Do the odds of having heart disease increase if your parents have a history of heart disease in their family?
Do your odds of having cancer increase if there is a history of cancer in the family?
The answer to these questions is yes, the risks do increase. In a similar manner, children whose parents have divorced are more likely to divorce than those children who come from intact marriages, where the parents are committed to each other.
A recent article written by Robert J. Hughes, Jr., Professor of Human Development, at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign campus, has compiled the data to support this point. See the article entitled “Are Children of Divorce Doomed to Repeat their Parents’ Mistakes?”
The essence of the study is actually quite logical. Children learn from what they see. If they observe parents who are commited to working through conflict, they will be more likely to follow the skills that they have observed and learned for themselves. Unfortunately, the opposite holds true as well. If they observe lack of commitment, they will be more inclined to abandon their own personal relationships as they mature.
Raising strong, healthy children is a responsibility we all share as parents. The responsibility should not be taken lightly.