Motherhood after age 50: an evaluation of parenting stress and physical functioning.

Journal Article

OBJECTIVE: To explore parenting stress and physical functioning in women who conceive after the age of 50 years. DESIGN: Prospective cohort. SETTING: University fertility center. PATIENT(S): Women who conceived and delivered after age 50 (n = 49) following egg donation were matched to women in their 40s (n = 49) and women in their 30s (n = 49) who conceived via assisted reproduction with a similar date of embryo transfer and gestational order. INTERVENTION(S): Questionnaires addressing parenting stress (Parenting Stress Index, short form) and physical and mental functioning (Version 2 of the SF-36 Health Survey). MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S): Norm-based scores for physical functioning, mental functioning, and total parenting stress (TS). RESULT(S): Women in their 50s showed a nonsignificant trend toward lower physical functioning scores compared with women in their 30s (54.8 +/- 4.1 vs. 56.9 +/- 4.3; P=.12) but higher mental functioning scores (53.6 +/- 7.3 vs. 50.1 +/- 7.0; P=.14). The percentage of subjects with high parenting stress (TS >80th percentile) varied between the groups but was not highest in the oldest (0%, 22%, and 6%, in the 30s, 40s, and 50s groups, respectively; P=.03). Adjustments for potential confounders did not alter the findings. CONCLUSION(S): Our data do not support the hypothesis that mothers of advanced maternal age have reduced parenting capacity due to physical or mental ability or parenting stress.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Steiner, AZ; Paulson, RJ

Published Date

  • June 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 87 / 6

Start / End Page

  • 1327 - 1332

PubMed ID

  • 17292363

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17292363

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1556-5653

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.fertnstert.2006.11.074


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States