Social Support in Stepfamily Worlds
Chapter Seven. The Holland Family
← 72 | 73 → • CHAPTER SEVEN •
The Holland Family
Stepfather Buck Holland supports his stepson Mitchel through serving and guiding him. Buck works as a professor at a trade school located about an hour’s drive from his home. His wife, Caroline Holland, is a stay-at-home mom. She has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a crippling disease which certainly affects family roles and dynamic. Mitchel Love is a 14-year-old freshman in high school. The household also includes two biological offspring of Buck and Caroline, John Holland and Jane Holland. John is 9 years old and Jane is 7 years old. In addition to children in his current stepfamily, Buck is also biological father to three other children. The culture of support in the Holland family is seen through the role Buck plays in the family system as well as the types of activities and beliefs the family holds.
Buck’s role in the stepfamily is significantly impacted by his concurrent role as a nonresident father as well as his role as husband to a wife with multiple sclerosis. In this section I describe how Buck, Caroline, and Mitchel see Buck’s role as stepfather and some of the issues associated with his role as nonresident father and as Caroline’s husband.
During my interviews with Buck, Caroline, and Mitchel, I asked them to share their perspective on an ideal stepfather. Caroline’s response indicated that her view of an ideal...
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