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Expectations for parental and stepparental behaviour toward children Lyons, Karen 1991

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EXPECTATIONS FOR PARENTAL AND STEPPARENTAL BEHAVIOUR TOWARD CHILDREN . by Karen Lyons B.A., Simon Fraser U n i v e r s i t y , 1988 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES F a c u l t y of A r t s (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 COLUMBIA A p r i l 1991 Karen Lyons, 1991 : 4 -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. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Department of Date A p ^ . C ^ ? / ^ / DE-6 (2/88) Abstract This study examined participants' expectations for parental and stepparental r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s with respect to c h i l d care. Seventy-nine female and seventy-five male partic i p a n t s completed the Parenting Expectations Questionnaire. Participants read a brief scenario about a f i r s t married family; a stepmother/biological father family; or a stepfather/biological mother family. They then assigned r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for 38 c h i l d care tasks on a 5-point scale from "man always" to "woman always". The general findings were: 1) participants assigned less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to stepparents (stepmothers and stepfathers) for c h i l d care than they assigned to b i o l o g i c a l parents; 2) there was less consensus about appropriate "parental" behaviour for stepparents as compared to that for f i r s t married parents; and 3) participants with stepfamily experience assigned less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to stepparents than did participants from f i r s t married families. f i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Abst ract i i L i s t of Tables v L i s t of Figures....... v i i Acknowl edgement s v i i i Introduct ion. * 1 The Stepparent Role 3 Incomplete i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n 5 Expectations for the stepparent role 12 Role enactment of stepparents ..15 The Parental Role 19 Expectations for f i r s t married parents 20 Role enactment of f i r s t married parents..... 21 The Present Study 23 Hypotheses 28 Method 32 Study 1 • 3 2 Participants 32 J Procedure • 33 Study 2 .36 Par t i c i pants ..36 Procedure. . 36 Resul ts 36 Scor ing 36 Analyses ..37 Description of sample 37 i v H y p o t h e s i s 1 45 H y p o t h e s i s 2 49 H y p o t h e s i s 3 50 H y p o t h e s i s 4 . . 5 4 H y p o t h e s i s 5 55 H y p o t h e s i s 6 56 D i s c u s s i on 56 R e f e r e n c e s 63 T a b l e s 67 F i g u r e 85 A p p e n d i x A : T h e S t e p p a r e n t Q u e s t i o n n a i r e 86 V L i s t of Tables 1. Design of current study 67 2. Means fo r : Age, Gender Assumption, Self-Deceptive P o s i t i v i t y , and Impression Management 68 3. Scenario(3) by Gender(2) by Family Background(2) ANOVA with Age as dependent variable 69 4. Scenario(3) by Gender(2) by Family Background(2) ANOVA with Gender Assumption as dependent var iable 70 5. Scenario(3) by Gender(2) by Family Background(2) ANOVA with Self-Deceptive P o s i t i v i t y as dependent var iable 71 6. Scenario(3) by Gender(2) by Family Background(2) ANOVA with Impression Management as dependent variable .72 7. Means fo r : Frequency of stepparent contact and quality of stepparent contact 73 8. Scenario(2) by Gender(2) ANOVA with frequency of stepparent contact as dependent variable 74 9. Scenario(2) by Gender(2) ANOVA with qu a l i t y of stepparent contact as dependent variable 75 10. Proportion of participants born in North America 76 11. Scenario(3) by Gender(2) by Family Background(2) ANOVA with age and assumption regarding the gender of the the c h i l d as covariates .77 12. Means for Scenario by Family Background interact ion..78 13. Simple main e f f e c t s analyses for Scenario by Family Background interaction 79 14. Scenario(2) by Gender(2) by Family Background(2) ANOVA with age and assumption regarding gender of c h i l d as covariates 80 15. Means and standard deviations for items on the Parenting Scale for stepfamily scenarios ..81 16. Rank order of means for items on the Parenting Scale for the stepmother scenario: From least to most r e s p o n s i b i l i t y 82 v i 17. Rank order of means for items on the Parenting Scale for the stepfather scenario: From least to most r e s p o n s i b i l i t y 83 18. Rank order of means for items on the Parenting Scale for the f i r s t married scenario 84 v i i L i s t of Figures 1. Comparison of Scenario means at each level of Family Background 85 v i i i Acknowledgements I g r a t e f u l l y acknowledge the following individuals for their unique contributions. My committee members: P h y l l i s Johnson, for her support, p o s i t i v e feedback and excellent ideas; and Charlotte Johnston, for o f f e r i n g her support, ideas and time once again. And my friends: Jessica McFarlane, for being my real supervisor, for providing excellent s t a t i s t i c a l and e d i t o r i a l feedback, for a l l the encouragement and support, and for being a wonderful f r i e n d ; Sandra Parker, for loving me for me, for being there for me through the hard times, and for being my buddy through graduate school; Cathy H i l l , for her love and wicked sense of humour; Cindy Lopatka, for her never-ending support and love; and Teal Maedel, for always being there. And my family: P a t r i c i a and Cori Lyons, for always encouraging me in my school work; and Lacey and C o l l i n G r i f f i t h s , for teaching me what i t is to >be a stepmother, and for caring enough to stay in touch when I was no longer their stepmother. I 1 Dissolution of marriages due to divorce (versus death of a spouse) began to increase rapidly in the late 1960's and continued to r i s e throughout the 1970's (Glick, 1980). This upward trend has resulted in a substantial number of marriages where at least one spouse has previously been married. This family type is c a l l e d a "remarried couple" i f neither husband nor wife brings to the new marriage a c h i l d under age 18 from a prior marriage. U t i l i z i n g data from the 1987 Current Population Survey, G l i c k (1989) estimates that there are about 6.7 m i l l i o n "remarried couples" in the United States. When at least one of the spouses brings a c h i l d under 18 to the remarriage, a "stepfamily" r e s u l t s . The same survey data were used to estimate 4.3 m i l l i o n such f a m i l i e s . Thus, in the United States, approximately 6595 of remarriages involve stepchildren. Canadian s t a t i s t i c s are also available on remarriage, although they are reported in a d i f f e r e n t format than those in the United States. In 1985 there were 184,096 marriages in Canada. Of these marriages, 50,058 (21%) were remarriages meaning that at least one spouse had previously been married ( S t a t i s t i c s Canada, 1988). There were roughly equal percentages of remarriages where: 1) both spouses had been divorced; 2) the husband had been divorced and the wife was previously single; and 3) the wife had been divorced and the husband was previously single. Canadian s t a t i s t i c s are 2 not available on the percentage of remarriages which involve a c h i l d or children under 18 from a prior marriage. Glick (1984) projects that almost half of a l l marriages w i l l end in divorce by 1990, and that between 7035 and 75* of divorcees w i l l remarry. Remarriage i s , and w i l l probably continue to be, more l i k e l y for divorced^ men; the majority of divorced women also remarry following divorce, however. It must be noted here that remarriage and stepfamily s t a t i s t i c s often do not include common law couples/families which are an increasing family form. With, regard to stepfami 1ies, the unique issues these families encounter are l i k e l y applicable regardless of whether the new couple is le g a l l y married or not. Academic interest in stepfamilies began with the "groundbreaking" a r t i c l e by Fast and Cain in 1966 (c i t e d in Papernow, 1984). This a r t i c l e was followed by a gradual increase in publications throughout the 1960's and 1970's, and an "explosion" of stepfamily research in the 1980s (Papernow, 1984). The topic of stepfamilies is also receiving increased attention in the popular l i t e r a t u r e , p a r t i c u l a r l y in women's magazines. U t i l i z i n g the Reader's Guide to Peri o d i c a l Literature, Pasley and Ihinger-Tallman (1985) searched for stepfamily a r t i c l e s which had been published in popular magazines. While i n the 1940's and 1950's/, there were only a total of 10 a r t i c l e s published, the numbers increased dramatically in the following two decades, r e s u l t i n g in a total of 99 a r t i c l e s between 1960 3 and 1979. Nolan et al . (1984) note, however, that marriage and family textbooks pay scant attention to the subject of remarriage and stepfami 1ies. Despite the so called "explosion" of publications in the 1980's, stepfamily research is s t i l l i n i t s infancy. Esses and Campbell • (1984), in their overview of the l i t e r a t u r e , state that the "...research conducted to date is at a r e l a t i v e l y primitive stage in i t s development and serious methodological flaws plague the available studies" (p.415). The same authors note that the majority of studies: 1) are c l i n i c a l versus empirical; 2) are atheoretical; 3) are pathological in their focus; 4) u t i l i z e small numbers of participants and nonrandom samples (e.g., university students); 5) u t i l i z e instruments which are created by the authors and for which r e l i a b i l i t y and v a l i d i t y data are unavailable; 6) are s t a t i c rather than longitudinal in format; 7) have a f i r s t married family bias, and 8) do hot compare s t r u c t u r a l l y d i f f e r e n t (e.g. stepmother versus stepfather; i n - l i v i n g versus o u t - l i v i n g stepchildren, etc.) types of stepfami 1ies. The Stepparent Role The majority of early research on stepfami 1ies focused on the adjustment of stepchildren. Recently, there has been a trend toward studying the adults in stepfami 1ies, especially with regard to relat i o n s h i p s a t i s f a c t i o n for remarried partners, and the qual i t y of stepparent-stepchild relationships. While many authors make mention of the type 4 or essence (versus the quality) of steprelationships, l i t t l e empirical research has examined this topic. Walker and Messinger (1979) define roles as "...clusters of rights and obligations in reciprocal relations between pairs of individuals and the patterns of expected behavior associated with these rights and obi igations"(p.186) . A person enacts more than one role at any point in time (Allen & van de V l i e r t , 1984), including those in domains such as family of o r i g i n , family of procreation, and occupation. Thus, in examining the stepparent role, one is temporarily disregarding other important roles the person enacts in her/his l i f e . A role consists of not only the behaviour of the incumbent, but also of the expectations of such behaviour and the sanctions which result when a person is negligent in f u l f i l l i n g their role (Nye, 1974). Role expectations are defined by A l l e n and van de V l i e r t (1984) as "...prescriptions about what a position incumbent ought to or not to do under given circumstances"(p.5). That i s , what behaviours are generally expected and not expected of stepparents, r e l a t i v e to the spouse of the stepparent, and r e l a t i v e to same-sex b i o l o g i c a l parents in f i r s t married fami 1ies? It should not be assumed that expectations are d i r e c t l y transl/ated into role behaviour. Mediating variables include: 1) whether or not the expectations are communicated c l e a r l y (assuming there are established so c i e t a l 5 prescriptions for the p a r t i c u l a r role to be communicated), 2) individual differences such as whether or not the incumbent chooses to comply with the expectations (Allen & van de V l i e r t , 1984), and 3) the reactions of s i g n i f i c a n t others to attempts at role enactment (Fast & Cain, 1966). It is important to note that role enactment occurs in the context of relationships. A stepparent does not, therefore, act in i s o l a t i o n . Her or his behaviour w i l l be influenced by the attitudes, expectations, and behaviour of others (stepchildren, spouse, friends, etc.), as well as her/his own attitudes, expectations, and personal experiences and resources. It is l i k e l y , however, that behaviour (or role enactment) is in part a function of expectations held by the role incumbent and s i g n i f i c a n t others in her/his l i f e . Such expectations are an important topic of research, and one which has not been empirically addressed in either the l i t e r a t u r e on f i r s t married families or that on stepfami 1ies. Incomplete i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n . Several authors have suggested that norms regarding stepfamilies are lacking in our society (Cherlin, 1978; Duberman, 1973; Fast & Cain, 1966; Kompara, 1980; Larson & Allgood, 1987; Visher & Visher, 1979; and Walker &Messinger, 1979). C h e r l i n (1978) has labelled this lack of normative information the "incomplete i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n of remarriage". He argues that the established patterns of interactions in f i r s t 6 married families do not exist for remarried f a m i l i e s . That i s , persons in f i r s t married families have more normative information as to their respective roles, and how they should interact and resolve c o n f l i c t . In addition to i n s u f f i c i e n t information on appropriate stepparent (and stepchild) behaviour, i t may also be that the information available is contradictory. Fast and Cain (1966) argue that: "The role d e f i n i t i o n of stepparent in this society is both poorly a r t i c u l a t e d and implies contradictory functions as 'parent', 'stepparent', and 'nonparent'"(p.486). They suggest that stepparents are expected on the one hand to behave l i k e a b i o l o g i c a l parent while at the same time, they are expected to be somewhat less than a bi o l o g i c a l parent. Without clear information about what i t means to be a stepparent, members of such families are said to experience role and boundary ambiguity (Walker & Messinger, 1979). Boss and Greenberg (1984) conceptualize "...family boundary ambiguity as a state in which family members are uncertain in their perception about who is i n or out of the family and who is performing what roles and tasks within the f ami l y " (emphasis added; p.536). Perception is an important component of the ambiguity. For example, i t may be that a stepmother is performing c h i l d r e a r i n g tasks which mothers normally perform, but is s t i l l not perceived by other family members as belonging in, or f u l f i l l i n g , the mother role. 7 As evidence for his thesis of incomplete i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n , Cherlin (1978) makes the following points. F i r s t , he notes that s l i g h t l y higher divorce rates are consistently found for remarried versus f i r s t married couples. Second, stepfamilies are not generally recognized in law. This, however, is beginning to change in some j u r i s d i c t i o n s (Kompara, 1980). For example, the B r i t i s h Columbia Family Relations Act recognizes some stepparents as "parents" and may require them to continue to provide f i n a n c i a l support for stepchildren upon di s s o l u t i o n of the remarriage. Third, Cherlin asserts that the English language does not contain appropriate terms for steprelationships. For example, the o r i g i n a l meaning of "step" related to the replacement of a dead parent, not the addition of another parent as is often the case today. F i n a l l y , Cherlin (1978) suggests that the research findings of Ann Goetting provide support for his argument. While Goetting (1979) did not d i r e c t l y examine norms for the stepparent role, she explored a related topic, that of ex-spouse r e l a t i o n s . Goetting asked 180 remarried men and women who had at least one c h i l d from a previous marriage to respond to several hypothetical scenarios. The scenarios involved a divorced couple (both of whom had remarried) in various s i t u a t i o n s , covering 9 domains of ex-spouse r e l a t i o n s . Several scenarios were chosen to represent each domain. Respondents were asked whether or not the ex-spouse should or should not engage in a pa r t i c u l a r behaviour. 