Portrait of John K Grubb

Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Study Finds That Divorce May Be Contagious In Social Groups

According to Kentucky Lexington Herald-Leader, a new study suggests that divorce can actually be contagious. A study conducted by Rose McDermott of Brown University, James H. Fowler of UC San Diego and Nicholas A. Christakis of Harvard University based their study on an ongoing research of 12,000 people living in Framingham, Mass.

The researchers found the idea of contagious divorce based on a theory called social contagion. It means passing of emotions and behaviors throughout a social circle. The study finds that being friends with someone who is in the midst of a divorce may make the person 75 percent more likely to get a divorce themselves. Those with a friend who is connected to someone who is getting a divorce are 33 percent more likely to go through a divorce themselves. The feelings and emotions can spread like a virus throughout a social group, claim the experts.

This study did not examine the impact of a parents’ divorce on the children’s marriage, but did find that a person with divorced siblings is 22 percent more likely to go through a divorce. When one person gets a divorce, it gives those people in their social circle a close look of what it is like.

Tending to a friend’s divorce will test the durability and strength of any marriage, say the researchers.

Another study by the Institute of Fiscal Studies and Rand Corporation in the U.K. found that kids traumatized by their parents’ divorce may be at 30 percent higher risk to earn less when they grow up, compared to kids who grow up in unbroken families.

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