Older maternal age and child behavioral and cognitive outcomes A review of the literature

Older maternal age appears to exert a protective effect on offspring behavioral and cognitive outcomes. The extent to which this relationship is causal remains unclear.

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Jessica Elizabeth Tearne, B.A.

Volume 103, Issue 6, Pages 1381-1391


The trend toward delayed childbearing is widespread in industrialized nations. Although the physical consequences for offspring in utero and in the prenatal period are well known, the psychologic consequences of older motherhood for offspring have received less attention in the literature. In contrast to the heightened physical risks for offspring, the existing research suggests that children of older mothers are often at lower risk for problem behavioral and academic outcomes compared with offspring of mothers in their teens and twenties. Maternal age is inextricably linked with a complex web of psychosocial variables, and the challenge for future research is to better understand the relative influence of these variables on the relationship between maternal age and offspring outcomes.

Read the full text at: http://www.fertstert.org/article/S0015-0282(15)00301-5/fulltext

Fertility and Sterility

Editorial Office, American Society for Reproductive Medicine

Fertility and Sterility® is an international journal for obstetricians, gynecologists, reproductive endocrinologists, urologists, basic scientists and others who treat and investigate problems of infertility and human reproductive disorders.