8 Participants were also given the option of a neutral response. If s i g n i f i c a n t l y more than one-half of the sample gave the same response (yes, no, or neutral), Goetting concluded that there was consensus regarding the pa r t i c u l a r issue portrayed. Using this c r i t e r i o n , Goetting (1979) found consensus to exist for 6935 of the scenarios. She concluded, therefore, that there was a moderate amount of normative consensus concerning ex-spouse r e l a t i o n s . Unfortunately, we have no comparison group to assess whether this amount of consensus i s higher or lower than that found for f i r s t married family r e l a t i o n s . The results are, therefore, open to different interpretations, as is the case here. While Goetting concludes that the results are supportive of moderate normative integration, Cherlin (1978) focused on the considerable amount of v a r i a b i l i t y found by Goetting. In f a c t , Cherlin asserts that Goetting's findings provide support for his incomplete i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n hypothesis. Without a control group of f i r s t married couples responding to scenarios about f i r s t married family relations, d e f i n i t i v e conclusions can not be drawn. While they disagree with Cherlin's argument that incomplete i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n is the cause of higher divorce rates among remarried couples, Furstenberg and Spanier (1984) concede that "...reconstituted families are confronted with a great deal of normative confusion"(p.434). They note the considerable number of unique challenges 9 remarried families must face, and for which they are not given adequate guidance. The main issues include: children from prior marriages, ex-spouses, children who move between two households, unclear f i n a n c i a l obligations, and complicated kinship networks. Remarried adults are often faced with the challenge of incorporating children from previous marriages into the new family. This is not always the case, however, as many fathers f a i l to maintain contact with t h e i r children following divorce. In a 1981 nationwide U.S. survey of children of divorce, Furstenberg and Nord (1985) found that 49% of the children had had no direc t contact with their noncustodial parent (usually the father) in the year previous to the interview. Nevertheless, for those remarried parents who do maintain s i g n i f i c a n t relationships with their children, the blending of the new marital unit with c h i l d r e n from the prior marriage can be a formidable undertaking. Some of the issues which must be addressed in this realm are: the nature of the stepparent role (Furstenberg & Spanier, 1984), the suddenness of this same role (Visher & Visher, 1979), coparenting with one's ex-spouse (Visher & Visher, 1989), and the reluctance of some children to accept the remarriage of their parents (Visher & Visher, 1979). St epf ami 1 ies are also unique due to the existence of the children's other b i o l o g i c a l parent. Coparenting arrangements must be worked out between the two bi o l o g i c a l 10 parents of the c h i l d . While smooth relations are considered optimal for the children involved, a good coparenting relationship may create d i f f i c u l t i e s such as jealousy for the newly married couple (Visher & Visher, 1979). The existence of a b i o l o g i c a l parent outside the stepfamily may also create loyalty c o n f l i c t s on the part of the children who now have two same-sex "parents". A t h i r d challenge involves the accommodation of children who move between two different households (Larson & Allgood, 1987; M i l l s , 1984). This feature of stepfamily l i f e requires more permeable boundaries around the family (household) unit as compared to f i r s t married f a m i l i e s . In addition, children must adjust to both household systems with their d i s t i n c t rules and patterns of interaction (Visher & Visher, 1979). The f i n a n c i a l arrangements are also be unique in stepfamilies (Goetting, 1982; Visher & Visher, 1979). Remarried couples must decide how their respective money is to be d i s t r i b u t e d . For example, to what extent is a stepparent f i n a n c i a l l y responsible for her/his stepchildren? As well, the d i f f i c u l t i e s in paying and receiving (or not receiving) c h i l d support are inherent challenges for these fa m i l i e s . F i n a l l y , kinship relations are e s p e c i a l l y complicated in stepfamilies. Furstenberg and Spanier (1984) concluded from their empirical research on remarried couples that: "...the size and complexity of kinship networks among 11 remarried persons presented cer t a i n problems in managing the chil d ' s various r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s to several sets of grandparents, uncles, aunts, and cousins"(p.435). Decisions must be made regarding which kinship ties from the previous marriage w i l l be maintained, and regarding the nature of new relationships with s t e p r e l a t i v e s . While most would agree that stepfamilies face unique challenges, at least one author questions Cherlin's assertion that stepfamily relations are less i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d than those of f i r s t married f a m i l i e s . Halliday (1980) suggests that attitude (and sometimes behavioural) changes regarding the d i v i s i o n of family labour and employment outside the home has resulted in a lack of consensus on appropriate family roles in general. Halliday (1980) states that: At present, f i r s t marriages are undergoing a d r a s t i c process of r e d e f i n i t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y in the movement from asymmetrical to symmetrical power relationships between spouses and in s h i f t s in the occupational and marital role d e f i n i t i o n s of spouses. Many f i r s t marriages become battle grounds between two c o n f l i c t i n g conceptions on marriage(p.634). Furstenberg and Spanier (1984), in their c r i t i q u e of Cherlin's thesis, point out that: "(a)lthough widely c i t e d in the/ recent l i t e r a t u r e on remarriage, Cherlin's thesis has received l i t t l e d i r e c t empirical scrutiny"(p.433). Given the p o s s i b i l i t y that norms for f i r s t marriages are just as 12 ambiguous as those for remarriages, the c a l l for empirical tests of the incomplete i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n hypothesis is a l l the more important. Expectations for the stepparent role. Despite the preceding c r i t i c i s m s , most authors believe that the norms for stepparent behaviour are unclear. Stepparents and their s i g n i f i c a n t others, therefore, do not have c l e a r l y defined expectations of how stepparents should act toward their stepchildren. Walker and Messinger (1979), add, however, that "...insofar as roles are ascribed at a l l , they tend to be those appropriate to the nuclear family..."(p.187) . These authors are suggesting that in place of clear expectations unique to the stepparent ro l e , there are expectations which are more relevant to f i r s t married families, r e f l e c t i n g perhaps a f i r s t married bias in our society. Thus, as w i l l be discussed in a l a t e r section on the role enactment of f i r s t married parents, women (stepmothers) may be expected to take on more of a childrearing role than men (stepfathers), while the l a t t e r may be expected to assume f i n a n c i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for stepchildren. If this is true, expectations for the stepmother role are much higher than those for the stepfather role in terms of the emotional involvement and amount of time required. According to Visher and Visher (1979), the demanding r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s a stepmother i s expected to undertake include: solving the problems created by the divorce, 13 creating a happy family unit, proving herself to be a good stepmother, and developing instant love between herself and the stepchildren. L i t t l e empirical research has been conducted on expectations for the stepparent role. Two investigations w i l l be discussed here. F i r s t , Ganong and Coleman (1989) interviewed 205 remarried adults, some of whom were stepparents and the remainder of whom were the spouses of stepparents. They found that: "(a)pproximately two-thirds of both b i o l o g i c a l parents and stepparents expected the stepparent to f i l l a parental role with the children"(p.30). Thus, two-thirds of the sample equated steppparenthood with parenthood. Unfortunately, the authors did not inquire about the s p e c i f i c behavioural components of this parental role, nor did they make the d i s t i n c t i o n between expectations for the stepmother and the stepfather ro l e s . In another study on this topic, Giles-Sims (1984) conducted interviews with adult members (one per household) in 99 stepfamilies. Respondents were asked the question: "Who is responsible for childrearing?" with respect to children of the remarriage, children from the husband's prior marriage, and children from the wife's p r i o r marriage. Responsibility was to be assigned on a 5-point scale from "husband always" to "wife always". Giles-Sims obtained the following results. For children of the remarriage, 95% of the sample indicated that husbands and wives should be equally responsible for ch i l d r e a r i n g . When asked about 14 children from previous marriages, fewer respondents indicated equal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y (59% for the wife's children and 52% for the husband's children), and those who did not assign equal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y favoured the b i o l o g i c a l parent. The expected discrepancy between expectations for stepmothers and stepfathers was not found i n this study. That i s , stepmothers were not expected, more than stepfathers, to take on childrearing r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . Given that the majority of participants were women, however, the responses may have been biased in a p a r t i c u l a r d i r e c t i o n . It is possible that the lack of a substantial discrepancy between expectations for stepfathers and stepmothers (59% versus 52% were expected to share equal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y ) is a result of the high proportion of women in this sample. That i s , had the researcher included more male respondents, more discrepant expectations for stepmothers and stepfathers may have resulted. It is also possible that as each respondent rated the three classes of ch i l d r e n (a within-subject design), attempts to appear unbiased masked real differences in expectations. These p o s s i b i l i t i e s must be empirically tested, however. Given the small number of studies in t h i s area and the limitations of those which exist, i t i s clear that l i t t l e is known about the expectations for the stepparent r o l e . Empirical investigation is necessary regarding the expectations stepparents have of themselves, and the expectations which s i g n i f i c a n t others ( p a r t i c u l a r l y , other 15 members of the stepfamily) have of stepparents. In order to better understand the developmental process of stepfamilies, i t is essential to explore expectations held prior to becoming part of a stepfamily as well as those which result from the actual experience of being a stepparent. The impact of family background on expectations for stepparental behaviour has also not been examined in the l i t e r a t u r e on stepfamilies. One study found that stepmothers described in hypothetical scenarios were evaluated (using the semantic d i f f e r e n t i a l technique) d i f f e r e n t l y by participants from step- and single-parent families (Fine, 1986). It is possible that the unique s o c i a l i z a t i o n process of children in stepfamilies may influence such respondents' expectations in terms of the amount of r e s p o n s i b i l i t y assigned to stepparents and in terms of the consistency of these expectations over time. Role enactment of stepparents. While the role enactment of stepparents is not simply a function of one's own, and others', role expectations, role enactment studies do give us some indication as to what these expectations might be. Again, however, the stepfamily l i t e r a t u r e contains many assumptions which are not supported empirically. In p a r t i c u l a r , Furstenberg (1980) notes that the d i v i s i o n of parenting labour in stepfamilies is a largely unexplored area of research. Nevertheless, a few recent, empirical studies w i l l be discussed here. 16 Ambert (1986) examined, among other variables, the d i v i s i o n of family work (housework and childcare) in stepmother and stepfather f a m i l i e s . Through interviews with 109 male and female stepparents, Ambert (1986) concluded that: (I)t is generally the stepmothers, and not the stepfathers, who are primarily responsible for childcare and the functioning of the household. We found that, when stepchildren v i s i t e d , i t was usually the stepmothers, and not the children's fathers, who acquired extra work (housecleaning, shopping for food, cooking, bedmaking), and this work was perceived as a burden because the stepmothers would benefit l i t t l e emotionally from the visits.(p.801) Ambert (1986) is suggesting not only that stepmothers were more responsible for childrearing r e l a t i v e to stepfathers in similar circumstances, but also r e l a t i v e to the child's b i o l o g i c a l father. Unfortunately, the author does not indicate the manner in which she obtained this information, nor the size of reported discrepancies. That i s , what questions did she ask in order to make such comparisons, and what were her c r i t e r i a for deciding that a p a r t i c u l a r group of people had more r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s ? Due to these l i m i t a t i o n s , these findings must be taken as tentative. In a recent study, Guisinger et a l . (1989) d i s t r i b u t e d questionnaires to 62 couples in stepmother/father f a m i l i e s . 