Family Communication and its Effects on Child Developmental Progression

Paige Rainforth


Because divorce rates are high in the United States, the current paper assesses how stepchildren may respond to the introduction of a stepparent, and at what age this introduction may make the most impact. The current study seeks to assess the relationship between family communication in a divorced family with the recent introduction of a stepparent and a stepchild’s subsequent developmental progression through Sigmund Freud’s and Erik Erikson’s life stages. This study also observes the association between reported closeness and levels of satisfaction within the stepparent and stepchild relationship.

It was hypothesized that participants who were introduced to a stepparent at an older age, such as adolescence or young adult, would be more impacted in their development. Results did not indicate a significant relationship between age at introduction to stepparent and subsequent relational satisfaction F(5, 45) = .84, p > .05. This study makes contributions toward further study in the subject of age at introduction and subsequent relational satisfaction while making suggestions for the introduction of a stepchild and stepparent. 

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