Children born to teen mums likelier to have delayed development

Washington: A new study has revealed that children born to teen mothers have less developed speaking skills at age five than kids of older mothers.

Dr. Julia Morinis, the lead author and researcher in the Centre for Research on Inner City Health of St. Michael's Hospital said that they don't believe that having a baby in your teens is the cause of underdeveloped speaking skills.

It's likely that being a teen mother is a risk factor that indicates poorer circumstance for development opportunities in some cases.

Morinis points to teen mothers' limited opportunities for education and well-paid jobs or single parenthood as social factors that have a significant negative impact on childhood development.

"Most differences in non-verbal and spatial abilities between these two groups of children can be attributed to significant sociodemographic inequalities in circumstance. But for verbal ability, there seems to be more going on," Morinis said.

The study identified parenting involvement - such as playing, reading, and singing with the child - was predictive of higher-level child development.

The study used data from the Millennium Cohort Study, a long-term nationally representative study of almost 19,000 children born between 2000 and 2001 across Britain. These children were assessed for reasoning skills and intelligence when they were five years old.

The study is published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.

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