Divorce Can Be "Contagious" Among Friends, Family

A recent study entitled "Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Unless Everyone Else is Doing it Too: Social Network Effects on Divorce in a Longitudinal Sample Followed for 32 Years" by social scientists at Harvard, Brown, and UC San Diego has found that divorce is "contagious."

In this context, contagious means that if you have a sibling who has undergone a divorce, you are 22% more likely to divorce. If you have a close friend who has recently divorced, you are up to 75% more likely to divorce. When you have multiple friends who divorce, the likelihood that you will divorce increases by 146%.

The researchers compare divorce in social circles to a virus because it spreads from one source to another, and then continues to weaken other marriages in that social network. One divorce can affect other marriages with two degrees of separation.

Researchers attribute the contagious nature of divorce to the mindset that a marriage breakup is less shameful or embarrassing when couples see that their friends have undergone it as well. Similarly, providing support for friends or family members during a divorce can make you more likely to divorce because you see that it is survivable, that you will have support when you need it, and the benefits of divorce.

If you are contemplating a divorce or having legal difficulties with your divorce, contact a Raleigh Divorce Attorney at Hopper Law.
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