Stepfamilies, here defined as a union that includes at least one child, a biological or adoptive parent, and a new partner, face many distinctive challenges. Unlike first marriages, most stepfamilies form in the wake of losses such as divorce or death. The structure of a stepfamily, as distinct from first marriages, typically includes “insider-outsider” coalitions; children and their biological or adoptive parent nearly always have stronger ties than those between stepparents and stepchildren. Many children feel threatened by arrival of a stepparent. Unlike most couples in first marriages, couples in stepfamilies do not have opportunities to develop their relationship before raising children; at the same time, raising children is usually more complex because the stepparent’s role in parenting is usually initially unclear. When stepfamilies form in the wake of of divorce, there is nearly always “another household” to contend with that can threaten the integrity of the stepfamily unit. [Read more…]
Welcome to Our Blog!
This blog is written by the clinicians at Jonah Green and Associates, a mental health practice based in Kensington, MD that provides quality services for children, teens, families, and adults. It is intended as a resource for families who are seeking to expand their knowledge about mental health and mental health services, and also as a resource for families who are seeking quality mental health services, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Please feel free to post questions and comments on any of the entries as well as on any topics or articles from our companion web site www.childandfamilymentalhealth.com.
The Value of Therapy for Affluent Families
Poverty can have a devastating effect on children and families. Rates of domestic violence, family break-up, and substance abuse are all high in poor communities. But affluent children and families have a number of difficulties as well. Recent studies have found that, beginning around middle school, both boys and girls whose family income exceeds $120,000 suffer from higher rates of depression and anxiety than those from middle-income families. Affluent girls from the pre-teen years onward suffer from higher rates of eating disorders than the general population, and affluent teen boys are at higher risk for abusing drugs and alcohol. Children from more affluent families demonstrate higher levels of social aggression and rule-breaking than children in the general population, and may suffer from higher levels of psychopathology in adulthood (Luthar and Latendresse, 2005). [Read more…]
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