Isolation by distance between spouses and its effect on children's growth in height
Article first published online: 5 JUL 2011
Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume 146, Issue 1, pages 14–19, September 2011
How to Cite
Kozieł, S., Danel, D. P. and Zaręba, M. (2011), Isolation by distance between spouses and its effect on children's growth in height. Am. J. Phys. Anthropol., 146: 14–19. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.21482
- Issue published online: 22 AUG 2011
- Article first published online: 5 JUL 2011
- Manuscript Accepted: 6 DEC 2010
- Manuscript Received: 14 MAY 2010
- marital migration;
- physiological efficiency;
- energy budget;
- growth in height
Heterosis is thought to be an important contributor to human growth and development. Marital distance (distance between parental birthplaces) is commonly considered as a factor favoring the occurrence of heterosis and can be used as a proximate measure of its level. The aim of this study is to assess the net effect of expected heterosis resulting from marital migration on the height of offspring, controlling for midparental height and socioeconomic status (SES). Height measurements on 2,675 boys and 2,603 girls ages 6 to 18 years from Ostrowiec Świętokrzyski, Poland were analyzed along with sociodemographic data from their parents. Midparental height was calculated as the average of the reported heights of the parents. Analyses revealed that marital distance, midparental height, and SES had a significant effect on height in boys and girls. The net effect of marital distance was much more marked in boys than girls, whereas other factors showed comparable effects. Marital distance appears to be an independent and important factor influencing the height of offspring. According to the “isolation by distance” hypothesis, greater distance between parental birthplaces may increase heterozygosity, potentially promoting heterosis. We propose that these conditions may result in reduced metabolic costs of growth among the heterozygous individuals. Am J Phys Anthropol, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.