"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.