Understand theories of relationships and social networks

8 August 2016

1. 1 Key principles of relationship theories – Stage theories in general describe how we go through distinct stages as we develop. Thus, rather than gradually changing, we typically make sudden shifts to different plateaus of perception and behaviour. Relationships go through a series of stages as they mature. Levinger’s model has ABCDE stages. A = Acquaintance/attraction. We meet other people and feel an initial attraction, often based on physical beauty and similarity. B = Build-up. We become increasingly interdependent as we reveal more and more about our private selves.

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We get irritated by one another, but the more pleasant aspects may well keep the relationship going. C = Continuation/consolidation. Longer-term commitments are made, such as marriage. The partnership enters what may be a life-long stable relationship. D = Deterioration. Many relationships decay, due to several factors. These include relative effort, rewards, barriers to exit (such as marriage and social obligation) and the availability of alternatives. E = Ending. The relationship ends when partners agree to separate or one leaves. 1. 2 Enhancements of health and social care practice – is for the benefit of people who use the service and staff to build and sustain positive relationships. When people understand the stage of the relationships they are in they can act according to what they want. If a person wants to sustain them, he or she would act to prevent deterioration. If a person wants to end them, he or she will get through the deterioration as soon as possible. 2. 1 Benefits of supportive relationships – Having caring relationships is important to an individual’s emotional well-being.

The way to develop supportive relationships is to be supportive to others. Spending time as much time as possible with people who have the qualities that support you and spending time away from individuals who do not have those qualities is the best route to developing supportive relationships. Supportive relationships help reduce stress and improve an individual’s general health and well-being. The more people in an individual’s life it is more likely that they will have a supportive relationship with one of them.

It is important to make time to develop and reinforce relationships by meeting up with them by going out and having fun with them. Being assertive by not letting people push you around will make relationships supportive and lasting for both individuals it will also encourage communication. When someone has had a hard day, is going through a crisis or has a problem sometimes being able to talk about their feelings will release their stress and they will feel better about themselves.

Knowing the people around you can bring a sense of security and a sense of pride. 2. 2. Possible impact of difficult or dysfunctional relationships – Dysfunctional Relationships are relationships that do not perform their appropriate function; that is, they do not emotionally support the participants, foster communication among them, appropriately challenge them, or prepare or fortify them for life in the larger world. Many relationships are dysfunctional because they contain “faulty programs” downloaded from past relationships.

Whether it is money, sex, jealousy, fidelity, or any number of other issues, to some degree or another, the theme is the same for them in the current relationship as those of the past 2. 3. Features of supportive relationships and dysfunctional relationship – A dysfunctional relationship may cause person feel: -a sense that he/she have to fit into someone else’s perception of what is right or wrong in order to be loved. -feel confined. -there is always something to fix in the relationship. -who you are is diminished in the relationship. -needs are not met in one way or another. -not to be good enough. -trapped. -fear to leave. – unhappiness of the situation. On the other hand, a healthy relationship has these characteristics that person would feel: – honoured. – more alive. – nurtured and supported for you to become more of who you are. – strength coming from partner allowing a person to explore ways to expand into new territories. – trust. – goals are the same, even though the ways of expressing them may be different. – each brings healing into the other through depth and security. – the relationship causes person to create a new dynamic based on the future rather than on what has been known in the past. – lucky. 3. 1 Process involved in the development, maintenance and breakdown of relationships – development – Reward/need satisfaction model direct reinforcement may encourage the formation of a relationship between individuals. Operant conditioning could occur where an individual is positively reinforced with the potential partner offering pleasant stimulus such as smiling. Additionally social needs may be provided for by this potential partner such as friendship and sex, furthering the likelihood of a relationship developing.

Alternatively negative reinforcement may be involved where a negative stimulus is removed by the potential partner e. g. If a woman helps a man through a troubled time in his life he may find her more attractive as she has helped to alleviate his negative stimuli. Liking through association – Classical conditioning The potential partner may be associated with pleasant circumstances. If someone was to meet another individual while they are in a good mood, they may then associate such individual with the positive mood, finding them more attractive as a consequence. – maintanance – The investment model of relationships developed by Rusbult expresses the importance of three factors for a relationship to persist successfully: satisfaction, quality of alternatives and the amount of investment. •Firstly satisfaction is the rewards minus the costs of being within a particular relationship. The outcome of this calculation is compared to the personal standard of what is acceptable, where if outcomes surpass the comparison level individuals are satisfied.

