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Ruth Webber

One divorce can create two step-families, and as the pool of men and women available for remarriage grows the increase in step-families outstrips the rate of divorce. In 1981, 29.1% of all marriages in Australia involved one or both parties who had been previously divorced.
During 1984, 1985 and 1986, 29 couples took part in a research project on step-families, attending a six session educational programme entitled 'Living in a Step-family'. In the 1986 programme they completed pre- and post-tests on marital adjustment and self-esteem plus a weekly problem rating scale. The analysis showed the extent and severity of problems they encountered, as well as how and to what extent the programme helped.
The participants ranged from couples yet to co-habit to couples who had been together for seven years; people not previously in a live-in relationship to others in a third relationship; some in formal relationships, others not. The major part of the study was concerned with the issues and problems confronting the parents and step-parents but here we are interested directly in their children.

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