Adolescents‟ Adjustment To Divorce And Living In Step-Families


The step-family is no longer the exception in society. Globally statistics reveal the growth in this type of family structure. Divorce and living in step-families is a life-transforming experience; adolescent‟s life is profoundly altered. They encounter differences in feelings over the two-time periods. There is a need to learn more and gain a better understanding of adolescents‟ adjustment and coping with the changes caused by divorce and remarriage. The key question this research aims at answering: “How does divorce and remarriage influence the adolescent‟s life?” And “Do other factors and structures play a role to influence that outcome?”

The main purpose of this thesis was to explore how adolescents adjust to their parents‟ divorce and living in step-families. This research was based on information gathered from the adolescent‟s perspective. Participants all attended the Dawid Bezuidenhoudt Senior Secondary School in Khomasdal, Windhoek. The qualitative approach and phenomenological design was applied. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 20 participants; video and audio recordings as well as field notes were taken. This data was analyzed using content analysis and the information was organized into themes, patterns and trends.

For the purpose of answering the research questions in a systematic way, eight themes prominent in the literature on adolescents living in a step-family relationship were focused upon. Eight themes emerged from the study: the demise of the family of origin, the adolescents‟ experiences of their parents‟ divorce and remarriage, the complexities of step-families as compared to the family of origin, coping strategies

recommended for the adolescent living in step-families, how the adolescents‟ behaviour is being affected by co-occurring stressful life experiences and distressed relationships, the adaptation patterns amongst adolescents in step-families, support systems needed for adolescents to adapt successfully in step-families, and further research.

The findings indicated that adolescents have diverse experiences of their parents‟ divorce and remarriage and they are affected by the dynamics in the step-family. The findings confirm that adolescents cope better with the trauma of divorce and remarriage when they have a strong support network.

In conclusion, all parties involved in a step-family household have to work on a new form of intimacy, communication skills, and parent-child relationship, as these factors influences the adjustment of adolescents in step-families.

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SOLOMON, A (2021). Adolescents‟ Adjustment To Divorce And Living In Step-Families. Afribary. Retrieved from

MLA 8th

SOLOMON, AMANDA "Adolescents‟ Adjustment To Divorce And Living In Step-Families" Afribary. Afribary, 28 Apr. 2021, Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.


SOLOMON, AMANDA . "Adolescents‟ Adjustment To Divorce And Living In Step-Families". Afribary, Afribary, 28 Apr. 2021. Web. 20 Apr. 2024. < >.


SOLOMON, AMANDA . "Adolescents‟ Adjustment To Divorce And Living In Step-Families" Afribary (2021). Accessed April 20, 2024.