Children whose parents get a divorce in the first few years of their life often experience a more insecure relationship with their parents as adults compared to children who experience divorce later.
Those who experience parental divorce early in their childhood tend to have more insecure relationships with their parents as adults than those who experience divorce later, researchers said.
"By studying variation in parental divorce, we are hoping to learn more about how early experiences predict the quality of people's close relationships later in life," R. Chris Fraley of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, said.
Psychologists are especially interested in childhood experiences, as their impact can extend into adulthood, but studying such early experiences is challenging, as people's memories of particular events vary widely.
He said that parental divorce is a good event to study, as people can accurately report if and when their parents divorced, even if they do not have perfect recollection of the details.
The study is published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.