A Portrait of Stepfamilies
Today, more than four-in-ten American adults have at least one step relative in their family – either a stepparent, a step or half sibling or a stepchild, according to a nationwide Pew Research Center survey.
People with step relatives are just as likely as others to say that family is the most important element of their life. However, they typically feel a stronger sense of obligation to their biological family members (be it a parent, a child or a sibling) than to their step relatives, the survey finds.
Several sweeping changes in the demography of American family life in the past half century – including increases in divorce and in the share of babies born out of wedlock – have contributed to the prevalence of step relatives.