d s f e e l c o m f o r t a b l y b o n d e d w i t h t h e 78 family may a lso be fami l ies that have resolved the i r boundary issues to the extent that the former spouse can remain Involved without jeopardiz ing the family un i t . It appears that the adjustment of the stepparent may be an indicator of the reso lut ion of the issues surrounding the previous family, and the development of boundaries in the family system. There was v i r t u a l l y no ind ica t ion of a re l a t i onsh ip found between the wives or the ch i ld ren and contact with the former spouse (E= .53 & .29). Other intervening var iab les such as c h i l d support, v i s i t a t i o n , and length of time between marriages may have had an e f f ec t on these re la t ionsh ips in th i s study. The wife Is a p i vo ta l f igure in the stepfather family (McGoldrick & Carter, 1980). While accommodating the many ro les she plays within these fami l i e s , i t is d i f f i c u l t to l im i t the number of var iab les suspected of impacting on the re su l t s . It is a lso poss ib le that the low frequency of contact in th i s pa r t i cu l a r sample is not s u f f i c i e n t to give a r e l i a b l e ind ica t ion of the true re l a t i onsh ip with cohesion. High contact with associated high v i s i t a t i o n of ch i ld ren may profoundly a f f ec t the c h i l d ' s perception of family cohesion. It i s l i k e l y , however, that th i s is an accur i l e r e f l e c t i o n of the re l a t i onsh ip in fami l ies with adolescents. Other factors such as the re la t ionsh ip 79 between the adolescent and the stepparent, d i s c i p l i n e , the age of the c h i l d and the length of time since the divorce may be stronger ind icators of cohesion for th i s age group. Dyadic Adjustment and cohesion The pred ic t ion that moderate leve l s of family cohesion and mar i ta l adjustment would be p o s i t i v e l y re lated was supported by the current research. These resu l t s were s imi la r to those found by Roberts (1985), and assumed by Olson et a l . (1979). Roberts interpreted his resu l t s as a confirmation of the importance of boundaries in remarriage, and the need to answer the basic questions of inc lus ion versus exclusion in order for members to have s a t i s f y i ng experiences in remarriage. This explanation is l o g i c a l for the present research as we l l . Once again, the re la t ionsh ip was strongest when comparing the husbands' dyadic adjustment and cohesion scores. The husband in the sample fami l ies is the newest member of the family, except in the few fami l ies where a mutual c h i l d has been born. If the boundaries in the family are renegotiated a f ter the remarriage so that the stepfather is included in the family, he is more l i k e l y to demonstrate healthy leve l s of cohesion and mar i ta l adjustment. 80 The pos i t i ve re l a t i onsh ip between mar i ta l adjustment and cohesion for couples was expected. It seems reasonable to assume that some of the cha rac te r i s t i c s that may be associated with healthy cohesion, would also be the associated with mar i ta l adjustment. The adult sample in the current study measured below the norms on cohesion and within the norms on dyadic adjustment, and yet i t appears that the f indings are in support of the view that mar i ta l health is re la ted to healthy family funct ioning (Lewis et a l . , 1976). In remarriage f ami l i e s , cohesion may be lower than the norm without i t being an ind ica t ion of dysfunct ion. This further supports the view of Visher and Visher (1979) that cohesion tends to be lower in s tepfami l ie s . Keshet (1980) comments that the complexity and multitude of the stepfamily system demands that couples recognise that ind iv idua l autonomy and d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n is e s sen t i a l . The re l a t i onsh ip between couple mar i ta l adjustment and family cohesion is not as strong as the re la t ionsh ips previous ly discussed which do not include adolescent scores, but is s t i l l an Indicat ion that mar i ta l adjustment is not at the expense of the closeness of the family. A trend is indicated in these resu l t s that fami l ies which have high mar i ta l adjustment may also have healthy leve ls of cohesion in both the adult and c h i l d subsystems. 