Predicting Married and Cohabiting Couples' Futures From Their Descriptions of Stepfamily Life Academic Article uri icon


  • Stepfamily couples experience specific challenges early in their relationships, (e.g., reaching agreement on the role of the stepparent in parenting). The Oral History Interview for Stepfamilies (OHI-S) was developed to assess spouses' cognitive representations of their adaptation to these challenges. It was hypothesized that their responses would predict future relationship satisfaction and stability. One-hundred and 22 stepfamily couples completed the OHI-S and were assessed on relationship satisfaction and stability at Time 1 and 2.5 years later (Time 2). Time 2 relationship satisfaction and stability were both predicted by the OHI-S at Time 1. Couples' perceptions of the stepfamily and couple relationship predict separation, and suggest there is an opportunity for early intervention to enhance stepfamily couple relationships.

publication date

  • 2011