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Is Divorce Genetic?

Genes might contribute to the incidence of divorce rates, a study has revealed.

A study published in the journal Psychological Science by Jessica Salvatore and Kenneth Kendler of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) and Lund University in Sweden, compared children who grew up in a two-parent’ home to those who grew up in divorced homes and found that children who had links to family divorce tend to get divorced.

The researchers used 20,000 Swedish adults database from the Swedish national registries which contain residents’ sex, year of birth, year of death, marital status, criminal activity, education and alcohol abuse, biological and adoptive parents of adopted children.

They found out that children who were adopted acted out the relationship status lives as their biological parents.
Just as the eye colour and body shape are gotten from the genes, divorce-linked personality traits such as negativity and low levels of constraints can also be passed on.

This, the authors say, disproves the notion that most children remotely copy the parent of parents, adoptive or biological.

“A lot of the scientific evidence to date has suggested that seeing your parents go through a divorce contributes to your own propensity to experience divorce yourself. But those studies haven’t controlled for the fact that those parents are also contributing genes to their children. By looking at adopted children, we’re able to separate out the genetic factors and the environmental ones.”

Yet, she adds a clause:

“This is absolutely not a perfect predictor. It’s simply an increased risk, just as if you had a parent with an alcohol-use disorder, you’d also be at increased risk for developing one yourself.”

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