Are children of divorced parents more likely to get divorced?

On Behalf of | Oct 27, 2017 | Child Custody

One of the main considerations couples with children has when going through a divorce is how the divorce is going to impact their children. When children are younger, the expected psychological effect of the divorce is high, which is parents try their best to make the process as seamless as possible for their children. Research often backs up this claim, with many studies concluding that children of divorced parents are more likely to get divorced themselves. But New York residents may be surprised to learn that the factors that led to this conclusion are different from what they assumed.

There is a general belief that children mimic their parents, which is why there is an increased propensity for divorce. However, a study following 20,000 children suggests that divorces in children of divorced parents have more to do with nature than nurture-divorce could be coded into their genes. Researchers found that adopted children followed the behavioral patterns of their biological parents rather than adoptive ones.

One of the ways this could be explained is because children could share personality traits with their parents. Traits such as impulsiveness and neuroticism are both linked to genetics and divorces. These traits make it harder for people to both remain in a relationship and for others to remain in relationships with them.

The researchers are quick to point out that this is not a conclusive study-there are a number of reasons a couple might decide to end their marriage. Additionally, they also pointed out that environment does play a role-looking at data from more than 80,000 children also showed that marital history of the biological mother and step-father also predicted marital success.

This is why parents and courts try to keep a child’s best interests in mind when determining child custody issues-maintaining a relationship with children can go a long way in easing their emotional burden and demonstrating what a healthy marriage and parenting relationship can look like.