81 Variance on Cohesion Scores The pred ic t ion that there w i l l be less variance between family members on the cohesiveness scores in fami l ies where there is moderate contact with former spouse than in fami l ies where there is low or high contact was not supported in the data ana ly s i s . This is not surpr i s ing considering the lack of evidence for a re l a t i onsh ip between cohesion and contact with a former spouse. The explanations are s im i l a r . In th i s sample of l a rge ly adolescent fami l ies there are too many poss ible extraneous var iab les , such as v i s i t a t i o n and length of time between marriages, to re su l t in any conclusive r e su l t s . In add i t ion , i t is poss ible that cohesiveness in i t s e l f i s not re la ted in any way to the contact that i s maintained with a former spouse. The more d i r ec t re l a t i onsh ip between v i s i t a t i o n and cohesion may y i e l d in teres t ing re su l t s , p a r t i c u l a r i l y i f the sample included ch i ld ren who have frequent v i s i t a t i o n with the i r non-custodial parent. Conclusions As r ap id l y Increasing numbers of people In North America remarry, the c u l t u r a l reverence of the nuclear family continues. In the past, therapis ts and researchers warned of the d i re consequences of maintaining contact 82 with the family members l e f t outside of the immediate household a f ter a divorce (Goldstein et a l . 1973; Mayleas, 1977). T r a d i t i o n a l l y , the f i n a l stage of a divorce has been considered to be the exclusion of the absent members from the family system (Ahrons, 1980). More recent ly , researchers such as L i l l i a n Messinger and Car l Sager have challenged th i s percept ion. They have i d e n t i f i e d the need to view fami l ies formed by remarriage as being b inuc lear, or evolving along mult ip le tracks that acknowledge the Impact of s i g n i f i c a n t family members l i v i n g outside of the system. Results of a f i ve year study of the e f fec t of divorce on ch i ld ren (Wal lersteln & Ke l l y , 1980) c l e a r l y indicate the need for act ive parenting from both b i o l o g i c a l parents to maintain the mental health of the ch i l d ren . The resu l t s of th i s study support the view that the b i o l o g i c a l father should be recognised as a part of the system. The resu l t s indicated that couples in which the wife maintains contact with the former spouse also demonstrate higher leve l s of mar i ta l adjustment. The couples with no contact with the former spouse were a lso couples with lower mar i ta l adjustment. A trend that cohesion may be higher when contact is maintained with the former spouse was also ind icated, although not 83 s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t . A pos i t i ve re l a t i onsh ip was found between dyadic adjustment and cohesion. The frequency of contact between the former spouses and the v i s i t a t i o n reported between ch i ldren and the i r non-custodial fathers was very low in th i s study. In sp i te of the fact that 81% of the ch i ld ren saw the i r father once per month or less , only one woman In the study reported that she had frequent c o n f l i c t with her husband over v i s i t a t i o n . The low amount of contact and v i s i t a t i o n in th i s study, and the re la t ionsh ip between low dyadic adjustment, cohesion and contact indicates that the r i g i d boundaries may be a react ion to stress in the remarriage family. It appears that these famlies may be very d i s tant in the i r way of deal ing within and outside of the family system. The boundaries were more f l e x i b l e