• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Breakdown of relationships

Extracts from this document...


Discuss two theories of the breakdown of relationships (25 marks) Duck (1999) indicated that there are several reasons for why a relationship breaks down which include: lack of skills, lack of stimulation and maintenance difficulties. Lack of skills refers to when the person may be a poor conversationalist, poor at indicating their interest in other people of may be generally unrewarding to the partner (Duck, 1991) There is evidence (Baxter, 1994) that lack of stimulation (i.e. boredom or the belief that the relationship is not going anywhere) can lead to a relationship breakdown. People expect a relationship to change and develop and when this does not happen, it is seen as a sufficient justification to end the current relationship or start a new one (i.e. have an affair). Boekhaut et al (1991) showed that an affair is the direct reaction to the perceived lack of skills/stimulation from a partner in a relationship. ...read more.


and long distance friendships (LDF) are more common than we think as a study by Rohlfind, 1985 found that 70% of students had at least one LDRR and 90% had one LDF. However, this theory does not take into account cultural differences as many of the research studies e.g. Rohlfing's was carried out in America and so what may happen in one culture cannot be applied to another. For example, in Western societies (individualistic cultures) there is a high degree of relationship choice and decide whether to end the relationship. The same cannot be said for collectivist cultures where ties to family and religion may play a role in holding a relationship together. Gender differences also need to be considered as men and women give different reasons for a break-up which has been proven by Boekhaut et al and Brehm and Kessin. ...read more.


However, as with a lot of relationship studies, this study was carried out on students who had not been in very long term relationships and so the results cannot be generalised to e.g. adults who have been married a long time with children. Also, ethical issues need to be considered when conducting such studies as the participant may experience distress when recalling the experience, as well as privacy and confidentiality looked at. A strength of this theory is that it can be used as marriage guidance to see at what stage the couple are at and find out what problems are occurring. However, this theory is largely descriptive in the sense that it only describes the stage of a breakdown and does not state why breakdowns occur. Duck (1999) suggested that they occur due to lack of skills, stimulation or maintenance difficulties. However, such explanations can only be applied to short-term relationships in individualistic cultures. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Social Psychology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

3* This essay demonstrates some knowledge and debate about some of the issues. Keep the structure simple with identifying theory, brief reference to research that backs up or refutes, and include individual differences, culture and gender. It is easier to compare two more different theories for example social exchange and evolutionary theories.

Marked by teacher Stephanie Duckworth 10/09/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Social Psychology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The effect of the Level of Processing on the amount of information recalled

    4 star(s)

    (see appendix 7) Participants were briefed, (see appendix 3) read out a set of standardised oral instructions, and given a question paper each. Participants were told that they have all been given a piece of paper with a list of sentences and a piece of paper to lean on.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Psychology formation of relationships

    3 star(s)

    The participants completed a second questionnaire during the dance about their partners. The results found that the more attractive the date they were more likely to liked by their date than less attractive dates. This study showed that physical attractiveness was the main characteristic in this experiment.

  1. Whistleblowing, The Problems and the Issue.

    In order to institute reporting procedures or implement problem-solving policies, an internal communication audit is recommended. An audit is defined as a process of exploring, examining, monitoring, or evaluating something (Downs, 1988). A communication audit focuses on communicative practices within the organization such as wastefulness and malpractice (Scott, Shaw, Timmerman, Frank & Quinn, 1999).

  2. "Anti-Social Behaviour is caused by a person's family background"

    There also seems to be particularly high levels of anti social behaviour from males who live in single parent working class families, this can be related to studies discussed earlier. However research was not conducted as to the reasons for why a higher amount of anti social behaviour is committed by this proportion of the population.

  1. How might prejudice develop and how might it be reduced?

    This study showed how individuals who completed questionnaires about the rating of their own country against others, demonstrated high levels of favouritism as apposed to national stereotyping, supporting Tajfel and Turners theory of social identity. A good example of this theory in everyday life is the existence of football hooliganism.

  2. Psychological Theories Of Crime

    The neurotic - stableness is related to moodiness versus even-temperedness. Neuroticism refers to an individual's tendency to become upset or emotional, while stability refers to the tendency to remain emotionally constant. The third dimension of Eysenck's theory is known as pyschoticism.

  1. Formation of Relationships

    Physiological support for the theory can be provided through the research of Aron et al (2005), which showed that intense romantic love was associated with activity in the reward regions of the brain. This indicates that love or attraction is rewarding, and this would provide support for the idea that attraction acts as a positive stimulus.

  2. Literature review - Research Papers into the psychology of athletes

    The outcome of this experiment showed that general coping styles are significantly related to general sources of acute stress. The hypothesis of this study provided results that are partially supported. The models showed that the athletes' coping styles were related to their respective sources of acute stress category.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work