Source: London School of Economics.
In contrast to 40 years ago, children born to older mothers today are more likely to perform better in cognitive ability tests than those born to younger mothers, reveals new research from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR).
This shift is due to the changing characteristics of women who have children at an older age, according to a paper published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.
Older mothers today tend to be more advantaged than younger mothers – for example, they are well educated, are less likely to smoke during pregnancy and are established in professional occupations. This was not necessarily true in the past.
Moreover, today an increasing number of women are having their first child at an older age and, on average, first-born children perform better on cognitive ability tests. This is possibly because they receive more resources and attention from parents than siblings born after them. In contrast, in the past, older mothers were likely to be giving birth to their third or fourth child.
London School of Economics “Dramatic Turn-Around in Cognitive Abilities of Children Born to Older Mothers.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 13 February 2017.
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