In the hea l th ier fami l ies which Increased the i r a b i l i t y to accommodate the i r changing needs. Ransom et a l . (1979) indicated that when the former spouse maintains a ro le with the ch i l d ren , that a l l members of the family must sort out the i r l o y a l t i e s , fee l ings of anger, g u i l t and jealousy in order to accept the re l a t i on sh ip . This may be too r i s ky for many fami l i e s , e spec i a l l y those in the ear ly phases of blending, yet as stated by Messinger " . . . d e n i a l of the r e a l i t y can lead only to d i ssent ion and discomfort in a 84 pseudofamily charade." (1984, p.221). It appears that in order for a family to take these r i s k s , i t must begin from a stable point. The reso lu t ion of these issues around the f i r s t marriage has been found to be important for the success of the remarriage (Bernard, 1956; Messinger, 1983; Sager et a l . , 1983). In th i s study, the newest family member, the stepfather appeared to act as an indicator of the couple heal th, and comfort of family boundaries. The s t a t i s t i c a l l y strongest re la t ionsh ips in the study were a l l found in the husband subsamples. This in i t s e l f is a confirmation of the strength of the family system when It is considered that one of the main var iab les was of his wi fe ' s contact with her former spouse. The s t a b i l i t y of the mar i ta l re l a t i onsh ip seemed re lated to the overa l l health of the family, and to the a b i l i t y to maintain permeable boundaries. The resu l t s of th i s research support Messinger's c la im that acceptance of the d i f ferences in family s tructure from the t r a d i t i o n a l nuclear family Is re lated to the success of the remarriage (1984). Famil ies that are f l e x i b l e and secure enough to resolve the issues of a previous marriage, and encourage continued v i s i t a t i o n of ch i l d ren , probably a lso have the s k i l l s to develop healthy leve l s of family cohesion and mar i ta l adjustment. The 85 c u l t u r a l norms that revere the nuclear family and continue to t reat remarriage as an abnormality are challenged by the healthy funct ioning of these fami l ie s . L imitat ions Several l im i ta t ions of the current research should be noted. F i r s t l y , the sample s ize was small and the se lec t i on was not random, therefore the resu l t s may not be representat ive of the general population of remarriage f ami l i e s . This r e s t r i c t s the a b i l i t y to general ise the resu l t s of th i s research. The study made use of a non-standardized instrument to c o l l e c t frequencies of the contact with the former spouse. It r e l i e d upon the memory of the subjects which is subject to e r ro r . It a lso co l l ec ted data for a r e s t r i c t e d time per iod, so the a b i l i t y to general ise is again r e s t r i c t e d . The method of data c o l l e c t i o n may have precluded very dysfunct ional fami l ies from p a r t i c i p a t i n g . The family had to have communication and cooperation leve l s s u f f i c i e n t for each member to receive the necessary ins t ruct ions and questionnaires and for someone to gather them together and mail them. 86 F i n a l l y , the conclusions were based on s t a t i s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t f indings that were in some cases quite smal l , and on non-s ign i f i cant trends apparent in the data. These f indings should be considered as exploratory, and so should be viewed with caut ion. i m p l i c a t i o n s a n d S u g g e s t i o n s f o r F u t u r e R e s e a r c h Remarriage fami l ies are developing a new family s tructure without soc ia l l y - sanct ioned gu ide l ines . There needs to be an awareness of the d i f f e r i n g needs and p o s s i b i l i t i e s of these fami l ies in the l e ga l , educational and s o c i a l serv ices areas. Family law was developed within the frame of reference of the nuclear fami ly. Some of the