Jack Dominian

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 10 November 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g5963
  1. Anne Gulland, London

Psychiatrist and founder of the Marriage Research Council

Jack Dominian was a psychiatrist and devoted much of his professional life to the study—and support—of couples and family relationships. His interest in this area was sparked by his psychiatric patients at the Central Middlesex Hospital who had complex social problems, with relationship and family breakdown a common theme.

There was little academic research into the impact of relationship breakdown, and Dominian managed to persuade generous friends and colleagues to donate some money for the establishment of the Marriage Research Council. The council, now called One Plus One, operated out of a Portakabin in the Middlesex car park, and its first research project was Who Divorces,1 which looked at the characteristics of couples who split up.

The study showed that more than a third of divorcees believed that the relationship problems that led to their breakdown started in the first year of their marriage, although there were stark differences between the sexes, with 44% of women and 23% of men seeing the beginning of their relationship problems in the first year of …

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