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Following the interviews of 24 participants concerning the death of their spouse and subsequent remarriage, a pattern of unsolicited responses concerning perceived acceptance of family emerged. Through grounded theory qualitative analysis, a continuum of acceptance was developed ranging from welcoming acceptance to active disapproval. Themes that influenced the perceived level of acceptance were (a) the length of time between death and courtship; (b) the length of the courtship itself; and (c) the level of family involvement in the courtship. Findings support and enhance current literature on remarital adjustment, suggesting it is critical to not only include children, but also the extended family in which the family resides. Provisional hypotheses and clinical implications are provided to help clinicians navigate these complex family dynamics and potentially increase family support.


Originally published in the Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, volume 57, issue 3, pages 224-244, published online: 25 Apr 2016.

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