Children of Thirty-year-old Mothers Perform and Behave Better than Others

February 26, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. cognitive / ˈkɒg nɪ tɪv / (adj.) – relating to the brain
ExampleExperts measured the monkey’s cognitive ability through a test.

2. exhibit / ɪgˈzɪb ɪt / (v.) – to show or demonstrate
Example: The children exhibited an interest in art.

3. seek / sik / (v.) – to try to find something
Example: Ted is looking for a lawyer because he is seeking legal guidance.

4. status / ˈsteɪ təs, ˈstæt əs / (n.) – someone’s rank in relation to others
Example: Sarah achieved celebrity status because of her popular blog.

5. utmost / ˈʌtˌmoʊst / (adj.) – greatest or to the highest degree
Example She has utmost respect for her parents.


Read the text below.
A mother's age at childbirth can be linked to her child's intelligence, a study says.

Findings of the study suggest that children born to first-time moms in their thirties score better in cognitive tests and exhibit more desirable behaviors than those born to mothers in their twenties. The study was published in the journal Biodemography and Social Biology.

London School of Economics and Political Science researcher Alice Goisis said that mothers in their thirties are likely to have a good education, higher incomes, strong relationships, and healthier lifestyles. Mothers in this age group are also reported to plan and seek early pregnancy care. According to the researchers, these may be the factors contributing to the good performance of their children.

On the other hand, children born from mothers in their forties do not have the same advantages. Based on results, these children performed lower on tests measuring mental development. Their psychological well-being was also observed and, like in the mental development test, the children scored lower. Surprisingly, their mothers have similar socioeconomic status.

However, the researchers recognize the fact that they based their findings only on 53 mothers in their forties. Goisis said that the results of the study should be treated with utmost discretion because of the small number of participants.

This research, which is the first to observe mothers in their thirties and forties as different groups, used data from the Millennium Cohort Study. This study monitored 18,000 births in the United Kingdom.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you agree that children whose mothers are in their thirties have an advantage over those who have younger or older mothers? Why or why not?
·         What is the most important thing a mother can do to ensure her child’s well-being?

Discussion B

·         Do you think there is a difference between the role of a mother and a father? Give examples to support your answer.
·         What is a parent’s role to his or her child?

February 26, 2016