Raising her daughter: A phenomenological study of the African American stepfather's perception of his relationship with his stepdaughter

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Marriage and Family Therapy


Linda Stone Fish


Daughter, Stepfather, Boszormenyi-Nagy, Ivan, African-American, Contextual therapy

Subject Categories

Counseling Psychology | Family, Life Course, and Society


In this phenomenological study based on semi-structured interviews with a nonrandom sample of African American stepfathers, I explored stepfather's understanding of their role in the lives of their stepdaughters. Thirteen African American stepfathers described the values and behaviors that they imparted to their stepdaughters. Using a conceptual framework as depicted by Ivan Boszormenyi-Nagy, I clearly delineate how African American stepfather/stepdaughter relationships relate to the four basic dimensions of relational reality: facts, psychology, transactions, and relational ethics. This study contributes to the emerging literature on African American family ideologies and stepfamilies by producing a deep, clear, and accurate understanding of the experiences of African American stepfathers.


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