Your Children Can Be Smarter if You Have Them After 30, Study Finds
A lot of research and articles say that the best age range to give birth is in your 20s. This is because things can get complicated if you become a mother too late. Yet more and more people postpone having kids until they are more mature and there is some good news for them, because a study found that having a child after you hit 30 might just be the key to having smarter children.
Bright Side delves into the topic to understand whether good things do come for mothers who wait to have their babies.
Mothers in their 30s make intelligent children.
Most studies on older mothers cover the risks for the mothers, but not many consider the benefits for the children if their mothers are older. But a study in the United Kingdom did just that, by looking at around 18,000 children enrolled in the Millennium Cohort Study (UK) to see whether there is a link between the age a mother gives birth and the child’s development. This study found that mothers who have their first child between the ages of 30-39 are more likely to have more intelligent children than mothers aged 20-29.
Kids born to moms who gave birth to them in their 30s generally score higher on cognitive tests at age 5 compared to 5-year-old kids of younger moms. This is in line with the findings of a study in Sweden, where the Grade Point Average (GPA), that shows how well people do overall in school, on average is studied on 16-year-olds. It turns out that the GPA is the highest for children born to mothers age 35-39 when they gave birth to the teens and second highest for kids of moms aged 30-34 at the time of birth.
They have more resources than younger mothers.
So the question now is why the age of a mother when she gives birth might influence how smart a child turns out to be. According to The London School of Economics, Alice Goisis, one of the researchers in the UK study theorized, “First-time mothers in their 30s are, for example, likely to be more educated, have higher incomes, are more likely to be in stable relationships, have healthier lifestyles, seek prenatal care earlier, and have planned their pregnancies.”
Much older mothers may not benefit.
That being said, the same study discovered that delaying pregnancies to after you reach 40 years old may not lead to a smarter child. However, this might be because there were only about 50 mothers aged 40 and above who were part of the data studied.
Whereas, in the Swedish study, 16-year-olds born to moms aged 40-44 did better than teens of moms in their 20s. Those born to moms aged 45 and above did only slightly worse than those whose moms were aged 25-29, and better than kids with moms younger than that.
It was different in 1958-1970.
In another study, the evidence was mixed about the impact of maternal age on a child's abilities. Using findings from data collected in 1958 and 1970, researchers found that 10 and 11-year-old kids born to mothers who gave birth to them at ages 35-39 did worse than those with moms aged 25-29.
However, this trend completely flip-flopped in the years 2000-2002 where children of mothers who were in their late 30s when they gave birth did better than those with younger mothers. Alice Goisis said that this could be because the characteristics of women have changed over the years.
Do you agree with the findings? Would you wait to have your little ones or would you prefer to start being a mother at an earlier age?