Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Fertility history and cognition in later life

Read, Sanna and Grundy, Emily (2017) Fertility history and cognition in later life. Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 72 (6). pp. 1021-1031. ISSN 1079-5014

[img]
Preview
Text - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (612kB) | Preview

Identification Number: 10.1093/geronb/gbw013

Abstract

Methods: We analysed associations between number of children (parity) and timing of births with level and change in cognition among 11,233 men and women aged 50+ in England using latent growth curve models. Models were adjusted for age, socioeconomic position, health, depressive symptoms, control, social contacts, activities and isolation. Results: Low (0-1 child) and high parity (3+ children) compared to medium parity (2 children) were associated with poorer cognitive functioning, as was an early age at entry to parenthood (<20 women/23 men). Many of these associations disappeared when socioeconomic position and health were controlled. For women, however, adjusting for socioeconomic position and social contacts strengthened the association between childlessness and poor cognition. Late motherhood (>35) was associated with better cognitive function. Conclusion: Associations between fertility history and cognition were to large extent accounted for socioeconomic position, partly because this influenced health and social engagement. Poorer cognition in childless people and better cognition among mothers experiencing child birth at higher ages suggest factors related to childbearing/rearing that are beneficial for later cognitive functioning, although further research into possible earlier selection factors is needed.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://psychsocgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/cont...
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2016 11:15
Last Modified: 20 Nov 2019 11:54
Projects: ES/L001896/1, 324055
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council, National Institute for Health Research, European Research Council Advanced
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/65366

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics