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Why Relationships may Change or End. By Mr Daniel Hansson. Models of Relationship Dissolution. Lee’s sequences of separation model (1984) Duck’s model of dissolution (1999). Lee’s Sequences of Separation Model (1984). Based on a survey on 112

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models of relationship dissolution
Models of Relationship Dissolution
  • Lee’s sequences of separation model (1984)
  • Duck’s model of dissolution (1999)
lee s sequences of separation model 1984
Lee’s Sequences of Separation Model (1984)

Based on a survey on 112

romantic break ups of premarital couples, Lee identified

the following stages:

  • Dissatisfaction-Recognising there is a problem
  • Exposure- Problem brought out into open.
  • Negotiation- Discussion about issue raised
  • Resolution Attempts-Each partner attempts to problem solve.
  • Termination-Resolution attempts are unsuccessful.
duck s model of dissolution 1999
Duck supposed there were five stages

which could be triggered by a threshold.

Breakdown-Dissatisfaction leads to crisis. Repair strategy: correct own faults

Intra-psychic phase-Thinking about relationship in private, then with close friend. Repair strategy- re-establish liking for partner.

Dyadic phase- Deciding to break up/repair: repair strategy- recalculate rules forfuture.

Social phase. Include others in your argument i.e. take your side.Repair strategyoutsidersencourage reunion.

Grave Dressing- Public & private dissection of relationship. Repair strategy- Try tosalvage friendship and agree upon acceptable version of events.

Duck’s Model of Dissolution (1999)
  • These models show that dissolution is not a sudden step but a process
  • They identify stages where things start to go wrong
some reasons for break ups
Some Reasons for Break Ups
  • Withdrawal (social penetration theory)
  • Rule violations
  • Individual Differences (e.g. communication, cultural, gender)
  • Reduced proximity
  • Changes in lifestyle
  • Negative emotion and poor communication
rule violations
Rule Violations
  • Argyle & Henderson (1984): 160 participants aged 17-34 were asked on the dissolution of friendships
  • The most critical rule violations were jealousy, lack of tolerance for a third party relationship, disclosing confidences, publicly criticizing the person and not volunteering when helping
  • Individual differences: Women identified emotional support, younger participants public criticism, over 20s lack of respect or request for personal advice
individual differences
Individual Differences
  • Brehm & Kassin, 1996: Women are more likely to stress unhappiness and incompatibility whereas men are more upset by sexual withholding
  • Caspi & Herbener (1990): A longitudinal study of 135 married couples found that similarity between was related to marital satisfaction
  • Hill, Rubin, & Peplau (1976): A two year study of dating relationships among college students. Found differences such as age, education, intelligence, unequal involvement in the relationship, and physical attractiveness. The desire to break up was seldom mutual.
reduced proximity
Reduced Proximity
  • Shaver et al. (1985): Moving away from each other often leads to the dissolution of relationships
  • Holt and Stone (1988): Found out that there was little decrease in relationship satisfaction for long distance relationships if lovers were able to unite regularly.
changes in lifestyle
Changes in Lifestyle
  • Hays & Oxley (1986): Found that the most adaptive social networks for first-year university students involved new friends who were also university students rather than old school or neighborhood friends.
negative emotion
Negative emotion
  • Rogge, 2010: 222 volunteers in romantic relationship conducted a computer task where they were to associate their partner’s first name with positive or negative words. Volunteers who found it easy to associate their partner with bad words and difficult to associate her with good things were more likely to separate over the next year.
negative emotion1
Negative emotion
  • Gottman (1988) has developed a model to predict which newlywed couples will remain married and which will divorce four to six years later. He claims that his model has 80-90% accuracy. His prediction method relies on Paul Ekman's method of analyzing microexpressions of couples in the laboratory (observation analyzed by content analysis). Gottman believes that the four emotional reactions that are most destructive for relationships are defensiveness, stonewalling (withdrawal from relationship), criticism and contempt. He considers contempt to be the best predictor for marital success.