The experiences of remarried stepfathers who pay child support

Jason D. Hans, Marilyn Coleman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Remarried stepfathers' experiences paying child support for nonresidential children were explored using a multiple-interview phenomenological approach with 11 fathers in the United States. Circumstances that negatively affected satisfaction with paying child support were seldom related to money, per se. Rather, the pervasive phenomenon that emerged was attempts at managing competing interests among themselves, their children, and their new families. Remarriage magnified feelings of disempowerment and introduced additional complexities to existing child support arrangements. Although generally satisfied with their child support obligations at divorce, fairness concerns arose over time and are situated within equity theory. Nonetheless, identity conceptualizations were more salient than exchange principles, and identity theory therefore frames a discussion on the centrality of a provider mentality among these fathers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)597-618
Number of pages22
JournalPersonal Relationships
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Anthropology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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