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Are children of divorce more likely to divorce as well?

On Behalf of | May 24, 2021 | Divorce |

Over the years, there has been a lot of research into this question. Parents pursuing a divorce often fret over how their children will react to a divorce. Parents are not the only ones though, as child psychologists and other researchers have endeavored to answer this same question, which has persisted over the years. What should North Carolina parents know about this common worry?

Why is this such a common question?

There are two likely reasons why so much research has been completed on this subject:

  1. Families and researchers alike have noticed a trend that children of divorce frequently get divorced themselves
  2. Parents and families are worried about the effects a divorce could have on their children’s lives

So, is it true that children of divorced parents are more likely to get a divorce?

One thing that many sources can agree on is that a divorce does have some effect on children’s relationships. Whether that effect is positive or negative depends on the situation. For example:

  • Some children of divorce say they did not see an example of a healthy relationship or commitment, and that affects their own relationships.
  • Some say they actively chose to act against the example their parents set, allowing their relationships to succeed.
  • Others say that experiencing their parents’ divorce made them hesitant to have such a connection in a relationship.

The effects vary as widely as the children and parents who experience divorce. Parents must realize that the potential effects of their divorce depend on the individuals and the situation.

A 2016 study indicates that the rate of divorce among children of divorce is not related to the end of their parent’s marriage. Instead, as we have discussed in recent blog posts, researchers claim it is the exposure to parental conflict that make children more likely to divorce when they became adults.

Parents should not worry about the image of divorce, but rather the impact of conflict throughout the divorce process

Parents who seek a divorce should be cognizant of the ways conflict can impact their children. However, this does not mean that parents should worry about how their decision to end an unhealthy relationship will affect their child’s future relationships.