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Study finds propensity for divorce may be genetic

Ohio couples know that marriage can be difficult and that each spouse brings their own baggage into a marriage, which many assumed could include commitment issues if a spouse came from parents who divorced. A new study found that genetics may be at play more than anyone previously realized.

According to Science Daily, a study by researchers out of Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden analyzed the Swedish registry to see whether adoptive children's marriages more closely resembled the marriages of their adoptive parents or their biological parents, and adopted children were more likely to mimic their biological parents' relationship. This goes against the current research, which has assumed that the reason children who come from divorced parents are more likely to divorce themselves is due to repeating what they saw growing up. Since the adopted children did not see their biological parents' relationship growing up, the researchers believe the connection is genetic.

The researchers believe character traits could be passed down that previous research has shown increases the likelihood of divorce, including people who are more neurotic having a more negative outlook on their partner. The researchers hope that this could help couples to work through their problems in different ways than traditionally handled by marriage counselors, who often focus on commitment issues when learning one or both partners have divorced parents.

As Health reports, the researchers do not believe a genetic predisposition to divorce means there is no hope. In fact, the researchers also analyzed 80,000 Swedes who were brought up by their biological mother and a step-father and found that while there were correlations with the biological father who did not raise them, the mother's relationship with the step-father was a larger predictor of whether or not that child would divorce. Researchers encourage those who have parents who divorced to consider it a risk-factor in their own marriage, but not a pre-destined outcome.

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