Social Support in Stepfamily Worlds
Chapter Four. The Jacobs Family
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The Jacobs Family
The relational culture of support between stepfather Darren and stepson Brad is geared toward providing Brad the opportunity to replicate Darren’s experiences. This culture of support is characterized by teaching and is profoundly shaped by Darren’s views on parenting boys, which, in turn, is defined by his own experiences as a boy. Whereas the culture of support is clear at the relational level, at the level of the family system it is more complex. The family culture of support seems to be dominated by, not integrated with, Darren’s views and beliefs so that when stepson Brad performs in ways that align with Darren’s views, he receives support from both his stepfather and biological mother; but, when Brad diverges from Darren’s views, he only is supported by his biological mother.
Darren Jacobs grew up in a smallish town located in a mountainous region of the country. He enjoys outdoor recreation, including hiking, camping, backpacking, and hunting. A year ago, the Jacobs family moved to Darren’s hometown. The move also reified Darren’s influence on defining the culture of support in the Jacobs family. He and Karen, his wife, consider it a better place to raise a family than where they had been living. Brad Mason, a 14-year-old freshman in high school, is adjusting well to the change. He enjoys being close to his stepgrandparents who live across town. Brad is active in his local Boy Scouts of America troop,...
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