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Anthropol Anz. 2018 Jun 11;74(5):365-376. doi: 10.1127/anthranz/2018/0828. Epub 2018 Jan 12.

As tall as my peers - similarity in body height between migrants and hosts.

Author information

1
Loughborough University, School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, LE11 3TU, UK.
2
Aschauhof 3, Eckernförde - Altenhof, Germany.
3
University of Potsdam, Institute of Biochemistry and Biology/Human Biology, Potsdam, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

We define migrants as people who move from their place of birth to a new place of residence. Migration usually is directed by "Push-Pull" factors, for example to escape from poor living conditions or to find more prosperous socio-economic conditions. Migrant children tend to assimilate quickly, and soon perceive themselves as peers within their new social networks. Differences exist between growth of first generation and second generation migrants.

METHODS:

We review body heights and height distributions of historic and modern migrant populations to test two hypotheses: 1) that migrant and adopted children coming from lower social status localities to higher status localities adjust their height growth toward the mean of the dominant recipient social network, and 2) social dominant colonial and military migrants display growth that significantly surpasses the median height of both the conquered population and the population of origin. Our analytical framework also considered social networks. Recent publications indicate that spatial connectedness (community effects) and social competitiveness can affect human growth.

RESULTS:

Migrant children and adolescents of lower social status rapidly adjust in height towards average height of their hosts, but tend to mature earlier, and are prone to overweight. The mean height of colonial/military migrants does surpass that of the conquered and origin population.

CONCLUSION:

Observations on human social networks, non-human animal strategic growth adjustments, and competitive growth processes strengthen the concept of social connectedness being involved in the regulation of human migrant growth.

PMID:
29328347
DOI:
10.1127/anthranz/2018/0828
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