American Society Changes The Structure And Functions Of American Families

1316 Words May 13th, 2016 6 Pages
“As American society changes, the structure and functions of American families have been altered.” (Brubaker and Kimberly 1993) Marriage and divorce are both very common experiences in our world today. However, about forty to fifty percent of marriages in the United States end up in divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. Due to the increasing divorce and remarriage rates, step/blended families are becoming more common in our society. With the big number of blended families that are now in our society we have to understand how this new family works and the positives and negatives that come along with them. One of the major issues is how members of the family, especially the children, overcome the new problems that have come up with being a part of a new blended family. Blended families have to go through a developmental process to truly become a family. Papernow (1993) states that blended families go through a seven stage developmental model to get comfortable with each other. First, the blended family goes through a “fantasy stage” in which they hold unrealistic expectations. Second, in the “immersion stage” family members’ expectations are shattered due to unrealistic challenges of their daily lives. Third, the family members attempt to deal with their uncertainty and confusion in the ‘awareness stage’. The fourth stage, “mobilization”, is characterized by expressed conflicts and attempts at negotiation and resolution. The attempts at…

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