Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Stepmothers sought for study on stereotypes

Faculty of Science
The University of Auckland

4 December 2012

Stepmothers sought for study on stereotypes


Popular children's stories like Cinderella and Snow White portray stepmothers in a negative light, often as wicked or cruel, and stereotypes like these are pervasive. Anna Miller, a Doctoral student completing her Clinical Psychology training at The University of Auckland is interested in the ways that cultural stereotypes and portrayals of stepmothers may affect women’s experiences and their identity as stepmothers.

She has launched an online questionnaire, which is anonymous and takes about 20 minutes to complete, asking stepmothers about their experiences and the extent to which they feel they are affected by stepmother stereotypes – be it the “wicked stepmother” stereotype or any other portrayal.

It is intended that the results of the study will contribute to the body of knowledge available to guide parents and stepparents in stepfamilies.

“Stepfamilies are a common family form in Western societies today, and many women are taking on the stepmother role,” says Anna. “While there are positive aspects of being a stepmother, reports from stepmothers also describe some challenges. Overseas research has found that stepmothers are often perceived negatively, and that despite the diversity of family structures in our society there is still some stigma about being a stepmother.”

“Very little is known, however, about the ways in which stepmothers feel affected by society’s ideas and portrayals of their role. It is also uncertain whether stepmothers in New Zealand perceive that they are stereotyped in any way, or if they experience stigmatisation.”

“We know from a number of other studies that stereotypes about race, age and gender for example can be powerful in shaping people’s expectations, behaviour and experiences. It would be interested to find out how much this is also true for stepmothers.”

The research team hopes that at least 100 people will take part in the online questionnaire. Women who are currently in a de facto relationship or married to a partner who has biological children (aged under 18 years) from a former relationship are invited to take part. Participants may also have their own children either from their previous or current relationships.

Stepmothers who wish to take part can find the questionnaire at: www.stepmotherstereotypes.com

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Kiwi Pride: Accolades For Film About Man Who Falls In Love With A Stick

A short animated film written and directed by New Zealand born Matthew Darragh has been selected for the Courts des îles, International Festival of Short Fiction Films. More>>

ALSO:

Anniversaries: Vivid Memories Four Years After Christchurch Quake

Four years ago, an earthquake that would change the lives of thousands shook Christchurch at 12.51 p.m. More>>

ALSO:

Environment 'n' Conservation: Slash Meets Tāne The Tuatara

Rock and Roll superstar and former Guns 'n' Roses guitarist Slash visited Zealandia Ecosanctuary along with collaborating band Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators. More>>

Foo Fighters: Exclusive Show In Support Of Music Foundation

Frontier Touring has today announced that the Foo Fighters will play a last minute intimate and exclusive benefit show at the Auckland Town Hall this Friday February 20 with all profits going to The New Zealand Music Foundation. More>>

ALSO:

Canterbury Quakes: Feedback Sought On Short-Listed Memorial Designs

Six short-listed designs for the Canterbury Earthquake Memorial have been released for public input... The Memorial will honour the victims of Canterbury’s earthquakes and acknowledge the suffering of all those who lived through them as well as the heroism of those who participated in the rescue and recovery operations. More>>

ALSO:

Celia Lashlie: Legacy Will Live On

Social justice advocate Celia Lashlie leaves a legacy that will continue to have a positive impact on the lives of New Zealanders for years to come, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Celia was a powerful voice for reason, sense and compassion. Her work, particularly with teenage boys, was ground-breaking." More>>

ALSO:

Obituary: Sad Farewell To PPTA Activist Robin Duff

Duff has been a long-time fixture of the association... Most recently Duff has been working hard to support Canterbury teachers through the quakes that devastated the region. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news