"Daughters provide more social and emotional support than sons and often become informal caregivers," revealed Katrin Wolfova, who is the lead author of the study.
A brand new study has found a link between parents raising boys and cognitive decline. The study recently published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research shows that parents with at least one son had a faster rate of cognitive decline—including dementia—as compared to those who had no sons to raise.
The team from Charles University in Prague and Columbia University in New York came upon these findings after collecting and analyzing data from more than 30,000 participants over the age of 50 and their spouses. At least 13,222 parents with one son were reported to have experienced faster cognitive degeneration compared to those who had none. Parents who had more than one son also reported losing their cognitive abilities faster than those who only had daughters.
Those who took part in the study had to complete regular cognitive tests which assessed and determined their mental skills such as memory, concentration, thinking, and understanding. These assessments included memorizing a list of 10 words, counting down from 100 in sevens, and counting backward for 10 continuous numbers.
The authors said in the paper that "their results also suggest that cognitive decline was faster among parents of multiple sons, compared to parents with only daughters. Thus, the results support the theory that having sons might have a long-term negative effect on parental cognition."
Researchers suggest that there might be a faster cognitive decline in parents with sons over daughters because daughters are more likely to look after their parents in their elderly years and offer emotional support. As parents grow old, this support is essential to keep them mentally and physically fit. "Daughters provide more social and emotional support than sons and often become informal caregivers," revealed Katrin Wolfova, who is the lead author of the study.
According to China Daily, a similar study was conducted by Lu Fangwen, an associate professor of development economics at the Renmin University of China, and Liu Guoen, an economics professor at the National School of Development at Peking University, a few years ago. They studied the responses of 4,309 families that took part in the China Social General Survey in 2008 and compared the happiness levels of parents based on the gender of their firstborn. The researchers found no evidence supporting the patriarchal belief that having a son ensures better care for parents in their old age. "Quite the opposite, our research shows that having a son significantly reduces the happiness index of elderly parents, in both rural and urban areas," said Lu.
Representative Cover Image Source: Getty Images | monkeybusinessimages