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Many people contributed to the completion of this research project. The ideas for the basis of this paper were born in the classroom of Eric McCollum, my professor, advisor, and clinical supervisor. Though attachment theory was not new to me, its clinical application was exciting and intriguing. Both in the classroom and from behind the one-way mirror, Eric contributed to my developing theoretical framework. My other committee members were invaluable in their contributions to my work on this project. Karen Rosen devoted extra effort in contributing her extensive knowledge of research methodology. As is her way, she was superbly focused, extremely thorough and very kind. John Millikin offered input and support during this project, as both educator and sounding board. He further encouraged my emerging interests in attachment theory and attachment injury. The respondents in my study were all women who, in their participation, demonstrated intellectual curiosity and a heartfelt wish to make a contribution to the body of knowledge about stepfamilies. They donated a significant portion of their busy lives, opening their hearts and minds to me, and I appreciate them for doing so. My family and friends were supportive in every sense, offering encouragement, and their collective conviction that this project would eventually be completed. My children, my parents and especially my husband, Tom, have all contributed to my positive belief about the triumphs of stepfamily life, and could write the book on the love, respect and appreciation that make it all work so well.


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