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Lots of us take after our parents in a myriad of unwanted ways, from that weird barking laugh to a lame sense of humour.

Now there's another trait to be worried about.

A study of 294 college students found that they were more likely to cheat if their parents had affairs.

Participants were asked if they had ever cheated on a romantic partner, and whether their parents had ever cheated.

The results are pretty convincing. While 44 per cent of students who had cheated on a partner had a parent who had cheated, this only applied to 22 per cent of students who had never cheated.

That means that students whose parents had cheated were twice as likely to cheat on a romantic partner.

The study suggested that parents who cheat make their children especially aware of the hurt that infidelity can cause - but they are sending out an even stronger message to kids that cheating is normal behaviour.

According to iNews, study author Dana Weiser of Texas University said:

Our research indicates that parental infidelity sends memorable messages to children about the greater acceptability of infidelity and these communications are internalised.

We find that parent infidelity is associated with an individual’s own infidelity.

Cheating is understandably maligned and frowned upon, but studies find that one-quarter to one-fifth of married people have cheated. That's a lot of us.

However, Weiser pointed out that a person whose parents had affairs were not doomed to cheat, it is simply just one factor that can determine infidelity.

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