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Can divorce spread among friends?

If someone you know is going through a divorce in Denver, it may only be natural to then question the state of your own marriage. You may be surprised to learn that the divorces of your friends and family members may actually influence whether you too will get divorced. According to the Pew Research Center, one study found that having someone close you get divorced greatly increases your chances of also divorcing your spouse.

When someone who is only one degree of separation away from you divorces, you are 75 percent more likely to also go through a divorce. Examples of people who are one degree of separation away from you include your close friends, as well as family members such as siblings, parents and children.

The study also looked at how people who are two degrees separated from you influence your chances of divorce. By way of example, a friend of your best friend would be someone who is two degrees separated from you. When those people separate, you are 33 percent more likely to split from your partner than other couples. People who get divorced who are three degrees separated from you or more were not found to have any influence on the state of your marriage.

The study attributed this phenomenon to a concept known as social contagion. This means that certain beliefs and attitudes can spread through social groups like family members and friends. It is important to note that the study looked at participants from the same town and most were of the same racial and socioeconomic background. Therefore, the results may not apply to all populations across the country.

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