17 The sample consisted of couples in their f i r s t year and those in their third to f i f t h years of remarriage. As part of the questionnaire, subjects completed a modified version of the "Who Does What?" scale, o r i g i n a l l y developed by Cowan et a l . (1978). This scale contains a total of 31 items r e l a t i n g to housework, childcare and decision making. Participants were asked to rate the current d i v i s i o n of family labour (when the stepchild i s in the couple's home), and what they believed to be the ideal d i v i s i o n of labour. Unfortunately, when reporting the results of their study, Guisinger et a l . (1989) did not make clear d i s t i n c t i o n s between housework, decision making and c h i l d care. Important information for our purposes i s , therefore, obscured. A l l that can be concluded is that stepmothers ( r e l a t i v e to fathers) in this study were performing more of the household tasks which d i r e c t l y related to the children (e.g., preparing meals). More s p e c i f i c information on the d i v i s i o n of c h i l d care labour was not reported. Amato (1987) provides some information on stepfather role enactment from an Australian sample, although i t is not known how applicable the results are to Canadian stepfather/mother families. Through interviews with 402 primary and secondary school c h i l d r e n from f i r s t married, single mother, and stepfather/mother families, Amato examined stepfather involvement with, and decision making regarding, stepchildren. 18 Involvement was assessed through responses to 12 questions regarding such a c t i v i t i e s as talking to the c h i l d and helping the c h i l d with homework. Amato found that stepfathers were s i g n i f i c a n t l y less involved with younger (primary school) stepchildren than fathers from f i r s t married f a m i l i e s . A s i g n i f i c a n t difference among family types was not found, however, for adolescents. In terms of decision making, i t was found that stepfathers had less input ( r e l a t i v e to b i o l o g i c a l fathers) in decisions about adolescent stepchildren, while there was no s i g n i f i c a n t difference for younger children. F i n a l l y , two studies have assessed decision making (regarding stepchildren) by stepparents. In a previously mentioned study, Giles-Sims (1984) asked remarried adults about their r e l a t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n making decisions. Whereas with shared children, 70% of the participants indicated that husbands and wives contributed equally to decisions, t h i s was less often the case with stepchildren. That i s , only 20% and 29% of participants stated that decision making was shared equally with regard to the husbands' and wives' children (respectively) from previous marriages. For the remaining respondents, decision making was reported to be primarily the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of the child's b i o l o g i c a l parent. While Giles-Sims (1984) suggests that the expectations of shared c h i l d care for stepchildren (52-59%) are discrepant with actual role enactment (20-29%), her 19 operationalization of role enactment is limited to decision making only. It can not be concluded, therefore, that expectations and enactment are discrepant here. It may be that decision making is one aspect of the parental role that stepparents are given less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for, r e l a t i v e to other c h i l d care functions. In a second study on decision-making, Giles-Sims and Crosbie-Burnett (1989) interviewed mothers, stepfathers and adolescents in 87 stepfamilies. They assessed decision making power for major and everyday decisions involving the adolescent. For major decisions, mothers had the most power, followed by stepfathers and then adolescents. For everyday decisions, participants indicated approximately equal power for a l l three members of the family. The Parental Role The roles of mothers and fathers in f i r s t married families are discussed here for comparison purposes. This is not to suggest, however, that expectations for, or role enactment of, the stepparent role should be the same as for f i r s t married parents. Rather, the purpose of the comparison is to explore the extent to which stepfamilies are a unique family form. It is important not to assume that to be different from f i r s t married families is to be dysfunctional. Instead, possible differences should be explored so that we may further our understanding of nontraditional families, with the assumption that these nontraditional families provide equal or better growth 20 promoting- environments for the rearing of children (as compared to f i r s t married families) unless proven otherwise. Through increased understanding, the author i s hopeful that the f i r s t married family bias noted e a r l i e r can be overcome. Expectations for f i r s t married parents. While there has been a considerable amount of empirical research on the role enactment of mothers and fathers, similar research on expectations is scarce. In making the point that expectations of childrearing by fathers have increased in recent years, L e s l i e et a l . (1988) report the findings of a 1981 opinion p o l l conducted in the United States. In this p o l l , 60% of adult respondents (male and female) expressed an expectation of shared c h i l d r e a r i n g . In another study, Hansen and Darling (1985) examined the attitudes of male and female adolescents toward the d i v i s i o n of family labour. A to t a l of 893 adolescents were asked to anticipate the d i v i s i o n of family labour in their future f a m i l i e s . As the items r e l a t i n g to c h i l d r e a r i n g are quite global (e.g., "care for infants", "care of older children") in t h i s study, information oh the s p e c i f i c (expected) d i v i s i o n of childrearing labour i s not available. Nevertheless, the results indicated that 36.3% and 46.9% of respondents expected equality in the care of infants and older children, respectively. When participants did not assign r e s p o n s i b i l i t y equally to mothers and fathers, c h i l d r e a r i n g was generally expected to be the mothers' r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Furthermore, when analyzing the 21 results separately for female and male respondents, the authors found that female participants expected equality on twice as many family labour tasks, including such r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s as housework, yardwork and childcare. LaRossa (1988) argues that there is a new culture of fatherhood today. By "culture" LaRossa (1988) means the "...shared norms, values, and b e l i e f s surrounding men's parenting..."(p.451). That i s , people's attitudes seem to have changed regarding the appropriate father ro l e ; fathers are expected to increase their p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the rearing of their children. LaRossa makes the important point, however, that fathers do not necessarily act in accordance with these new values. He c a l l s this attitude-behaviour discrepancy the "asynchrony between the culture and conduct of fatherhood"(p.451). Role enactment of f i r s t married parents. As noted by LaRossa, and by the current author in an e a r l i e r discussion about the various influences upon role enactment, behaviour in a role does not follow d i r e c t l y from c u l t u r a l and personal expectations. It is important, therefore, to examine the empirical l i t e r a t u r e on mothers' and fathers' childrearing behaviour. Based on their extensive l i t e r a t u r e review, Thompson and Walker (1969) concluded that: 1) Mothers, in general, enact the childrearing role more often than fathers, in terms of the number of tasks performed and the total time spent on childrearing; 2) In terms of the d i v i s i o n of c h i l d r e a r i n g labour by types of tasks, mothers 22 are more responsible for the physical maintenance of children ( a c t i v i t i e s such as changing diapers, feeding, bathing, etc.) while fathers spend most of their time with children in leisure a c t i v i t i e s ; and 3) "Mothers, regardless of whether they are employed, carry 90% of the burden of respons i b i 1 i t.v for c h i l d care: they plan, organize, delegate, supervise, and schedule" (p.856). Researchers have also examined the influence of various factors on the role enactment of mothers and fathers. In terms of the impact of the wife's employment status, Le s l i e et a l . (1988) make the d i s t i n c t i o n between c h i l d care tasks performed alone and those performed j o i n t l y . In an empirical study, they found that when wives worked outside the home, husbands were more l i k e l y to engage in more c h i l d care a c t i v i t i e s with their wives. However, employed women continued to perform more c h i l d care tasks alone, r e l a t i v e to their husbands. Another factor, the age of the c h i l d , appears to have only a small impact on fathers' roles. Berk (1985) notes that fathers tend to p a r t i c i p a t e in c h i l d care more when the children are younger ( i . e . infants and toddlers). She suggests, however, that t h i s increased p a r t i c i p a t i o n is not usually s i g n i f i c a n t in comparison with the mother's r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s . F i n a l l y , Basow (1986) states that fathers engage, in more c h i l d care a c t i v i t i e s with f i r s t - b o r n sons versus daughters ( f i r s t - b o r n or otherwise) or later-born sons. 2 3 The Present Study This study was designed to assess expectations for the stepparent role. Six research questions were addressed. 1. F i r s t , what are the role expectations for stepparents rela t i v e to those for b i o l o g i c a l parents? That i s , what r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s are stepparents expected to f u l f i l l regarding their spouses' children? Is i t assumed that they w i l l take on a parental role as i f they were the children's b i o l o g i c a l parents or are the expectations for the stepparent role unique? 2. Second, is there more or less consensus about appropriate stepparental, versus parental, behaviour? More s p e c i f i c a l l y , is the v a r i a b i l i t y among a group of participants who are queried about the stepparent role d i f f e r e n t than the v a r i a b i l i t y for participants responding to the same questions about f i r s t married parents? 3 . Third, do respondents who have had substantial experience with stepparents, due to divorce in their family of o r i g i n , have expectations d i f f e r e n t from those of participants from f i r s t married families? 4. Fourth, how much r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for ch i l d r e a r i n g do respondents assign to stepmothers r e l a t i v e to that assigned to stepfathers? 5 . F i f t h , how consistent, over time, are p a r t i c i p a n t s ' expectations for adults in stepfamilies r e l a t i v e to those for adults in f i r s t married families? 24 6. Sixth, how consistent, over time, are the expectations for the stepparent role of participants who have had substantial experience with stepparents versus those without such experience? The present study focused on stepfamilies but the term was expanded to include remarried couples where children (under 18) from a previous marriage l i v e only part-time in the remarried couple's household. This expansion was necessary in order to include stepmother, as well as stepfather, families as children do not usually l i v e f u l l -time in the former type of household. Following divorce, only a small minority of fathers are granted f u l l custody of the child/ren of their marriage; children who continue to see their fathers (and their new wives i f they remarry), therefore, generally do so on a part-time basis (Cherlin & McCarthy, 1985). For the purpose of providing d e f i n i t i o n s of "stepmother" and "stepfather", the terms "married" and "marriage" w i l l include common-law arrangements. As well, remarriage due to death of a spouse w i l l not be included. A stepmother is defined here as a woman married to a man who has previously been married, where the man has at least one c h i l d from the previous marriage. In some cases, the woman may have a child(ren) of her own and/or the remarried couple may have shared children. A stepfather is a man married to a woman who was formerly married, where the woman has at least one c h i l d 25 from her previous marriage. Again, children other than those from the wife's prior marriage may also be part of the stepfamily. Lesbian stepmothers and gay stepfathers were not included in these d e f i n i t i o n s because they comprise a small proportion of the stepfamily population and f a l l outside the scope of this study. Investigation of the unique dynamics of these stepfamilies where the romantic partners are homosexual is sorely lacking, however. This study was designed to improve over previous investigations in the following ways: f i r s t , an empirical approach was taken; second, the design and measures were selected on the basis of theory (Cherlin's theory of the incomplete i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n of remarriage); t h i r d , a substantial number of participants (N=154) were recruited; fourth, expectations for d i f f e r e n t types of stepparents (stepfathers and stepmothers) were examined; f i f t h , an attempt was made to recognize stepfamilies as unique rather than deviant i n comparison to f i r s t married families; and sixth, the expectations of partic i p a n t s from dif f e r e n t family backgrounds were examined. Some of the previously mentioned c r i t i c i s m s of existing research were not addressed, however. F i r s t , the sample consisted of university students; conclusions must be limited, therefore, to the subset of the Canadian population the sample represents. Nevertheless, given the current s t a t i s t i c s on the increasing number of stepfamilies, there is a high, l i k e l i h o o d that these students w i l l in the future 26 either be stepparents, l i v e with or marry stepparents, or interact with those (friends, r e l a t i v e s , coworkers) who are stepparents. It is for these reasons that the expectations of these respondents are important. Second, the present study did not look at expectations from a longitudinal perspective, although change over a short period of time (approximately 17 days) was investigated. Third, while the authors attempted to locate a preexisting scale of childrearing tasks (with r e l i a b i l i t y and v a l i d i t y data) in the l i t e r a t u r e on the d i v i s i o n of family labour, an adequate, comprehensive measure was not avai1able. As mentioned above, the current study included participants who had prior experience with stepparents, as well as those who did not, to examine any resulting differences in expectations. It is possible that the unique s o c i a l i z a t i o n experiences of stepchildren might influence their expectations of such a role incumbent in the future. Duration and frequency of contact c r i t e r i a were necessary for inclusion in this group of partic i p a n t s so that there was s u f f i c i e n t time for a stepparent-stepchild relationship to develop. The c r i t e r i a chosen by the author were designed to include experiences with stepmothers and stepfathers (remembering that contact with stepmothers is generally less frequent), while at the same time excluding relationships too short and/or infrequent to be of s i g n i f i c a n c e . In addition, the further requirement that at least some of the 27 contact had taken place in the stepparent's home ensured the opportunity for a v a r i e t y of "parental" r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s to aris e . In order to assess expectations for the stepparent role, the author constructed hypothetical scenarios, one for each of three family types: a f i r s t married family; a stepmother/biological father family; and a stepfather/ b i o l o g i c a l mother family. The three scenarios were equivalent with respect to the employment statuses of the adults, and the age of the c h i l d depicted. The choice of the p a r t i c u l a r employment s i t u a t i o n (both adults were described as working f u l l - t i m e outside the home) was designed to render the present study applicable to a substantial proportion of both f i r s t married and step-families. According to a recent report on Canadian women ( S t a t i s t i c s Canada, 1985), 52.3% of married women work outside the home, and 73.3% of these same women work f u l l -time. Approximately 40% of married women, therefore, are employed f u l l - t i m e in the workforce. The age chosen (9 years old) was old enough to be applicable to a large proportion of stepparents (stepparents generally do not have contact with infants and toddlers), and also young enough to require a s i g n i f i c a n t amount of "parental" attention. Were an adolescent portrayed in the scenarios, respondents might wish to assign more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to the adolescent her/himself rather than focusing on "parental" roles. 