Is Divorce Contagious? Researchers Say 'Yes'


Divorce could be contagious, according to new research from Brown University.

The study, conducted in Framingham, Massachusetts, shows that if a friend or loved one gets one that raises your chances.

Researchers discovered 75 percent of participants were more likely to end their marriage if a friend was divorced.

Thirty-three percent were more likely to divorce even if that happened to a friend of a friend.

Researchers call it social contagion. That's the spread of attitudes and behaviors through friends, family and social networks.

"The contagion of divorce can spread through a social network like a rumor, affecting friends up to two degrees removed," Rose McDermott, head researcher, wrote in a forthcoming article in the journal Social Forces.

Researchers concluded that healthy community plays a strong role in maintaining a healthy marriage.

"Although the evidence we present here is limited to a single network," McDermott wrote, "the…marriages endure within the context of communities of healthy relationships and within the context of social networks that encourage and support such unions."

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