Paternal Age Associated With Children’s Mental Health


A study in JAMA Psychiatry finds that the association between advanced paternal age and psychiatric and academic morbidity is stronger than previously estimated, and attributes the cause to genetic mutations. An article in the U.K.’s Guardian, however, points out that other factors – such as the presence of older siblings, and parents’ divided attention – are unaccounted for in the article.

Abstract →

D’Onofrio, B., Rickert, M., Frans, E., Kuja-Halkola, R.; Paternal Age at Childbearing and Offspring Psychiatric and Academic Morbidity. JAMA Psychiatry. Online February 26, 2014. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2013.4525


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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].