Till the ocean do us part: Italian and American therapists representations of stepfamilies in treatment

Submitted: May 2, 2017
Accepted: September 4, 2017
Published: October 27, 2017
Abstract Views: 1001
PDF: 528
HTML: 374
Publisher's note
All claims expressed in this article are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of their affiliated organizations, or those of the publisher, the editors and the reviewers. Any product that may be evaluated in this article or claim that may be made by its manufacturer is not guaranteed or endorsed by the publisher.


Research often focuses on the characteristics of stepfamilies and their differences with first-union families; however, few studies take into account the therapis's perspective with regards to the treatment of such families. Also, cross-cultural research on the topic is limited. To fill these gaps, a content analysis of responses from 125 Italian and 45 American therapists regarding their representations of stepfamilies and stepfamily therapy was undertaken. Results show that American therapists emphasized specific stepfamily characteristics (e.g., the lack of a shared family history, the occurrence of conflict between former spouses, the presence of unrealistic expectations towards treatment) to a greater extent if compared to Italian therapists. By contrast, besides being more general in their definition of stepfamilies, Italian therapists focused more on themselves, their theoretical models, and their professional and personal skills. The study provides insights on both the differences in the clinical cultures of the two countries and implications for stepfamily therapy and training.



PlumX Metrics


Download data is not yet available.


How to Cite

Accordini, M., Browning, S., Gennari, M., McCarthy, K., & Margola, D. (2017). Till the ocean do us part: Italian and American therapists representations of stepfamilies in treatment. Research in Psychotherapy: Psychopathology, Process and Outcome, 20(3). https://doi.org/10.4081/ripppo.2017.271

List of Cited By :

Crossref logo