Dads who have children when they are older have sons who are more intelligent and socially aloof, according to research released Tuesday from King's College London and New York's Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment.
"While previous research has shown that children of older fathers are at a higher risk of some adverse outcomes, including autism and schizophrenia, this new study published today in Translational Psychiatry suggests that children of older fathers may also have certain advantages over their peers in educational and career settings," King's College wrote on its site.
Researchers collected data from 15,000 sets of UK-based twin pairs at the age of 12 and developed a "geek" index to predict future academic success.
"Overall, higher geek index scores were reported in the sons of older fathers," wrote King's College. "This effect persisted after controlling for parent's social/economic status, qualifications and employment. In addition, they found that 'geekier' children do better in school exams, particularly in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects, several years after their geek index was measured."
Children of either older moms or dads have been reported to have a higher risk of autism and schizophrenia, but this research suggests more studies need to be done on how the genes for geekiness and autism could overlap.
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