Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

The reversing association between advanced maternal age and child cognitive ability: evidence from three UK birth cohorts

Goisis, Alice, Schneider, Daniel C. and Myrskylä, Mikko (2017) The reversing association between advanced maternal age and child cognitive ability: evidence from three UK birth cohorts. International Journal of Epidemiology, 46 (3). pp. 850-859. ISSN 0300-5771

[img]
Preview
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (608kB) | Preview
[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Pending embargo until 1 January 2100.

Download (381kB) | Request a copy
Identification Number: 10.1093/ije/dyw354

Abstract

Background Studies on advanced maternal age – defined here as age 35 or older – and children’s cognitive development report mixed evidence. Prior studies have not analysed how the time period considered in existing studies influences the association. Methods We analysed trends in the association between maternal age and cognitive development using data from the 1958 National Child Development Study (n=10969), the 1970 British Cohort Study (n=9362), and the 2001 Millennium Cohort Study (n=11600). The dependent variable measures cognitive ability at age 10/11. Cognitive scores were standardised to a mean of zero and a standard deviation of one. Results For the 1958-1970 cohorts, maternal ages 35-39 were associated with 0.06 (95% CI: -0.13, 0.00) and 0.12 (95% CI: -0.20, -0.03) standard deviations (SD) lower cognitive ability compared to mothers in the reference category (25-29), while for the 2001 cohort with 0.16 (95% CI: 0.09-0.23) SD higher cognitive ability. For maternal ages 40+ the pattern was qualitatively similar. These cross-cohort differences appeared to be explained by the fact that in the earlier cohorts advanced maternal age was associated with high parity, whereas in the 2001 cohort it was associated with socioeconomically advantaged family background. Conclusions The results suggest that the association between advanced maternal age and children’s cognitive development changed from negative in the 1958 and 1970 cohorts to positive in the 2001 cohort because of changing parental characteristics. The time period considered can constitute an important factor in determining the association between maternal age and cognitive ability.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://ije.oxfordjournals.org/
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors © CC BY-NC 4.0
Divisions: Social Policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Sets: Departments > Social Policy
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2016 11:31
Last Modified: 30 Jan 2019 20:40
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/68527

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics