Study reveals children with older mums are slightly different to their peers 2 months ago

Study reveals children with older mums are slightly different to their peers

We are forever hearing about how much longer women are waiting these days to start a family.

And while the effect this is having on fertility is hard to ignore, it is not all bad news that women are more mature by the time they get around to having babies, a study has shown.

So if you are approaching your late 30 or even 40s and wondering if you are too old to have a baby – or add another baby to your family, this new research might just provide you with some reassurance.

According to a recent study in the journal, Child Development, children born to older parents are better behaved.

The study looked at 32,892 Dutch children between the ages of 10 and 13. It focused on Dutch mothers due to their overall high maternal age at the birth of their first baby and relatively few teenage pregnancies.

The parents ranged between the ages of 16 and 68, and they studied the behaviours of their children according to themselves, their parents and their teachers.

There was a focus on what they refer to as 'externalising problem behaviour' which are behaviours which are directed towards others of a person's environment. Some examples are: bullying, vandalism and arson.

And the results?

The article confirmed, "a beneficial association between advanced parental age and externalising problem behaviour." That is, older parents have children who are less likely to display externalising problem behaviour.

As for why this is, the article provides some suggestions.

"Being a child of older parents can have substantial benefits, as older parents not only are often in a better socioeconomic position than young parents, thereby providing a more favourable environment for children, they also have greater life experience."

The researchers also suggested that, "older parents display more hardiness and tend to have less substance use and fewer mental health problems, hence score higher on parenting factors that promote health and development."