Although stepfamily education is believed to improve family relationships, little is known about how stepfamily education impacts stepfather relationships specifically. Using a systems theory approach, this qualitative study examines the experiences of 14 European American stepfathers who participated in a 12-hour research-based stepfamily education course. Although the majority of men initially needed some encouragement to attend, they all felt the experience was worthwhile. Participants discussed their motivation for attendance, as well as the perceived benefits of taking the course including increased family bonding, relationship skill development, and enhanced fathering practices. The findings support ongoing efforts to help stepfathers be successful in their roles and relationships with their stepchildren. Implications for practice and recommendations for engaging stepfathers are provided.
- couple and relationship education
- family life education