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J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2017 May;56(5):391-400. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2017.02.004. Epub 2017 Mar 6.

Parental Age and Offspring Psychopathology in the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort.

Author information

1
Lifespan Brain Institute, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Neuropsychiatry Section, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Electronic address: ameri@upenn.edu.
2
Lifespan Brain Institute, Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Neuropsychiatry Section, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
3
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Increasing evidence implicates advanced paternal age at offspring birth in neuropsychiatric disorders. Advanced maternal age has also been associated with schizophrenia and other neurodevelopmental disorders, whereas younger maternal age has been linked with behavioral disorders. Few studies have considered the specificity of the associations with respect to comorbidity. In addition, most prior studies have been conducted in clinical samples or registries that may reflect more severe forms of psychopathology. The aim of this research is to examine the independent and joint associations of maternal and paternal age with specific subtypes of psychopathology in offspring in a pediatric sample of adolescents with emergent psychiatric syndromes.

METHOD:

A total of 8,725 youths (aged 8-21 years) from the Philadelphia Neurodevelopmental Cohort were included in the analyses. Logistic regression models with parental age predicting offspring psychopathology were adjusted for sociodemographic factors and comorbid disorders.

RESULTS:

We found that younger parental ages were generally associated with increased rates of offspring psychopathology. After controlling for sociodemographic characteristics and comorbidity, both younger maternal and paternal ages were associated with behavior syndromes and psychosis in youth, whereas advanced paternal age was associated with pervasive developmental disorders/autism spectrum disorder (PDD/ASD).

CONCLUSION:

These findings suggest that both younger and older parental age at birth are associated with specific forms of psychopathology in offspring. The persistence of the influence of parental age after control for demographic factors and an index of social environment suggests that additional explanations for these findings should be examined in future studies.

KEYWORDS:

epidemiology; maternal age; parental age; paternal age; psychopathology

PMID:
28433088
PMCID:
PMC5458772
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaac.2017.02.004
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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