re su l t i ng laws are inappropriate for remarriage fami l ies and need to be modif ied. The adversar ia l system often encourages disagreement between parents and i nh ib i t s the chances of co l l abora t i on . Mediation is now ava i lab le as an option for reso lv ing c h i l d custody and should be encouraged. The lega l pos i t ion of both the non-custodial father and the stepfather are l imi ted and do not r e f l e c t the pos i t i ve ro les that these key f igures can play in remarriage f ami l i e s . The education system is slow to adapt to the changing structure of f ami l i e s . Report cards are rout ine ly issued 87 only to cus tod ia l parents. Stepparents and non-custodial parents may not be inv i ted to interviews, school meetings and graduations. Schools should encourage the pa r t i c i pa t i on of a l l parents in the education of the i r ch i l d ren . Teachers need to become sens i t i zed to the s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f ferences between in tac t , s ing le parent and remarriage f ami l i e s . Educational programs should be read i l y ava i l ab le for fami l ies entering remarriage In order for them to r e a l i s t i c a l l y plan for the challenges ahead, and receive information about workable a l te rnat i ves to the nuclear fami ly. 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A comparison of the p r o b a b i l i t y of the d i s s o l u t i o n of f i r s t and second marriages. Demography, 15, 345-359. McGoldrick, M., & C a r t e r , E.A. (1980). Forming a remarried f a m i l y . In E.A. C a r t e r & M. McGoldrick ( E d s . ) . The f a m i l y l i f e c y c l e : A framework f o r f a m i l y therapy (pp.265-294). New York: Gardner Pr e s s . Messinger, L. (1976). Remarriage between d i v o r c e d people with c h i l d r e n from previous marriages: A proposal f o r p r e p a r a t i o n f o r remarriage. J o u r n a l of Marriage and  Family C o u n s e l l i n g , 2 ( 2 ) , 193-200. Messinger, L. (1984). Remarriage: A family a f f a i r . New York: Plenum P r e s s . Messinger, L., Walker, K.N., & Freeman, S.J. (1978). P r e p a r a t i o n f o r remarriage: The use of group techniques. American J o u r n a l of O r t h o p s y c h i a t r y , 4_8_(2), 263-272. Messinger, L., & Walker, K. (1981). From marriage 93 b r e a k d o w n t o r e m a r r i a g e : P a r e n t a l t a s k s a n d t h e r a p u t i c g u i d e l i n e s . A m e r i c a n J o u r n a l o f O r t h o p s y c h i a t r y , 5 1 ( 3 ) , 4 2 9 - 4 3 8 . M l n u c h i n , S . (1974). F a m i l i e s a n d f a m i l y t h e r a p y . C a m b r i d g e , M a s s . : H a r v a r d U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . M u s e w i c z , J . A . (1982). I n s e a r c h o f a m e t h o d o l o g y f o r a s s e s s i n g s t e p f a m i l y s y s t e m s . D i s s e r t a t i o n A b s t r a c t s Internat iona l , 41, 1 6 6 4 B . ( U n i v e r s i t y M i c r o f i l m s N o . 8 2 - 2 2 0 3 5 ) N i c h o l s , W . C . ( 1 9 8 4 ) . T h e r a p u t i c n e e d s o f c h i l d r e n i n f a m i l y s y s t e m s r e o r g a n i s a t i o n . J o u r n a l o f D i v o r c e , 1 ( 4 ) , 2 3 . O l s o n , D . H . , M c C u b b i n , H . I . , B a r n e s , H . , L a r s e n , A . , M u x e n , M., & W i l s o n , M . ( 1 9 8 5 ) . Family Inventories . S t . P a u l , M i n n e s o t a ; F a m i l y S o c i a l S c i e n c e . O l s o n , D . H . , S p r e n k l e , D . H . , & R u s s e l l , C . S . ( 1 9 7 9 ) . C i r c u m p l e x m o d e l o f m a r i t a l a n d f a m i l y s y s t e m s . F a m i l y P r o c e s s , 1 8 . ( 1 ) , 3 - 2 8 . P a s l e y , K . , I h i n g e r - T a l l m a n , M . , & C o l e m a n , C . ( 1 9 8 4 ) . C o n c e n s u s s t y l e s among h a p p y a n d u n h a p p y r e m a r r i e d c o u p l e s . F a m i l y R e l a t i o n s , 1 1 ( 3 ) , 4 5 1 - 4 5 7 . P i n k , J . E . T . , & W a m p l e r , K . S . ( 1 9 8 5 ) . P r o b l e m a r e a s i n s t e p