•Next would be the quality of alternative relationships, where if there is an attractive alternative to their relationship they may be drawn to it. •Sometimes however they may stay in a relationship just because there is a lack of better alternatives. Additionally they may feel that having no relationship would be worse than having an unsatisfactory one. •Finally with investments into the relationship, this is anything that an individual puts into a relationship that they have entered which may be lost if they leave it e. g. time, friends, material possessions. – the breakdown of romantic relationships Rollie and Ducks model of breakdown 1) Breakdown – One partner becomes increasingly dissatisfied with the relationship – if this dissatisfaction is sufficient, there is a progression to the next set of stages. 2) Intrapsychic – Internally: The individual may feel resentment towards their partner and become socially withdrawn. They may start to focus on partner’s faults while considering other possible alternatives for partners. 3) Dyadic Relationship problems are talked about, where reconciliation may occur.

Discussion at this stage may be constructive to alleviate problems or if not, destructive conversation may lead them to want to leave. Reconciliation 4) Social stage – the breakup is announced to friends and relatives, where advice and support are sought. They may blame the other partner the relationship breaking up as to reduce social implications of leaving the relationship. 5) Grave-dressing – Different accounts of why the relationship broke down for different listeners They may describe how the relationship came about, what is was like and why it dissolved.

6) Resurrection – Prepare for new relationships Think about what they want from a new relationship and what they should avoid. 3. 1 There are also some factors which may affect relationships. These are a) social factors – Social and emotional factors affecting relationships as well as physical factors. The ability to effectively express and validate tender, loving emotions, in a manner that’s nourishing and constructive, and being able to respond affirmatively when the other person does the same. For example: “How are you doing? ” “How are you feeling?

” “I love you,” “I appreciate you,” “I like it when we talk like this,” “I’m glad we’re spending this time together,” “you’re very important in my life,” “I’m sorry. ” c)cultural factors – Societal and cultural factors can contribute to perpetuating violent relationships. The actions of individuals and institutions are influenced by the norms, values, language, and other cultural factors that are like the dust in the air that surrounds everyone. These cultural factors are ingrained in us from the day we are born, and can play a role in either ending or perpetuating violence.

For example, domestic violence was not considered a crime in West Virginia until 1992. Prior to that, violence against a stranger was considered a serious and prosecutable matter, but violence against an intimate partner was often seen as acceptable. It is important to acknowledge the cultural norms that victims bring with them. These norms dictate how they may experience domestic violence and how they may react to it. People who live in rural communities may adhere to strong values of independence that prevent them from seeking help from “outsiders” or urban programs.

People of colour may adhere to a code developed through historical experience that has taught them not to trust the “white” culture and the formal systems it offers for assistance (e. g. , the criminal justice system, the social service system and domestic violence programs). Elderly people may have been conditioned not to discuss “personal” issues with strangers and are therefore reluctant to use “self-help” programs that require people to disclose abusive experiences. When people in same-sex relationships disclose domestic violence, they risk exposure to societal norms that condemn them as “evil” and expose them to hate crimes. b) economic factors – There are many factors that affect relationships which include employment, location, supply and demand, and pricing. It is found that economic factors are an important predictor of conflict for both married and cohabiting couples. Affection was particularly responsive to human capital rather than short-term economic indicators. Economic hardship was associated with more conflict among married and other long term couples. d) psychological factors – Feelings of closeness change the sense of intimacy and the level of commitment to the relationship which may result in psychological intimacy.

Intimacy is defined as a positive emotional bond that includes understanding and support. Intimacy is enhanced by interactions that involve self-disclosure (step 1), which is responded to with acceptance, acknowledgment, and understanding (step 2). This response, in turn, makes the self-discloser feel understood, valued, and esteemed (step 3). Intimate feelings are deeply linked with positive emotions of warmth, connectedness, and caring, and are so important to human needs that this is the most central reward of close relationships. e) physical factors – Hugging, kissing, caressing, cuddling, holding, and other forms of physical affection. Physical intimacy certainly includes sexual intercourse, but doesn’t have to. As long as other aspects of the relationship remain sound, physical intimacy between partners can often last a lifetime, even if sexual potency diminishes due to factors such as health, age, and stress. Also physical look, diet and physical activity are two major lifestyle factors that play a role in building relationship between people.

Both under- and over nutrition predispose to problems in relationships and worry about that other person. Physical activity is important in the prevention of functional decline and increased survival, reduced incidence of falls and fractures, and has various cardiovascular health benefits. Apart from prevention of diseases, exercise also has an important role in improving function in some chronic diseases such as heart failure or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which means people feel better about themselves and therefore want to be together.

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