Father's Age at Conception May Shape Child's Mental Health - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 02-28-2014, 01:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Traditionally, research has focused on women's "biological clock." But in recent years, scientists have been looking more and more at how the father's age at conception might affect the baby, too.

 

A study published Wednesday hints that age really might matter — in terms of the child's mental health.

 

Researchers from the University of Indiana and the Karolinska Institute found that compared with children fathered by men who were 20-24 years old, kids born to dads who were 45 or older were three times as likely to have autism and 13 times as likely to have ADHD. Kids born to older dads were also more likely to go on to develop substance abuse problems and get lower grades in school. The findings appear in JAMA Psychiatry.


"Paternal age may have a stronger effect than we previously realized," says Brian D'Onofrio, the study's lead author and an associate professor of psychology at the University of Indiana.

 

Read more on NPR

 

Find the Study Here

 

What do you think of this study?

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#2 of 13 Old 02-28-2014, 01:46 PM
 
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I think further studies should be done to see if this corrolation is genetic/physiological in nature (sperm getting "old")....or environmental, meaning that older parents are more or less likely to make certain parenting or medical choices than the younger generation... Also, within the group where the men are older, is there a difference between older men whose wives are of the same age, and older men who are married to women in their twenties?

 

Definitely something worth investigating.

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#3 of 13 Old 02-28-2014, 02:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by asherraifsmom View Post
 

I think further studies should be done to see if this corrolation is genetic/physiological in nature (sperm getting "old")....or environmental, meaning that older parents are more or less likely to make certain parenting or medical choices than the younger generation... Also, within the group where the men are older, is there a difference between older men whose wives are of the same age, and older men who are married to women in their twenties?

 

Definitely something worth investigating.

Totally agree. Too many variables. One study doesn't count for much.

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#4 of 13 Old 02-28-2014, 03:31 PM
 
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I would like to know who funded this study. Is this an attempt to divert the attention away from vaccines being the cause of autism?
my sons father was 55 at the time of conception and my son is the most healthy bright aware boy physically emotionally spiritually and mentally
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#5 of 13 Old 02-28-2014, 04:30 PM
 
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It's about probabilities and correlations, not inevitabilities and attention-diversion.  They are showing that probabilities of these outcomes is higher.  

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#6 of 13 Old 02-28-2014, 07:47 PM
 
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Vaccines being THE cause of autism? Really?! duh.gif

 

Autism is a complex disorder whose origins seem vastly genetic, and is likely caused by a myriad of factors, not just one isolated variable, like vaccines. Not to mention, there isn't a single legitimate scientific study (that isn't a super small sample size, purely correlational, that has proper controls, etc.) that finds that vaccines CAUSE autism. Not trying to start a big flame war here, but sheesh. I really wish more people would think critically and actually try to understand science and how scientific research is performed. Our society would be a lot better off.

 

Not to mention, that's truly great that your son is healthy, but your example doesn't prove whether or not father's age at conception is related to likelihood of autism - it's purely anecdotal. 

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#7 of 13 Old 02-28-2014, 07:52 PM
 
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This isn't the first study which has found that older fathers are more likely to have children with autism either. I'm not sure when the first study was done but we've know that for at least five years.

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

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#8 of 13 Old 03-01-2014, 10:40 AM
 
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Sperm doesn't "get old" .  Sperm is made consistently.....

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#9 of 13 Old 03-01-2014, 12:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by bayoumel View Post

Sperm doesn't "get old" .  Sperm is made consistently.....

That's true but, as we age, increasingly more mistakes are made in our DNA replication as new cells are made. That is why we show signs of aging. If this didn't happen we'd all still have newborn skin and stretchy blood vessels :-) The same is true for sperm cells. Even though they are freshly made, there are more mistakes in the process as men get older.
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#10 of 13 Old 03-14-2014, 12:32 PM
 
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Total anecdote - my father was in his 50's when he had me.  I have Asperger's.  He had two daughters earlier in life (in his early 30's) and they don't have it.  We also don't have anyone on either side of the family going back who was on the spectrum.

 

But really that's neither here nor there... our first two kids have ADHD, the third one (born 6 years later) doesn't.  BUT, DH already has the genes for ADHD - so those weren't de novo mutations.  I suspect mine was.

 

I think where that lies is that where there's no prior incidence of autism, ADHD etc the chromosomes might mess up in an older father.  Whereas if the father already has a mutation, it doesn't really matter when that person has a child.

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#11 of 13 Old 03-24-2014, 01:45 PM
 
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Depressing
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#12 of 13 Old 04-25-2014, 06:13 AM
 
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You can't swing a dead cat around the internet anymore without hitting upon one of these new reports. There will be another in a few month completely denouncing this I am sure. I wouldn't pay much attention to it if I were you.

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#13 of 13 Old 05-07-2014, 09:58 PM
 
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Interesting.  My Dad was 46 when I was conceived.  I've always believed I have ADHD. :) My sister was diagnosed with some learning disabilities, and he was 51 when she was born, but none of us has Autism or Aspergers or anything like that.  Or at least I assume we would know that. My mother was 45 when she had my sister.  She smoked the most with that pregnancy, and breastfed her the least, and she was the lowest birth weight of my mom's 7 children, and there are so many factors at play for these things.

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