Have a Question?
Ask the Graduate
College at our new
Doctoral Dissertation Announcement
Candidate: Mary-Catherine Kane
Doctor of Philosophy
Department: Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology
Title: Relationships Associated with Long-term Step- grandmother Role Behavior, Role Meaning, and Satisfaction
Dr. Alan Hovestadt, Chair
Dr. Norm Kiracofe
Dr. Karen Blaisure
Date: Monday, June 9, 2008 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
3208 Sangren Hall
Remarriage from the mid-1970’s through the mid-1990’s has resulted in a growing cohort of stepmothers transitioning into stepgrandmotherhood. The complexity of studying long-term stepfamilies has lead to a paucity of long-term stepfamily research, particularly among stepgrandmothers. This study is one of the first to embrace the complexity of long-term stepfamilies by examining stepgrandmother role behavior and role meaning, and stepgrandmother/stepgrandchild relationship satisfaction within the linked family system. One-hundred and twenty two long-term stepgrandmothers were recruited via convenience and snowball sampling to complete a 54-item questionnaire. Study criteria included stepgrandmothers, whose stepchildren: (1) were minors at the time of their father’s remarriage and (2) have subsequently given birth, fathered or adopted children of their own. Stepgrandmothers responded to questions about the current status of six dyadic relationships (stepgrandmother/adult stepchild closeness, father/adult child closeness, biological grandmother/adult child closeness, stepgrandmother/biological grandmother friendliness, husband/former spouse friendliness, and husband support for the step[grand]-mother role), which have been shown to be associated with stepfamily dynamics in the early years of stepfamily formation. Additional questions surveyed stepgrandmother perceptions of stepgrandmother role behavior and role meaning, satisfaction with the stepgrandchild relationship, custody arrangements of minor stepchildren, and demographic information. Multiple linear regressions revealed significant associations between several dyadic relationships (stepgrandmother /adult stepchild closeness and biological grandmother/adult child closeness) with stepgrandmother role behavior, role meaning and relationship satisfaction. One-way ANOVA revealed a significant difference on stepgrandmother role meaning for stepgrandmothers who lived in shared residential arrangements with the middle generation as minors. Implications for clinical practice, policy and research are offered.