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Study finds that divorce might be contagious

In popular culture, divorce is a prevalent topic of discussion in New Jersey and around the United States. It is hard to watch a television show, read a magazine, or read a book these days without coming across some mention of divorce.

In fact, articles analyzing the causes of divorce, how to deal with divorce, and how to deal with its aftermath are frequently published by the top news sources in the world. Additionally, scientists have increasingly started to study the causes and effects of divorce. 

Recently, a study conducted by Brown University concluded that divorce might be contagious. They found that having a friend or family member experience divorce might make you more susceptible to pursue a divorce. The study involved the observation of thousands of people over approximately three decades. 

The researchers that conducted the study named this phenomenon “social contagion,” meaning, “the spread of information, attitudes, and behaviors through friends, family, and social networks,” according to a CBS article. Therefore, by being exposed to a friend or family member’s experiences, feelings, and ideas about divorce, you may open yourself up to considering your own relationship through a similar lens. 

The study found that three-quarters of the participants were more prone to getting divorced if a friend got divorced. Furthermore, over 30 percent of the participants’ marriages were likely to end based on a twice-removed connection to someone who had been divorced, showing that even people we do not interact with on a daily basis can impact our thoughts about our relationships.

With divorce, it is always important to consider what is best for you, regardless of what is best for your friend and his or her relationship. If you are considering divorce, then the consultation of an experienced attorney can help you to understand your rights in your unique situation.

Source: CBS Local, "New study says divorce can be contagious," April 30, 2014

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