Portrayed as evil and wicked, the poor old stepmother has never had a good reputation - in fairytales or real life.Click through for the rest of the article.
She's usually seen as mean and manipulative, determined to steal a father from his children and the creator of much conflict.
But one Auckland stepmother is hoping to change that with a project that will shed light on the difficulties the "evil stepmother" encounters in adapting to her new role.
Researcher Adrienne Bartle, who is doing a doctorate in clinical psychology at Auckland University, said the role of stepmother was one of the hardest within today's family unit - and yet there was little help available.
"When I became a stepmother, there was very, very limited - in fact almost no - resources at all, so I pretty much mucked and bumbled my way through, doing almost everything that was wrong."
Ms Bartle is interviewing 20 stepmothers and families to try to find out more about the areas of conflict and agreement, the quality of relationships and communication strategies used to work through problems.
She hopes her three-year research project, which is part of the ongoing Families in Transition study, will generate better insights into stepfamilies and what works in successful families.
Monday, 22 March 2010
at 11:46 am by Julie
From the Herald this morning: