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The Dissolution of Intimate Relationships: A Hazard Model

Diane Felmlee, Susan Sprecher and Edward Bassin
Social Psychology Quarterly
Vol. 53, No. 1 (Mar., 1990), pp. 13-30
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2786866
Page Count: 18
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The Dissolution of Intimate Relationships: A Hazard Model
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Abstract

We conducted a longitudinal investigation to advance our understanding of determinants of the breakups of premarital relationships. We considered causes, derived from several major theories, that were located in a variety of sources in the relationship, in the social network environment, and in the individual. We extended previous longitudinal research methodologically by analyzing the data with hazard analysis, in which the dependent variable is the instantaneous rate at which a relationship terminates. In the analyses we examined how measures of different factors affected the rate at which a relationship changed from intact to broken up. We found that several variables were significant predictors of the rate at which relationships terminated, including comparison level for alternatives, amount of time spent together, dissimilarity in race, support from partner's social network, and duration of the relationship. These findings offer evidence suggesting that variables derived from social exchange, similarity, and social network theories all contribute toward an explanation of premarital breakups.

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