A woman’s personality can affect when she chooses to have her first child, according to a new study. The research found that traits such as ‘conscientiousness’ and ‘openness’ were associated with delaying motherhood, while more neurotic or extrovert women were more likely to have children young.
The study of over 16,000 mothers, by the Institute of Social and Economic Research, looked at the relationship between fertility, education and personality traits.
Researchers cross-referenced five different personality types – conscientious, neurotic, open, agreeable and extrovert – with the age at which the women had their first child.
Lara Tavares, the author of the study, said that the average educated woman had their first child two years later than her average less-educated counterpart – but analysis of personality traits could explain this timing gap more clearly.
‘Personality traits influence both education and fertility decisions,’ she said. ‘More ‘open-minded’ people might be less vulnerable to the social pressure for having children.
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