Step/mother responses to stepsibling conflicts maternal intervention strategies and attribution of blame
Morga-Haskiewicz, Ales B.
The present study investigated links between stepsibling relationships and parental management of stepsibling conflict, including styles of maternal intervention strategies and attribution of blame. Thirty step/mothers and their biological children completed standardized questionnaires to assess the quality of the stepsibling relationship. Semi-structured interviews were also conducted with both participants to assess maternal intervention into stepsibling conflicts and patterns of blame. Findings did not yield conclusive evidence concerning associations between the quality of stepsibling relationships and step/mother management of stepsibling conflicts; however, kinship ties were found to play a significant role. A significant relationship was found between biological relatedness and children's expected support from parents, highlighting the importance of loyalty issues in stepsibling conflict situations. Results are discussed using a normative-adaptive framework (Ganong & Coleman, 1994). Further, the roleof differing perspectives within stepfamily relationships is emphasized and findings are interpreted in accordance with the "Stepfamily Cycle" (Papernow, 1984) for stepfamily development.