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Divorce Clustering Subject of Researchers

"Divorce clustering" subject of researchers from three North American universities.  Sociologists and psychologists led by Dr. Rose McDermott of Brown University in Rhode Island found that any divorce causes a ripple effect through families, friends, and even work colleagues. Dr. McDermott and her team studied 12,000 couples from 1948 living in in Framingham.  The team found a direct link between knowing divorced people and the risks to a marriage.  Dr. McDermott reports that that is a "person to person effect" and that the "full network shows that participants are 75% more likely to be divorced if a person - obviously other than their spouse 0 that that are directly connected to is divorced.  The size of the effect for people at two degrees of separation, for example the friend of a friend, is 33%.  At three degrees the effect disappears." 

Dr. McDermott and her team also found an increase of divorce rates among family members and co-workers increased the odds of a marriage ending.  The researchers also found a 22% increased chance of divorce if a sibling had divorced.  Couples with children were reportedly "less susceptible to being influenced toward divorce." 

The study concluded that the number of divorced people a person knows leads to an increased risk in his or her own marriage.

The phenomenon has been aptly titled "divorced clustering.


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