American Journal of Human Biology (Am J Hum Biol )

Publisher: Human Biology Council, John Wiley and Sons


The American Journal of Human Biology is a peer-reviewed internationally circulated journal that publishes reports of original research theoretical articles and timely reviews and brief communications in the interdisciplinary field of human biology. The Journal serves as a forum for scientists and health professionals who share common interests in understanding individual and population variation in health and disease. As the official journal of the HUMAN BIOLOGY ASSOCIATION the Journal also publishes abstracts of research presented at its annual scientific meeting. Reviews of books and other publications relevant to human biology are also regularly published. The Journal seeks scholarly manuscripts that address all aspects of the discipline of human biology. The transdisciplinary areas covered by human biology include but are not limited to epidemiology genetic variation population biology and demography physiology anatomy nutrition growth and aging performance and physical fitness exercise science ecology and evolution along with their interactions. The Journal publishes basic applied and methodologically oriented research from all areas including measurement analytical techniques and strategies and computer applications in human biology. Like many other biologically oriented disciplines the field of human biology has undergone considerable growth and diversification in recent years and the expansion of the aims and scope of the Journal is a reflection of this growth and membership diversification. The Journal is committed to prompt review and priority publication is given to manuscripts with novel or timely findings and to manuscripts of unusual interest.

  • Impact factor
  • 5-year impact
  • Cited half-life
  • Immediacy index
  • Eigenfactor
  • Article influence
  • Website
    American Journal of Human Biology website
  • Other titles
    American journal of human biology (Online), American journal of human biology
  • ISSN
  • OCLC
  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

John Wiley and Sons

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    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
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    • See Wiley-Blackwell entry for articles after February 2007
    • On personal web site or secure external website at authors institution
    • Deposit in institutional repositories is not allowed
    • JASIST authors may deposit in an institutional repository
    • Non-commercial
    • Pre-print must be accompanied with set phrase (see individual journal copyright transfer agreements)
    • Published source must be acknowledged with set phrase (see individual journal copyright transfer agreements)
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • 'John Wiley and Sons' is an imprint of 'Wiley'
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Objectives: Expectant mothers experience marked hormone changes throughout the transition to parenthood. Although similar neuroendocrine pathways are thought to support maternal and paternal behavior, much less is known about prenatal hormone changes in expectant fathers, especially in humans. Methods: We examined longitudinal changes in salivary testosterone, cortisol, estradiol, and progesterone in 29 first-time expectant couples (N = 58). Couples were assessed up to four times throughout the prenatal period, at approximately weeks 12, 20, 28, and 36 of pregnancy. We also examined within-couple correlations in hormones. Data were analyzed using dyadic growth curve modeling. Results: As expected, women showed large prenatal increases in all four hormones. Men showed significant prenatal declines in testosterone and estradiol, but there were no detectable changes in men’s cortisol or progesterone. Average levels of cortisol and progesterone were significantly positively correlated within couples. Conclusions: The current study represents one of the most extensive investigations to date of prenatal hormones in expectant couples. It is also the first study to demonstrate prenatal testosterone changes in expectant fathers and within-couple correlations in progesterone. We discuss implications of these findings for parental behavior and adjustment.
    American Journal of Human Biology 11/2014; in press.
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    ABSTRACT: The Accompong Town Maroons are descendants of enslaved Africans who successfully waged war against British colonial rule and established an independent community in western Jamaica. There are discrepancies regarding Accompong Town Maroon ancestry with some scholars noting ancestry from both Africans and Taínos, Jamaica's indigenous population, while other scholars only acknowledge African ancestry. We considered the mitochondrial lineages of contemporary Accompong Town Maroons to address the question of ancestral origins.
