Relationship dissolution



  • Lack of stimulation. Social exchange theory states we expect rewards from relationships. Not recieving this could be a reason for relationship breakdown.
  • Baxter'94 found lack of stimulation, boredom or lack of progression in a relationship are often quoted as reason for a relationships' end.
  • Maintenance difficulties can make a relationship stronger but in many cases the maintenance difficulties becomes overwhelming.
  • Shaver et al'85 found a main reason for breakdown of relationships is the inability to see eachother which places strain both parties involved.
  • Duck theorized that there are 3 main reasons for relationship breakdown: pre-existing doom (faliure pre-destined), mechanical faliure (incompatibility) or sudden death (betrayal/infidelity).
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Duck & Rollie'06 model of relationship breakdown:

1) Breakdown. Due to dissatisfaction.

2) Intrapsychic processes. Social withdrawral & resentment.

3) Dyadic processes. Talking w/ partner about issues (make-it or break-it)

4) Social processes. Break-up public, advice & allies created.

5) Grave-dressing. Scapegoating issues of the relationship on the other.

6) Ressurrection. Learning from mistakes and moving on.

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Duck & Rollie'06 model of relationship breakdown:

  • Good face validity. Looks as relationship breakdown as a process rather than one single event.
  • Practical applications: relationship guidance.
  • Looks at the broader picture (social) as well as the cog & beh aspects of breakdown (Hollistic).
  • Gender differences: Women tend to display more growth than men.
  • Doesn't account for why dissolution occurs.
  • Heterosexual bias: not representative of homosexual relationships or simply friendships.
  • Individual differences.
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