Ex-spouses' relational satisfaction as a function of coparental communication in stepfamilies

Paul Schrodt, Aimee E. Miller, Dawn O. Braithwaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


This study tested a series of actor-partner interdependence models of coparental communication and relational satisfaction among ex-spouses living in stepfamilies. Participants included 41 ex-spousal dyads (N = 82). Results revealed two actor-oriented models whereby ex-spouses' supportive and antagonistic coparental communication predicted their own (but not their ex-spouse's) relational satisfaction. A second set of models revealed that nonresidential parents' supportive and antagonistic coparental communication with the residential stepparent predicted their own satisfaction with their ex-spouses, as well as their ex-spouse's satisfaction with them (i.e., a partner effect). Importantly, the findings demonstrate the interdependence of coparenting relationships in stepfamilies, as supportive coparental communication between nonresidential parents and their ex-spouse's new partner (i.e., the stepparent) predicted meaningful variance in relational satisfaction for both ex-spouses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-290
Number of pages19
JournalCommunication Studies
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Antagonistic communication
  • Coparenting
  • Ex-spouses
  • Stepfamilies
  • Supportive communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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