Date Approved


Embargo Period


Document Type


Degree Name

MA Clinical Mental Health Counseling




College of Science & Mathematics


Haugh, James A.

Committee Member 1

Frierson, Georita


Family counseling; Stepfamilies


Clinical Psychology | Marriage and Family Therapy and Counseling


This study aimed to examine address term usage as a communicative component of blended/step-families by examining the address terms that step-children use to address their step-parent and whether address term usage can allude to the quality of relationship reported by step-children within the step-child step-parent relationship. Rowan University undergraduate students (n=67) were recruited to complete questionnaires on address term usage and quality of relationship using the Quality of Relationships Inventory (QRI). Address term usage was the independent variable and was measured using three levels: formal, familiar, and familial. Quality of relationship was the dependent variable and was measured using the three scales of the QRI: support, depth, and conflict. Three one-way analysis of variance were conducted to determine if there was a significant difference between the type of address term used and the reported quality of relationship on each scale. The results indicated that for all three scales of the QRI address term usage did not make a difference or influence the quality of relationship as reported by step-children. Thus, although address term usage is a communicative component of blended/step-families, it was not found to be an indicator of relationship quality between step-children and their step-parent.