“Discuss explanations relating to the dissolution of relationships.”

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  • Created by: sarahfitz
  • Created on: 13-11-15 09:52

Discuss explanations relating to the dissolution of relationships.”


There are several explanations for the dissolution of relationships. One key idea is that of precipitating factors. Duck (2007) suggests that the dissolution of relationships can be explained in terms of risk factors, which are certain characteristics which make the failure of a relationship more likely. He explained that this idea can be explained in terms of a car, where some accidents can be due to the driver, mechanical faults, or other road users. A poorly maintained car is at a high risk of a breakdown, as is a relationship. Duck also believed that there were 3 key precipitating factors. The first was a lack of skills, which is simply where an individual does not have the key interpersonal skills needed. Another factor was a lack of stimulation, such as a partner expressing boredom or the belief that a relationship will not progress. Finally, he believed that maintenance difficulties are another precipitating factor, of which relationships can become strained if the partners cannot maintain close contact. There are also two models which are used to explain the dissolution of relationships. First, is Lee’s model. He believed there were 5 key stages. These went from dissatisfaction, exposure, negotiating, resolution and termination. It was found that exposure and negotiating where the most exhausting and intense parts, and those who went straight from dissatisfaction to termination felt less intimate with their partners. Another stage model was Rollies and Duck’s. It also comes in several stages. The first stage is breakdown, where one partner realises they’re no longer happy. Next is the intra-psychic phase which is the person keeps their thoughts to themselves. Follows is the dyadic phase where they confront the partner and discuss their feelings.  Next is the social process, where the dissatisfied partner begins to discuss the problems


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