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Is divorce in your genes?

Much like eye color, a recent international study found a possible link between genetics and happily ever after. The transmission of traits from parents to offspring can have a significant impact on whether we stay married or call it quits. While there is no one gene that indicates a higher probability that you are destined for divorce, there is an overall measure of genetic family risk.

All in the family

Professors stateside collaborated with Swedish Lund University to examine patterns in divorce among people who are adopted and the marriage traits of their adoptive and biological parents. Individual characteristics like high levels of negative emotions, impulsivity and lack of emotional constraint are all indicators that you may be more prone to relationship problems and ultimately divorce. Up until this point, research has indicated when children see their parent’s relationship end; it can weaken their own perspective on commitment and relationships.

Attachment theory

When children experience a positive relationship between their parents, they tend to grow up having a healthier approach to forming their intimate relationships. The same can be said if children see an unstable relationship between their parents. Besides being wary of relationships, children come out of this type of environment finding it hard to be trusting of others. Developmental psychology utilizes this model, known as attachment theory, like a sort of barometer to gauge the importance of attachment in personal growth as well as interpersonal connections.

Being “diagnosed” with a family history of divorce is not terminal. Even if the symptoms seem to show that you are predisposed to divorce due to genetic influences; that does not necessarily mean your fate is sealed.

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