A view of delayed parenting: some implications of a new trend.


The voluntary postponement of childbearing until after age 30 has become much more common, especially as new opportunities for women have emerged. Little is understood about the psychological impact on parenting and on children of women's reordering of priorities with greater emphasis on work outside the home. The assumption is made and corroborated that older mothers, who have developed competence in the world before childbearing, bring to the mothering experience strengths and shortcomings different from those of their younger counterparts. The same is assumed to be true of fathers. In a study of "on time" and delayed parenting, we found older mothers with established careers to be generally more accepting and less conflicted in the parenting role than were younger professional women. They revealed strengths which were concomitant with their level of maturity and which seemed generally advantageous for their children's development. This study suggests the need for further inquiry into the profound impact on children of parental developmental achievements and indicates that the controversy about working versus nonworking mothers may be of much less importance than an understanding of adult development and its impact on the quality of parenting.

Cite this paper

@article{Frankel1982AVO, title={A view of delayed parenting: some implications of a new trend.}, author={Steven A Frankel and Marilyn J Wise}, journal={Psychiatry}, year={1982}, volume={45 3}, pages={220-5} }