2 8 A decision was made (for p r a c t i c a l reasons) not to specify the gender of the c h i l d . As previously mentioned, fathers may be more attentive to male children (especially f i r s t - b o r n males), and thus there is reason to assume that the gender of the c h i l d might influence expectations. Thus, i t was necessary to make several decisions about the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the families portrayed in the scenarios. I have taken what are complex and variable situations (either f i r s t married families or stepfamilies) and s i m p l i f i e d them for pr a c t i c a l reasons. To r e c r u i t the number of participants required to respond to a l l possible permutations of family l i f e would be impractical. Hypotheses Six hypotheses were proposed. The f i r s t hypothesis was that stepparents (both stepmothers and stepfathers) would be assigned less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for childrearing r e l a t i v e to their same-sex counterparts in f i r s t married f a m i l i e s . This hypothesis was based on several factors. F i r s t there are suggestions in the c l i n i c a l l i t e r a t u r e on stepfamilies that stepparents are expected to be somewhat less than a parent (e.g., Fast & Cain, 1966). Second, expectations for stepparents may be reduced by the existence of the chi l d ' s other b i o l o g i c a l parent ( i . e . , the ex-spouse). While the questionnaire asked only about childrearing r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s for the remarried couple, the ex-spouse was mentioned as being part of the c h i l d ' s l i f e , and this may have influenced expectations for the 29 stepparent. Third, the previously mentioned empirical findings of Ganong and Coleman (1989) and Giles-Sims (1984) regarding reduced expectations for stepparents (versus b i o l o g i c a l parents) are supportive of this hypothesis. The second hypothesis was that participants responding to the step-scenarios would show more within-group v a r i a b i l i t y ( i . e . , less consensus) than those responding to the f i r s t married scenario. This hypothesis was based on Cherlin's assertion that there is a lack of normative information regarding stepfamily roles. The current author proposed that this lack of normative information should result in more individual differences in expectations for stepparent roles. That i s , there should be more v a r i a b i l i t y around the group means for responses to the stepfamily scenarios, as compared to within-group v a r i a b i l i t y for responses to the f i r s t married scenario. The t h i r d hypothesis was that stepmothers would be assigned more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for childrearing than stepfathers. The current author predicted higher expectations for stepmothers for several reasons. F i r s t , i f there is a f i r s t married family bias as suggested by Walker and Messinger (1979), expectations for stepparents should follow a pattern similar to that found for f i r s t married parents in terms of d i f f e r e n t i a l expectations for women and men. As noted previously, Hansen and Darling (1985), in their study of adolescents' childrearing expectations for 30 b i o l o g i c a l mothers and fathers, found that part i c i p a n t s had higher expectations of mothers. Second, there are numerous suggestions in the c l i n i c a l l i t e r a t u r e on stepfamilies (e.g., Visher & Visher, 1979) that stepmothers are expected to engage in more chi l d r e a r i n g a c t i v i t i e s than stepfathers. Third, i f role enactment can be taken as support for d i f f e r e n t i a l expectations, findings in this area of research are supportive of the hypothesis. Recall that Ambert (1986) found that stepmothers engaged in more childcare behaviour than stepfathers, and also more than the child's b i o l o g i c a l father. The previously noted l i m i t a t i o n s of Ambert's study (lack of s p e c i f i c i t y regarding the c r i t e r i a for deciding that stepmothers had more responsibily) l e f t some doubt as to the v a l i d i t y and strength of stepmother/stepfather differences, however. The fourth hypothesis was that part i c i p a n t s with stepfamily experience would assign less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to stepparents (both stepmothers and stepfathers) than would partic i p a n t s without such experience. This hypothesis was based on Walker and Messinger's (1979) suggestion that there is a f i r s t married bias in our society. Recall that this bias should result in expectations for stepparents which, rather than being unique, are similar to those for f i r s t married parents. The current author predicted, however, that this bias would be overcome in part by childhood experiences with stepparents. Further, the current author predicted that 31 this move away from expectations for stepparents which are similar to those for f i r s t married parents would be in the d i r e c t i o n of less involvement. That i s , participants with stepfamily experience, as compared to those without such experience, would expect stepparents to be somewhat less involved in c h i l d care. The f i f t h hypothesis was that participants' expectations for childrearing- in stepfamilies would be more variable over time than those for chi l d r e a r i n g in f i r s t married fa m i l i e s . This hypothesis was also based on Cherlin's incomplete i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n hypothesis, and the suggestion of Walker and Messinger (1979) that this lack of normative information leads to uncertainty regarding appropriate stepparental behaviour. The current author predicted that this uncertainty would be re f l e c t e d in less s t a b i l i t y in expectations for stepparental behaviour, r e l a t i v e to expectations for parental behaviour. F i n a l l y , the sixth hypothesis was that participants with stepfamily experience would be more consistent over time when responding to the step-scenarios than those participants without such experience. This hypothesis was based on the current author's assumption that i n s u f f i c i e n t normative information regarding stepfamilies stems from the fact that remarriage (due to divorce) is a r e l a t i v e l y recent phenomenon; that i s , there has been i n s u f f i c i e n t time for the establishment of norms. For participants with stepfamily experience, this lack of normative information should be at 32 least p a r t i a l l y overcome by their exposure to stepfamily l i f e , leading to less ambiguity (and more s t a b i l i t y over time) regarding stepparent roles. Method Study 1 P a r t i c i p a n t s . Participants were 75 male and 79 female Psychology undergraduates who were recruited from introductory Psychology courses. Participants were i d e n t i f i e d from a volunteer subject pool and were contacted by phone to see i f they were w i l l i n g to pa r t i c i p a t e in the study. E l i g i b l e students received course credit for their p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Students who were parents themselves were excluded from p a r t i c i p a t i n g as the focus of the current project was to assess parenting expectations held prior to becoming a parent. Two groups of participants were recruited: 1) students from f i r s t married families ( i . e . , their parents did not separate or divorce before they turned 16) and 2) students whose parents did divorce before they turned 16 and who also had ongoing contact with a stepparent. The minimum c r i t e r i a for inclusion in thi s l a t t e r group were: 1) a relationship with a stepparent for more than 2 years, and either 2) face-to-face contact with this same stepparent in the stepparent's home at least twice a month, on average, or 3) face-to-face contact with the stepparent in the stepparent's home at least two times per year where each v i s i t was of at least 7 days in duration. 33 Procedure. Participants were asked to complete a questionnaire (Appendix A) consisting- of three parts. In the demographic section, they answered questions regarding age, gender, country of o r i g i n , their r e l a t i o n s h i p status, and family h i s t o r y . Of particular importance here, was whether or not the respondents had any experiences with stepparents, as well as the self-reported duration, frequency and q u a l i t y of such experiences. Following this section, respondents read a brief description of a family, which was ei ther: 1) a f i r s t married family (FM condition), 2) a stepmother and bio l o g i c a l father family (SM condition), or 3) a stepfather and b i o l o g i c a l mother family (SF condition). Participants who were raised in f i r s t married families were randomly assigned to one of the three scenarios. Respondents with stepfamily experience were assigned either to the f i r s t married scenario or to the relevant step-scenario (stepmother or stepfather) for. which they met the frequency and duration of contact c r i t e r i a . In other words, a l l participants i n the SM condition had substantial experience with a stepmother, and a l l participants in the SF condition had substantial experience with a stepfather. Those in the F M condition could have experience with either type of stepparent. In the FM scenario, the adults were described as having one c h i l d . In the SM scenario, the man's c h i l d was described as l i v i n g in the couple's home every second 34 weekend, in addition to accompanying them on vacations. In the S F scenario, the woman's c h i l d was described as l i v i n g f u l l - t i m e with the couple, with the exception of weekend v i s i t s (every second weekend) to the b i o l o g i c a l father's home. With respect to employment status, both spouses were described as working f u l l - t i m e outside the home. The age of the c h i l d (9 years old) was also noted in each scenario. Participants were then asked to assign r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for a l i s t of 38 c h i l d care tasks with the couple described in mind. The respondents were to indicate who they thought should be responsible for the various tasks l i s t e d . In the two stepfamily scenarios, participants were asked to li m i t their expectations for parental r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s to occasions when the c h i l d was in the couple's home. Responsibility was rated on a 5-point scale (as in Gi l e s -Sims' 1984 study), where 1 = the man (John) always, 5 = the woman (Lori) always, and 3 = about equal r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . Participants were to assign r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for each individual item on the Parenting Scale. The Parenting Scale was adapted from scales used in d i v i s i o n of family labour studies (Atkinson & Huston, 1984; Barnett & Baruch, 1987; Kamo, 1988; L e s l i e , Branson & Anderson, 1988; Rettig & Metzger, 1986; and Warner, 1986). A wide variety of r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s involved in parenting (those which were applicable to the age of the c h i l d chosen), covering such domains as physical maintenance of the c h i l d , f i n a n c i a l support, nurturance, guidance, and the 35 maintenance of kinship relations were included. Housework r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s were included only i f they were d i r e c t l y related to the c h i l d (e.g., cleaning the c h i l d ' s bedroom). As the gender of the c h i l d was not s p e c i f i e d in the scenarios, participants were asked about any assumption regarding the child's gender which they might have made. F i n a l l y , participants completed a measure of s o c i a l d e s i r a b i l i t y , The Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responses (BIDR; Paulhus, 1990), which has two subscales: Self-Deceptive P o s i t i v i t y (SDP; honest but p o s i t i v e bias) and Impression Management (IM; deliberate f a l s e reports). The scale consists of 40 items: 20 items on each subscale. For the purposes of this study, however, a shortened version (10 items) of the SDP subscale was u t i l i z e d in addition to the f u l l - s c a l e version of the IM subscale. The BIDR was chosen as the measure of social d e s i r a b i l i t y because i t separates the two components of s o c i a l l y desirable responding. A measure of impression management was necessary to control for the influence of participants wanting to appear e g a l i t a r i a n when asked about parenting/stepparenting. The measure of p o s i t i v e s e l f -deception was included to examine the r e l a t i o n s h i p between this bias and Parenting Scale means. The two subscales of the BIDR also have adequate test-retest r e l i a b i l i t y - .69 and .65 for the SDP and IM scales, respectively, over a 5-week interval (Paulhus, 1990). 