The Trials And Effects Of Blended Families

1478 words - 6 pages

A blended family is typically seen as one of divorce, or widow, and remarriage with or without kids. These types of family systems tend to face more unique challenges than most. They face struggles such as the trauma of divorce, children getting used to a new parent that has not always been around, and new siblings that have not always been around. This can cause added stress to an already stressed family system. Socioeconomic status plays a role in every family. However, in blended families is can play a more prominent role. Marrying up or down in socioeconomic status, losing an income, adding an income, and marrying out of financial necessity can all have a profound impact on the development of not only the children involved but the family as a whole.
Socioeconomic status (SES) is a measurement of a combination of education, income and occupation (American Psychological Association, 2014). It is more commonly known as class standing. There is a drastic difference in lifestyle between class standings. In today’s economy it has become more evident just how different the classes are. Lower levels of SES do not have access to good schools, or decent health care leading to a worse quality of life. Higher levels of SES have access to more resources and tend to allow for children to develop self-esteem, optimism, and perceived control (American Psychological Association, 2014). The traditional family with two parents, the father works, and the mother stays more is almost nonexistent. Households where the man works and the woman stays at home only represent 7% of the U.S. population (Malone, Stewart, Wilson & Korsching, 2010). It has become increasingly more difficult to live on one income especially with children. With both parents working new issues arise within the family such as affording daycare, afterschool services, and a lack of quality family time. It has become increasingly common to see multigenerational households. Grandparents, parents, and children living under the same roof allows for better housing, help raising children, and help taking care of the elders. Multigenerational households represent two thirds of families in the United States, where the grandparents is the primary caregiver to the children allowing for parents to work (Public Broadcasting Service, 2004).
Marriage is not as easy as most people think, and today people seem to be going into marriage planning for a divorce. Studies have estimated that one third of weddings today form step families, making one third of households in the United States blended families (Gillespie, 2004). The rate of divorce is higher, about 60%, for remarried couples putting the children and adult in a cycle of marriage, marital conflict, divorce, single status, and remarriage (Sigelman & Rider, 2013). It is true that there is no cut and dry manual to make a marriage work. Unfortunately research shows that finances are the number one cause of marital strain (Focus on the...

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