Divorce is widely known to have a wide variety of mental effects on the kids of separate parents, but is there a connection between children of divorced parents and their own eventual divorces?
According to past studies, spouses that are the children of divorced parents are three times more like to undergo the divorce process themselves. This concept, known as the divorce cycle, is based around the idea that children will grow up seeing their parents struggle to keep their conflicts out of the public eye, and in doing so, will eventually grow up to partake in the same behavior.
But a new study suggests that while nurture plays a role, we can’t count out nature.
Taking to research to get down to the bare bones of the divorce cycle, scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University and Sweden’s Lund University teamed up to analyze the marital habits of children that were adopted.
During their researchthey discovered that an adult tends to follow the pattern of divorce on their biological parents side, not their adoptive side.
This discovery has led researchers to conclude that genes do in fact play a role in some divorces, a theory that will be widely published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.
“What we find is strong, consistent evidence that genetic factors account for the intergenerational transmission of divorce. For this reason, focusing on increasing commitment or strengthening interpersonal skills may not be a particularly good use of time for a therapist working with a distressed couple,” said Jessica Salvatore, one of the co-authors of the upcoming journal article.
But while researchers are saying genes may play a part, they aren’t saying that genetics are the lone cause for a couple’s divorce.
(via IFL Science)