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Genetic factors may be to blame for divorce: Study

The findings are notable because they diverge from the predominant narrative in divorce literature

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Genetic factors may be to blame for divorce: Study

Children of are more likely to get separated when compared to those who grew up in two-parent families, and factors may be to blame, according to a study.

The study analysed Swedish population registries and found that people who were adopted resembled their biological - but not adoptive - parents and siblings in their histories of


"We were trying to answer the basic question: Why does run in " said Jessica Salvatore, assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the US.

"Across a series of designs using Swedish national registry data, we found consistent evidence that factors primarily explained the intergenerational transmission of divorce," said Salvatore, first author of the study that appears in the journal Psychological Science.

The findings are notable because they diverge from the predominant narrative in literature, which suggests that the offspring of are more likely to get divorced themselves because they see their parents struggling to manage conflict or lacking the necessary commitment.

They grow up to internalise that behaviour and replicate it in their own relationships, researchers said.

"I see this as a quite significant finding. Nearly all the prior literature emphasised that was transmitted across generations psychologically," said Kenneth S Kendler, professor at VCU.

"Our results contradict that, suggesting that factors are more important," he said.

By recognising the role that genetics plays in the intergenerational transmission of divorce, therapists may be able to better identify more appropriate targets when helping distressed couples, Salvatore said.

"At present, the bulk of evidence on why runs in points to the idea that growing up with weakens your commitment to and the interpersonal skills needed for marriage," she said.

First Published: Thu, October 05 2017. 16:02 IST
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