Washington: Women, who experience motherhood later in life, are more compassionate mothers than their younger counterparts, according to a recent study. The result should be seen in conjunction with the widespread recommendation not to have children too late. This recommendation is based on knowledge about e.g. declining fertility and the health risks during pregnancy and while giving birth which are associated with advanced maternal age.
“However, when estimating the consequences of the rising maternal age it’s important to consider both the physical and psychosocial pros and cons,” said researcher Dion Sommer from Aarhus BSS.
Previous research has indicated that a higher maternal age is associated with increased psychosocial well-being during the pregnancy and the early days after the child is born.
Older mothers are at greater risk of experiencing complications during pregnancy and while giving birth than younger mothers. They are at greater risk of having a miscarriage, giving birth prematurely and having children with deformities.
On the other hand, studies show that older women thrive better during the first part of motherhood. They worry less during the pregnancy, are more positive about becoming parents and generally have a more positive attitude towards their children.
Previous studies that have tracked children up until their school age indicate that children with older mothers – regardless of their parents’ background, education and finances – have a better language and have fewer behavioural, social and emotional problems. This study tracked children of school age and found that children with older mothers had fewer behavioural, social and emotional problems at age 7 and 11, but not at age 15.
The reason is that older mothers have more stable relationships, are more educated and have obtained better access to material resources. But it is also interesting to look at the significance of age when these factors are removed from the equation. In such analyses, age can be interpreted as an indicator of psychological maturity
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