Divorce Could Be Contagious, According To New Study
If you’re married, in the process of getting hitched, or seriously considering tying the knot, the prospect of your union ending in divorce is already something that you likely try your best to put it the back of your mind. Unfortunately, based on a recent study, it may be harder to avoid divorce than you think…especially if it’s contagious.
Divorce is that ugly seven-letter word that haunts married couples, and while many manage to avoid it, others are not so lucky, but it may not be solely because of the two parties involved. According to a new study, divorce can be catchy, as in contagious, and if you want to stay wedded in martial bliss perhaps you should stay away from those who are already infected.
Researchers from Brown University, Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego collectively conducted a study entitled “Breaking Up Is Hard To Do, Unless Everyone Else Is Doing It Too,” which found that the act of divorce happens in clusters.
What does that mean exactly? Well according to the study, a married person/couple is 75% more likely to get a divorce if they have a friend who is already divorced. In addition, it also revealed that if a friend of a friend is divorced, that person’s odds of getting a divorce increase by 33%.
For those who worry about children and divorce rates, the news is pretty positive. The study confirmed that children don’t influence the likelihood of divorce and actually having more children could reduce the chances of getting divorced at all.
There was also an interesting discovery about the behavioral and social habits of people who are divorced. The results suggest that divorce can spread between friends. Clusters of divorces extend to two degrees of separation in a social network. Popular people are less likely to get divorced, divorcees tend to have denser social networks, and they are much more likely to remarry other divorcees.
The basic summary of the study, states that divorce should be understood as a collective phenomenon that extends beyond those directly affected. This basically means that in fact, divorce could actually be contagious. If you’re married and surround yourself with those who have been divorced one or multiple times, their views on marriage and relationships could seep into the happiness of your own—so proceed with caution.
Tell us, are you married and hang around those who are divorced? Do you believe the results that the study found?