36 For respondents who elected not to participate in part two of the study, a debriefing followed the administration of the f i r s t questionnaire. Participants were told the general purposes of the study and given the option of receiving a summary of the r e s u l t s . Study 2 Participants. A proportion of the participants (N = 84) from study 1 volunteered to take part in a second phase of the project. Those e l i g i b l e received an additional credit for their p a r t i c i p a t i o n . Procedure. The participants completed the Expectations for Parental and Stepparental Behaviour Questionnaire a second time, approximately 2 weeks l a t e r , in order to assess the s t a b i l i t y of responses over time. At time 1, the participants were to l d only that they would be required to complete a second questionnaire. That the two questionnaires were actually i d e n t i c a l was only revealed at the time of the second administration. This was necessary to ensure that respondents were not cued to memorize their f i r s t responses and therefore attempt to rep l i c a t e them at time 2. A debriefing followed to explain the reason for not revealing, when the participants o r i g i n a l l y volunteered, that the second questionnaire would be the same as the f i r s t . Results Scoring 37 For the following analyses, responses to the Parenting Scale were scored as follows. Participants recorded a raw score (1 through 5) for each of the 38 parenting tasks. A mean was then derived for each individual by averaging these 38 raw scores. Thus, an average score on the Parenting Scale was computed for each p a r t i c i p a n t . The two subscales of the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responses were scored as indicated by Pauhlus (1984). Participants recorded a raw score (1 through 7) for each of the 30 items. Scores which indicated an extreme tendency to respond in a s o c i a l l y desirable manner (6 or 7 for the p o s i t i v e l y keyed items, and 1 or 2 for the negatively keyed items) were recoded as l ' s . A l l other scores were recoded as 0's. For the 20 items on the IM subscale, a total score was then calculated for each par t i c i p a n t ; scores could thus range from 0 to 20. A to t a l score was also calculated for the 10 items on the SDP subscale; scores on this subscale could range from 0 to 10. Analyses Description Ol Sample. Of the 154 participants (79 women and 75 men) in the present study, approximately equal numbers responded to the FM, SM, and SF scenarios: 51 (33.1%), 55 (35.7%), and 48 (31.2%), respectively. Due to the r e l a t i v e d i f f i c u l t y of r e c r u i t i n g participants with stepfamily experience, there were more participants from f i r s t married families (87 vs. 67). See Table 1 for the 38 basic design of the study and for a breakdown of the number of participants per c e l l . Eighty-four (54.5%) of the o r i g i n a l participants agreed to complete the second questionnaire. The average length of time between the f i r s t and second administration of the questionnaire was 16.85 days (sd=3.05). Three test-retest c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s were computed for responses to each of the 3 scenarios. Comparisons were made between the Parenting Scale means for each participant at Time 1 with those at Time 2. They were as follows: r=.777 (FM), r=.854 (SM) and r=.852 (SF) with an average test - r e t e s t correlation of r=.830. Note that these estimates of s t a b i l i t y over time r e f l e c t consistency in average responses rather than responses to individual items. The ages of participants ranged from 17 to 25 with a mean of 19.5 years old. The majority (80.5%) of the sample were between 18 and 20 years old, i n c l u s i v e . More than half (57.1%) of the sample were single, 33.1% were in a romantic relationship; 7.1% were l i v i n g common-law; and 2.6% were married. Approximately 77% of the respondents indicated that they were born in Canada; 2.6% in the United States; and 20.1% in a country outside North America. For those participants whose parents had divorced, 88.1% indicated that their father had remarried or l i v e d with another partner following the divorce. Within this group, the average amount of contact with their father's new partner was 3.25 on a scale from 1 to 5, where 5 indicated 39 the most frequent contact. When rating the quality of relationships with stepmothers, the responses of these same participants ranged from 1 (very negative) to 7 (very positive) with a mean of 4.49. S l i g h t l y fewer (50 out of 67; 74.6%) participants indicated that their mothers had remarried or l i v e d with another partner following the divorce. The average amount of contact with stepfathers was 4.4 on the 5-point scale mentioned above. In terms of the q u a l i t y of relationships with stepfathers, the average rating given was 4.94 with scores ranging from 1 to 7. Forty-two of the 67 p a r t i c i p a n t s (62.7%) with stepfamily experience indicated that both t h e i r mother and father had remarried or l i v e d common-law following the divorce. For these respondents, 2 dependent t-tests were performed between stepmother and stepfather ratings on the frequency and q u a l i t y of stepparent contact. Participants indicated having s i g n i f i c a n t l y more frequent contact with stepfathers, t(66)=5.29, p<.001. While the respondents rated their relationships with stepfathers as somewhat more positive than relationships with stepmothers (M=4.79 vs. M=4.40), this difference was not s i g n i f i c a n t , t(66)=.89. For the f i r s t administration of the questionnaire, Parenting Scale means were: 3.13 (sd=.129), 2.61 (sd=.283), and 3.38 (sd=.262) for the FM, SM, and SF scenarios, respectively. Note that Parenting Scales means were not s i g n i f i c a n t l y related to Self-Deceptive P o s t i v i t y scores on 40 the BIDR. After reversing- scores on the Parenting Scale for the SF scenario (so that high scores for a l l participants indicated more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the woman), a c o r r e l a t i o n was performed between SDP and Parenting Scale scores. The c o r r e l a t i o n was not s i g n i f i c a n t (r=.03, p>.05). At the time of second administration, the Parenting Scale means were v i r t u a l l y the same for the FM and SM conditions, 3.13 (sd=.146) and 2.63 (sd=.293), respectively, and somewhat higher for the SF scenario, 3.46 (sd=.271). The average score on the SDP (short version) of the Balanced Inventory of Desirable Responses was 4.47 (sd=2.12), while the average for the IM subscale was 6.53 (sd=3.36). The test-retest r e l i a b i l i t y c o e f f i c i e n t s for the SDP and IM subscales were: r=.725 (n=83) and r=.810 (n=83), respectively. After correcting for decreased r e l i a b i l i t y due to fewer items on the SDP subscale via the Spearman-Brown correction ( G h i s e l l i et al . , 1981), the test-retest r e l i a b i 1 i t y of the SDP subscale increased to r=.841. Tests were conducted to determine whether there were any s i g n i f i c a n t between-group differences on variables other than those of interest in the current study. In order to examine between-group differences on age, assumption regarding the gender of the c h i l d , IM and SDP, a Scenario (3 l e v e l s : FM, SM, and SF) by Gender (2 l e v e l s : female and male) /by Family Background (2 l e v e l s : stepfamily experience and no stepfamily experience) MANOVA was performed. The gender assumption variable was recoded so that i t re f l e c t e d 41 a scale from 1 = female to 3 = male, with the middle of the scale indicating that no assumptions were made. In order to test for homogeneity of covariance matrices, Box's M test was performed. The results of this test revealed s i g n i f i c a n t heterogeneity, F( 100,14390) = 1.32, p<.05. As a result, a c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t was computed between the c e l l size and covariance matrix determinants to determine whether the MANOVA might be l i b e r a l or conservative (Hakstian, 1989). The resulting c o r r e l a t i o n was not s i g n i f i c a n t (r=-.08), i n d i c a t i n g no p a r t i c u l a r bias. There was a s i g n i f i c a n t effect for Scenario (F(l,142)=4.49, p<.01), for Gender (F(1,142)=7.30, p<.001), and for Family Background (F(1,142)=4.49, p<.01). None of the interactions were s i g n i f i c a n t . Due to si g n i f i c a n c e at the MANOVA l e v e l , 4 Scenario(3) by Gender(2) by Family Background(2) ANOVAs were performed, one for each of the dependent variables. Table 2 shows the means for each of the dependent variables. Tables 3-6 show the ANOVA results for age, gender assumption, SDP and IM, respectively. As can be seen in Table 3, there was a s i g n i f i c a n t main effect for Family Background, F(1,142) = 12.97, p<.001. Participants from stepfamilies were s i g n i f i c a n t l y older than participants from f i r s t married families, with means of 20.2 and 19.1 years, respectively. For the second dependent variable, assumption regarding the c h i l d ' s gender, there were two s i g n i f i c a n t main effects 42 (see Table 4). There was a s i g n i f i c a n t effect for Gender (F(l,142)=13.32, p<.001) with men, more often that women, assuming the c h i l d to be a boy. In addition, there was a si g n i f i c a n t effect for Scenario, F(2,142)=21.17, p<.001. Tukey's multiple comparisons were performed, u t i l i z i n g the S p j o t r e l l and Stoline formula for unequal n's (cited in Glass & Hopkins, 1984). Results were referenced to the Studentized Augmented Range D i s t r i b u t i o n . The multiple comparisons revealed that a l l three comparisons were s i g n i f i c a n t . Participants in the FM condition were s i g n i f i c a n t l y more l i k e l y , as compared to those in the SF condition, to assume the c h i l d was a boy, q (3,142)=5.05, p<.01. In addition, participants in the SM condition were s i g n i f i c a n t l y more l i k e l y to assume the c h i l d was a boy, as compared to those in the FM condition (q (3,142)=3.86, p<.05) and those in the SF condition (q (3,142)=8.30, p<.01). Table 5 shows the results of the ANOVA for Sel f -Deceptive P o s i t i v i t y . There was a s i g n i f i c a n t main effect for Gender, F(1,142) = 9.67, p<.01. Men had s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher scores on the SDP scale than women, with means of 5.0 and 4.0, respectively. In terms of the fourth dependent variable, Impression Management, there were no s i g n i f i c a n t differences (see Table 6). In summary, there were s i g n i f i c a n t between-group differences for three of the four variables included in these analyses. Participants from stepfamilies were older 43 than those from f i r s t married fa m i l i e s . Men, as compared to women were more l i k e l y to assume the c h i l d was a boy, and had higher scores on the SDP scale. F i n a l l y , there were s i g n i f i c a n t differences between the 3 conditions with respect to gender assumptions, with p a r t i c i p a n t s in the SM condition being most l i k e l y to assume male, followed by those in the FM condition, and f i n a l l y by those in the SF condition. As a result of these s i g n i f i c a n t between-group differences, two of the variables, age and gender assumption, w i l l be included as covariates in subsequent analyses where appropriate. The variable, Self-Deceptive P o s i t i v i t y , i s not considered by the author of the B1DR to be an appropriate covariate (Paulhus, 1990). In order to test for differences in the frequency and quality of stepparent contact (as rated by participants with stepfamily experience) between respondents i n the SM and SF conditions, two ANOVAs were performed. While many participants had experience with stepmothers and stepfathers, only their ratings on the stepparent that matched the scenario they received was included in these analyses. Participants from f i r s t married families were excluded from these analyses as they would not have responded to the questions of in t e r e s t . In addition, as the FM scenario did not involve a stepparent, participants in this condition were excluded. Two Scenario (SM and SF) by Gender (female and male) ANOVAs were performed. Table 7 shows the mean ratings of 44 frequency and quality of stepparent contact. In terms of the frequency of contact, there was a main effect for Scenario (F(1 ,42)=6.42 , p<.05), with participants indicating more frequent contact with stepfathers (see Table 8 for a summary of this ANOVA). As can be seen in Table 9, there were no s i g n i f i c a n t differences with respect to the quality of contact with stepparents. In summary, participants (with stepfamily experience) in the SF condition, as compared to those i n the SM condition, had more frequent contact with stepparents. With respect to the quality of stepparent contact, there were no s i g n i f i c a n t differences between the SM and SF conditions. Between-group differences regarding country of b i r t h were examined through 3 Chi-Square tests of association (Glass & Hopkins, 1984). Comparisons were made between: 1) participants in the FM, SM, and SF conditions; 2) women and men; and 3) participants with and without stepfamily experience. Responses to the question regarding country of b i r t h were f i r s t recoded so that participants born in Canada or the United States were given a score of 1 (1 = born in North America), and p a r t i c i p a n t s born in any other country were given a score of 0 (0 = born in a country outside North America. Table 10 shows the proportions of participants born in North America for the relevant comparisons. The Chi-Square test of association for the FM, SM, and SF conditions was not s i g n i f i c a n t , X(2)=.17. S i m i l a r l y , female and male 45 participants did not d i f f e r s i g n i f i c a n t l y in terms of their country of b i r t h , X(1)=0. There was a s i g n i f i c a n t difference, however, between participants from stepfamilies and those from f i r s t married families, X(l)=7.15, p<.01. Participants from stepfamilies were s i g n i f i c a n t l y more l i k e l y to have been born in North America. In summary, there were no s i g n i f i c a n t differences in the proportion of participants born in North America (versus countries outside North America) for 2 comparisons: 1) FM versus SM versus SF scenario, and 2) female versus male respondents. Participants with stepfamily experience were, however, more l i k e l y to have been born in North America, as compared to participants without such experience. Hypothesis 1. In order to test the f i r s t hypothesis, that stepparents would be assigned less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for childrearing, as compared to their same-sex counterparts in f i r s t married f a m i l i e s , a Scenario (3 l e v e l s : FM, SM, and SF) by Gender (2 l e v e l s : female and male) by Family Background (2 l e v e l s : stepfamily experience, and no stepfamily experience) ANOVA, with age and gender assumption as covariates, was performed. The covariates were necessary due to the aforementioned s i g n i f i c a n t between-group differences on these variables. Due to unequal n's, a Bartlett-Box test was f i r s t performed to test for homogeneity of the 12 c e l l variances. The Bartlett-Box test was s i g n i f i c a n t , F(11,13138)=3.78, p <.001. From this r e s u l t , i t could be concluded that the 46 group variances were heterogeneous. However, as the Bartlett-Box procedure is s e n s i t i v e to nonnormality in the underlying d i s t r i b u t i o n of the dependent variable (which is true of the Parenting Scale d i s t r i b u t i o n ) , the Scheffe test of homogeneity which is robust to nonnormality (Glass & Hopkins, 1984), was performed. The Scheffe test was performed as follows: The data in each of the 12 c e l l s were divided into a number of subgroups. Variances for Parenting Scale means were calculated for each subgroup and these variances were then transformed into natural logarithms. An ANOVA was performed with the natural logarithms as the dependent variable. Group variances were s u f f i c i e n t l y d i f f e r e n t that the hypothesis of homogeneity was again rejected with a main effect for scenario, F(2,140)=11.75, p<.001. As a re s u l t , a corre l a t i o n was computed between the variances and the number of participants in each c e l l to determine whether the ANOVA might be l i b e r a l or conservative (Hakstian, 1989). The corr e l a t i o n was not s i g n i f i c a n t (r=-.027), indicating no par t i c u l a r bias. The f i r s t hypothesis (that stepparents would be assigned less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for childrearing than their same-sex counterparts in f i r s t married families) was addressed by the Scenario main e f f e c t . Remembering that higher scores equal more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the woman, f u l l support for the hypothesis would be provided through multiple comparisons i f : 1) the average score in the FM 47 group was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher than that in the SM group ( i . e . , stepmothers were given s i g n i f i c a n t l y less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y than b i o l o g i c a l mothers in the FM scenario) and 2) the average score in the FM group was s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower than that in the SF group ( i . e . , stepfathers were given s i g n i f i c a n t l y less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y than b i o l o g i c a l fathers in the FM scenario). P a r t i a l support would be provided i f either 1 or 2 occurred. The summary table for this f i r s t ANOVA is shown in Table 11. The main effect for Scenario was s i g n i f i c a n t , F(2,140)=6.23, p<.001) with means of 3.13 (n=51), 2.61 (n = 55), and 3.38 (n=48) for the FM, SM, and SF conditions, respectively. Dunnett's multiple comparison procedure was u t i l i z e d to compare the 2 step-scenario means against the FM (control) mean, as planned. This procedure maintains an experiment-wise error rate of p<.05. The f i r s t hypothesis was f u l l y supported; that i s , the FM average was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher ( t(3 ,140) = 11.61, p<.01) than the SM average, and s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower (t(3,140)=5.40, p<.01) than the SF average. Thus, stepmothers and stepfathers were assigned less c h i l d r e a r i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y than their same-sex counterparts in the FM scenario. It should be noted that the discrepancy between childrearing expectations for stepparents versus b i o l o g i c a l parents was greater for stepmothers than for stepfathers. 