chapter  1
8 Pages

Introduction

This is a book about stepfamilies who are functioning well. So much that has been written on the subject has been about problems in these families. There are books for families telling them how to avoid these problems, and books for family counselors and thera­ pists with suggestions for counseling these families. While some researchers have noted the strengths in stepfamilies (Bohannan and Yahraes, 1979; Coleman, Ganong and Gingrich, 1985; Crohn, et al., 1982; Duberman, 1975; Knaub, Hanna, and Stinnett, 1984; Peter­ son and Zill, 1986; Sager et al., 1983), most of the academic re­ search on stepfamilies has been problem-focused and based on a clinical population, that is, families in treatment for problems. The research not based on the clinical population has, on the whole, studied the functioning of stepfamilies on several variables, using what Ganong and Coleman (1986) call the “deficit model,” comparing their functioning to biologically based families and viewing the differences as negative.