Outline and evaluate research into the breakdown of relationships - (25 marks)
There is an increasing amount of divorces in the UK, and places like India are catching up. According to Duck (2001) there are three catergoric answers as to why relationships end. The first group of relationship breakdowns are due to pre-exsisting doom. This entails that the couples incompatibility and failure are almost pre-destined, for example if a 17 year old school girl marries her 50 year old teacher who is already a grandfather). The second catergory of relationship breakdowns are those relationships with mechanical failure. This is the most common cause and involves two suitable people with good nature who nevertheless find that they can not live together. The third catergory is called sudden death, and is the relationship break up caused by the discovery of a betayal or infidelity so it leads to the immediate teremination of a romantic relationship.
Duck believes that the reasons given to justify the breakup to the partner and others are much more psychologically interesting than the real reasons. The ending of a relationship indicates that two people are now available to enter as partners in other relationships so they feel they must have a story of their previous relationship end that puts them in a favourable light as potential partners. Duck (2001) identifies the classic formats for a break-up story. The crucial factors of such stories are those that show the speaker is open to relationships but doesn't enter them thoughtlessly, is aware of others' deficiencies but isn't overly critical, is willing to work to improve a relationship or take decisive action when partners turn nasty or break the rules relating, and is rational and sensible, and brings closure to relationships only after trauma, hard work, or on reasonable grounds after real effort to make things work.
Duck (1982) has a theory of relationship dissolution which is a personal process but involves being aware of the judgements of friends and social networks. ToRD begins when the partners are both suffeciently dissatisfied with the relationship over a long period of time, and are seriously considering ending it. They then pass through four phases of dissolution. The first stage is the intrapshycic phase which invovles personal focus on the partners behaviour, and assessment of the partners role performance, as well as depicting and evaluating the negative aspects of being in the relationship. The dissatisfied partner would also consider costs of withdrawal, assess positive aspects of alternative relationships, and face 'express/repress' dillema. If they come to the conclusion that they would be justified in withdrawing, they continue to the second phase. This second phase is the dyadic phase and it is when the partners face the 'confrontation/avoidance' dillema. If they proceed to confront…