Breakdown of relationships

HideShow resource information

1

Ducks 4-stage model saw breakdown as a process rather than a single event, Duck proposed three factors which can cause a breakdown. The lack of skills such as poor interpersonal skills which include being poor conversationalists and poor at indicating interest in others.

1 of 26

1

Others then find them unrewarding and the relationship breaks down. Lack of stimulation may lead to boredom or feeling the relationship is not progressing or developing.

2 of 26

1

People expect relationships to change and develop; if they do not this is seen as sufficient justification to end the relationship. And the lack of maintenance can be caused due to circumstances with partners not spending enough time together due to work commitments leading to strain. 

3 of 26

1

Breakdown- One partner becomes dissatisfied with the relationship.

4 of 26

1

Intrapsyhic – Social withdrawal, resentment and feelings of being under-benefitted occur. 

5 of 26

1

Dyadic – Partners discuss problems and provided it is constructive rather than destructive this could lead to reconciliation. If this is not resolved the breakdown progresses to the next stage. 

6 of 26

1

Social stage – The breakdown is made public to friends and family. There is negotiation over assets, support is sought from social networks and alliances are made. 

7 of 26

1

Grave-dressing – A post view of the relationship breakdown is established for why it occurred with each person having their own account. The rebuilding of self-esteem for future relationships occurs here to show trust and loyalty, two important qualities which are under question.

8 of 26

1

Resurrection process- Each partner prepares themselves for new relationships by redefining themselves and building on past experiences.

9 of 26

1

Tashiro et al found evidence supporting Ducks model in a study involving students. After breakups they reported not only feeling distress but also personal growth and better insight into themselves and what they wanted from future relationships.

10 of 26

1

Through grave-dressing and resurrection processes they could move on with their lives showing Ducks theory has some credibility. The limitation here is that this study focused only on students meaning the sample was biased, as student social relationship breakdown may be different to that of adults and the wider population therefore lacking external validity.

11 of 26

1

Boekhout et al found supporting evidence for Ducks theory and how lack of skills or stimulation can lead to breakdown. 

12 of 26

1

Studying extramarital affairs that occurred his evidence found the reasons given for affairs was a direct reaction to perceived lack of skills or stimulation with men citing lack of sexual excitement, boredom and variety and women citing a lack of attention or emotional satisfaction. 

13 of 26

1

A criticism however is that in such cases the reasons given may not be genuine and purely an account created to portray those committing the affair as the victim.

14 of 26

1

Despite this, long-distance relationship are increasingly common in our mobile society, and yet Holt and Stone found there was little decrease in relationship satisfaction provided that lovers are able to reunite regularly. 

15 of 26

1

This suggests that people use different management strategies to successfully maintain long- distance relationships.

16 of 26

1

Akert et al found individual differences with the person who instigated the breakup suffering less negative consequences than the non-instigator and neither models can explain these individual differences. It is possible those initiating the breakup have already come to terms with the relationship ending on some level hence the less negatives and these processes are not factored in.

17 of 26

1

Gender differences are also apparent in Ducks model. Kassin et al found women stress unhappiness and incompatibility while men blame a lack of sex. 

18 of 26

1

Women want to remain friends while men want a clean break.  Argyle et al found further support for gender differences with women also citing a lack of emotional support while men blamed a lack of fun on breakups. 

19 of 26

1

The model cannot account for such gender differences suggesting the theories are reductionist and oversimplified with more complex processes factoring in.

20 of 26

1

The models do provide practical implications for counselling and assessing which stage a couple are in can help devise ways to resolve and save the relationship with intervention showing the theories do provide benefits. The criticism of this is that the phases of breakdown are not always universal and not all couples go through them or in the same order as the models propose, some people simply walk away from a relationship. 

21 of 26

1

The models do not help us understand fully why breakup occurs either with both models beginning when unhappiness has set in and thus limiting its application. Again this may not apply to homosexual relationships as the studies were based only on heterosexuals limiting its external validity and application across relationships.

22 of 26

1

The main problem for the model is that it is based heavily on western society and therefore suffer from cultural bias. In some cultures, arranged marriages tend to be more permanent and involve families in crisis, which these models cannot fully explain. 

23 of 26

1

Therefore, the models can be argued to be ethnocentric and lacking external validity to wider generalisation across different cultures. Ducks model does not factor in love and how that may play a mitigating role in relationship breakdown yet it is universally accepted as a key component within relationships. 

24 of 26

1

In addition, neither theory can explain abusive relationships where an abused partner may not initiate the stages of dissolution but instead walk away completely. Also there is great ethical issues and concern carrying out research of this sensitive nature. 

25 of 26

1

This raises the issue of vulnerability of participants and discussing and reliving breakups may cause distress. Privacy is also a concern due to the intensely personal nature of discussing breakups.

26 of 26

Comments

No comments have yet been made

Similar Psychology resources:

See all Psychology resources »See all Relationships resources »