48 In addition, the interaction between Scenario and Family Background was s i g n i f i c a n t , F(2,140)=3.69, p<.05). The means and standard deviations for this interaction are shown in Table 12. Further simple main e f f e c t s analyses (see Table 13) were conducted to test the Scenario effect at both levels of Family Background. Surprisingly, both analyses were highly s i g n i f i c a n t : there was a si g n i f i c a n t Scenario effect for participants from stepfamilies (F(2,140)=87.72, p<.001) and for partic i p a n t s from f i r s t married families (F(2,140)=64.23, p<.001). Tukey's multiple comparisons were performed to compare the 2 step-scenario means against the FM average at each level of Family Background, u t i l i z i n g the S p j o t r e l l and Stoline formula ( c i t e d in Glass & Hopkins, 1984) for unequal n's. Resulting q values were referenced to the Studentized Augmented Range D i s t r i b u t i o n . For partic i p a n t s with stepfamily experience, the FM average was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher (q (3,140) = 10.75, p<.01) than the SM average, and s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower (q (3,140)=6.97, p<.01) than the SF average. For participants from f i r s t married families, the same pattern was found: the FM average was s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher (q (3,140)=11.66, p<.01) than the SM average and s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower (q (3,140)=3.84, p<.05) than the SF average. Figure 1 i l l u s t r a t e s the interaction between Scenario and Family Background. While the patterns of means are similar for participants from step- and f i r s t married 49 families, the discrepancy between the FM and SF means d i f f e r in their significance values. Lower expectations for stepfathers (as compared to b i o l o g i c a l fathers) are more obvious for those respondents with stepfamily experience, even though they s t i l l e x i s t for respondents from f i r s t married families. In summary, the f i r s t hypothesis was supported, revealing that stepmothers and stepfathers were assigned less childrearing r e s p o n s i b i l i t y than their same-sex counterparts in the FM scenario. These lowered expectations were more noted for stepmothers than for stepfathers. In addition, while the lower expectations for stepmothers and stepfathers existed for respondents from step- and f i r s t married families, the stepparent versus b i o l o g i c a l parent discrepancy was smaller for the l a t t e r group of respondents in the SF versus FM comparison. Hypothesis 2. In order to test the second hypothesis, that the participants responding to the SM and SF scenarios would show more within-group v a r i a b i l i t y than those responding to the FM scenario, two tests between independent variances (Glass & Hopkins, 1984) were performed, each at p<.025 to control for Type I error. The results of the aforementioned Bartlett-Box and Scheffe tests provided an indication that at least one of the variances was s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t from another of the variances. The follow-up tests between variances allowed for more s p e c i f i c information relevant to the hypothesis. 50 As planned: 1) the variance for the FM group (.0166) was compared with that for the SM group (.0801), and then 2) the FM variance was compared with the SF variance (.0686). As i t was hypothesized that the FM variance would be smaller than either of the other 2 variances, one-tailed tests were performed. It was found that the FM variance was s i g n i f i c a n t l y smaller than both the SM variance (F(54,50)=4.81, p<.001) and the SF variance (F(47,50)=4 .12 , p<.001). In summary, the second hypothesis was supported; participants responding to the FM scenario were less variable as a group in their responses than those responding to either the SM or SF scenario. Hypothesis 3. A Scenario (2 l e v e l s : SM and SF) by Gender (2 l e v e l s : female and male) by Family Background (2 le v e l s : participants with stepfamily experience and those without such experience) ANOVA, with age and gender assumption as covariates, was performed to test the t h i r d and fourth hypotheses. For these hypothesis tests, responses to the FM scenario were not relevant and thus were not included in the analysis. Recall that the t h i r d and fourth hypotheses were that stepmothers would be assigned more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for childrearing than stepfathers, and that participants with stepfamily experience would assign less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to stepparents than would participants without such experience. 51 One minor recoding of the data was necessary in order to d i r e c t l y compare expectations for stepmothers with those for stepfathers. As the scale ranged from the man always(l) to the woman always(5), a high score in the SM condition would indicate more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the stepmother, while a high score in the SF condition would indicate less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the stepfather. A s t a t i s t i c a l comparison of these raw scores would be inappropriate. The scores of participants responding to the SF scenario were, therefore, reversed (e.g., 1 changed to 5 and 5 changed to 1, etc.) . As a result, higher scores for both the SM and SF scenarios indicated more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the stepparent. The Bartlett-Box test of homogeneity of variances was not s i g n i f i c a n t (F(7,8568)=1.72), suggesting that the c e l l variances were s i g n i f i c a n t l y homogeneous. Due to the aforementioned skewness of the Parenting Scale d i s t r i b u t i o n , the Scheffe test of homogeneity was also performed. The results of this test contradicted the Bartlett-Box finding of homogeneity with a s i g n i f i c a n t main effect for Gender (F(l,21)=6.85, p<.016) and a s i g n i f i c a n t interaction between Scenario and Family Background (F(1,21)=7.10, p<.014). Thus, s i g n i f i c a n t differences in variances were found between male and female participants, and between participants from stepfamilies versus f i r s t married families after c o n t r o l l i n g for Scenario. A c o r r e l a t i o n was then performed between the variances and number of participants in each c e l l to determine whether the o r i g i n a l ANOVA might 52 be l i b e r a l or conservative (Hakstian, 1989). The correlation c o e f f i c i e n t was not s i g n i f i c a n t (r=-.013) indicating no particular bias. The summary table for this ANOVA i s shown in Table 14. The third hypothesis (that stepmothers would be assigned more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for childrearing than stepfathers) was not supported, F(1,93) = . 322 . The Parenting Scale means for the SM and SF scenarios were almost i d e n t i c a l : 2.61 and 2.62, respectively. However, while the o v e r a l l means were similar, an examination of the means for ind i v i d u a l items revealed considerable differences between responses to the SM and SF scenarios. Table 15 shows the SM and SF means and standard deviations for each item on the Parenting Scale. For some items (e.g., l i s t e n i n g when the c h i l d wants to talk, and helping the c h i l d with homework), the expectations for stepmothers and stepfathers were s i m i l a r . For others (e.g., doing the child's laundry and preparing the c h i l d ' s meals), expectations for stepmothers were s u b s t a n t i a l l y higher than those for stepfathers. There were also items (e.g., attending parent-teacher meetings and paying the child's allowance), for which expectations were s u b s t a n t i a l l y higher for stepfathers. In Tables 16 and 17, the means for each item are again shown for the SM and SF scenarios. The items are now arranged from least to most r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the stepparent. It can be seen that there was more s i m i l a r i t y 53 between expectations for stepmothers and stepfathers when the expectations were low, rather than high. Both stepmothers and stepfathers were assigned low r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the three items r e l a t i n g to the child's b i o l o g i c a l kin. When examining items with the highest means, diff e r e n t patterns were evident for stepmothers and stepfathers. The items for which stepmothers were assigned the most re s p o n s i b i l i t y were: supervision, choosing leisure a c t i v i t i e s and vacations, caring for the c h i l d when i l l , cleaning the child's room, supervising personal hygiene, picking up after the c h i l d , preparing the child's meals, and washing and ironing the child ' s clothes. These items can be summarized as r e l a t i n g primarily to the physical care and dai l.v work required to keep the c h i l d clothed and fed. The items for which stepfathers were given the most re s p o n s i b i l i t y were: supervision, helping the c h i l d with homework, paying for g i f t s for the c h i l d , playing with the c h i l d and taking her/him on outings, paying for and choosing vacations, providing transportation, paying the child's allowance, and attending the child's sports practises and events. These items can be summarized as taking care of fin a n c i a l needs, f a c i l i t a t i n g entertainment, and meeting the occasional needs of the c h i l d . Table 18 shows the means for items on the Parenting Scale /for the FM scenario. The means are rank ordered such that e a r l i e r items are more often expected to be performed by fathers, and later items are more often expected to be 54 performed by mothers. Note that the expected d i v i s i o n of labour follows a pattern similar to that found for s tepparents. Hypothesis 4. The fourth hypothesis, that part i c i p a n t s from stepfamilies would assign less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to stepparents than participants from f i r s t married f a m i l i e s , was addressed by the same ANOVA for the t h i r d hypothesis. There was a s i g n i f i c a n t main effect for Family Background, F(1,93)=6.56, p<.05. As predicted, p a r t i c i p a n t s from stepfamilies assigned s i g n i f i c a n t l y less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to stepparents (M=2.55) than did participants from f i r s t married families (M=2.67). In addition, there was an unexpected finding that female, as compared to male, participants assigned more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to stepparents, with means of 2.66 and 2.57, respectively, F(1,93)=5.207, p< .05. In summary, the overall amount of chi l d r e a r i n g r e s p o n s i b i l i t y assigned to stepmothers was no higher than that assigned to stepfathers. When examining individual item means rather than o v e r a l l means, however, i t was clear that the s p e c i f i c expectations for stepmothers and stepfathers were d i f f e r e n t . Expectations for stepmothers were higher in the domains of physical maintenance of the c h i l d , and housework. Expectations for stepfathers were higher/with respect to f i n a n c i a l support, and entertainment. In addition, participants with stepfamily experience assigned s i g n i f i c a n t l y less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to stepparents 55 than did participants from f i r s t married families. F i n a l l y , women respondents had s i g n i f i c a n t l y higher expectations of stepparents than men. Hypothesis 5. In order to test the f i f t h hypothesis, that responses to the stepfamily scenarios would be more variable over time than responses to the FM scenario, three tests between independent (test-retest) c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s were conducted. F i r s t , Pearson test-retest c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s were computed for responses to the FM, SM, and SF scenarios. Sample size was necessarily reduced for each of the 3 groups as approximately half of the participants did not complete the questionnaire at time 2. The correlation c o e f f i c i e n t s were r=.777 (n=26), r=.854 (n=32), and r=.852 (n=26) for the FM, SM, and SF scenarios, respectively. Correlation c o e f f i c i e n t s were transformed to Fisher z-scores. Then, the standard tests for s i g n i f i c a n t differences between z-scores (Glass & Hopkins, 1984) were performed between the FM and SM; FM and SF; and SM and SF scenarios, revealing no s i g n i f i c a n t differences. V a r i a b i l i t y over time was not s i g n i f i c a n t l y d i f f e r e n t for the FM versus SM comparison (z=.83), for the FM versus SF comparison (z=.75), or for the SM versus SF comparison (z=.04). In summary, the f i f t h hypothesis was not supported. There was not more v a r i a b i l i t y in expectations over time for the step-scenarios as compared to the FM scenario. 