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Stepfather-Stepson Communication

Social Support in Stepfamily Worlds


Jonathan Pettigrew

This book offers a novel analysis of communication in stepfather-stepson relationships and is one of the first to examine the ways stepfathers communicate and to integrate the perspectives of adolescents into research on stepfamily communication. In order to understand the complex dynamics of stepfamilies, Jonathan Pettigrew presents six case studies of different families. They are written as engaging narratives – including interviews – that offer flavorful accounts of family members and their relationships with each other. Pettigrew then looks across cases to identify, describe, and examine patterns of stepfather support. This book builds upon current understandings of stepfamily life by providing a descriptive and heuristic model of supportive stepfather-stepson communication, making it valuable for those who study and work with families.

«In this exciting new volume, Jonathan Pettigrew demonstrates the importance of supportive communication in creating and sustaining stepfather-stepson relationships. Researchers and practitioners interested in stepfamilies and in stepfather-stepson relationships should read this book.» (Paul Schrodt, Texas Christian University)
«Jonathan Pettigrew makes excellent use of a case study approach to explore the everyday realities of becoming and being a stepfamily. His keen analysis, relevant to several interdisciplinary literatures integrating family and communication research, generates meaningful insights about a select group of middle-class stepfamilies with early adolescents.» (William Marsiglio, Professor of Sociology, University of Florida)