Study shows age a positive
TELETHON Kids Institute research has shown that children born to older mothers fare well when it comes to behaviour.
The study, published in Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, revealed that as a mother’s age at childbirth increases, the risk for behaviour problems in her child decreases.
It used data from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study and aimed to determine whether children’s behaviour development was impacted by the age of their parents when they were born.
Study author Jessica Tearne from Telethon Kids said a trend in western countries for people to have children later in life had given rise to a number of studies looking at the impact on both their and their children's health and wellbeing.
“While a lot of these studies have looked at how older parental age relates to severe mental illnesses, not many have looked at how having older parents influences more general behaviour problems in children,” Ms Tearne said.
The study looked into whether children displayed higher or lower levels of both internalising behaviours and externalising behaviours if their mum was in their mid-thirties or older when they were born.
“What we found from studying the data is that the older the mother at birth, the risk of her child exhibiting problem behaviours decreases significantly, after accounting for other important variables such as socioeconomic status,” she said.