Posted on Nov 28, 2013

For years, researchers have been studying the concept of “social contagion” – The phenomenon in which trends spread through groups of friends. Recently, studies have found that you are more likely to be obese if your friends are obese, more likely to have babies if your siblings have babies, and more likely to engage in dangerous sexual behaviors if you’re friends are doing it, too.

Now, researchers are confirming that social contagion is also a factor in divorce—when your friends and family divorce, your chances of divorce increase.

This most recent study that has concluded that divorce can be contagious was conducted by Brown University and will be published in the research journal Social Forces. It used data collected by the famed Framingham Heart Study, a decades-long study of over 5,000 people living in a small town in Massachusetts. The study began in 1948 and now includes a second generation of participants.

Researchers found that a participant’s chance of divorce rises from 9 percent to 16 percent if a friend or close relative divorces. A participant’s chance of divorce rose to 12 percent if a friend of a friend experiences a divorce. However, the divorce of someone three degrees removed from your circle does not affect your chances of divorce.

The study concluded that the health of the relationships around you affect your own relationships. Good relationships support other relationships, while unhealthy relationships may take a toll on your own.

The Law Offices of Molly B. Kenny represent men and women as they navigate the divorce process. To find a knowledgeable and experienced Bellevue divorce attorney, contact us today at 425-460-0550.

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