The Law Offices of Thomas L. Simpson Articles Research Shows Divorce Behaves Like Contagious Illness

Research Shows Divorce Behaves Like Contagious Illness

By The Law Offices of Thomas L. Simpson  Jul. 26, 2011 9:53a

Divorce Can Have ‘Ripple Effect’ On Social Groups

Multiple studies by researchers indicate that divorce can be caught like a common cold, spreading from one incident to cause others.

The first study to tackle this issue dates all the way back to 1948, when a group of researchers from Brown University in New England. The study surveyed as many as 12,000 people in the New England area, collecting data about marriage and divorces and looking for patterns. What the surprised researchers discovered was that divorces tended towards what they called a ‘divorce clustering’ effect.

At the conclusion of the study, they reported that one divorce usually caused a ripple effect throughout the community, as the heated emotions led to increased chances of divorce for those in the social circle of the first couple, which spread outward to affect more and more people. This pattern is similar to that displayed by infectious diseases, noted the researchers.

The data indicated that close friends of one or both spouses undergoing a divorce show an increased likelihood of undergoing a divorce of their own soon afterwards. One more recent study shows the increased chance to be as high as 147 percent over a generic couple for members of the social circle. Even minor acquaintances such as colleagues at work displayed the effect, with the risk going up by an estimated 55 percent. Not even siblings of divorcees are immune, showing a 22 percent increase.

Psychologists and other specialists studying the phenomenon have posited several possible explanations for the divorce clustering effect. One proposed idea is that the emotional trauma associated with having a friend being divorced increases stress, which can lead to divorce. Others argue that one divorce decreases the social stigma associated with separation, allowing couples undergoing difficulties to consider the possibility when they otherwise would have refused.

Seek A Family Lawyer Right Away

If you are thinking about pursuing a separation from your spouse, or just have questions about any aspect of family law, consider contacting a trained Glendale family law attorney today. Thomas L. Simpson is a dedicated legal professional who believes that mediation by a professional can solve nearly any family dispute. At our firm, we seek the best outcome for you and your family.

To learn more, contact a Glendale divorce attorney without delay!

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