Study title
STEPOUT : Social Capital and Family Processes As Predictors of Stepfamily outcomes
Ref study 11951
Study language French
Contributing institutions
  • Divorce
  • Développement de l'enfant
  • Parentalité
  • Capital social
  • Configurations familiales
  • Familles recomposées
  • Coparentage
  • Interactions conjugales
Geographical space
Canton de Genève
  • Switzerland
Stepfamilies have become a reality in modern societies. Unfortunately, most results about them stem out from research done in North America. It is striking that little is known about family recomposition's relational and developmental consequences in Europe, and even more so in Switzerland. This interdisciplinary project between sociology and psychology tests the hypothesis that family relationships provide distinct types of social capital in stepfamilies compared with first time families, which may account for a significant share of the developmental outcomes associated with family recomposition. We also hypothesize that there is a great variability of social capital and developmental outcomes within stepfamilies due to sociological explanatory factors associated with prior trajectories of family members and social class. Face to face interviews of 150 mothers of school aged children from a first family and 150 mothers from a stepfamily, are quantitatively analyzed in order to reveal the mechanisms linking family recomposition, social capital, family processes and dimensions of child development. Various validated measures of parenting, conjugal processes and network relationships are included in the project as well as direct observations of family interactions.
Liens pour télécharger le rapport:
Methods (description)
Sélection aléatoire d'un échantillon de contacts (base commerciale) de l'ensemble du canton de Genève.
Contacts par institut M.i.s Trend
Envoi d'une lettre de présentation de l'étude.
Appels téléphoniques.
Interviews en face à face (150 femmes de familles recomposées, 150
femmes issues de familles de première union), données appariées selon
âge et sexe de l'enfant cible et selon niveau de formation de la mère.

Questionnaire en 3 parties:
1) en face à face, configurations familiales,
2) auto-administré
3) face à face, confiance et parcours de vie.

Approche socio-cognitive des réseaux sociaux: Family Network Method.
Création de matrices binaires, traitement par logiciel UCINET.
Methods (instruments)
Replicated study No
  • Aeby, Gaëlle; Widmer, Eric D.; De Carlo, Ivan. 2014. Bonding and Bridging Social Capital in Step- and First-time Families and the Issue of Family Boundaries. Interpersona , Vol 8(1): 51–69. Online: 10.5964/ijpr.v8i1.149
  • De Carlo, Ivan; Aeby, Gaëlle; Widmer, Eric D.. 2014. La variété des configurations familiales après une recomposition: choix et contraintes. Revue suisse de sociologie , vol. 40(1): 9-27. Online:
  • Widmer, Eric D.; Aeby, Gaëlle; De Carlo, Ivan. 2012. Le ricomposizioni familiari in una prospettiva configurativa. Sociologia e politiche sociali 15(2): 85-111 (Special Edition on Personal Networks Analysis). Online: 10.3280/SP2012-002005
  • Widmer, Eric D.; Aeby, Gaëlle; De Carlo, Ivan. 2012. Les recompositions familiales dans une perspective configurationnelle. In Sociograph, (8), 1-34.
  • Widmer, Eric D.; Favez, Nicolas; Aeby, Gaëlle; De Carlo, Ivan; Doan, Minh-Thuy. 2012. Capital social et coparentage dans les familles recomposées et de première union. Sociograph 'Sociological Research Studies' n° 13, Genève: Université de Genève.
  • De Carlo, Ivan; Aeby, Gaëlle; Widmer, Eric D.. 2012. Recomposition familiale: variété des configurations et ancrage sociodémographique. In Sociograph, 9, 1-23.
  • De Carlo, Ivan; Widmer, Eric D.. 2011. The Fabric of Trust in Families: Inherited or Achieved?. In: Jallinoja and Widmer (Eds.), Families and Kinship in Contemporary Europe. Rules and Practices of Relatedness. Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  • Widmer, Eric D.; Lüscher, Kurt. 2011. Les relations intergénérationelles au prisme de l'ambivalence et des configurations familiales. In Recherches familiales, 8, 49-60.
Financed by
Ethical approval No
Study type
Data availability
Source (Updates) Web
Date created 28.01.2015
Date modified 09.01.2017
Start - End date 01.01.2009 - 31.08.2014