56 Hypothesis 6. In order to test the sixth hypothesis, that participants with stepfamily experience would be more consistent over time when responding to the SM and SF scenarios than those part i c i p a n t s without such experience, another test between independent correlation c o e f f i c i e n t s was performed. Test-retest c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s were computed for responses to both the SM and SF scenarios at each level of Family Background. The four c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s were f i r s t transformed to Fisher z-scores, and then an average (between the SF and SM scenario scores) z-score was calculated for p a r t i c i p a n t s from stepfamilies and for participants from f i r s t married f a m i l i e s . After transforming these z-scores back to c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s , the test-retest correlations were r=.835 (n=27) for participants with stepfamily experience, and r=.865 (n=31) for participants without such experience. The test between c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t s was conducted u t i l i z i n g the two average z-scores computed e a r l i e r , revealing that the difference between the two z-scores was not s i g n i f i c a n t (z=.392). In summary, support for the sixth hypothesis was not found. Participants from stepfamilies were not more consistent over time in their responses to the step-scenarios. A b r i e f Par t icipants Discussion summary of the results w i l l be provided, had s i g n i f i c a n t l y lower expectations of 57 stepparents, as compared to same-sex b i o l o g i c a l parents, in terms of c h i l d care. The stepparent versus b i o l o g i c a l parent discrepancy, while s t i l l s i g n i f i c a n t , was smaller for participants from f i r s t married f a m i l i e s . In terms of Parenting Scale means, a s i g n i f i c a n t difference between expectations for stepmothers and expectations for stepfathers was not found. An examination of individual items, however, revealed that the role expectations for stepmothers and stepfathers were very d i s t i n c t from one another. In addition, the d i f f e r e n t i a l expectations for stepmothers and stepfathers p a r a l l e l e d the gender d i v i s i o n found for the f i r s t married scenario. Stepmothers, in comparison to stepfathers, were more often expected to perform c h i l d care tasks in two general areas: 1 ) physical maintenance, and 2 ) c h i l d - r e l a t e d housework. Stepfathers, more than stepmothers, were expected to provide for the child's f i n a n c i a l and entertainment needs. Participants with stepfamily experience assigned s i g n i f i c a n t l y 1 ess r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to stepparents than did participants without such experience. In addition, female, as compared to male, respondents, assigned s i g n i f i c a n t l y more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to stepparents. While there was less consensus for appropriate stepparental, versus parental, behaviour, there was not more v a r i a b i l i t y over time in expectations for stepparents. In addition, participants from stepfamilies, as compared to 58 those from f i r s t married families, were not more consistent over time in their expectations for the stepparent role. Support was found for 3 out of 6 hypotheses in the current study. Participants c l e a r l y did expect b i o l o g i c a l parents in f i r s t married families to be more responsible for parenting than stepparents. It seems that people do consider the stepparent role, as compared to the role of a b i o l o g i c a l parent, to be unique, in terms of overall r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for c h i l d care. Stepparents (both stepmothers and stepfathers) were assigned the least r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for tasks r e l a t i n g to the child's b i o l o g i c a l k i n . Participants did not expect stepparents, very often, to: 1) maintain relations between the c h i l d and her/his b i o l o g i c a l kin; 2) accompany the c h i l d on v i s i t s with these kin; or 3) buy/send cards and g i f t s for these kin. As predicted, participants who had childhood experience with stepparents assigned s i g n i f i c a n t l y less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to stepparents than did participants from f i r s t married families. The current author suggested that this group of participants, due to their exposure to stepfamily issues, would consider the stepparent role to be even more unique (from the parental role) than would p a r t i c i p a n t s from f i r s t married fa m i l i e s . There are two possible reasons for these lower expectations. F i r s t , there are numerous suggestions in the c l i n i c a l l i t e r a t u r e on stepfamilies that stepparents often assume a parental role in the early stages of stepfamily 59 development, leading to c o n f l i c t with the children of the remarriage. That i s , there is often an adjustment period whereby stepparents move from enacting a parental role to finding their own unique role in the child' s l i f e . Having gone through this process (from the child' s perspective), people with stepfamily experience might be more l i k e l y to have expectations which resemble stepparent role enactment at later stages in stepfamily development. Second, the negative experiences with stepparents (which some participants reported) may have resulted in lower expectations. That i s , those participants who rated the quality of stepparent contact as low may have assigned less r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to stepparents out of concern for the c h i l d depicted; they may have assumed that less involvement with stepparents would be a way of avoiding negative interactions. As predicted, there was also less consensus regarding appropriate stepparental, versus parental, behaviour. Consensus was assessed by comparing v a r i a b i l i t y around the mean (variances) for responses to the step-scenarios versus responses to the FM scenario. This result is supportive of Cherlin's incomplete i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n theory. That i s , i f there is a r e l a t i v e lack of normative information regarding remarriage and stepfamilies, expectations for stepparents should be more variable. Participants in the current study did show more individual differences when responding to the step-scenarios versus the f i r s t married 60 scenario. This support for Cherlin's theory must be taken as tentative, however. In order to provide strong support for the theory, a larger and more representative sample would be requi red. While the hypothesis regarding higher expectations for stepmothers was not supported, the lack of support may r e f l e c t the methodological constraints of a study on expectations. While studies of role enactment can ask d i r e c t l y about the amount of time involved i n c h i l d care, this is not possible with a study of role expectat ions. In order to assess d i f f e r e n t i a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for c h i l d care by stepmothers and stepfathers, one must, therefore, study the actual amount of time stepparents spend on c h i l d care. Support was not found for the hypothesis that responses to the step-scenarios would be less stable over time. It was predicted that the ambiguity regarding the stepparent role (Walker and Messinger, 1979) would r e s u l t in more v a r i a b i l i t y in expectations between the f i r s t and second administrations of the questionnaire. In addition, childhood experience with stepparents did not res u l t in more stable expectations for stepparental behaviour. The lack of differences in the s t a b i l i t y of responses is supportive of Halliday's (1980) suggestion that the parental role is just as ambiguous as the stepparent role. That / i s , recent changes in attitudes regarding the appropriate d i v i s i o n of c h i l d care labour may lead to considerable uncertainty as to the appropriate behaviour of 61 mothers and fathers. Another possible reason for the lack of differences might be the short length of the te s t - r e t e s t i n t e r v a l . It may be that two weeks is not a long enough time period to examine the s t a b i l i t y (or lack thereof) of expectations. The best t e s t s , of hypotheses regarding the s t a b i l i t y of expectations would involve longitudinal research. Firm conclusions can, therefore, not be made regarding the s t a b i l i t y of expectations for stepparent roles on the basis of the current study. There are several implications of the current study. F i r s t , the differences found between expectations for b i o l o g i c a l parents and for stepparents remind us that stepfamilies are a unique family type. Given the increasing numbers of stepfamilies in Canada, i t is important that more empirical research be conducted on the various issues relevant to stepfamilies. Secondly, the tentative finding that expectations for stepmothers imply more involvement with stepchildren has implications for the amount of stress associated with being a stepmother. Third, the finding that family background has an impact on role expectations suggests that as stepfamilies increase in number, stepparent roles may become more i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d in our society. That i s , people may come to see the stepparent role as unique, rather than a replacement for a b i o l o g i c a l parent. It is clear that additional research on the stepparent role i s necessary. Studies of role expectations for stepmothers and stepfathers, which u t i l i z e larger and more 62 representative samples, would be p a r t i c u l a r l y informative. In addition, studies of the role enactment of stepparents would allow researchers to examine issues such as the connection between expectations and behaviour, and the amount of time stepmothers and stepfathers spend on c h i l d care. 63 REFERENCES Ambert, A-M. (1986). Being a stepparent: L i v e - i n and v i s i t i n g stepchildren. Journal of Marriage and the Family. A £ , 795-804. Amato, P. R. (1987). 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Family Process. 18. 185-192. 67 Table 1 Des ign of Current Study. Family Background Stepfamily Experience No Stepfamily Exper ience Gender of Par t i c i pant Female Male Female Male FM n=ll n=10 n=15 n=15 Scenario SM n=14 n=ll n=15 n = 15 SF n=ll n=10 n=13 n=14 Table 2 Means f o r : Age, Gender Assumption, Self-Deceptive P o s i t i v i t y , and Impression Management. Gender Age Assumption SDP IM n FM Scenario 19. 45 2. 10 4. .65 6. .16 51 SM Scenario 19. 55 2. 53 4. .64 6. .82 55 SF Scenario 19. 63 1. 52 4. .10 6. .58 48 Women 19. 35 1. 85 3. .97 6. .81 79 Men 19. 73 2. 31 5. .00 6. .23 75 Stepfamily Exper i ence 20. 16 1. 96 4, .36 6. .10 67 No Stepfamily Exper ience 19. 06 2. 16 4. .56 6. .85 87 69 Tftble 3 Scenario(3) by Gender(2) by Family Background(2) ANOVA with Age as dependent variable. Source of Variation Sum of DF Mean F Sig Squares Square of F Main Effects SCENARIO .498 2 .249 .068 .934 GENDER 6.943 1 6.943 1 .892 .171 FAMILY BACKGROUND 47.593 1 47.593 12 .969 .000 ;-Way Interactions SCEN by GEND .725 2 .363 .099 .906 SCEN by FAMBK 2.112 2 1.056 .288 .750 GEND by FAMBK 1.022 1 1.022 .278 .599 l-Way Interactions SCEN by GEND by FAMBK 9.302 2 4.651 1 .267 .285 !rror 521.112 142 3.670 *p<.001 Table 4 Scenario(3) by Gender(2) by Family Background(2) ANOVA with Gender Assumption as dependent vari a b l e . Source of Variation Sum of DF Mean F Sig Squares Square of F Main Effects SCENARIO 26.816 2 13.408 21.173 .000* GENDER 8.432 1 8.432 13.316 .000* FAMILY BACKGROUND 1.455 1 1.455 2.297 .132 2-Way Interactions SCEN by GEND .684 2 .342 .540 .584 SCEN by FAMBK 1.818 2 .909 1.436 .241 GEND by FAMBK .104 1 .104 .163 .687 3-Way Interactions SCEN by GEND by FAMBK 1.547 2 .774 1.222 .298 Error 89.924 142 .633 *p<.001 Table 5 Scenario(3) by Gender(2) by Family Background(2) ANOVA with Self-Deceptive P o s i t i v i t y as dependent variable. Source of Variation Sum of DF Mean F Sig Squares Square of F Main Effects SCENARIO 10.222 2 5.111 1.219 .299 GENDER 40.545 1 40.545 9.667 .002* FAMILY BACKGROUND .959 1 .959 .229 .633 2- Way Interactions SCEN by GEND 18.264 2 9.132 2.177 .117 SCEN by FAMBK 1.323 2 .662 .158 .854 GEND by FAMBK 4.755 1 4.755 1.134 .289 3- Way Interactions SCEN by GEND by FAMBK 13.994 2 6.997 1.668 .192 Error 595.540 142 4.194 *p<.01 Table 6 Scenario(3) by Gender(2) by Family Background(2) ANOVA with Impression Management as dependent variable. Source of Variation Sum of DF Mean F Sig Squares Square of F Main Effects SCENARIO 12.699 2 6.350 .547 .580 GENDER 14.303 1 14.303 1.232 .269 FAMILY BACKGROUND 23.739 1 23.739 2.045 .155 l-Way Interactions SCEN by GEND 4.168 2 2.084 .179 .836 SCEN by FAMBK 6.434 2 3.217 .277 .758 GEND by FAMBK .363 1 .363 .031 .860 i-Way Interactions SCEN by GEND by FAMBK 22.265 2 11.132 .959 .386 Irror 1648.703 142 11.611 Table 7 Means for: Frequency of stepparent contact and quality of stepparent contact. Frequency Quality n Rating for Stepmothers 3.56 4.56 25 Rating for Stepfathers 4.24 4.62 21 Women Rating Stepmothers or Stepfathers 4.08 4.52 25 Men Rating Stepmothers or Stepfathers 3.62 4.67 21 Women Rating Stepmothers 3.64 4.71 14 Men Rating Stepmothers 3.45 4.36 11 Women Rating Stepfathers 4.64 4.27 11 Men Rating Stepfathers 3.80 5.00 10 Table 8 Scenario(2) by Gender(2) ANOVA with frequency of stepparent contact as a dependent variable. Sum of Mean Sig of Source of Variation Squares DF Square F F Main Effects SCENARIO 5.516 1 5.516 6.420 .015* GENDER 2.694 1 2.694 3.135 .084 2-Way Interactions SCEN by GEND 1.189 1 1.189 1.384 .246 Error 36.087 42 .859 * p <.05 75 Table 9 Scenario(2) by Gender(2) ANOVA with quality of stepparent contact as a dependent variable. Sum of Mean Sig of Source of Variation Squares DF Square F F Main Effects SCENARIO .033 1 .033 .010 .919 GENDER .239 1 .239 .075 .785 2-Way Interactions SCEN by GENDER 3.289 1 3.289 1.034 .315 Error 133.584 42 3.181 76 Table 1 0 Proportion of participants born in North America. Proportion n FM Scenario .80 51 SM Scenario .78 55 SF Scenario .81 48 Women .80 79 Men .80 75 Stepfamily Experience .93 67 No Stepfamily Experience .70 87 Table 11 Scenario(3) by Gender(2) by Family Background(2) ANOVA with age and assumption regarding the gender of the c h i l d as covariates Source of Variation Sum of Squares DF Mean Square Sig of F Covariates AGE .000 1 .000 .003 .958 GENDER ASSUMPTION 3.256 1 3.256 61.219 .000** Main Effects SCENARIO 12.459 2 6.229 117.134 .000** GENDER .059 1 .059 1.113 .293 FAMILY BACKGROUND .026 1 .026 .494 .483 2- Way Interactions SCEN by GEND SCEN by FAMBK GEND by FAMBK 3- Way Interactions SCEN by GEND by FAMBK Error .273 2 . 