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J Biosoc Sci. 1999 Jan;31(1):1-16.

A phylogenetic analysis of the relationship between sub-adult mortality and mode of subsistence.

Author information

1
Department of Anthropology, University College London.

Abstract

The hypothesis that measures of sub-adult mortality rates in natural fertility populations are associated with subsistence practices in a selected cross-cultural sample (n = 39) was tested. After controlling for both distance from the equator and the general likelihood of cultural similarities between genetically closely related cultures using phylogenetic comparative methods, it was found that dependence on extractive modes of subsistence (hunting, gathering and fishing) was a significant positive correlated of total child mortality (15q0). Both increases in dependence on foraging and permanent settlement were associated with increases in child mortality between pairs of historically related cultures. The results indicated little association between infant mortality (1q0) and either dependence on foraging or settlement.

PIP:

Studies have suggested that among traditional, pre-industrial human populations, some demographic parameters are or were associated with the mode of subsistence. Based upon the analysis of data on a cross-cultural sample of 39 cultures, findings are reported from a test of the hypothesis that measures of sub-adult mortality rates in natural fertility populations are associated with subsistence practices. After controlling for distance from the equator and the general likelihood of cultural similarities between genetically closely related cultures using phylogenetic methods, it was found that dependence upon extractive modes of subsistence such as hunting, fishing, and gathering, was a significant positive correlate of total child mortality. Increases in dependence upon foraging and permanent settlement were associated with increases in child mortality between pairs of historically related cultures. Little association, however, was found between infant mortality and dependence upon foraging or settlement.

PMID:
10081233
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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