Saturday, June 26, 2010

Divorce Virus

Previous studies have shown the impact of social networks on eating patterns, political views, and happiness. Now it looks like the same network effect can be at work when it comes to divorce.

From a study entitled "Breaking Up is Hard to Do, Unless Everyone Else is Doing it Too: Social Network Effects on Divorce"...
We find that divorce can spread between friends, siblings, and coworkers, and there are clusters of divorcees that extend two degrees of separation in the network.

We also find that popular people are less likely to get divorced, divorcees have denser social networks, and they are much more likely to remarry other divorcees.

Overall, the results suggest that attending to the health of one’s friends’ marriages serves to support and enhance the durability of one’s own relationship, and that, from a policy perspective, divorce should be understood as a collective phenomenon that extends far beyond those directly affected.

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