Positive Parenting: Older Parents & Better Behaved Kids
Back in the 1970s, the average age of first-time moms was 21, but today, it’s 26.
In this Positive Parenting, we took a look at why having kids at an older age may have some benefits.
A study out of the Netherlands analyzed problem behaviors from more than 32 thousand kids age ten to 12. The problem behavior was rated by fathers, mothers, teachers, and the children themselves.
The researchers found older-than-average-age parents tended to have children with fewer externalizing behavior problems, such as aggression.
The study’s authors did note that older parents generally tend to have more resources and higher education but found the children’s behavior was not solely due to their parent’s income level.
This report comes after several other studies found a link to older fathers and increased risk for autism and schizophrenia in their children, whereas older mothers are more prone to issues during pregnancy. The Netherlands study suggests that parents should not need to worry about the increased risk of everyday externalizing behavior problems if they choose to have kids later in life.
The study found no link to the parents’ age and children’s internalizing behavior problems, such as anxiety and depression.