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Outline two theories of relationship breakdown

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´╗┐Outline t`wo theories of relationship breakdown (24 marks) One theory that suggests the reasons for relationship breakdown is by Duck (1999). Duck suggests three reasons; the lack of skills, the lack of stimulation and maintenance difficulties. Some relationships lack the interpersonal skills to make them mutually satisfying for both partners. If one individual has poor social skills this may lead to a lack of conversations between them and their partner, they may be poor at indicating their interest in other people and are likely to be generally unrewarding in their interactions with other people. This therefore results in the other individual losing interest as they may perceive them as not being interested in them and therefore the relationship breaks down as both individuals become distant with each other. Therefore according to Duck the lack of social skills results in the two individuals in the relationships not communicating and therefore unable to improve their relationship and sort out their problems. Another reason for the relationship breakdown is the lack of stimulation. According to the social exchange theory people are attracted to others who they find satisfying or gratifying to be with as they are rewarded. ...read more.


Boekhout et al showed how such affairs might be a direct reaction to the perceived lack of skills and/ or stimulation. Therefore this supports Duck?s theory as extramarital affairs can be explained by the theory and therefore proves that the theory has real-world application, so it is not lacking mundane realism. The importance of social skills in a relationship which is involved in this theory has led to the development of training programmes that attempt to enhance relationships skills in couples that are not very happy. Cina et al research showed that that couples that were involved in training programmes reported much high marital quality after training compared to the control group. This supports this theory as it proves that social skills are a very important factor to relationships and a lack of them may result in less marital quality. However a limitation of this theory is that maintenance difficulties may not be reliable. Holt and stone found that there was little decrease in relationship satisfaction as long as lovers are able to reunite regularly. ...read more.


The relationship then enters the grave-dressing phase, where it has ended. Partners now strategically reinterpret their view of their partner. In the final phase, resurrection partners prepare themselves for new future relationships, defining their wants and needs for future relationships. This theory is supported by observations of real-life breakups. Tashiro and Frazier surveyed undergraduates who had recently broken up with their partner. They reported that grave-dressing and resurrection phase allowed them to put the original relationship to rest and get on with their lives. This shows that the theory is reliable and many individuals can relate to the theory and believe it is accurate when comparing it to their own past or relationships. A limitation is there are ethical issues in breakdown research. The research into breakdown of relationships may lead of issues of vulnerability, privacy and confidentiality. For example in past violent and abusive relationships may not be comfortable taking part and may be fearful that their partner finds out that they took part in the research. Therefore the research does not include relationships such as abusive ones and therefore lacks generalisation of all relationships. ...read more.

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