How to Strengthen the Bond Between a Stepfather and Stepdaughter?

#Relationships within a family are major indicators of a child's development. Specifically, the relationships of the children with their parents serve as templates for a children’s future relationships and have an impact on their psychological adjustment as adults.

Positive and affirming relationships between the daughter and the father are linked to lower rates of adolescent risky sexual behaviours, greater marital satisfaction, and reduced fear of intimacy. Daughters who live with their fathers have higher psychological well-being, self-esteem and life satisfaction.


However, usually, fathers are more connected to their sons than their daughters. Fathers and adolescent daughters also tend to experience more conflict in their relationship with one another. Therefore, adolescent girls have expressed their desire for a closer relationship with their fathers.

Over the past several decades, the number of adolescent girls living with a resident nonbiological stepfather or father figure has increased. Consequently, the adolescent girls' wellbeing is influenced by their relationships with their stepfather. Given that residential stepfathers generally interact with their stepchildren on a daily basis, they may have as much or more influence on their stepdaughters as those girls' biological but nonresident fathers. But stepfathers and adolescent stepdaughters often have difficulty interacting and often avoid or distance themselves from each other.


For girls is harder to adjust to the stepfather's figure in comparison to boys whereas the presence of a stepfather accounts for greater well-being for boys but not for girls. However, in some cases, stepfathers and stepdaughters appear to have developed warm and positive relationships that mimic and have the same positive associations with stepdaughters’ self-esteem and well-being.


Although stepfather–stepdaughter relationships may be less engaged and somewhat more strained than those with biological fathers, they, too, offer possibilities for the development of close relationships.


Stepfathers, taking an interest in and extending the effort to discuss topics of importance in the lives of their adolescent stepdaughters, may indicate a level of investment that is essential to the development and maintenance of closeness between stepfathers and stepdaughters, whereas daughters may take the investment of resident biological fathers more for granted.

Source: Father-Daughter Bonds: A Comparison of Adolescent Daughters’ Relationships With Resident Biological Fathers and Stepfathers.
Campbell and Winn 2018
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