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Newswise – COLUMBUS, Ohio – A new national study suggests that people whose mothers had more partners – married or living together – often go the same way.
The results suggest that mothers can transfer personality traits and relationship skills that more or less create a stable relationship between children.
"Our findings suggest that mothers may have some qualities that make them more or less desirable in the marital market and in better or worse relationships," said Claire Kamp Dush, research director and associate professor of humanities at the Ohio State University.
"Children inherit and learn these skills and behaviors and can take them into their relationships."
The study was published today (11-13-18) PLOS ONE.
Although many studies have revealed that divorce is also more likely to be divorced, this new study expands the image, said Kamps Shower.
"Now it's not just divorce, many children see their parents divorce, start a new spouse relationship, and they have the same essence," she said.
"All these relationships can affect the results of children, as we see in this study."
The data came from the National Longitudinal Study on Youth, 1979 (NLSY79) and the National Longitudinal Youth for Children and Youth (NLSY79 CYA). Both surveys have followed the same participants for at least 24 years.
All NSL79 CYA survey participants were biological children of NLSY79, so researchers were able to view the number of partners for a long time for both generations. Surveys included information not only about marriages and divorces, but also about spousal relationships and wasting.
The survey is run by the Ohio State Human Resource Research Center.
In this study, 7,152 people were involved in the NLSY79 CYA Survey.
Both the number of marriages and the number of females who lived together had a similar effect on the number of partners their children had.
However, the results showed that brothers and sisters whose mothers lived together longer had more partners than their brothers and sisters who were less likely to be cohabiting.
"You can see cohabitation as an attractive, lower-pledged relationship if you have seen your mother in such relationships for a long time," said Kamps Shower.
"This can lead to more partners, because the relationship between the spouses is likely to break."
The study discusses three theories about why children tend to follow their mothers in terms of number of relationships.
One theory is that many people are destroying relationships due to economic insecurity linked to divorce and divorce; one partner's income is usually lost. The theory says that economic difficulties can lead to poorer childhood outcomes and a more difficult transition to adulthood, leading to an increasingly unstable partnership in adulthood.
Although economic instability was indeed related to the number of partners that a person had, the control of the economic factors of the study did not significantly increase the parent-child relationship among partners. This means that money problems are unlikely to be the main reason why many people follow their mother's way when it comes to relationships.
The second theory suggests that the actual experience that your mother, who crosses divorce or divorces cohabitation – or due to multiple distortions – makes children more partners. According to this theory, an older half-maverick who saw his mother go through several partners would be more at risk than a younger middleweight who was not subject to so many partners.
But that was not the case, said Kamps Shower. The siblings, who experienced his or her mother's relationship in relationships, did not have a statistically larger number of partners than a brother who was not insolvent.
So, what does this explain why mothers and their children have common tendencies?
"Our results show that mothers can transfer their marital qualities and relationship skills to their children – better or worse," said Kamp Dush.
"It is possible that mothers with more partners who do not have good relationship skills or conflicts or have mental health problems, each of which can reduce relationships and cause instability. Apart from precise mechanisms, they can pass on these qualities to their children, making them the child's relationship is less stable. "
Camp Doug conducted a study with three former Ohio State graduates: Rachel Arocho, now North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Sara Mernica, now in the University of Texas; and Kyle Bartholomew, now TEKsystems in Grisboro, North Carolina.
Contact: Claire Kamp Dush, [email protected]
Written by Jeff Grabmeier, 614-292-8457; [email protected]