They say that the apple rarely falls far from the tree, and this seems to be exactly the case with relationship traits shared between a mother and daughter, according to a new study.
The results from a study conducted by researchers at Ohio State University suggest that both daughters and sons can mirror the amount of partners their mother has had.
Comparing the relationship history of over 7,000 people with their mothers’ love lives, they found that for every extra partner a mother has had, her offspring are 5% more likely to have an additional partner too.
Commenting on the findings Professor Claire Kamp Dush, who led the study from Ohio State University, said, “Mothers may pass on their marriageable characteristics and relationship skills to their children – for better or worse.
“It could be that mothers who have more partners don’t have great relationship skills, or don’t deal with conflict well, or have mental health problems.
“They may pass these characteristics on, making their children’s relationships less stable.”
The research forms part of a national US survey – which includes data on 7,152 people whose mothers had up to nine partners.
Examining the data researchers found that the number of relationships weren’t linked to mothers’ financial situations – quashing the idea that families from lower incomes may change relationships motivated by greater financial security.
They also found that children of divorce were more likely to have numerous relationships than those who had grown up with a mother in a stable relationship.
The above led researchers to conclude that being in unstable relationships is something that can be inherited down the generations, alongside issues such as a lack of trust in romantic partners.
They stated, “Individuals who are more agreeable, extroverted, conscientious, and less neurotic tend to have more stable unions. Couples that divorce have poorer communication styles, less provision or receipt of social support, and more undermining and destructive conflict, all of which may be learned by their children.”