137 2.568 .080 .392 2 .196 3.686 .028* .132 1 .132 2.484 .117 .081 2 .040 .761 .469 .446 140 .053 *p<.05 **p<.001 78 Table 12 Means for SCENARIO by FAMILY BACKROUND interaction Stepfamily No Stepfamily Experience Experience M N M N FM Scenario 3.09 21 3.15 30 SM Scenario 2.55 25 2.66 30 SF Scenario 3.44 21 3.32 27 Table 13 Simple main e f f e c t s analyses for SCENARIO by FAMILY BACKGROUND interaction Source of Variation Sum of DF Mean F Sig Squares Square of F SCENARIO (S's with step-family experience) 9.298 2 4.649 87.72 .001* SCENARIO (S's without step-family experience) 6.808 2 3.404 64.23 .001* Error 7.446 140 .053 * p<.001 80 Table 14 SCENARIO^2) by GENDER(2) by FAMILY BACKGROUND(2) ANOVA with age and assumption regarding gender of c h i l d as covariates Source of Variation Sum of DF Mean F Sig of Squares Square F Covariates AGE .096 1 .096 1.388 .242 GENDER ASSUMPTION .015 1 .015 .213 .646 lain Effects SCENARIO .022 1 .022 .322 .572 GENDER .359 1 .359 5.207 .025* FAMILY BACKGROUND .453 1 .453 6.557 .012* l-Way Interactions SCEN by GEND .050 1 .050 .727 .396 SCEN by FAMBK .000 1 .000 .006 .938 GEND by FAMBK .068 1 .068 .986 .323 l-Way Interactions SCEN by GEND by FAMBK .099 1 .099 1.439 .233 Error 6.421 93 .069 * p<.05 Table 15 Means and standard deviations for items on the Parenting-Scale for stepfamily scenarios l=never responsible 2=sometimes responsible 3=equally responsible 4=usually responsible 5=always responsible I tern Stepmother Scenar io M sd Stepfather Scenar io M sd 1 .shop for child's needs 2.67 ( .67) 2 .29 ( .54 2 .take to doctor/dentist 2.56 ( .74) 2 .54 ( .54 3 .help with friend problems 2.64 ( .62) 2 .77 ( .52 4 .supervise bedtime 2.64 ( .65) 2 .67 ( .66 5.meetings with teachers 1.89 ( .88) 2 .69 ( .55 6 .wash clothing 3.24 ( .54) 2 .42 ( .61 7 .supervise c h i l d 2.91 (.29) 2 .92 ( .28 8 .pay for clothing,etc. 1.80 ( .76) 2 .69 ( .69 9 •relations with kin 1.73 (.78) 1 .73 ( .71 10 .transportat ion 2.80 (.40) 2 .98 ( .25 11 .take on outings 2.84 (.37) 2 .96 ( .20 12 .1i stening 2.87 ( .39) 2 .88 ( .33 13 .pay for leisure a c t i v i t i e s 2.33 (.64) 2 .83 ( .52 14 .supervision of chores 2.80 ( .65) 2 .69 ( .55 15 .paying for child's g i f t s 2.56 ( .63) 2 .94 ( .25 16 . d i s c i p l i n e of c h i l d 2.29 (.63) 2 .52 ( .77 17 .fold/iron child's clothes 3.24 ( .47) 2 .31 ( .59 18 .pick up after c h i l d 2.98 ( .45) 2 .69 ( .51 19 .help with homework 2.89 ( .32) 2 .92 ( .28 20 . v i s i t s with kin 1.93 ( .66) 1 .98 ( .73 21 .choose leisure a c t i v i t i e s 2.93 (.33) 2 .79 ( .41 22 .comfort c h i l d when upset 2.75 ( .48) 2 .60 ( .49 23 .discuss sexual issues 2.36 ( .83) 2 .44 ( .77 24 .pay for vacations 2.13 ( .72) 2 .96 ( .41 25 .clean child's room 2.95 ( .53) 2 .42 ( .61 26 .pay allowance 1.78 ( .71) 2 .98 ( .64 27 .run errands for c h i l d 2.73 (.53) 2 .67 ( .48 28 .make doctor/dentist appts 2.82 ( .58) 2 .44 ( .58 29 .play with c h i l d 2.89 (.32) 2 .96 ( .29 30 .attend sports a c t i v i t i e s 2.64 ( .56) 3 .04 ( .50 31 .decide on d i s c i p l i n e 2.31 ( .64) 2 .54 ( .74 32 •buy/send g i f t s for kin 1.91 (.78) 1 .77 ( .72 33.make family rules 2.60 ( .66) 2 .71 ( .58 34 .assign chores to c h i l d 2.86 (.59) 2 .67 ( .48 35 .choose holiday location 2.93 ( .33) 2 .98 ( .14 36 .prepare/serve meals 3.16 (.42) 2.46 ( .54 37 .care for c h i l d when i l l 2.93 ( .50) 2 .46 ( .50 38 .supervise personal hygiene 2.96 (.61) 2.40 ( .57 Table 16 Rank order of means for items on the Parenting Scale for the stepmother scenario: From least to most r e s p o n s i b i l i t y Stepmother Scenario Item Mean 1.relations with kin 1 .73 2.pay allowance 1 .78 3.pay for clothing, etc. 1 .80 4.meetings with teachers 1 .89 5.buy/send g i f t s for kin 1 .91 6 . v i s i t s with kin 1 .93 7.pay for vacations 2 .13 8. d i s c i p l i n e of c h i l d 2 .29 9.decide on d i s c i p l i n e 2 .31 10.pay for leis u r e a c t i v i t i e s 2 .33 11.discuss sexual issues 2 .36 12.take to doctor/dentist 2 .56 13.pay for child's g i f t s 2 .56 14.make family rules 2 .60 15.attend sports a c t i t i v i t e s 2 .64 16.supervise bedtime 2 .64 17.help with friend problems 2 .64 18.shop for child's needs 2 .67 19.run errands for c h i l d 2 .73 20.comfort c h i l d when upset 2 .75 21.transportation 2 .80 22.supervision of chores 2 .80 23.make doctor/dentist appts 2 .82 24.take on outings 2 .84 25.assign chores to c h i l d 2 .86 26.1istening 2 .87 27.help with homework 2 .89 28.play with c h i l d 2 .89 29.supervise c h i l d 2 .91 30.choose le i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s 2 .93 31.choose holiday location 2 .93 32.care for c h i l d when i l l 2 .93 33.clean c h i l d ' s room 2 .95 34.supervise personal hygiene 2 .96 35.pick up after c h i l d 2 .98 36.prepare/serve meals 3 .16 37.wash clothing 3 .24 38.fold/iron child's clothes 3 .24 Table 17 Rank order of means for items on the Parenting Scale for the stepfather scenario: From least to most r e s p o n s i b i l i t y Stepmother Scenario Item Mean 1.relations with kin 1 .73 2.buy/send g i f t s for kin 1 .77 3 . v i s i t s with kin 1 .98 4.shop for ch i l d ' s needs 2 .29 5.fold/iron c h i l d ' s clothing 2 .31 6.supervise personal hygiene 2 .40 7.clean child's room 2.42 8.wash clothing 2 .42 9.make doctor/dentist appts 2 .44 10.discuss sexual issues 2 .44 11.prepare/serve meals 2 .46 12.care for c h i l d when i l l 2 .46 13.discipline of c h i l d 2 .52 14.take to doctor/dentist 2 .54 15.decide on d i s c i p l i n e 2 .54 16.comfort c h i l d when upset 2 .60 17.assign chores to c h i l d 2 .67 18.run errands for c h i l d 2 .67 19.supervise bedtime 2 .67 20.meeting with teachers 2 .69 21.pay for clothing, etc 2 .69 22.supervision of chores 2 .69 23.pick up after c h i l d 2 .69 24.make family rules 2 .71 25.help with f r i e n d problems 2 .77 26.choose le i s u r e a c t i v i t i e s 2 .79 27.pay for le i s u r e a c t i t i v i e s 2 .83 28.1istening 2 .88 29.help with homework 2 .92 30.supervise c h i l d 2 .92 31.pay for child's g i f t s 2 .94 32.take on outings 2 .96 33.pay for vacations 2 .96 34.play with c h i l d 2 .96 35.pay allowance 2 .98 36.choose holiday location 2 .98 37.t ransportat ion 2 .98 38.attend sports a c t i v i t i e s 3 .04 84 Table 18 Rank order of means for items on the Parenting- Scale for the f i r s t married scenario. M 1. pay allowance 2 .61 2. attend sports events 2 .65 3. pay for vacations 2 .69 4. decide on d i s c i p l i n e 2 .73 5. d i s c i p l i n e c h i l d 2 .73 6. make family rules 2 .75 7. pay for leisure 2 .77 8. take on outings 2 .80 9. pay for miscellaneous needs 2 .80 10. choose vacations 2 .88 11. pay for child's g i f t s 2 .90 12. help with homework 2 .94 13. choose lei s u r e a c t i v i t i e s 2 .98 14. play with c h i l d 3 .00 15. transportation 3 .02 16. l i s t e n i n g to c h i l d 3 .06 17. supervise c h i l d 3 .08 18. v i s i t s with kin 3 .10 19. sexual issues 3 .12 20. parent-teacher meetings 3 .14 21. supervise bedtime 3 .16 22. friendship problems 3 .18 23. relations with kin 3 .18 24. supervise chores 3 .20 25. accompany to doctor/dentist 3 .20 26. run errands for c h i l d 3 .20 27. pick up after c h i l d 3 .22 28. assign chores 3 .31 29. comfort c h i l d when upset 3 .35 30. make doctor/dentist appts. 3.43 31. care for c h i l d when i l l 3 .43 32. clean child's room 3 .51 33. buy/send g i f t s to kin 3 .55 34. prepare meals 3 .57 35. supervise personal hygiene 3 .43 36. shopping 3 .61 37. wash clothing 3 .63 38. f o l d / i r o n clothing 3 .73 •Note that means below 3.00 indicate more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the father and means above 3.00 indicate more r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the mother. FIGURE 1 oo 3.6-i 3.4-3.2-3 -2.8-2.6-2.4-2.2-2 -1.8-1.6-1.4-1.2-1-0.8-0.6-0.4-0.2-Comparison of SCENARIO means at each level of FAMILY BACKGROUND *p<.05 **p<01 STEPFAMILY EXPERIENCE NO STEPFAMILY EXPERIENCE Appendix A Date: Age: Gender: Female Male What i s your country of origin? ( i . e . where were you born?) Family History: a. Did your parents ever divorce? Yes No If no, please go to question #7 If yes, please go to question #5 (b) b. If your parents did divorce, did your father remarry or l i v e with another woman before you turned 18? Yes • No If y_ejs.» how often were you in contact with his new partner? (note: i f there was more than one partner, please answer the following questions with regard to the longest relationship he had before you turned 18) Almost Rarely Sometimes Often Almost Never Always 1 2 3 4 5 How would you characterize the o v e r a l l quality of your re l a t i o n s h i p with his new partner? (as you perceived the rel a t i o n s h i p before you turned 18) Very Negative 1 Somewhat po s i t i v e 5 Negative 2 Po s i t i v e 6 Somewhat negative 3 Very p o s i t i v e 7 Neutral 4 c. If your parents did. divorce, did your mother remarry or l i v e with another man before you turned 18? Yes No If y_e_a, how often were you in contact with her new partner? (note: i f there was more than one partner, please answer the following questions with regard to the longest relationship she had before you turned 18) Almos t Never 1 Rarely Sometimes Often Almos t Always 5 2 3 4 How would you characterize the overa l l quality of your relationship with her new partner? (as you perceived the relationship before you turned 18) Currently, what is the total length of time ( i n years and months) you have had some degree of contact with either a stepfather or stepmother or both? ( i . e . i f your father remarried when you were 13 and you are now 18, your response would be 5 years): s tepmother: stepfather: Current family status: a. What is your present marital status? (check more than one category i f applicable) single (unattached): involved in a romantic relationship: l i v i n g with your intimate partner: married: divorced: b. Do you have any children? Yes No c. If you are married or l i v i n g with a romantic partner, does this partner have any children from a previous relationship? Yes No •_ Very negative Negat i ve Somewhat negative Neutral 1 2 3 4 Somewhat posit i v e Pos i t i ve Very p o s i t i v e 5 6 7 88 In responding to the remainder of the questionnaire, please keep in mind that there are no right or wrong answers. We are interested in your unique perspective on parenting. CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING SCENARIO JoJm and Lori are married to each other. This i s the f i r s t marriage for both partners. They have one c h i l d , age 9. Currently, both John and Lori work full - t i m e outside the home. Please respond to the following questionnaire with this couple in mind. CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING SCENARIO John and Lori are married to each other. This is Lori's f i r s t and' John's second marriage. John has one c h i l d , age 9, from his previous marriage. The c h i l d spends 2 weekends per month in John and Lori's home, in addition to accompanying them on vacations. Currently, both John and Lori work f u l l - t i m e outside the home. Please respond to the following questionnaire with this couple in mind. CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING SCENARIO John and Lori are married to each other. This is John's f i r s t and Lori' s second marriage. Lo r i has one c h i l d , age 9, from her previous marriage. The c h i l d l i v e s primarily with John and L o r i , but spends 2 weekends per month and some vacation time with the b i o l o g i c a l father. Currently, both John and Lo r i work full-time outside the home. Please respond to the following questionnaire with t h i s couple in mind. 92 Using the following scale, indicate who vou think should be responsible for the various tasks (when the c h i l d is in the couple's home. Place the appropriate number to the right of each item. John John About Lori Lori Always Usually Equal Usually Always 1 2 3 4 5 1. shopping for the child's clothing and other miscel-laneous needs 2. accompanying the c h i l d to doctor/dentist appoint-ments 3. helping the c h i l d with friendship d i f f i c u l t i e s 4. supervising the child's bedtime 5. attending parent-teacher meetings 6. washing the child's clothing 7. supervising/keeping an eye on the c h i l d 8. paying for the child's clothing and other miscellaneous needs 9. maintaining relationships between the c h i l d and extended kin (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) 10. transporting the c h i l d to school, friends' houses, etc. 11. taking the c h i l d on outings 12. l i s t e n i n g when the child wants to talk 13. paying for leisure a c t i v i t i e s which include the ch i l d 14. assuring that the c h i l d performs household chores sat i s f a c t o r i l y 15. paying for g i f t s to be given to the c h i l d (birthdays, etc.) 16. d i s c i p l i n i n g the c h i l d 17. folding and ironing the child's clothing 18. picking up after the ch i l d 19. helping the c h i l d with homework John John About Lori Lori Always Usually Equal Usually Always 1 2 3 4 5 20. accompanying the c h i l d on v i s i t s with extended kin (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) 21. determining which leisure a c t i v i t i e s w i l l take place (for those which include the child) 22. comforting the c h i l d when upset 23. discussing sexual development and sexual relations with the c h i l d 24. paying for vacations which include the c h i l d 25. cleaning the child's room 26. paying the ch i l d ' s allowance 27. running errands for the c h i l d 28. making doctor/dentist appointments for the c h i l d 29. playing with the c h i l d 30. attending the child's sports practises and events 31. deciding on appropriate d i s c i p l i n a r y measures for the c h i l d 32. buying/sending cards and g i f t s for extended kin (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc) which are from the c h i l d 33. making general family rules which involve the c h i l d (curfew, etc.) 34. assigning household chores to the c h i l d 35. choosing a holiday location for a holiday which w i l l include the c h i l d 36. preparing and serving meals for the c h i l d 37. caring for the c h i l d when i l l 38. supervising the child's personal hygiene 94 What gender did you imagine the c h i l d to be when responding to the previous questions? Not True Very True 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Using the above scale as a guide, please write a number beside each statement to indicate how much you agree wi th i t. 1. I always throw my l i t t e r into waste baskets on the street. 2. I have received too much change from a salesperson without t e l l i n g her/him. 3. When I hear people t a l k i n g p r i v a t e l y I avoid 1istening. 4. I have taken things that didn't belong to me. 5. I sometimes t e l l l i e s i f I have to. 6. I always keep my promises, no matter how inconven-ient i t might be to do so. 7. I have taken sick-leave from work or school even though I wasn't r e a l l y s i c k . 8. I l i k e to gossip about other people's business. 9. I have done things that I don't t e l l other people about. 10. I say only good things about my friends behind their backs. 11. I sometimes put things o f f u n t i l tomorrow that I should do today. 12. I always declare everything at customs. 13. I have some pretty awful habits. 14. I always t e l l the truth. 15. I am sometimes late for appointments. 16. I always obey t r a f f i c laws even i f I'm u n l i k e l y to get caught. 17. When I was a c h i l d I obeyed my parents. Not True Very True 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 18. I sometimes pick my nose. 19. I am always p o l i t e to others including- my friends and family. 20. I have never cheated on a test or assignment in any way. 21. I am always free of g u i l t . 22. I could easily quit any of my bad habits i f I wanted to. 23. I always accept c r i t i c i s m i f i t is accurate. 24. I always return a favour without hesitation. 25. It's alri g h t with me i f some people happen to d i s l i k e me. 26. I'm not interested in knowing what other people r e a l l y think of me. 27. My parents only punished me when I r e a l l y deserved i t . 28. My parents always loved me no matter what I d i d . 29. I have always been certain that I am no homosexual. 30. I have always been confident about my a b i l i t y as a sexual partner. 

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