You can read Sonia’s article The Very Perplexed Stepmother in the link below the abstract.
From The Qualitative Report


This autoethnographic study unpacks Sonia’s experiences as a stepmother. Historically stepmothers are the evil, unkind villains in fairy tales. Most research about stepfamilies has deemed step motherhood to be ambiguous and stress laden. This research explores how becoming a stepmother has impacted her evolving sense of self-identity. To do this we undertook an autoethnographic study of Sonia’s experiences. The use of autoethnographic method supports and challenges personal narrative. We reflected upon the specific situations that caused her to question, alter and sustain a healthy sense of self, so in turn she may create a safe and secure environment that supports healthy and ongoing connections within her stepfamily. We found that the growing pains of adjusting to a new role can lead stepmothers into positive self-discovery. Through this process it is vital that one remains true to one’s core self while provoking the development of self-identity within a newly constructed family form. This autoethnography offers insight to both stepfamilies and those researching and working with them to build a deeper understanding of the unique issues and experiences stepfamilies have which may be unexpected, complex, and diverse.


You Can read Sonia's Qualitative Case Study on
Challenges Recoupled Parents Encounter Raising Step Children with ASD
From The Qualitative report

The purpose of this study is to address the lack of research into the challenges and issues recoupled parents face when raising their step/biological children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) together in a stepfamily environment. Data shows clinicians, community support services, and policy makers are recognising that stepfamilies are the fastest growing family form to date and hypothesising stepfamilies will become the norm as the most prominent family form in most western countries. Ongoing research recognises the importance of understanding parents’ experiences and perspectives of having a child with ASD, and resourcing and managing their child’s everyday needs, behaviour and necessary treatments. Research exploring the parents’ journey of supporting a child with ASD will benefit families and other relevant formal and informal supports involved with that child. Stepfamilies are distinctly different to the nuclear family in design, origin and function. The researcher, through a small-scale qualitative case study, interviewed two recoupled parents to gain insights from their own personal and stepfamily experiences. This study has substantiated the existing research and highlighted other specific challenges and issues recoupled parents of children with ASD face. The researcher uses the term step/biological children throughout this article in recognition that the child/children is/are connected to one parent as a blood child and the stepparent through the biological parents’ choice in repartnering. The outcome of this research indicates the need for recoupled parents to have a forum to express their subjective experiences in raising children with ASD. The interviewees articulated the need for further understanding from professional and informal supports when working with children and parents in a stepfamily form.


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