Babies Born to Older Moms are Often Pretty Smart, Research Says
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
If you’re a Savvy Auntie hoping or expecting to have your own baby in your late 30s, and you’re concerned what your later maternal age may mean for your future child, here’s some interesting news. Simply because your child was born when you were older, he or she is more likely to be smarter than babies born to women in their twenties.
In a paper published in International Journal of Epidemiology by the London School of Economics and Political Science and Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, researchers looked at three longitudinal studies of cognitive testing from 1958, 1970 and 2001 of children ages 10 and 11. Children in the earlier two studies born to women in their twenties scored higher on their cognitive tests. However, children born in this century to women in their late 30s, scored higher than their younger counterparts.
The researchers explained that older first-time moms tend to be more well educated, have well-established professions, and are less likely to smoke while pregnant than younger first-time moms, and therefore babies born to older moms are born into better circumstances for cognitive development. This was less-true a few decades ago.
And when researchers removed social and economic characteristics out of the equation, “the differences across cohorts disappeared.” The researchers concluded that older women who give birth when their lives are at a greater advantage, their children have higher cognitive test results.
Dr Alice Goisis, a researcher at LSE and the lead author of the paper, offered why the modern shift is significant: “Cognitive ability is important in and of itself but also because it is a strong predictor of how children fare in later life – in terms of their educational attainment, their occupation and their health.”
So to the PANKs (Professional Aunts No Kids) who may have a first-birth in their late 30s, your baby may be at a great advantage. And for those who are hoping for that first child in your 40s, the study indicates similar findings, although the researches warn that the sample group was too small for conclusive results.
Published: February 15, 2017