    American Journal of Human Biology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Contemporary human biology research employs a unique skillset for biocultural analysis. This skillset is highly appropriate for the study of health disparities because disparities result from the interaction of social and biological factors over one or more generations. Health disparities research almost always involves disadvantaged communities owing to the relationship between social position and health in stratified societies. Successful research with disadvantaged communities involves a specific approach, the community partnership model, which creates a relationship beneficial for researcher and community. Paramount is the need for trust between partners. With trust established, partners share research goals, agree on research methods and produce results of interest and importance to all partners. Results are shared with the community as they are developed; community partners also provide input on analyses and interpretation of findings. This article describes a partnership-based, 20 year relationship between community members of the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation and researchers at the University at Albany. As with many communities facing health disparity issues, research with Native Americans and indigenous peoples generally is inherently politicized. For Akwesasne, the contamination of their lands and waters is an environmental justice issue in which the community has faced unequal exposure to, and harm by environmental toxicants. As human biologists engage in more partnership-type research, it is important to understand the long term goals of the community and what is at stake so the research circle can be closed and 'helicopter' style research avoided. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Human Biology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives It has been postulated that symmetric faces are considered more attractive than asymmetric ones because symmetry may signal high quality due to developmental stability. However, other studies showed that both symmetric and slightly asymmetric faces are considered attractive. Here we aim to explore this discrepancy, beginning with the analysis of the normal prevalence of facial symmetry in a population as a necessary first step prior to any attractiveness assessment.Methods We collected facial landmarks from two-dimensional digital images of a sample of Mexican individuals (280 females and 285 males aged 18–68 years) that were analyzed using geometric morphometric methods. Then, we chose a subsample of 100 photographs (50 females and 50 males aged 18–27 years) selected to represent a broad range of asymmetrical variation, in order to evaluate attractiveness using a sex-opposite test. Finally, we analyzed the linear correlation between attractiveness and asymmetry.ResultsWe found that every evaluated subject presents some degree of facial asymmetry, and that both fluctuating asymmetry and directional asymmetry were significant (P < 0.0001) components of total facial asymmetry. Fluctuating asymmetry was slightly associated with age (r = 0.0858, P = 0.0414) and there were no differences between geographical regions (P = 0.413). Attractiveness was not correlated to levels of asymmetry in either sex (males: P = 0.0973; females P = 0.7415).Conclusions Asymmetry was a prevalent feature in the present sample, and preferences for symmetric faces were not operating in the studied population. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Human Biology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Adult body mass (MB) empirically scales as height (Ht) squared (MB ∝ Ht2), but does regional body mass and body composition as a whole also scale as Ht2? This question is relevant to a wide range of biological topics, including interpretation of body mass index (BMI).Methods Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) was used to quantify regional body mass [head (MH), trunk, arms, and legs] and whole-body composition [fat, lean soft tissue (LST), and bone mineral content (BMC)] in non-Hispanic (NH) white, NH black, Mexican American, and Korean adults participating in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES; n = 17,126) and Korean NHANES (n = 8,942). Regression models were developed to establish Ht scaling powers for each measured component with adjustments for age and adiposity.ResultsExploratory analyses revealed a consistent scaling pattern across men and women of the four population groups: regional mass powers, head (∼0.8–1) < arms and trunk (∼1.8–2.3) < legs (∼2.3–2.6); and body composition, LST (∼2.0–2.3) < BMC (∼2.1–2.4). Small sex and population differences in scaling powers were also observed. As body mass scaled uniformly across the eight sex and population groups as Ht∼2, tall and short subjects differed in body shape (e.g., MH/MB ∝ Ht−∼1) and composition.Conclusions Adult human body shape and relative composition are a function of body size as represented by stature, a finding that reveals a previously unrecognized phenotypic heterogeneity as defined by BMI. These observations provide new pathways for exploring mechanisms governing the interrelations between adult stature, body morphology, biomechanics, and metabolism. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Human Biology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Human conception cohorts in gestation during stressful times reportedly yield lower ratios of male to female live births than do other conception cohorts. Much literature attributes this phenomenon to spontaneous abortion of less fit male fetuses. Controversy remains, however, as to whether stressful times make males fetuses less fit (“Shifting Distribution” of fitness) or whether male fetuses need greater fitness to avoid spontaneous abortion during stressful times (“Shifting Criterion” for survival).Methods Although research using gestational hCG as a signal of fetal fitness reports support for the latter mechanism, we believe an analytic error casts doubt on those findings. Here we offered an alternative test that corrects the error.Conclusion This more accurate test found similar results to those originally reported. