Brian D. Perskin & Associates, P.C. - Brooklyn Articles Can Divorce Infect You Like A Virus?

Can Divorce Infect You Like A Virus?

By Brian D. Perskin & Associates, P.C.  Dec. 12, 2012 10:11a

Research Shows 'Social Contagions' Can Spread Like A Plague

In a study performed by researchers with several top institutions in the US, evidence indicates that divorce can be spread from couple to couple in a manner not unlike that of viral infections. This 'social contagion' effect can be seen in many behaviors, research suggests, including obesity and alcoholism.

According to the paper, co-authored by a political science professor at UC San Diego and several associates at Brown and Harvard Universities, one couple's separation can dramatically increase the likelihood of divorce by others in the same social network. After studying data recorded over several decades from various communities, sociologists discovered that divorce propagates itself, spreading from couple to couple, in a manner that closely mirrors that of a biological virus.

Starting with the initial outbreak, a single divorce has a ripple effect that influences everyone around it, spreading out like the flu until it has touched everyone in the community. According to the study, siblings undergoing a divorce can make their brothers and sisters 22 percent more likely to seek a divorce themselves. Co-workers have an even stronger influence, making fellow employees 55 percent more likely to separate. Most powerful of all, unsurprisingly, is the effect exerted by close friends, who make their associates 147 percent more likely to seek a divorce.

In fact, just as people can act as carriers for influenza, infecting those they come into contact with while appearing completely unaffected by the disease, researchers learned that a divorce can affect friends-of-friends as well. These 'divorce chains' allowed the phenomenon to impact large communities surprisingly quickly.

Researchers postulated several potential explanations for the social contagion effect. Some argued that emotional trauma derived from watching friends suffer the pains of divorce can exert stress on one's own relationship, exposing the weaknesses that otherwise might go unnoticed. Other believed that seeing someone close to you get divorced broke the unspoken social taboo against divorce, allowing couples to consider the possibility where they might not have done so before.

Seek The Aid Of A Skilled Divorce Attorney Right Away

If you are considering the possibility of a separation from your spouse, or are simply interested in learning more, it is imperative that you discuss your options with a trained professional. With help from the experienced team at Brian D. Perskin & Associates, you can protect yourself while seeking the best possible outcome for your family. We understand the emotional difficulties inherent to family law, and it is our mission to guide you and help you start the path to a better future right away! Please, contact our firm or visit our website at to learn more.

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