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BREAKDOWN - Rollie and Duck AO1

AO1 - Rollie and Duck

  • the end of a relationship indicates the people are now legitimately available as partners for relationships
  • each partners creates a 'break up story' leaving them in a good light to ensure gaining a future partner
  • relationships are ended publicy to signify an individual's freedom and availability

6 phases:

breakdown - dissatisfaction with relationship

intra- psychic - social withdrawal and resentment, brooding on partner's 'faults'

dyadic phase - uncertainty, anxiety, hostility, discontent, reassessment 'I mean it'

social phase - going public, seeking support from third parties, alliance building

grave dressing -saving face, preparing stories for different audiences

ressurection process - defining what to get out of future relationships

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BREAKDOWN - Rollie and Duck AO2


Gray and Silver surveyed 45 couples who had been married for 10 years but had filed for divorce. M + W were equally likely to protect self esteem by providing own percieved version of events, placing them in a more favourable light

TAIL - supports grave dressing phase, they paint themselves in a 'good light' and create a break up story that favours them


Kassin found that women are more likely to blame unhappiness and incompatibility, while men blame lack of sex. Women want to be friends but men want a clean break.

Argyle found that women identified a lack of emotional support as a reason for the relationship ending whereas men complained more of an absence of fun

TAIL - theory doesn't account for gender, doesn't explain how the relationship got to the point of breaking down, ignores individual differences

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BREAKDOWN - Rollie and Duck Revised AO1

AO1 - Revised theory as the first didn't say why, factors that may lead to relationship breakdown

Lack of skills - people lack interpersonal skills needed to make relationships mutually satisfying, poor at indicating interest

Lack of stimulation - lack of change and development in the relationship

Maintenance - decreased daily contact etc


  • Baxter found that lack of stimulation is often quoted when breaking off a relationship
  • Boekhout et al asked undergrads to rate various sexual and emotional reasons for infidelity, p's suggested that sexual reasons would be more likely to be used by men and emotional reasons by women indicating that affairs might be a direct reaction to the perceived lack of skills/stimulation in the relationship 

TAIL - lack of stimulation is cited as the main reason for the breakdown as well as lack of skills due to communication problems

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BREAKDOWN - Rollie and Duck Revised AO2


Holt and Stone found that there's still satisfaction in long distance romances as long as they can reunite regularly


  • limited - suggests all relationships breakdown in the same way, ignoring individual differences and the complex nature of relationships
  • ethical issues in research - a woman in an abusive relationship may fear revenge from her husband should he discover her involvement in the research
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