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2014. © 2014 The Authors American Journal of Human Biology Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Human Biology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The anthropological study of human biology, health, and child development provides a model with potential to address the gap in population-wide mental health interventions. Four key concepts from human biology can inform public mental health interventions: life history theory and tradeoffs, redundancy and plurality of pathways, cascades and multiplier effects in biological systems, and proximate feedback systems. A public mental health intervention for former child soldiers in Nepal is used to illustrate the role of these concepts in intervention design and evaluation. Future directions and recommendations for applying human biology theory in pursuit of public mental health interventions are discussed. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Human Biology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives The aim of this article was to develop a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) and evaluate its validity to estimate habitual protein intake, and investigate current dietary protein intakes of Papua New Guinea (PNG) Highlanders.MethodsA 32-item FFQ was developed and tested among 135 healthy male and female volunteers. The FFQ-estimated daily total and animal protein intakes were compared with biomarkers and 3-day Weighed Food Records (WFR) by correlation analyses, Bland–Altman plot analyses and joint classification analyses.ResultsThe FFQ-estimated total protein intake significantly correlated with urinary nitrogen in the first morning void after adjusting urinary creatinine concentration (r = 0.28, P < 0.01) and the FFQ-estimated animal protein intake significantly correlated with the hair δ15N (Spearman's r = 0.34, P < 0.001). The limits of agreement were ±2.39 Z-score residuals for total protein intake and ±2.19 Z-score for animal protein intake, and intra-individual differences increased as protein intake increased. The classification into the same and adjacent quartiles was 66.0% for total protein intake and 73.6% for animal protein intake. Median daily total and animal protein intake estimates from the FFQ and the 3-day WFR showed a good agreement with differences of 0.2 and 4.9 g, respectively. None of the studied communities in the PNG Highlands met the biologically required protein intake; although the community closer to an urban center showed higher protein intake than the more remote communities.Conclusions The newly developed 32-item FFQ for PNG Highlanders is applicable for evaluation of protein intake at the individual level. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Human Biology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The W. Montague Cobb skeletal collection, mainly comprised of African Americans living in Washington, DC, before 1969, is an important collection for human biological studies of the African Diaspora. This article outlines the process of constructing an improved study sample for biocultural analysis by merging skeletal remains from the collection with their associated texts. The merging allows for the inclusion of individuals from the original series for whom we no longer have skeletons. We argue that this step is necessary to construct a data set that reflects the demographic breadth (age, ethnicity, social class) of the original collection, taking into account a substantial number of skeletons lost during storage and disuse. The mechanics of this process were informed by a critical and humanistic orientation toward human biological study built upon the following premises: (1) scientific investigation is not an objective or passive practice, nor must it be; and, (2) relevant publically accessible human biological research requires competence with social justice issues, as well as previous and current scholarship focused on addressing those issues. This approach to sample construction engages skeletal remains as biological and social products, and enhances the social and translational implications of our research practices. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Human Biology 11/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Several empirical studies point out the relevance of individuals’ physical attributes – such as height, weight, beauty – in the labor market. In the same way, physical characteristics may affect lifetime prospects through their impact on the selection of a partner in the marriage market. We analyze to what extent individual’s height and weight (arguably affecting physical attractiveness, as documented in many studies) are related to lifetime economic outcomes through the marriage market, investigating whether individual height and weight affect the probability of marrying with a “high quality partner”, measuring quality with the partner’s educational attainment or with the partner’s prospective labor income. Using a large Italian dataset of married (and cohabiting) couples – the 2005 Italian Health Conditions Survey which provides information on health conditions, individual characteristics and socio-economic variables – we estimate separate OLS and Ordered Probit regressions for females and males. Since weight might be endogenously determined, to avoid any estimation bias we also estimate a reduced form equation in which predetermined height affects directly and indirectly (through BMI) physical attractiveness and, as a consequence, the choice of a partner with a given educational attainment. Our findings suggest that height is a desirable trait in mating selection affecting the partner’s socio-economic characteristics: we find that taller individuals tend to mate with more educated partners, controlling for the own educational level – to take into account the tendency for assortative mating for education – and for other personal traits such as age, geographical residence, city size, the presence of health problems. On the other hand, we show that individuals with higher BMI are married with partners with lower levels of education. The results also provide evidence of non-linearity in the relationship between height and educational attainment of the partner. These findings are confirmed for both males and females but being taller seems to be more relevant for males, while being thinner is more important for females. We have also found that taller and thinner females and males tend to be married with partners earnings higher labor incomes. These findings are robust to a number of checks. Our findings confirm that the physical characteristics that an individual brings to the marriage market influences the outcome on this market: physical attractiveness is exchanged in the marriage market for a higher educational attainment and the ability to earn a higher labor income.
