According to studies, having three or more children is directly associated with worsening cognitive performance in later life.
A new study by Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, the Robert Butler Columbia Center on Aging, and the University of Paris-Dauphine found that having three or more children has a negative impact on parents later in life . In addition, according to these results, high fertility rates reduce financial resources in northern Europe and do not improve social resources in the region.
The research was based on the elderly population living in 20 European countries , mainly Germany, France and Italy, and Israel . As a result of the tests, it was determined that having three or more children was associated with worsening cognitive performance in the later stages of human life.
Similar effects are seen in both men and women
The researchers analyzed data from the European Survey of Health, Aging and Pensions ( SHARE ) to examine the extent to which having more than three children affects cognitive function in older people. According to the data obtained, parents who have more children may experience more stress, so they devote less time to leisure activities such as resting, which are cognitively stimulating. This means lack of sleep, and lack of sleep causes an unhealthy life. As a result, cognitive decline may occur.
Participants in the study consisted of men and women aged 65 and over . Each family had at least two children. According to the results, having three or more children equates to aging 6.2 years . In addition, this effect is seen similarly in men and women.
Three or more children can affect cognitive function in a variety of ways
According to the research, excessive birth rates affect cognition in different ways in later life. Having more children can often result in huge financial costs. The expenses incurred by children from the moment they are born reduce the family income. In this case, the living standard of the whole family may decrease and the parents may experience great stress and troubles. These problems have a significant negative impact on the functioning of the brain.
“And is there any downside to having more than three children?” The researchers answer our readers as follows: “ Besides lack of sleep, premature aging, financial difficulties, having children reduces the risk of social isolation, that is, loneliness, which are important risk factors such as cognitive impairment and dementia in older people. Frequent social interaction may protect against cognitive decline later in life. ”
The researchers intend to explore the effects of not having children on cognitive function in old age in future studies .