COPENHAGEN: Women are often urged to have babies while they are young. But postponing the decision to start a family may actually be beneficial in the long run – especially for their off-spring. New research from Denmark suggests that older mothers are more likely to raise well-adjusted children and be less exasperated by the process. Experts at Aarhus University monitored 4,741 mothers who were part of the Danish Longitudinal Survey of Children. Their children were repeatedly assessed at ages 7, 11 and 15. Once the data was processed, the mothers were deemed less likely to scold their children, who were in turn deemed to have fewer behavioral, social, and emotional problems. The results, which were published in the European Journal of Developmental Psychology, could partly be explained by the fact older women are generally more solvent and self-assured. We know that people become more mentally flexible with age, are more tolerant of other people and thrive better emotionally themselves, says Professor Dion Sommer from Aarhus BSS, who is one of the researchers behind the result. That is why psychological maturity may explain why older mothers do not scold and physically discipline their children as much. This style of parenting can thereby contribute to a positive psycho-social environment which affects the children upbringing, he concludes. The research comes just months after the American Geriatrics Society published a report which said having a baby later in life can boost your brainpower. Researchers tested 830 middle-aged women to find the connection between a later baby and cognitive ability. The reason is believed to be the surge of hormones which flood the body in pregnancy, which have been found to affect the brain chemistry and function. These brain changes from having a child are believed by some experts to last a lifetime, and it may be that having experienced them more recently is better.
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