f a m i l i e s : C o h e s i o n , a d a p t a b i l i t y a n d t h e s t e p f a t h e r - a d o l e s c e n t r e l a t i o n s h i p . F a m i l y Relat ions , 11, 3 2 7 - 3 3 5 . R a i l i n g s , E . M . ( 1 9 7 6 ) . The s p e c i a l r o l e o f s t e p f a t h e r . Family Coordinator, 21, 4 4 5 - 4 4 9 . R a n s o n , J . W . , S c h l e s i n g e r , S . & D e r d y n , A . ( 1 9 7 9 ) . A s t e p f a m i l y i n f o r m a t i o n . A m e r i c a n J o u r n a l o f  O r t h o p s y c h i a t r y , 4 9 , 3 6 - 4 3 . R o b e r t s , W . T . ( 1 9 8 5 ) . A d j u s t m e n t i s s u e s f o r r e m a r r i e d f a m i l i e s : C o h e s i o n , f a m i l y r o l e s a n d m a r i t a l a d j u s t -m e n t . D i s s e r t a t i o n A b s t r a c t s I n t e r n a t i o n a l , 4 5 , 3 4 5 6 A . ( U n i v e r s i t y M i c r o f i l m s N o . 8 4 - 2 7 6 7 ) S a g e r , C . J . , & W a l k e r , L . , B r o w n , H . , C r o h n , H . , R o d s t e i n , E . , & Z e i s e l , E . ( 1 9 7 9 ) . A n a n n o t a t e d b i b l i o g r a p h y o f t h e r e m a r r i e d , l i v i n g t o g e t h e r , a n d t h e i r c h i l d r e n . F a m i l y P r o c e s s , 1 8 , 1 9 3 - 2 1 2 . S a g e r , C . J . , W a l k e r , E . , B r o w n , H . S . , C r o h n , H . M . , & 94 R o d s t e i n , E . ( 1 9 8 1 ) . I m p r o v i n g t h e f u n c t i o n i n g o f t h e r e m a r r i e d f a m i l y s y s t e m . J o u r n a l o f M a r i t a l a n d  F a m i l y T h e r a p y , 3 - 1 3 . S a g e r , C . J . , B r o w n , H . S . , C r o h n , H . , E n g e l , T . , R o d s t e i n , E . & w a l k e r , L . ( 1 9 8 3 ) . Treat ing the remarried f a m i l y . New Y o r k : B r u n n e r / M a z e l P u b l i s h e r s . S c h l e s i n g e r , B . ( 1 9 7 8 ) . R e m a r r i a g e i n C a n a d a . T o r o n t o : G u i d a n c e C e n t r e , F a c u l t y o f E d u c a t i o n , U n i v e r s i t y o f T o r o n t o . S c h l e s i n g e r , B . ( 1 9 8 1 ) . F a m i l i e s I n C a n a d a : D e m o g r a p h i c t r e n d s . T o r o n t o : U n i v e r s i t y o f T o r o n t o . S c h u l m a n , G . ( 1 9 7 2 ) . M y t h s t h a t i n t r u d e on t h e a d a p t a t i o n o f t h e s t e p f a m i l y . S o c i a l C a s e w o r k , 53., 1 3 1 - 1 3 9 . S c h u l m a n , G . (1981). D i v o r c e , s i n g l e p a r e n t h o o d a n d s t e p f a m i l l e s : s t r u c t u r a l i m p l i c a t i o n s o f t h e s e t r a n s a c t i o n s . I n t e r n a t i o n a l J o u r n a l o f F a m i l y  T h e r a p y , 1 ( 2 ) , 8 7 - 1 1 2 . S p a n i e r , G . B . ( 1 9 7 6 ) . M e a s u r i n g d y a d i c a d j u s t m e n t : New s c a l e s f o r a s s e s s i n g t h e q u a l i t y o f m a r r i a g e a n d s i m i l a r d y a d s . J o u r n a l o f M a r r i a g e a n d t h e F a m i l y , 18, 1 5 - 2 8 . S p a n i e r , G . B . , & G l i c k , P . C . ( 1 9 8 0 ) . P a t h s t o r e m a r r i a g e . J o u r n a l o f D i v o r c e , 1 ( 3 ) , 2 8 3 - 2 9 8 . S p a t z , C , & J o h n s o n , J . O . ( 1 9 8 4 ) . B a s i c s t a t i s t i c s :  T a l e s o f d i s t r i b u t i o n s ( 3 r d e d . ) . M o n t e r a y , C a l i f . : B r o o k s / C o l e P u b l i s h i n g C o m p a n y . S t e r n , P . ( 1 9 7 8 ) . S t e p f a t h e r f a m i l i e s : I n t e g r a t i o n a r o u n d c h i l d d i s c i p l i n e , issues In Mental Health N u r s i n g , 1, 4 9 - 5 6 . U z o k a , A . F . ( 1 9 7 9 ) . The m y t h o f t h e n u c l e a r f a m i l y : h i s t o r i c a l b a c k g r o u n d a n d c l i n i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s . A m e r i c a n P s y c h o l o g i s t , 1 4 ( 1 1 ) , 1 0 9 5 - 1 1 0 6 . V i s h e r , E . , & V i s h e r , J . ( 1 9 8 5 ) . S t e p f a m i l l e s a r e d i f f e r e n t . J o u r n a l o f F a m i l y T h e r a p y , 7_, 9 - 1 8 . V i s h e r , E . B . , & V i s h e r , J . S . ( 1 9 7 9 ) . S t e p f a m i l l e s : A g u i d e t o w o r k i n g w i t h s t e p p a r e n t s a n d s t e p c h i l d r e n . S e c a u c u s , N . J . : The c i t a d e l P r e s s . 