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Flashcards in Relationship breakdown Deck (12):

Who created the dominant relationship breakdown theory?



What three main reasons does Duck identify for relationship breakdowns?

Pre-existing doom: It was doomed from the start due to incompatibility etc.

Mechanical failure: Partners who are compatible slowly grow apart over a long period of time and decide it is no longer working (most common cause).

Sudden death: The relationship suddenly ends because the partner discovers their other has cheated, or an argument ends the relationship quickly.


What four personal factors for relationship breakdown does Duck suggest?

Predisposing personal factors such as bad habits or poor personal hygiene.
Precipitating factors such as love rivals, long work hours, boredom etc.
Lack of skills such as sexual inexperience or poor cooking skills.
Lack of motivation, e.g. inequity or effort.
Lack of maintenance such as not setting aside enough time to go out, or too much independence.


What are the five stages of relationship breakdown according to Duck?

1. Intrapsychic: One partner privately begins to feel dissatisfaction with the relationship
2. Dyadic: Dissatisfaction is discussed with the partner. If nothing changes, the next stage is activated
3. Social: The breakdown is made public with friends and family, and negotiation with children, finances etc. occur
4. Grave-dressing: Post-relationship perception is created. Ex-partners now rebuild their life towards new relationships
5. Resurrection phase: Reconfiguring oneself for future relationships


What behaviours might be exhibited by partners in the intrapsychic stage?

- Focus on partner's behaviour, not your own.
- Assess the adequacy of your partner's performance.
- Focus on the negative aspects of the relationship.
- Consider the costs of ending the relationship.
- Look at what the individual gets from the relationship in terms of benefits.
- Private dilemma of whether to raise the issues with the relationship or not.


What behaviours might be exhibited by partners in the dyadic stage?

- Negotiate post-relationship dynamic with partner.
- Gossip in friends/family circles.
- Face-saving stories are created in case of a break up. Blame is also attributed (normally to the other partner).
- Consideration of the social backlash of relationship breakdown.


What behaviours might be exhibited by partners in the social stage?

- Performing "getting over it" activities.
- Retrospective, reformative post-mortem attribution.
- Publicly distribute own version of breakup.


What does Duck not investigate, who does and what did they find?

Gender differences

Kassin: Women tend to blame stress, unhappiness and incompatibility for breakdowns, while men blame a lack of sex. Additionally, women want to remain friends and men do not


What does Akert find and what does this mean the theory doesn't consider?

The person who initialises the break up tends to suffer less than the person who didn't. The model does not address this, nor the idea that the person who started the break up suffered in silence during the intrapsychic stage


What gives this theory greater practical applications?

Can also apply to friendships


What are the positive evaluations of this theory, other than practical applications?

- It has face validity

- Has elements of free will


What negative evaluations does this theory have?

- These stages are not universal - not all relationships go through these stages

- Nomothetic

- Deterministic