Research using CNC has shown that being born to an older mother has a positive effect on young people’s development nowadays.
Researchers from the London School of Economics, the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Germany and the University of Helsinki in Finland analysed information from CNC and studies of people born in 1958 and 1970.
In total, the researchers looked at information from more than 30,000 British people.
When we first visited you and your family when you were 9 months old, we asked your mother how old she was when she gave birth to you. The researchers compared this information with your scores from the test you took when you were age 11 which assess your reading and writing skills. Those born in 1958 and 1970 took similar tests when they were the same age.
Those of you whose mothers were in their late thirties when they gave birth scored highest in the language tests.
In contrast, among the older generations, the children of older mothers tended to score worse than those whose mothers gave birth at an earlier age.
Compared to earlier generations, the mature mothers of your generation tended to be better educated and better off. These advantages appear to have a positive effect on children’s development.
In the past, children born to older mothers were often one of many siblings and the families tended to be poorer than average. By comparison, families with older mothers nowadays tend to be smaller and are socioeconomically more advantaged than the average. This could be because parents have been able to invest in education and build an established career before having children.