Maternal Relationship Skills and Behaviors
New research indicates that people whose mothers had more partners, either married or cohabiting, tended to have the similar experiences.
In DBT, we often talk about skills deficits and target behaviors impact client’s lives. This particularly study holds that mothers can have characteristics that make them more effective or ineffective in relationships, which the children inherit through modeling, and carry with them into their own relationships. Previous research has shown that children of divorce are more likely to divorce themselves, but now we are seeing that the children are also starting new cohabiting relationships and having those end as well.
The study looked at 7,152 people and revealed that the number of marriages and cohabiting partners had similar effects on how many partners the children had. In addition, siblings exposed to their mothers’ cohabitative relationships for longer periods had more partners than their siblings who were not exposed, or were exposed less. This finding suggests that cohabitation may be viewed as an attractive, lower-commitment relationship when individuals have seen their mother do it, despite the evidence that shows cohabitating partners are at increased risk of breaking up.