Original Research Article
Why Does head form change in children of immigrants? A reappraisal
Article first published online: 24 MAY 2010
Copyright © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Human Biology
Volume 22, Issue 5, pages 702–707, September/October 2010
How to Cite
Jantz, R. L. and Logan, M. H. (2010), Why Does head form change in children of immigrants? A reappraisal. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 22: 702–707. doi: 10.1002/ajhb.21070
- Issue published online: 19 AUG 2010
- Article first published online: 24 MAY 2010
- Manuscript Accepted: 12 APR 2010
- Manuscript Revised: 5 APR 2010
- Manuscript Received: 26 JAN 2010
We test two specific hypotheses that explain the cranial changes Boas observed in Hebrews and Sicilians, namely that Hebrew change results from abandoning cradling of infants in America, while in Sicilians it results from impaired growth in America.
Boas's (1928) data were used to test these hypotheses. The role of cradling in cranial shape was examined by comparing cranial indices of U.S.-born and foreign children between 1.5 and 5 years of age. Age changes in cranial index of Hebrew and Sicilian children ages five to eighteen were examined to demonstrate differing patterns of age changes, which could be explained by environmental differences. Statistical methods employed were t-tests, least squares, and loess regression.
The difference between American and foreign-born Hebrew children arose prior to five years of age, after which it remained constant. American and foreign-born Sicilians, on the other hand, had similar cranial indices at age five, and diverged during the growing years, primarily because American-born children did not exhibit the reduction in cranial index with age seen in the other groups.
The results support the two hypotheses tested. Change in Hebrew cranial indices resulted from abandoning the practice of cradling infants in America. U.S.-born Sicilian children experienced an environment worse than the one in Europe, and consequently experienced impaired growth. We conclude that the changes Boas observed resulted from specific behavioral and economic conditions unique to each group, rather than a homogeneous American environment. Am. J. Hum. Biol. 22:702-707, 2010. © 2010Wiley-Liss, Inc.