Parental Age and Offspring Childhood Mental Health: A Multi-Cohort, Population-Based Investigation

Maria A J Zondervan-Zwijnenburg, Sabine A M Veldkamp, Alexander Neumann, Stefania A Barzeva, Stefanie A Nelemans, Catharina E M van Beijsterveldt, Susan J T Branje, Manon H J Hillegers, Wim H J Meeus, Henning Tiemeier, Herbert J A Hoijtink, Albertine J Oldehinkel, Dorret I Boomsma

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Abstract

To examine the contributions of maternal and paternal age on offspring externalizing and internalizing problems, this study analyzed problem behaviors at age 10-12 years from four Dutch population-based cohorts (N = 32,892) by a multiple informant design. Bayesian evidence synthesis was used to combine results across cohorts with 50% of the data analyzed for discovery and 50% for confirmation. There was evidence of a robust negative linear relation between parental age and externalizing problems as reported by parents. In teacher-reports, this relation was largely explained by parental socio-economic status. Parental age had limited to no association with internalizing problems. Thus, in this large population-based study, either a beneficial or no effect of advanced parenthood on child problem behavior was observed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalChild Development
Early online date31-Jul-2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31-Jul-2019

Keywords

  • ADVANCED PATERNAL AGE
  • OLDER MATERNAL AGE
  • DE-NOVO MUTATIONS
  • PROBLEM BEHAVIOR
  • RISK
  • INFORMANT
  • CHILDREN
  • ASSOCIATIONS
  • DEPRESSION
  • DISORDERS

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