School of Psychological Science

Postgraduate Profiles


Jessica Tearne

Phone: (+61 8) 6488 2479


Start date

Feb 2011

Submission date

Feb 2015

Jessica Tearne


The effect of maternal and paternal age at childbirth on mental health and cognitive outcomes in the offspring: A longitudinal cohort study


My PhD will focus on maternal and paternal age at childbirth and mental health and cognitive outcomes in offspring through the use of longitudinal data from the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study. Where parental age has previously been analysed as a control variable to adjust for the sociodemographic characteristics of the parents, the present study will analyse maternal and paternal age as the main predictors of offspring mental health and cognitive development. Despite evidence of advantages such as increased education, higher income, and stronger social support, the findings relating to benefits and costs of advanced parental age to offspring have been mixed.

Why my research is important

Given the immense sociodemographic changes taking place in terms of families in the past 20 years, and specifically the increasing proportion of parents of advanced age, it is important to quantify the effects of this on outcomes in offspring.


  • Australian Postgraduate Award
  • University of Western Australia Top-up Scholarship
  • ISSBD-JF Early Career Scholar Mentored Fellow


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Friday, 23 January, 2015 3:27 PM