BIROn - Birkbeck Institutional Research Online

    The parenting of preschool children by older mothers in the United Kingdom

    Barnes, Jacqueline and Gardiner, J. and Sutcliffe, A. and Melhuish, Edward C. (2014) The parenting of preschool children by older mothers in the United Kingdom. European Journal of Developmental Psychology 11 (4), pp. 397-419. ISSN 1740-5629.

    8878.pdf - Author's Accepted Manuscript

    Download (596kB) | Preview


    The parenting literature has focussed on teenage motherhood but less is known about older mothers. In industrialises societies more women are giving birth later in life. The study examined whether there are any age trends in the use of discipline, home organisation, provision of learning opportunities, maternal responsivity and mother child relationships treating maternal age at birth as a continuous construct. The sample was from two national UK cohorts with common assessments at 3 years (N =24,610). Withholding treats or attention as discipline and parent/child conflict decreased as maternal age increased. Harsh discipline such as smacking was low for teenage mothers, highest in the mid-twenties after which it declined. Household chaos decreased with maternal age increasing up to age 30 after which it was likely to be higher. Positive and responsive parenting generally increased with maternal age up to about the age of 40 after which it plateaued. Thus overall, while older motherhood is associated with medical risks for mother and child it should not present problems in relation to parenting during the preschool years.


    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in European Journal of Developmental Psychology [copyright Taylor & Francis], available online at:
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Discipline, parent-child relationship, learning opportunities, preschool, family functioning
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Psychological Sciences
    Research Centres and Institutes: Children, Families and Social Issues, Institute for the Study of (Closed)
    Depositing User: Jacqueline Barnes
    Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2014 09:43
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:08


    Activity Overview
    6 month trend
    6 month trend

    Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.

    Archive Staff Only (login required)

    Edit/View Item Edit/View Item