relationships essay


HideShow resource information
  • Created by: sadaf
  • Created on: 20-06-11 20:41
Preview of relationships essay

First 600 words of the document:

2) Critically assess explanations relating to the dissolution of relationships. (25)
The dissolution of relationships refers to why do relationships fail or breakdown. One explanation is the
view that there are `risk' factors involved, certain characteristics which increase the likelihood of
dissolution. According to Duck, relationships are like cars. Sometimes it is the drivers fault sometimes it
is due to mechanical breakdown of the car, and `accidents' can happen for so many reasons. One risk
factor for the dissolution of relationships is `skills'. In that, some people lack interpersonal skills that are
important in relationships, making it mutually satisfying. Individuals lacking these skills, lack social skills
and therefore there partners believe that they are uninterested and then the relationship fails. A major
reason for breakdown is due to extramarital affairs. A study involving undergraduate students, suggests
that affairs could be a result of lack of skills and stimulation. Male undergraduates noted that the
reasons for affairs was due to sexual excitement, boredom and variety, however female undergraduates
placed emphasis on lack of attention and commitment as a reason for having an affair.
Another explanation for dissolution as proposed by social exchange theory is that people look for
rewards in relationships and one of them is stimulation. A lack of stimulation leads a person to results in
their partner being bored and dissatisfied. Baxter noted that `boredom' and belief that a relationship `is
going nowhere' can lead to dissolution, as relationships require progress. Maintenance difficulties can
also affect dissolution, Shaver et al proposed that some relationships fail because they cannot be
maintained, for example, long-distance relationships. Going away to university and decreased daily
contact can be a reason for dissolution, even for the most romantic relationships, as distance places
stress on a relationship. Long-distance relationships are more common than ever as a result of the
mobile society people have. Holt and Stone noted that long-distance relationships can be successful as
long as the couple reunite regularly.
Lee proposed a 5 stage process of dissolution. The first stage is dissatisfaction with a relationship, in
which both partners notice a problem. They then expose the problem and are open about it; the issues
raised in this stage are then discussed and negotiated in the third stage. They then try to resolve the
issues in stage for if possible. And finally the relationship is terminated if not resolved. Relationships,
which went from dissatisfaction (stage1) straight to termination (stage 5), were less intimate and ones
that took time were more intimate. One problem with Lee's model is that it was based on premarital
relationships and young participants, so the study is not representative of marital breakdown. The stages
of breakdown are more descriptions of breakdowns, than explanations, however these descriptions can
be good marriage guidance to enhance a successful marriage.
Rollie and Duck's model identified 6 stages of breakdown in a relationship. The first being breakdown,
where a partner is dissatisfied with the relationship. The second stage involves social withdrawal and
resentment and the relationship may end here. The next stage involves a discussion of the problems and
the relationship may be saved here. The fourth stage involves social processes, in which other people
may be involved for support, helping either dissolution or resolution. The next stage involves mental
preparation for life without the partner and finally active stages are made to the self and one has future

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

expectations. Rollie and Duck's model is supported by real-life dissolution examples. Tashiro and Frazier
surveyed undergraduates who had recently broken up from a romantic relationship and found that not
only had individuals reported emotional stress but also reported personal growth. This supports the final
two stages of Rollie and Duck's study. Furthermore this model stresses the importance of
communication and intervention in a relationship. Lee's model provides processes before dissolution and
Rollie and Duck's provides processes after the breakdown as well.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

A relationship involves a lot on investment from both parties, but the benefits we get in return in terms
of mental and physical health are improving self-esteem and the extent to which they buffer(protect) us
from stress. Self-esteem refers to your personal evaluation of yourself, whether you think highly of
yourself or not. Research has linked high self-esteem with success at school and your job, but it seems
the social support provided by relationships effects self-esteem.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

The main effect hypothesis predicts that stronger social networks should result in better health,
regardless of stressor exposures. This hypothesis is supported by Bell et al, who showed that people
with more social contacts such as a spouse and clubs, were less depressed regardless of their stress
levels. Lin et al also found that people with wider social networks had fewer psychiatric symptoms
regardless of stress levels, supporting the main hypothesis effect.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

research, and was identified by Wood and Duck. Same-sex relationships and indirect, computer
mediated relationships are the focus of understudied relationships.
Homosexuality is still illegal in many countries but it was only recently removed from the DSM in the
late 90's. Certain cultures still promote same-sex relationships and there are historical periods such as
the Greek and Roman periods in which homosexuality was a normal practice. Even in present, libertarian
Western countries, homosexuals are still ill-treated.…read more

Page 6

Preview of page 6

Here's a taster:

relationships were shorter than gay ones. This is further supported by Gottman, who suggested most
dissolution between lesbians.
Modern day relationships include `mediated' communication, which is indirect interaction, through
computers and phones. Computer mediated relationships, do not reduce the reality of relationships,
but could be supportive to those who struggle with face-to-face communication. These individuals may
feel comfortable discussing issues, without fear of being judged. There are many help forums and social
networks available at the present, which help people, interact with one another.…read more

Page 7

Preview of page 7

Here's a taster:

Everyone has some kind of romantic relationship in their lives. Love and romance is a vital aspect in
maintaining a long term relationship and `falling in love' is also a vital part of growing up. Erikson noted that
the acknowledgement of successful, intimate relationships is essential for young adults, and if
relationships fail, then this will result in isolation.…read more

Page 8

Preview of page 8

Here's a taster:

results in preference for short-term or temporary relationships in Western cultures, rather than
permanent relationships, which would demonstrate a preference for continuity. Non-Western cultures
have a more likable approach to continuity and long-term or permanent relationships. This is due to the
amiability for heritage, ancestry and non-change. A statistical study shows that divorce rates for divorced
British women has increased from 2 per thousand to 12 per thousand, in the last 50 years.…read more



what did you get in this?

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all resources »