Journal article

Role of maternal age at birth in child development among Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australian children in their first school year: a population-based cohort study

Mark Hanly, Kathleen Falster, Emily Banks, John Lynch, Georgina M Chambers, Marni Brownell, Anthony Dillon, Sandra Eades, Louisa Jorm



BACKGROUND: Indigenous Australian children are twice as likely to score poorly on developmental outcomes at age 5 years than their non-Indigenous peers. Indigenous children are also more likely to be born to younger mothers. We aimed to quantify the relationship between maternal age at childbirth and early childhood development outcomes in Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. METHODS: In this population-based, retrospective cohort study, we used data from the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) that were probabilistically linked by the New South Wales (NSW) Centre for Health Record Linkage to several NSW administrative datasets, including the Perinatal Data Collection, the Register..

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Awarded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Awarded by NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence grant

Awarded by NHMRC Early Career Fellowship

Awarded by NHMRC capacity building grant

Awarded by NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship

Funding Acknowledgements

The Seeding Success Study Investigator team comprises Kathleen Falster, John Lynch, Louisa Jorm, Emily Banks, Marni Brownell, Sandra Eades, Rhonda Craven, Kristjana Einarsdottir, Deborah Randall, Sharon Goldfeld, Alastair Leyland, Elizabeth Best, and Marilyn Chilvers. This work was supported by an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) project grant (no. 1061713). MH received support from an NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence grant (no. 1135273). KF was supported by an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship (no. 1016475) and an NHMRC capacity building grant (no. 573122). JL received support from an NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence grant (no. 1099422). EB was supported by an NHMRC Principal Research Fellowship (no. 1136128). MB was supported by the Manitoba Centre for Health Policy Population-Based Child Health Research Award. The funding agencies had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, the decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. We would like to thank the Australian Government Department of Education, the New South Wales (NSW) Ministry of Health, the NSW Register of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, the NSW Department of Education, and the NSW Department of Family and Community Services for allowing access to the data included in the study. We thank the NSW Centre for Health Record Linkage for linking the data sources in the study. We thank policy colleagues who participated in discussions about this work at investigator meetings (NSW Health: Emily Klineberg; Department of Family and Community Services: Jessica Stewart and Michael Henman) and commented on drafts of this manuscript (NSW Health: Elizabeth Best). We thank the Centre for Big Data Research in Health's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Maternal and Child Reference Group for their contributions to discussions about the design, findings, and translation of this research from the project outset. We also thank two Aboriginal health workers with the Sydney Children's Hospital Network, for discussions informing the interpretation and translation of this research.