Spoiled Children of Divorce

Genetic Inheritance and Divorce
March 2, 2008, 5:36 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

A Study is being conducted in Colorado that’s trying to determine if the stress a child feels from his parent’s divorce is caused because of his Genetic make-up or because of the environment he lived in. Researchers claim that Divorce runs in families and they want to know if this is due to Genetics or Environment. They say that the Gene for impulsiveness, for example, is strongly passed on through the Genes.

They tend to think that the kids would have become screwed up anyway. No mention of how a kid with strong marker for “restless” genes behave when raised in a “restless” environment as opposed to a stable environment. The words that teachers and adults used to describe me when I was a kid were “sweet” “quiet” “Patient” “conscientious” “Intelligent.” After the divorce words they used were “What’s going on at home?” “Sweet” “You used to have so much bounce, what happened?” “Why are you so skinny?” “Man, you’re strung to a high pitch” “You’re a genius” “You’re a crazy neurotic genius” and finally “You’re a basket case.”

Moral of the story as brought to us by the Human Genome Project: Never ever consider providing a peaceful, stable home for your kids. You need to search for your own happiness.

The entire article can be found here: http://www.genomenewsnetwork.org/articles-07-00/growing-divorce.shtml.

Here’s a quote:

In 1972, DeFries and Plomin, then at the University of Colorado, began contacting young parents, usually the biological mother, of children who were being adopted, and gave them a series of tests. A few months later, when the child was placed, they gave the same tests to the adoptive parents. A control group of similar families was developed, and the researchers have been following the children and the families since.

Information on the 12-year-olds was obtained through interviews, standardized tests, and teacher reports. The measures included divorce, self-concept, social competence, academic achievement, the child’s behavioral and emotional problems, loneliness, and substance abuse. The researchers found no association between the child’s age at divorce and the level of behavioral problems.

no plans to identify specific genes

When the Colorado Adoption Project began, behavioral problems among children of divorced parents were blamed on the event itself or negative effects associated with living with only one parent. But studies done in the 1980s showed that many of these children had similar problems before and after the divorce; in addition, children who lose one parent due to death, it turned out, do not have the same problems as children of divorce. At least for some children, neither the conflict theory nor the single-parent theory fits their circumstances.

Meanwhile, it was becoming increasingly clear that divorce runs in families. During the 1990s, researchers, including McGue, found that if one identical twin becomes divorced, the chances of the other twin also becoming divorced are significantly greater than if the twins are fraternal. The inheritance of divorce, some researchers began to conclude, is really the inheritance of personality traits that tend to cause tension when certain people get together. Impulsiveness, for example, has a strong genetic component and is associated with relationship problems.

The findings in adults suggest that disruptions at home are not the whole story for children of divorce. It now seems possible that people who have difficulty with relationships may transmit to children risks for behavioral problems, and the mode of this transmission may be genetic. In an extreme example, a child’s troubles could have nothing to do with the breakup of a marriage and everything to do with inherited personality traits.

The Colorado children will be followed as they enter young adulthood. Trying to identify specific genes is not an option for now, and the researchers have no plans to do so. “At this point we are trying to say that other risk factors are involved,” says O’Connor. “This study is really a reminder that we need to try to avoid our tendency to focus only on the divorce event itself.”

2 Comments so far
Leave a comment

I think I can go along with something being either hereditary to predispositioned in terms of having a divorce more than how a child reacts to one. It makes you think though, it’s as if there always can be a scientific explination to people and their actions or reactions. There is also the belief that something scientific is not the explination on how a child deals with the divorce of his of her parents and has more to do with the specific situation that child is in.
Just my two cents
Ann Marie

Comment by Ann Marie

Thanks for your comment, Ann Marie. I, of course, am appalled by how these researchers are approaching these studies but also fascinated. I don’t understand the approach to this “one size fits all” treatment. The psychology profession has such a limited vocabulary when it comes to describing mental illness they truly can’t be relied on for anything.

There’s an autobiography that just came out about a man whose step-mother hated him and coerced his father to get him a lobotomy. It turns out that the boy wasn’t exhibiting any real problems, the stepmother was just a bitch. Someday, I suppose all these hateful stepparents out there will just have their stepkids taken in for gene adjustments to be made into robots so they don’t have to deal with them. It’s very frightening because I’m seeing how many of these types are out there through this blog. I know from my own experience how ruthless stepparents are. They rarely have a strong bond with their stepchildren so the kids have to be perfect. I don’t think the kids are safe at all.

Yesterday it was lobotomies, today it’s drugs, tomorrow gene splicing. Same dumb approach from the scientists and doctors.

Comment by toothless

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