Blended Family Definition
According to Merriam-Webster (2012), “a blended family that includes children of a previous marriage of one spouse or both is considered a blended family”.
At the age of 15, Dionna was first introduced to her half-brother and since being introduced to that title, she has defined a blended family as “individuals who come into a family or are already a part of a family where everyone is not biologically related”.
What Dionna has noticed is that the term of Half-Brother/Half-Sister/Half-Sibling changes based on the family dynamics, the terminology learned within the family, and the geographical location.
In doing her own research, she has learned that in southern regions of the United States, most family members do not recognize their half-sibling as “half” but more like a biological sibling. The term “half” is rarely used and is replaced with the normal terminology one would use for a biological sibling, that being “my sister or my brother”.
Blended Family Statistics
The first blended family was recognized in 1975. Now a days, divorced and separated/split families are re-building their families as a blended family. The choice to remarry has became so common in the last decade that the rates of blended families for children has also increased. According to Winning Step Families (2009), 75% of people who have been divorced eventually remarry. It was projected that by year 2010, blended families would be the typical family formation in the United States. Today, 65% of all remarriages include children from a previous marriage and or relationship and by default they are considered a blended family; another 25% of cohabitating couples form blended families as well (Winning Step Families, 2009, para 2).
Statistics are still not clearly defined for those individuals who were previously married or never married who have children and decide to rebuild another relationship with someone outside of the child’s other biological parent. Most of the statistics involve divorced/split and or separated families who remarry and have children involved. For example, According to Winning Step Families (2009), 52% of children under the age of 18 live with both of their biological parents, but is not clear if the couple is married or just cohabitating. Out of that 52%, 26% live with their biological mother and 5.4% live with their biological father.
The statistics between the two shows a huge difference. In addition, there is still unaccounted research for the other half of children under the age of 18 who do not live with neither parent. There is definitely more research needed in this area.
Based on her personal experiences, Dionna has started a children’s series titled “Half-Brother/Step-Brother” and has released her first children’s book under that series titled “Where Did My Half-Brother Come From?” Available for purchase on this site.
If you need additional research and or resources on Blended Families please visit the links below. This list is not limited to only these organizations.
- United States of America Blended Family Association http://www.usabfa.org/
- Blended-Families.com http://www.blended-families.com/
- Focus on the Family http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage.aspx
- Winning Step Families http://www.winningstepfamilies.com/index.htm
- National Stepfamily Resource Center http://www.stepfamilies.info/
- Step Family.org http://www.stepfamilies.info/
- The Step Family Life http://www.thestepfamilylife.com/LinksStepparents.htm
- Step Family Association of America www.sfpsych.com
- Family First http://familyfirst.com/stepfamily-association-of-america.html
- Kids Health.org http://kidshealth.org/kid/feeling/home_family/blended.html
- Divorce Magazine http://www.divorcemag.com/articles/Children_and_Divorce/stepfamilies.html
- Step Mom Magazine http://www.stepmommag.com/
References from above
Winning Step Families. (2009). Blended Family Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.winningstepfamilies.com/BlendedFamilyStatistics.html
Merriam-Webster (2012). Blended Family. Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/blended%20family