The Experience of Non-Residential Stepmothers
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Law and Justice
Despite the growing body of research examining the experience of stepparents, very little is known about the unique experience of nonresidential stepparents. This research examined the experience of nonresidential stepmothers (N = 10) using semistructured interviews. Thematic content analysis identified 2 principal themes. Those themes were perceived control (with the subtheme of visitation and parenting and financial matters) and psychological and physical well-being. The perceived inability to control parenting practices during periods of visitation and financial matters associated with the payment of child support generated a sense of powerlessness, anger, and resentment that manifested in depression. Implications for family service providers and clinicians working with stepfamilies are discussed.