Infectious Power of Divorce

The Pew Research Center has released an article about a recent study conducted by the Social Science Research Network that has highlighted the infectious strength of divorce. Although this study was conducted with a small group of participants and is not a direct reflection of the population as a whole, it is insightful data on the probability of divorce and its relativity to family and friends on social networks.

The study found that if you were divorced, you would likely choose a next partner who was also divorced. People who have many friends in their social group are less likely to separate from their spouse than those with fewer friends. The study revealed there is a 77% chance of divorce if you have a friend who is also divorced and a 33% chance of divorce if you have a friend of a friend who is divorced. The research facilitator, Rose McDermott says, “The contagion of divorce can spread through a social network like a rumor, affecting friends up to two degrees removed.” Divorce affects not only those who are directly involved, but it can create an infectious impact on those who are less tied to you and your marriage.

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