2019 › Trails



Parenting and family factors: Parental age and offspring childhood mental health: A multi-cohort, population-based investigation

Authors: Zondervan-Zwijnenburg MAJ, Veldkamp SAM, Nelemans SA, Neumann A, Barzeva SA, Branje SJT, Van Beijsterveldt CEM, et al.

To examine the contributions of maternal and paternal age on offspring externalizing and internalizing problems, this study analyzed problem behaviors at age 10–12 years from four Dutch population‐based cohorts (N = 32,892) by a multiple informant design. Bayesian evidence synthesis was used to combine results across cohorts with 50% of the data analyzed for discovery and 50% for confirmation. There was evidence of a robust negative linear relation between parental age and externalizing problems as reported by parents. In teacher‐reports, this relation was largely explained by parental socio‐economic status. Parental age had limited to no association with internalizing problems. Thus, in this large population‐based study, either a beneficial or no effect of advanced parenthood on child problem behavior was observed.

Parenting and family factors: The greener the better? Does neighborhood greenness buffer the effects of stressful life events on externalizing behavior in late adolescence?

Authors: Weeland J, Laceulle OM, Nederhof E, Overbeek G, Reijneveld SA

We tested whether neighborhood greenness is a promotive and/or a protective factor in the development of adolescent externalizing behavior problems and explored a possible mechanism of its effects via respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) recovery after stress. Data from a longitudinal multi-method study on adolescents (N = 715) was used. Result showed that neighborhood greenness was neither a promotive nor a protective factor. However, adolescents who reported more stressful life events showed more externalizing behavior and –contrary to our expectation− this effect was stronger for adolescents who grew up in greener neighborhoods (vs. less green neighborhoods).