Preparation for Child Psych PRITE and Boards
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Extremes of parental age had been associated with psychopathology.


Advanced age of either parent independently increases the risk for autism spectrum disorders (Durkin 2008)

  • maternal age of 35 years or older adjusted OR= 1.3 (vs. mothers 25-29 years old)
  • paternal age of 40 uears of older adjusted OR = 1.4 (vs. fathers 25-29 years old)


  • Having a young (<25 y.o.) or an older father (>30 y.o.) was associated with risk for schizophrenia.
    • The increase in risk for younger fathers was limited to male (not female) offspring
    • The population attributable risk percentage (PAR%) was 10% for paternal age ≥30 and 5% for paternal age <25. (Miller 2011)


  • Younger age of either parent is associated with increased risk for ADHD. Effect
    • there is a 78% increased risk for ADHD in youth born to mothers under 20 years of age. (Chang 2014)
    • Fathers under 20 y. had a 1.5-fold OR = 1.55 increased risk of having offspring with ADHD (vs fathers 25-29), while mothers and 1.4-fold increase in risk (Chudal R 2015).


Durkin MS. Advanced parental age and the risk of autism spectrum disorder. Am J Epidemiol. 2008 Dec 1;168(11):1268-76

Miller B. Meta-analysis of paternal age and schizophrenia risk in male versus female offspring. Schizophr Bull. 2011 Sep;37(5):1039-47

Chang Z. Maternal age at childbirth and risk for ADHD in offspring: a population-based cohort study. Int J Epidemiol. 2014 Dec;43(6):1815-24.

Chudal R. Parental age and the risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: a nationwide, population-based cohort study. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2015 Jun;54(6):487-94.e1