Many in Pennsylvania and across the nation know that those who have divorced parents are more likely to divorce themselves. A new study says this could be due to genetics rather than repeating the behavior seen by parents.
According to Health, researchers studied the national registry data of nearly 20,000 Swedish adults who were adopted as children to see how their relationships resembled those of their biological or adoptive parents. The data showed that adopted children had a stronger resemblance to the relationships of their biological parents and siblings, instead of the parents who raised them. This came as a surprise to the researchers, who had seen previous studies suggesting the reason children are more likely to follow in their parents' footsteps of divorces is due to mimicry of behavior.
The researchers concluded that this is due to the inheritance of personality traits that can be challenging to deal with in marriage, such as a person being impulsive or neurotic. Previous research has shown that these traits can make a person more likely to end a marriage or their partner less willing to stay. Yet the researchers warn that this is only a risk factor for people to consider and not an absolute.
In fact, as Science Daily reports, the researchers hope their study can aid marriage counselors by changing the focus from the traditional issues with commitment and interpersonal skills to have a stronger focus on behaviors associated with challenging personality traits. Therapists may try to reduce negativity that can come from neuroticism, for example, rather than increasing commitment.