SALT LAKE CITY (RNN) - Results from a recent study show that more people are putting an unusual item on their list of New Year's resolutions: Get a paternity test.
With fewer people opting for marriage, and with the popularity of shows like "Maury" that make paternity testing a central theme, more people seem to be questioning the paternity of their offspring.
The survey - commissioned by Identigene, a company that sells over the counter DNA paternity tests – says that one in 10 people have found themselves in situations where a paternity test would be appropriate. One in five people have had a close friend or family member question paternity.
"It's important for children and families to know the truth about paternity as it can impact a child's health, as well as their emotional health and well-being for years to come," said Steven Smith, executive director of Identigene, in a news release.
The survey confirms a trend in Identigene paternity test sales, which have spiked during in the first quarter of the new year every year since the product's 2007 release.
"The new year definitely seems to trigger many adults with paternity questions to take steps to address their question," Smith said.
The survey found that 51 percent of respondents with paternity questions were planning on addressing them in the new year, or wanted to but weren't sure where to begin.
The high numbers may reflect a man's fear of paternity fraud.
A 2005 study out of England examined other studies to pin down approximately how often fathers discover they are not biologically related to children they thought were theirs. Researchers found this situation applies to just 3.7 percent of the population.
The study also found that young parents who live in poverty and stay in long-term relationships without marriage are more likely to misidentify the father.
The Identigene Paternity Survey was conducted by Impulse Research in December with more than 1,000 respondents.
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