95 Walker, K.N., &. Messinger, L. (1979 ). Remarriage a f t e r d i v o r c e : R e s o l u t i o n and r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of f a m i l y boundaries. Family Process, 18, 185-192. Walker, K.N., Rogers, J . , & Messinger, L. (1977). Remarriage a f t e r d i v o r c e : A review. S o c i a l  Casework, 58, 276-285. W a l l e r s t e i n , J.S., & K e l l y , J.B. (1980). S u r v i v i n g the Breakup. New York: B a s i c Books, Inc. Weingarten, H. (1980). Remarriage and w e l l - b e i n g : n a t i o n a l survey evidence of s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l e f f e c t s . J o u r n a l of Family Issues, 1(4), 533-559. Whiteside, M. (1982). Remarriage: A f a m i l y developmental p r o c e s s . Journal of M a r i t a l and Family Therapy, &(2), 59-68. Whiteside, M.F., (1983). F a m i l i e s of remarriage: The weaving of many thr e a d s . In J.C. Hansen (Ed.). C l i n i c a l I m p l i c a t i o n s of the Family L i f e C y c l e , (100-119). R o c k v l l l e , Maryland: Aspen P u b l i c a t i o n s . Wood, B., & Talmon, M. (1983). Family boundaries i n t r a n s i t i o n : A search f o r a l t e r n a t i v e s . Family  Process, 22.(3), 347-357. 96 Appendix A I n t r o d u c t i o n L e t t e r To Family Remarriage Study P r o j e c t , Nanaimo Family L i f e A s s o c i a t i o n , 1619 Townslte Rd., Nanaimo, B.C., V9S 1N3. Dear Family Members, Thank you f o r i n d i c a t i n g i n t e r e s t i n my r e s e a r c h p r o j e c t on remarriage f a m i l i e s . I am an M.A. student i n C o u n s e l l i n g Psychology a t the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, working under the s u p e r v i s i o n of a committee c h a i r e d by Dr. John F r i e s e n . T h i s p r o j e c t i s my t h e s i s , which w i l l complete my s t u d i e s . My purpose i s to understand more about the r e l a t i o n s h i p s t h a t e x i s t i n f a m i l i e s a f t e r remarriage, very l i t t l e i s known i n a s c i e n t i f i c way about remarriage f a m i l i e s , p a r t i c u l a r i l y when there are c h i l d r e n from a former marriage, s i n c e you are i n a remarriage f a m i l y , you can help to i n c r e a s e the knowledge about t h i s s p e c i a l kind of f a m i l y you l i v e i n . Your p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n t h i s study i s e n t i r e l y v o l u n t a r y , and you may withdraw a t any time. Your responses are c o n f i d e n t i a l ; there w i l l be no way of i d e n t i f y i n g who the returned i n f o r m a t i o n i s obtained from. I f you would l i k e to r e c e i v e the r e s u l t s of t h i s study, please l e t me know by separate communication. I would be d e l i g h t e d to share t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n with you a t the completion of the study. Your p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n v o l v e s completing one, three or four q u e s t i o n n a i r e s . There should be three envelopes enclosed; one f o r the mother c o n t a i n i n g four q u e s t i o n n a i r e s t h a t w i l l take approximately one hour to complete, one f o r the s t e p f a t h e r which has three items and should take about one h a l f hour, and one f o r each c h i l d between twelve and nineteen which c o n t a i n s one s h o r t , f i v e minute q u e s t i o n n a i r e . The Former Spouse Contact Form, contained i n the mother's envelope can be f i l l e d i n with help from her husband. A l l others are to be completed without help from other f a m i l y members. Please f e e l f r e e to d i s c u s s your responses, but wait u n t i l a f t e r they are mailed back to me. I f q u e s t i o n n a i r e s are completed, I w i l l assume t h a t your consent has been gi v e n to p a r t i c i p a t e i n t h i s study. Once these q u e s t i o n n a i