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by Danielle Geraci - Long Island University
The role of the stepparent is relatively undefined within society, raising the possibility that the expectations children have of stepparents might also be unclear. What factors help predict who will have high expectations and who will have low expectations? The current study examined two possible factors. First, if a stepparent
enters the child’s life when the child is young, the expectations of the stepparent may be high. Second, the friendliness of the child-stepparent friendly relationship may interact with age, such that the child whose stepparent entered his or her life at a young age and who has a friendly relationship with the stepparent might have especially high expectations of the stepparent. The current study tested these possibilities using data from an online study. It was found that the age at which a stepparent enters a child’s life is negatively associated with the expectations that the child has of the stepparent. However, it was also found that the type of relationship that the child has with the stepparent does not act as a moderator, but rather as a mediator, of expectations.