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  Breakdown
Updated 12 January 2004, 15.58
Rachel Stevens

PSHE 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Relationships

Overview
Ex-S Club star Rachel Stevens has split from her fiancÚ Jeremy Edwards, her management company announced on Sunday.

Students consider the causes of breakdowns in relationships.

Learning aims

  • Learn the main factors of interpersonal attraction.

  • Discuss these factors through learning from each other.
Icebreaker
Read the story:

Ask the class:

  • How can the pressures of having a busy life affect relationships?

  • To what extent can a 'split' be completely friendly?

Rachel Stevens with Jeremy Edwards

Main activity
Divide the class into groups.

Get the groups to try and agree an answer to this question: "What causes relationships to break down?"

Psychologists give the following reasons:

  • One person moves away (reverses proximity and familiarity)
  • Abuse of trust (deception)
  • Boredom
  • Life changes
  • Conflict
  • Lack of communication
Once this has been discussed challenge the groups to suggest the most important factors in starting a relationship.

Social psychologists' studies give the following reasons:

  • Physical attractiveness - with romantic relationships (Silverman, 1971)
  • Living near to each other - proximity (Festinger, 1950)
  • You like someone who likes you - reciprocity (Hewitt, 1972)
  • Seeing each other around - familiarity (Zajonc, 1968)
  • Having similar interests - similarity (Newcomb, 1961)
Extension activity
Pose the question: "Why are friends important in making a person feel happy?"

Here are some suggested reasons:

  • Enjoy shared experiences
  • We get positive feedback from mutual body language (smiling etc)
  • Support in a crisis
Plenary
Recap on the main teaching points and hear students' responses to the question in the extension activity.

Teachers' Background

  • When asked what makes your life meaningful, the most common answers are close friends and romantic partners.

  • Male friendships tend to be less intense emotionally than female.

  • Relationships are maintained in two ways: preventative care (doing things together) and repair (talking the problem over).

  • In new couples more emphasis is placed on prevention rather than repair.

For all links and resources click at top right.


More InfoBORDER=0
MusicBritney 'still hurting' after Justin break-up
MusicKylie splits from boyfriend
MusicRachel and fiancÚ Jeremy split up

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