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The Boston Globe

Nation

Study links age of father to child’s mental health

NEW YORK — Children born to middle-aged men are more likely than those born to younger fathers to develop any of a range of mental difficulties, including attention deficits, bipolar disorder, autism, and schizophrenia, according to the most comprehensive study to date of paternal age and offspring mental health.

In recent years, scientists have debated based on mixed evidence whether a father’s age is linked to his child’s vulnerability to such individual disorders as autism and schizophrenia. Some studies have found strong associations, while others have found weak ones or none at all.

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