Skip to main content

For a long time, we have heard our parents saying things like, “Having kids ages you,” and then, as we began to grow into adulthood, it’s likely we have been singing that same old song. But, how true is that adage? A recent study set out to find this out, and what they found was quite interesting.

Being an adult is hard, and being a parent is even harder. Some would speculate that being the parent of a boy is even harder than that, but is that true? Well, according to a recent study, it is.

The study was carried out by Columbia University in New York, and the focus of the study was to see if the brains of the parents of sons aged faster. To find out, they assessed the brains of 13,222 parents aged 50 and above. They were tasked with a variety of tests such as memory recall, mathematics and even counting backward.

Over 80 percent of them had at least one son, with over 60% of the correspondents being women. The researchers conducted the tests every two years for 18 years. Unfortunately, the turnout was not optimal, especially for those who had more than one son. According to their results, both women and men had similar results, with the main factor being their child’s gender.

“Parents of at least one son had a faster rate of cognitive decline in comparison to parents without any son. Our results also suggest that cognitive decline was faster among parents of multiple sons, compared to parents with only daughters,” researchers concluded.

“Thus, the results support the theory that having sons might have a long-term negative effect on parental cognition.”

While some might speculate that there was a biological reason, the researchers determined it to be more of a social or environmental factor.

“Daughters provide more social and emotional support than sons and often become informal caregivers,” researcher Katrin Wolfova wrong in the paper.

The results of the study were published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research.