Kids Born To Older Women Have Better Cognitive Skills: Report

Pregnant Woman

A larger number of older women are giving birth today as compared to olden days. The trend can be seen all over the developed countries in the world. According to the National Vital Statistics Reports data, the average age of the first child being born to an American woman grew from 24.9 to 26.3 between 2000 and 2014. And regardless of the fact that it is the first child or later child, more women are giving birth at 35 and later. And recent studies have shown that children born to older women have better cognitive ability compared to those born to younger women.

study done in Britain took into consideration detailed research done in 1958, 1970 and 2000-2002 of the 10,000 births that took place in these three years. The researchers were trying to find the relation between the maternal age at children’s birth and children’s cognitive ability when tested at age 10-11.

Another change showed that women between the ages of 30 and 44 are giving birth at a much larger number since the baby boom era of the 60s. The two studies done earlier showed that children born to mothers at maternal age 35 to 39 had a lower cognitive ability and the children born to mothers who were 25 to 29 years old during pregnancy did better. However, the third and most recent study showed that children born to the 35- to 39-year-olds did significantly better on the cognitive testing than the children born to younger mothers.

A research fellow of the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany, and the lead author on the study, Alice Goisis said, “The characteristics of older mothers have changed drastically over time,” reported NY Times.

In earlier times, women who were having children in their 30s probably already had a few children and were not economically as stable as women in that age bracket are now, explained Goisis

The last study was done taking mothers in 2000-2002 into consideration and it showed a positive impact as women in this era were more likely to be educated and aware. In this era, 26% women were giving birth to their first child at ages 35-39, as opposed to 11 per cent in the 1958 study.

“Nowadays, children of older mothers have, on average, better outcomes because of the characteristics of women who tend to have children at older ages,” Dr Goisis said.

ALSO READ: Older women are more vulnerable in India: Report

Record Fall In US Teen Pregnancy

America may be a first world country, but it has been grappling with the issue of teen pregnancy since over four decades now. However, times have started to change and there seems to be a shift in the average age of pregnancy among American girls. The National Vital Statistics Reports data, published in January, reveals that in 2015, the birth rate in female American teenagers fell by 22.3 births per 1,000 females aged 15 to 19. This is a record plunge for American society.

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