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Study: Children of older women are better at math

Study: Children of older women are better at math
In 2022, mothers were on average 30.8 years old when they gave birth to their first child.

According to a German study, children of older mothers are better at math and more socially competent. If mothers were younger than 30 at the time of birth, the children mostly achieved below-average test results in math. The study examined the connection between later motherhood and child development.

According to the study, children of mothers who were at least 30 years old at birth have average or slightly higher skills. The same applies to the children’s social-emotional behavior. However, the differences between the groups are less pronounced, according to the German Federal Institute for Population Research (BIB) in Wiesbaden.

Important: financial possibilities

“The findings show that children develop significantly better if their mother is not in her twenties or even a teenager at the time of birth,” explained Mathias Huebener from the BIB. Co-author Susanne Schmid from the University of Oldenburg pointed out the connection between the support given to children and financial opportunities. “The development of children depends largely on the learning environment they experience in their parents’ home during their first years of life,” she explained.

The researchers have various possible explanations for the results. According to them, early motherhood is often associated with parents having low levels of education and lower income. If mothers have their children later, they can obtain higher qualifications and gain more professional experience beforehand, which promotes a conducive learning environment for the child. Income, level of education and partnership status are important prerequisites for a child’s development.

Another factor is the mother’s parenting behavior – for example, joint activities with the child. Maternal well-being and health behavior during pregnancy also play a role.

“Don’t postpone motherhood”

Despite the results, the study did not advocate postponing motherhood. Pregnancies after the age of 36 often pose health risks for mother and child. Rather, the results showed that the general conditions for young women need to be improved in the long term. This includes reliable and publicly funded childcare options. This enables younger mothers to successfully complete training or studies.

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