While childhood trauma is known to have poor impact on a woman's midlife health, a new study has uncovered the reason behind it and found that these females are more likely to have their first child both earlier in life and outside of marriage - factors associated with poorer health later in life. These results suggest that early trauma - such as the death of a parent, physical abuse or emotional neglect - may affect young people's decision-making in ways that they can't entirely control. Previous research has shown that childhood trauma is strongly associated with multiple health risks, including cancer, diabetes, stroke and early death, Williams said. The researchers examined data on how old each participant was when she first gave birth and whether she was married, cohabiting or neither. Finally, participants rated their health at or near age 40. Findings showed that each additional childhood trauma experienced by the participants was associated with earlier age at first birth and a greater probability for a first birth during adolescence or young adulthood compared to later (age 25 to 39). In addition, each additional trauma was associated with a 24 per cent increase in the probability of being unmarried and not cohabiting at first birth compared to the likelihood that they were married when their first child was born.