According to one study, divorce can actually spread in a circle of friends. In other words, if you have friends who are divorced, it only increases your chances of being involved in a breakup. The study also finds that divorcees have denser social networks, and that popular people are much less likely to get divorced. Besides, divorcees are much more likely to end up getting remarried to other divorcees.
The research was based on an interesting analysis of longitudinal data from the Framingham Heart Study. The study was conducted by a team comprising of researchers at Brown University, Harvard University and the University Of California San Diego. The researchers were specifically looking at how social networks influence the risk of divorce, and the impact your friends can have on your breakup risks.
The results of the study confirm that divorce can definitely spread among friends. In fact, divorced friends can increase your breakup rate by as much as 75%. The study also found that the existence of children in a relationship did not necessarily influence the risk of divorce. However, having more number of children reduced the risk of being influenced by divorced peers.
Interestingly enough, the researchers also believe that paying attention to the health of your friends’ marriages, could actually be beneficial to the health of your own marriage. While divorced friends can increase your breakup risks, having friends in stable marriages can also have a positive effect on the state of your own marriage.
The researchers also recommend studying divorce as a collective phenomenon, and not just an individual one. In other words, they want to understand whether the high divorce rate in the United States, is a social phenomenon.