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Bilogical aggression

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Non Contact Lesson Thursday 11th March 2010 Relationship Breakdown Discuss two or more theories explaining the dissolution (breakdown) of relationships (e.g. Duck) (25 marks) Relationship dissolution refers to the process of the breaking up of relationships (friendship, romantic, or marital relationships) by the voluntary activity of at least one partner. Such a definition excludes such eventualities as bereavement and refers to the conscious and intentional ending of relationships. Nonetheless, there is some dispute about the nature of "intentionality" and whether to include those relationships that end simply by default (e.g., friends who drift apart and purposely just let their contacts drop off) or incompetence (e.g., inability of one partner to be supportive or disclose or to handle intimacy). It does not deal with friendship breakup, because this happens largely by (one of) the parties just allowing the relationship to wither on the vine. In romantic or marital relationships, such neglect is not normally enough to end relationships and they must typically be declared to have ended not only by the activities of the partners themselves but also by some formal action recognized by society at large, such as divorce or separation. Such declarations render both partners "available" again for similar sorts of relationships with new partners. For some people, relationships are difficult because they lack the interpersonal skills to make them mutually satisfying. ...read more.


They asked undergraduates to give reasons for why men and women would be unfaithful in a relationship. They found that the women gave reasons which were more emotional such as lack of commitment, attention etc. Whereas, men gave sexual reasons for infidelity such as sexual boredom etc. This also indicates that gender differences need to be considered when discovering the reasons for relationship breakdown. Furthermore, Duck's theory is deterministic, what if the partner who ended the relationship is insecure-avoidant, where they don't like being in a committed relationship and rather they ended it and moved on. On the other hand, a partner could be depressed, where they don't believe that they aren't good enough for anyone. He doesn't take into account individual differences either and there is a lack of research on homosexual relationships and other relationships which aren't romantic. Lastly, Rollie and Duck (2006) came up with a model of breakdown. The first phase of Rollie and Duck's model begins when one of the partners becomes distressed with the way the relationship is conducted. The Equity theory (Walster et al., 1978) puts forward that inequitable relationships (where a partner perceives unfairness) are more likely to create dissatisfaction than equitable relationships (fairness on both parts), so this realisation may be the first step in the eventual breakdown of the relationship. ...read more.


In conclusion, both explanations are supported by research however Duck's theory (1991) is an over simplified (reductionist) whereas the model of breakdown gives more explanation and understanding of the processes involved in the closure of a relationship. Both theories don't take into account gender differences, the social learning theory (how we have learnt how to behave in a relationship by observing others). Although Rollie and Duck do take into account our own cognitions and how we think during these processes. They don't take into account individual differences such as illness, childhood experiences etc. The studies referred to (Tashiro and Frazier, Boekhout et al.) have only used undergraduates so how far can it be generalised? Can it be applicable to married couples, couples in long-term relationships (5 years and onwards)? Last of all, carrying out research in this sensitive area raises particular issues of vulnerability (participants may experience distress when revisiting the issues that led to breakdown), privacy (many such issues are of an intensely personal nature) and confidentiality. For example, a woman in an abusive relationship may fear recrimination from her abuser should he discover her participation in the research. Ultimately the researcher faces a choice of pursuing valuable information or terminating their involvement with a participant to prevent any further harm befalling them. ?? ?? ?? ?? Manpreet Kaur (SC2006010821) Psychology Page 1 ...read more.

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