Group dissolution is a topic that has attracted much attention recently. Scientists are interested in theoretical issues, such as how and why groups dissolve, whereas practitioners are interested in more pragmatic issues, such as how to delay the dissolution of groups that are helpful (e.g., self-help groups) and how to hasten the dissolution of groups that are harmful (e.g., youth gangs, terrorist cells).

One way to organize work on group dissolution is to distinguish between two general scenarios. The first involves the dissolution of groups that were not expected to last for a long time (e.g., juries, therapy groups, task forces, health care teams, and negotiating teams). Members of such groups know right from the start that their groups will someday dissolve. They may even know ...

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