A new study that has been described by some (including me) as ‘flawed’ seems to suggest that divorce might be contagious.
Researchers say that if a close friend divorces, then the chances of your own divorce increases by 75 percent. They claim that a divorce has ripple effects on loved ones, close relatives, friends and even coworkers.
The research, which was led by Dr. Rose McDermott, tracked more than 12,000 Americans living in Framingham, Mass. The researchers looked into the lives of the people since 1948. According to McDermott, “These results go beyond previous work intimating a person-to-person effect to suggest a person-to-person-to-person effect. Individuals who get divorced may influence not only their friends, but their friends’ friends as the propensity to divorce spreads.”
The researchers also say merely knowing more divorced couples greatly increase your risk of divorce. The researchers also said a friend’s friend divorce negatively affects your own marriage’s chances of succeeding.
But critics of the study say that the premise of the research is flawed. They claim that the researchers culled their data from a previous 1948 work called “Framingham Heart Study.” They claim that the Framingham Heart Study makes it almost impossible to know the reason for the divorce.
I’m all for social research, really I am, but it’s also the most difficult type of scientific study to perform with success. There are often way too many variables to be able to reach any type of true scientific conclusion. I think this study is utterly ridiculous. The researchers used a small sampling of people and took mismatched (sorry for the pun) data, reached a bogus conclusion then expanded that to the general population.
Divorces happen for as many reasons as there are couples, just like marriages. It is simple-minded to believe you can ‘catch’ divorce from your neighbor’s failing relationships, any more than you can ‘catch’ love from your married friends.
What do you say we stop wasting any more research funds on this type of nonsense, and put real effort into understanding human behavior, and what makes and breaks adult relationships.
— The Curator