Outlining and Evaluating theories of relationship breakdown.

Topics: Sex, Western world, Male Pages: 5 (1512 words) Published: October 17, 2013
Niall Farrell
A2 Psychology

Outline and evaluate 2 theories of relationship breakdown .

Stephanie Rollie and Steve Duck developed a model of the termination of close and intimate relationships in 2006.This model focuses on the processes that typify relationship breakdown , rather than being tied to distinct phases that people pass through . The 6 stages may appear to overlap or have common features but also serve very different purposes and ultimately have different consequences.

Initially , the first stage is breakdown , this is where one of the partners decides that they can't stand it any more and only when this dissatisfaction manifests itself into a complete reality check of 'I can't stand this any more' do we see a progression to the next stage of this stage theory. After the breakdown Rollie and Duck suggest that the second stage is something known as the intra-psychic process ; this is generally characterised as a social withdrawal and resentment with the dissatisfied partner focusing on their partners faults and a sense of being underbenifited. This normally coincides with a tendency to re-evaluate the relationship and consider alternatives. The next stage is something known as the dyadic processes ; this is where partners begin to talk with each other about the problems leading to the breakdown , sometimes this can result in reconciliation as the other partner accepts the validity of the dissatisfied partners views.( only if its constructive not destructive ) This stage could be seen as the make or break stage where issues are brought up like ' we need to stay together for the kids' or just a general believe that things don't have the capacity to change.The fourth stage in this model is social processes ; the break up is aired and made public to friends and family , generally , advice and support and sought from people outside the relationship and alliances are created (e.g. you can do better than her) .Also in this stage things are discussed which tell us that a relationship is progressing deeply through the stage , for example child custody. The fifth stage is the grave dressing processes ; this focuses on the spectra of the relationship I.e. How it started ? , what was it like ? How it went wrong . This stage also sees partners organize their post relationship lives and begin to publicise there own accounts of the breakdown. It is highly likely that not the same story is told to everybody as the ex partner may want to appear in a different light to different people , e.g. new potential partners. The final stage of Rollie and Ducks model is the resurrection process ; this is simply the final evaluation of the relationship and what the partners need to improve on or change for their next .

Rollie and Ducks model is supported by observations of real-life break ups . Tashiro and Frazier 2003 surveyed undergraduates who had recently experienced the breakdown of a romantic relationship . They found that not only had the students experienced emotional distress but at the same time had new insight into what they wanted in their next relationship . This links support to the grave dressing and resurrection process as it is setting a new template for the future thus supporting 2 stages of the model and consequently lending support and credibility to the model. On the contrary the fact that it looked at undergraduates who are new into a scene with loads of people they don't know leaves this research open to scrutiny of age bias , the model even states that young adults tend to ' test the market ' and that the 6 stages mainly apply to older people , this doesn't necessarily reduce validity of the model but casts doubt on the generalisability of it

The model doesn't consider individual differences which I believe plays a massive intrinsic and extrinsic role in this process. In 1998 Akert found the role people played in the dissolution of the relationship was the single biggest indicator of the impact of...
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