    American Journal of Human Biology 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective While indexes have been proposed to estimate total and abdominal adiposity in adults, the assessment of adiposity among obese adolescents remains difficult in clinical setting. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical applicability of total and visceral and fat mass indexes in obese adolescents.Methods One hundred and thirty, 12–16 year old obese adolescents were enrolled in the study. Anthropometric characteristics [Height, weight, waist (WC), and hip (HC) circumferences] were measured and body composition assessed by Dual X-Ray absorptiometry (DXA) assessed. High Density Lipoprotein-Cholesterol (HDL-C) and Triglycerides (TG) plasma concentrations were assessed from fasting blood samples. Body Adiposity indexes (BAI) were calculated from formulas taking into account, height, weight, and WC, and for the Visceral Adiposity indexes, a formula including WC, HDL-C, and TG.ResultsBoth the BAI and Pediatric Body Adiposity Index (BAIp) were significantly correlated to the percentage of total body fat assessed by DXA (DXA %FM; P < 0.001; r = 0.67 and r = 0.64, respectively). The best concordance with DXA %FM was found using BAI. The Visceral Adiposity Index was only weakly associated with abdominal fat mass assessed by DXA (r = 0.27, P < 0.01) and only significantly in boys (r = 0.41, P < 0.01) when the analysis was performed by gender.Conclusion The BAI initially developed in adults presented a better but still weak association with DXA-%FM when compared with the BAIw and BAIp. The three indices thus do not provide better estimate of obese adolescents' adiposity than the widely used Body Mass Index. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Human Biology 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives The purpose of this study was to estimate the prevalence of menopause in three rounds of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS), determine correlates of menopause, and estimate the age of start of menopause in Indian women.Methods Three rounds of NFHS data collected during 1992–93, 1998–99, and 2005–06 were analyzed. The NFHS was carried out using a uniform sample design all over the country. Age adjusted complex sample analyses, multivariate logistic regression, and probit analysis were carried out.ResultsThe prevalence of menopause (natural and surgical) remained similar from 1992–93 to 2005–06 among Indian women. A higher prevalence and earlier onset of menopause was associated with farming, no education, belonging to a scheduled caste or scheduled tribe, underweight, higher parity, and motherhood before 16 years of age. The age of the start of menopause did not increase much from the first to third round of NFHS.Conclusions Women of poor socio-economic status have an earlier age at menopause and may be unable to utilize their full reproductive potential. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Human Biology 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objective To determine if reducing the frequency of urinary sample collection from daily to 5, 3, or 2 days per week during a menstrual cycle or 28-day amenorrheic monitoring period provide accurate representations of the reproductive hormone metabolites estrone-1-glucuronide (E1G) and pregnanediol glucuronide (PdG) exposure and mean concentrations.Methods Exercising women presenting with eumenorrhea or exercise-associated menstrual disturbances collected daily urine samples for the assessment of E1G and PdG concentrations. After enzyme immunoassay analysis of the daily samples, E1G and PdG data were systematically removed from each menstrual cycle or amenorrheic monitoring period to mimic three reduced collection frequencies, representing 5, 3, and 2 days per week. Exposure and mean concentration were calculated for both hormones and all four urinary collection frequencies.ResultsE1G and PdG exposure and mean cycle concentrations derived from reduced collection frequencies were not different from daily collection (P > 0.05), independent of whether menstrual cycles and monitoring periods were analyzed together or separately. Bland-Altman analysis indicated acceptable agreement between each reduced collection frequency and daily collection.Conclusions Compared with daily urinary collection, a reduced collection frequency of 5, 3, or 2 days each week provides accurate E1G and PdG profiles of collection periods of various lengths and types of menstrual function. Reduction of urinary sample collection frequency may enable researchers to reduce participant burden and costs, increase compliance, and study a wider range of study populations. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Human Biology 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Objectives Introducing a special issue on “Translating Human Biology,” we pose two basic questions: Is human biology addressing the most critical challenges facing our species? How can the processes of translating our science be improved and innovated?Methods We analyze articles published in American Journal of Human Biology from 2004–2013, and find there is very little human biological consideration of issues related to most of the core human challenges such as water, energy, environmental degradation, or conflict. There is some focus on disease, and considerable focus on food/nutrition. We then introduce this special volume with reference to the following articles that provide exemplars for the process of how translation and concern for broader context and impacts can be integrated into research.Conclusions Human biology has significant unmet potential to engage more fully in translation for the public good, through consideration of the topics we focus on, the processes of doing our science, and the way we present our domain expertise. Am. J. Hum. Biol., 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Human Biology 10/2014;