r e s are completed, s e a l your envelope and put i t i n the l a r g e stamped, addressed envelope p r o v i d e d . When a l l members have completed t h e i r i n f o r m a t i o n , please m a i l . I f any f a m i l y member does not complete t h e i r q u e s t i o n n a i r e , r e t u r n the blank q u e s t i o n n a i r e ( s ) with the completed ones. If you decide not to p a r t i c i p a t e as a f a m i l y , please r e t u r n the uncompleted forms. If you are aware of any other remarried f a m i l i e s t h a t may be i n t e r e s t e d i n p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n t h i s r e s e a r c h , please pass onto them a copy of the enclosed l e t t e r marked Remarriage Study P r o j e c t . 98 Appendix B SUBJECT INFORMATION - WIFE (Please complete or check) 1. Age at last birthday. years. 2. How many times have you been married previous to your present relationship? times. 3. Please indicate the sex and age of your children from your previous marriage(s). Also Indicate i f they are currently living with you more than half of the time. a) Sex Age Living with you more than half time? Yes No b) Sex Age Living with you more than half time? Yes No c) Sex Age Living with you more than half time? Yes No If you have previously been married more than once, answer the following questions referring to the f i r s t marriage in which children were born. Indicate which children were born to this marriage with an 'x' in f>3. 4. How long was this former marriage? years. 5. What was your age when you entered the marriage in which these children were born? years. 6. Have there been any conflicts between you and your former spouse in the past year regarding: a) custody b) visitation c) child support d) other If other, please specify: 7. Would you say such conflicts, i f present are: a) frequent b) infrequent 8. Did the frequency of visitation that your former spouse had with your mutual children alter at the time of your remarriage? a) visitation increased _ b) visitation did not change _ c) visitation decreased _ d) visitation stopped _ 99 9. How frequently does your former spouse see your children? a) more than once per week b) approximately once per week c) approximately 1-2 times per month d) less than once per month e) never 10. Has your former spouse remarried? Yes No 11. How long was It between the end of your former marriage and your marriage to, or cohabitation with, your present husband/partner? 12. How old were you when you married (or began to l i v e with) your present husband/partner? years. 13. How long have you been married to (or l i v e d with) your present husband/partner? 14. Indicate the sex and age of any children born during your present r e l a t i o n s h i p . a) Sex Age b) Sex Age c) Sex Age 100 Appendix c SUBJECT INFORMATION - HUSBAND (Please complete or check) 1. Age at last birthday. years. 2. Were you married previous to your present relationship? Yes No - i f your answer is 'no ' , please skip to » 10. 3. Please indicate any children from your previous marriage(s). a) Sex Age Living with you more than half time? Yes No b) Sex Age Living with you more than half time? Yes No c) Sex Age Living with you more than half time? Yes No 4. If they do not l ive with you, how often do you see them. a) more than once per week b) approximately once per week c) approximately 1-2 times per month d) less than once per month e) never 5. How many times have you been married previous to your present relationship? times. If you have previously been married more than once, answer the following questions referring to the f i r s t marriage in which children were born. Indicate which children were born to this marriage with an 'x' in #3. 