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Does getting divorced run in your genes?

Mental health professionals have long debated whether children of divorce are more likely to divorce themselves. The thought has been that the psychological effects have an impact on children leading to a higher likelihood of instability in their own relationships.

But what if the reason for certain people being more likely to divorce has nothing to do with their upbringing but something to do with their genetic makeup instead?



recent study completed by researchers from the Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden suggests that divorce may have less to do with your upbringing and more to do with your genes. The study found that people tended to resemble their biological parents, but not their adoptive parents when it came to family functioning.

These findings would lend support for a change in the way that mental health professionals assist divorcing couples or a person struggling with a decision to end a relationship. If the issues are predominantly genetic, then addressing personality issues may assist the couple more than the couple's interpersonal skills.

While this study reveals just one perspective and approach, the results are surprising and worth additional consideration. As divorce professionals, it is important to continue to challenge the way we tackle these challenging issues in family law.


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