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COULD DIVORCE BE GENETIC?
2018-03-15 00:00:00
Vittorio Hernandez

A new study found that the reason why offspring of divorced couples are more likely to experience divorce is genes shared between parents and children. There is no specific gene for divorce that can be detected, using blood or saliva sample, if a couple is at a higher risk for divorce.

But there is a family measure of genetic risk, Jessica Salvatore, a professor with the Virginia Commonwealth University and Lund University in Sweden, said. The research analyzed divorce patterns of people who were adopted and their adoptive and biological parents, The Daily Telegraph reported.

Genetic risk

Among the family measure of genetic risks are higher levels of negative emotions, inability to show constraint in a conflict, and being impulsive. These traits suggest that a person may be more predisposed to divorce because of genetics. The traits also contribute to potential breakdowns and relationship challenges.

Most research on divorce is anchored on the attachment theory which states that when kids watch their parents go through a divorce, it undermines their commitment to relationships. If the children have a secure attachment to their primary caregiver, they will grow up to have a positive approach to their personal relationship. But if the attachment was insecure, a child will be wary of relationships and find it difficult to trust. The child may think it is better to rely on yourself than another person, Sian Khuman, a psychologist at Relationships Australia in New South Wales, explained.

If a child is exposed to a healthy, positive relationship between the parents, it will allow a child to manage their emotions. But if the parents are upset and do not problem-solve together, the child will see conflict as scary and must be avoided. The child will grow up not knowing how to work out problems with the partner, being unable to manage emotions and be available for the partner, which can lead to divorce.

Not all divorces are negative

However, Khuman clarified that not all divorces are that bad. It can still be a positive step for everyone involved if the couple divorces well. She cited the case of a divorced couple who still communicate with each other, manage their different houses, and share time with the children. In such cases, it shows the children that while their father and mother may no longer love each other, they can set aside that lack of love for the children.

Salvatore said it can be a very healing set-up which teaches the kids about the power of understanding and negotiation. She noted that the genetic factors that influence divorce, such as showing higher levels of negative emotions, can be positive if the factors are identified and worked on.

She stressed that genes do not necessarily dictate the risk of getting sick or spell out a future divorce. Saying that something is genetic and runs in the family, such as divorce, will make people feel that they have been bitten by a werewolf and that divorce is inevitable. It is not the case because genes are just one factor in a complicated equation. People can trump the genes because divorce is not their destiny, Salvatore said.

Promotion and divorce

However, a new research by scientists found that women who start their marriage earning less than the husband or not working at all are significantly more likely to get divorced if their career suddenly moves forward. The finding is based on three decades of detailed Swedish register data which followed job candidates before and after promotions, Olle Folke, a political scientist at Uppsala University, and Johanna Rickne, an economist at the Stockholm University, said.

The bulk of the analysis is related to jobs in the public sector such as mayors and legislators. But the study also looked at women who were promoted to CEO roles at private companies, Fortune reported.

Folke and Rickne compared divorce rates among women who won elections and those who lost them and found that after three years on the job, she was seven percentage points likely to be divorced compared to the woman who lost the election. It doubled her baseline divorce probability, based on demographic factors such as age and education level.

Higher divorce rates for people in certain careers

Meanwhile, News.com.au reported that a recent analysis of US Census Data from the career website Zippia found that employees in certain fields have higher divorce rates by the age of 30. Analysis of the Bureau’s Public Use Microdata Sample found that the highest divorce rate belongs to first-line enlisted military supervisors. The job involves leading operations and coordinating the activities of enlisted military personnel.

Other careers with high divorce rates include logisticians, automotive service technicians and mechanics, and military-enlisted tactical operations and air weapons. Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst at Bankrate.com, a personal finance site, said that some of the most demanding professions can be hardest on marriage because of the time spent away, persistent danger, or insufficient pay.

[researchpaper 리서치페이퍼=Vittorio Hernandez 기자]


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