6. On the average, how frequently do you have in person contact with your former spouse? a) more than once per week b) approximately once per week c) approximately 1-2 times per month d) less than once per month e) not at a l l 7. On the average, how frequently do you have telephone contact with your former spouse? a) more than once per week b) approximately once per month c) approximately 1-2 times per month d) less than once per month e) not at a l l 101 8. Indicate your perception of the amount of c o n f l i c t between you and your former spouse at th i s point i n time. a) extreme c o n f l i c t b) moderate c o n f l i c t c) l i t t l e c o n f l i c t d) no c o n f l i c t 9. How long was i t between the end of your former marriage and your marriage to, or cohabitation with, your present wife/partner? 10. How old were you when you married (or f i r s t began to l i v e with) your present wife/partner? years. 11 . What term best describes your reaction to your wife/partner having contact with her former husband? a) angry b) jealous c) resigned d) accepting e) pleased 102 Appendix D *PLEASE COMPLETE LAST* Contact With Former Spouse To complete t h i s section, you are asked to remember, as well as you can, a l l of the times that you have had contact with your former spouse over the past three months. To help you remember, there are three calendar pages attached, with holidays marked on them. You are encouraged to complete t h i s with the help of your husband/partner. A contact is any time you have met your former spouse, face to face, and exchanged at least o n e . word. This means that i f you passed on the street and said "Hello", t h i s would count as one contact. Waving from the the other side, or t a l k i n g on the telephone would n o i count as a contact. [If you have had no, contact with your former spouse over the past three months, please write NO CONTACT at the top of t h i s page and return. In t h i s way I w i l l know that the questionnaire was not inadvertantly l e f t blank. If you have had contact only by phone, follow the instructions for #5 below and indicate NO PERSONAL CONTACT above.] Please follow these i n s t r u c t i o n s : 1. Think of a l l family birthdays, s p e c i a l occasions, holidays, your children's v i s i t a t i o n schedule, etc., that may have involved your former spouse. Mark these on the calendar. This i s to help you remember. They can be erased l a t e r i f you wish. 2. Mark with an "X" each contact you have had with your former spouse on the calendar square of the day i t occurred. If there is more than one contact on a p a r t i c u l a r day, indicate by putting the corresponding number of "X'"s on the square. 3. Look at the calendar page for the most recent month. Try to remember how you f e l t during each contact you had with your former spouse that month. Choose one of the following responses and put the appropriate symbol beside the 'x'. If you cannot remember how you f e l t , just leave the 'x' to indicate the contact. a) P o s i t i v e contact - indicate with a '+' b) Neutral contact - indicate with a '0' c) Negative contact - Indicate with a '-' Remember, discuss t h i s questionnaire with your present husband/partner i f you need help remembering; not your former spouse. When t h i s has been completed, please go on to #4 and #5. 103 4. Please estimate how the amount of contact with your former spouse over the past three months compares with the amount of contact you normally have with him. a) More contact in the last three months than normally b) The same contact in the last three months as normally c) Less contact in last three months than normally 5. Think of any conversations you have had with your former spouse by telephone in the last two weeks (fourteen days), starting from yesterday. Again think of any occasions that you would normally have this type of contact e.g. before a v i s i t with the children. You may want to use a calendar to help you. Your husband/partner can assist you. Write the total number of phone calls over the past two weeks, in the space provided below. I SPOKE TO MY FORMER SPOUSE TIMES BY TELEPHONE IN THE PERIOD FROM TO (date) (date) Thank you for your Involvement! 

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