Breakdown (dissolution) of Relationships.

Notes on the breakdown of relationships, focusing on Duck's model and Lee's theory of dissolution. Includes relevant research examples and evaluative points for each.

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  • Created on: 13-06-11 13:11
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Relationships -
Breakdown (dissolution) of relationships:
DUCK'S four stage model -
DUCK'S four stage model was proposed in 1984. It includes:
Intra-Psychic phase - where one partner perceives dissatisfaction in the
Dyadic phase - when dissatisfaction is discussed. Opportunity to resolve.
Social phase - when breakup is made public. Negotiation of children,
finances and belongings occurs, family and friends are involved.
Grave-Dressing phase - where both partners establish their view of the
breakup, protecting self esteem.
DUCK believed there were two types of causes for the dissolution of
Predisposing factors - personality issues, such as individual bad habits or
incompatible emotional stability.
Precipitating factors - outside issues, such as exterior influences (love
rivals) process features (long work hours) emergent properties (lack of
direction) and attributing the blame on the other partner.
DUCK also saw lack of skills (sexually inexperienced) lack of motivation
(perceiving inequality) and lack of maintenance (spending time apart) as other
important factors contributing to the dissolution of romantic relationships.
Kassin (1996) found that women are more likely to stress unhappiness and
incompatibility as reasons for dissolution, whereas men will blame lack of
sex. The study reports that women will typically wish to remain friends,
while males want a clean break. This suggests some gender differences
that the model does not consider.
Argyle (1988) found that women identified lack of emotional support as a
reason for dissolution, while men cited absence of fun; again suggesting
gender differences that the model does not explain.

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Akert (1992) reported that the person who instigated the breakup of the
relationship will suffer less negative consequences than the non-instigator,
suggesting individual differences that the model does not explain.
There are cultural differences in relationship dissolution which the
model does not explain. Many non-western cultures have arranged
marriages, which can be more permanent and involve whole families in
crises.…read more

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Argyle and Henderson (1984) asked participants to consider whether rule
violations were to blame for personal relationship dissolution and, if so,
which ones. Rule violations were found to be important factors, with jealousy,
lack of tolerance for third-party relationships, disclosing confidences, not
volunteering help and public criticism most crucial; suggesting that Lee's
explanation cannot be complete as it does not account for these factors.
Research studies relating to DUCK'S model can also generally be applied to
LEE'S theory.…read more


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