A new study reveals that children of older mothers face a lower risk of developing serious behavioural problems up to the age of 17 years.
The study, published in the Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology journal, states that the age of a woman at childbirth affects the baby's behaviour in later stages of life. The age of father does not seem to affect the behaviour of the child.
Study co-author Dr Monique Robinson said it is a woman's personal wish as to when she chooses to have a baby.
"There's a number of risks that goes with being an older mum as well. This is really saying, 'there's some good news associated with older motherhood as well'."
The study, by the Telethon Kids Institute, reveals that when woman who are in their early 20s become mothers, they are more likely to face a difficult time with anxious or anti-social children.
The study took into consideration behaviours such as delinquency and aggression, anxiety, withdrawal or depression. The proportion of mothers with children who had serious behavioural problems fell from 21.7 percent for those who were between 20 and 24 years at childbirth to 13.8 percent for those women who were between 25 and 29 years at childbirth, Herald Sun reports.
For those women who had children before 20, around 27.9 percent had kids with serious behavioural problems; while among those mums who had babies after 40, 7.8 percent had moody children.
Mothers who had a child after turning 40 belonged to the smallest group in the study.
As many as 2000 Western Australian families took part in the research. The mothers were asked to answer a number of questions on problem behaviours when their child was aged, two, five, eight, 10, 14 and 17.
When factors like impact of education, ethnicity, income, maternal smoking and alcohol consumption were considered, it was noticed that the chances of having children with behavioural problems decreased as the mother's age increased.
"The next step is really, why? Why are we seeing that there are benefits for older mums?" Dr. Robinson said.
Gradually people are following the trend of having children later in life as they become more career-oriented and want to establish themselves before settling down personally. It seems, it is a good choice!