The Father-in-law’s Relationship with His Son-in-law: A Preliminary Understanding

March 6, 2018

 

Professor Geoff Greif and Associate Professor Michael Woolley have had their research article "The Father-in-law’s Relationship with His Son-in-law: A Preliminary Understanding" published in Smith College Studies in Social Work.

 

ABSTRACT

Little information is available about fathers-in-law and their relationship with their sons-in-law. The authors draw from a mixed-methods study of 35 fathers-in-law to describe how three fathers-in-law with highly positive son-in-law relationships and three fathers-in-law with difficult son-in-law relationships talk about those relationships. All three fathers-in-law with positive relationships are married, had good relationships with their parents-in-law, treat their sons-in-law like family members, have good relationships with their daughters, and believe their daughter and son-in-law are a good team. Some of these fathers-in-law worked through issues with their sons-in-law to a positive resolution. The three fathers-in-law with difficult relationships had varied relations with their parents-in-laws, are close with their own children but keep their sons-in-law at an emotional distance and often communicate with them through their children (the son-in-law’s spouse). One father-in-law believes his daughter and son-in-law are a good team. These fathers-in-law believe their sons-in-law show unsettling traits and have, as a result, grown more distant from them with time. Clinical implications and suggestions for future research are included.

 

 

Please reload

2017 University of Maryland School of Social Work

Office of Communications  410.706.4542  bulletin@ssw.umaryland.edu