Journal of Biosocial Science

Published by Cambridge University Press (CUP)
Online ISSN: 1469-7599
Print ISSN: 0021-9320
Publications
This paper focuses on the clinical and social diagnostics of stroke-like symptoms in Limpopo Province, South Africa. The research questions addressed here are: what are the lay understandings of stroke-like symptoms and what are the health-seeking behaviours of Tsongan Mozambican refugees and South Africans in this area? The study site is ten villages in the Agincourt sub-district of Limpopo Province which are within the health surveillance area of the Agincourt Health and Population Unit (AHPU) of the University of Witwatersrand. The population are Tsongan who speak Shangaan and comprise self-settled Mozambican refugees who fled to this area during the 1980s across the nearby border and displaced South African citizens. The latter were forcibly displaced from their villages to make way for game reserves or agricultural development and moved to this area when it was the former 'homeland' of Gazankulu. The team collected data using rapid ethnographic assessment and household interviews as part of the Southern Africa Stroke Prevention Initiative (SASPI). The main findings are that stroke-like symptoms are considered to be both a physical and social condition, and in consequence plural healing using clinical and social diagnostics is sought to address both these dimensions. People with stroke-like symptoms maintain their physical, mental and social well-being and deal with this affliction and misfortune by visiting doctors, healers, prophets and churches.
 
As part of a longitudinal study of diet and dental caries, 405 Northumberland children initially aged 11–12 years recorded the time of going to bed on 3 consecutive days on 5 occasions over a 23-month period. The bedtimes were recorded in a personal diary and checked at private interview. Mean bedtime for the 212 females changed from 21 hr 44 min at age 11 years 7 months to 22 hr 11 min at age 13 years 3 months. Bedtime for the 193 males was, on average, 9 min later than that for the females. There was a consistent relation between bedtime and social class, with social class IV + V children going to bed, on average, 14 min later than social class I + II children. When the average age of the children was 13 years 3 months, 13% of them went to bed at or after 23.00 hr, and they were latest to bed on Saturday when their average bedtime was 22 hr 59 min.
 
Descriptive statistics for measures of contextual factors, grade 9 and grade 11 pupils, South Africa, 2007 
Sample characteristics, grade 9 and grade 11 pupils, South Africa, 2007 
Percentage distribution of sexual experience by gender, grade 9 and grade 11 pupils, South Africa, 2007 
Summary Survival analysis - specifically the actuarial life-table method and the Cox Proportional Hazards model - was used to assess Bronfenbrenner's bio-ecological model with regards to the onset of sexual intercourse in a random sample of 1697 grade 9 and grade 11 pupils in the North West Province of South Africa. Data were collected in July and August 2007. Of the contextual factors examined, only academic performance and community disorganization were found to be statistically significantly associated with age at first sexual intercourse amongst girls. High academic performance by girls is positively associated with age at first sexual intercourse, while girls who live in disorganized communities initiate sexual intercourse earlier than their counterparts in other communities. Age is negatively associated with the timing of first sexual debut among both girls and boys. Males initiate sexual intercourse earlier than females, while youths with at least one sexual partner are much more likely to initiate sexual intercourse earlier than those without sexual partners.
 
Events in the Year of Recovery: September 2001 to December 2002 
NYC RECOVERS, an alliance of organizations concerned with New York City's social and emotional recovery post-9/11, was formed to meet the need to rebuild social bonds strained or ruptured by the trauma to the regional system caused by the destruction of the Twin Towers. NYC RECOVERS, with minimal funding, was able to create a network of 1000 organizations spanning the five boroughs, carrying out recovery events throughout the 'Year of Recovery', September 2001 to December 2002. This paper describes the concepts, techniques and accomplishments of NYC RECOVERS, and discusses potentials of the model, as well as obstacles to its implementation.
 
PIP A consecutive series of 1200 specimens of amniotic fluid obtained by amniocentesis from patients requesting antenatal diagnosis coming to a regional genetic advisory service is reviewed. The analysis identifies the conditions that most frequently come for antenatal diagnosis, picks out the conditions showing the highest frequency of affected fetuses on termination, and examines the success of the procedure as regards the accuracy of the genetic diagnosis and the ensuing normality of the pregnancy.
 
Data from a survey of 3727 14-year-old children from 31 secondary schools in England in 1984–85 were analysed to obtain information about smoking habits, bedtimes and times of rising in the morning, on a weekday during school term. Subjects completed a questionnaire, anonymously, in class. Twenty percent of respondents reported that they currently smoked cigarettes. Smokers went to bed significantly later, and spent significantly less time in bed, than non-smokers. Twice as many smokers as non-smokers went to bed at or after 22.30, went to bed after midnight, and spent 7·5 hr or less in bed. Possibly, some adolescent smokers may be at risk from loss of sleep.
 
Reconstruction of human ecosystems and their stability over time provides knowledge of the processes of adaptability developed by isolated communities. Seasonality of vital events is a good indicator of the effects of different 'traditional' lifestyles, which in turn depend on the ecological context in which a population developed specific subsistence models. Seasonality of births reflects the cultural attitude towards the best time to conceive, in relation to work activities and loads; the latter may also affect physiological functions related to fertility. The present research concerns gross birth rates and seasonality of births and conceptions during four centuries in south-central Italy. Birth rates were between 33.0 and 36.5 per 1000. The pattern of seasonality of births and, by extension, of conceptions defines a southern-type agricultural area for the earlier periods. However, it also shows a progressive shift towards an increasing concentration of conceptions in spring-summer--namely from April to August--with a large increase in summer in the 19th century with respect to the previous periods. The new 19th century pattern is reported by Crisafulli, Dalla Zuanna & Solero (2000) as being representative of the central Adriatic region, a geographical classification to which Abruzzo can also be attributed.
 
Analyses of the height variation of 16-year-old members of the British National Child Development Study revealed a number of biological and social variables which associated with stature. After multiple regression analyses only eight variables, namely social class, family size, tenure (owner occupied or one of several types of rented home), crowding status, number of children sleeping in the bed, region of the country, sex of child, and pubic hair rating, remained significant. The total variation explained by these biosocial variables was 37.5%.
 
Pregnancy occurring in girls under the age of 17 is of particular interest to those providing obstetric care and family planning services, as well as to the social welfare services in the community. Childbirth in girls of this age carries greater risk to mother and child than in the immediately older age groups and a young mother having a baby, whether married or not, may face social and economic difficulties. This study is designed to find out basic facts about girls having terminations of pregnancy or continuing to have a baby in this young age group, relating to: parents and family of origin, housing, education, religion, knowledge of sex and fertility, use of contraception and nature of the relationship with the father of the child. The findings suggest that there is an urgent need for improving the provision and effectiveness of sex education, that the provision of contraceptive advice to the very young should be reviewed and improved, and that the type of relationships between boys and girls leading to the pregnancies described in this study are neither casual nor ‘promiscuous’. The findings that those conceiving under the age of 15, and keeping the baby, made their first attendance at the antenatal clinic very late in the pregnancy suggests that these girls take an undue risk with their health, possibly due to the present state of the law regarding sexual intercourse in young people. The ideas of ‘wantedness’ and ‘planning’ in relation to conception are discussed.
 
Data for Raven's Progressive Matrices are reported for a sample of 6290 6- to 17-year-olds in Taiwan. The Taiwanese obtained a mean IQ of 109.5, in relation to a British mean of 100. There was no difference in mean scores of boys and girls at age 7 years. At age 10 years girls obtained significantly higher scores than boys, and at ages 13 and 16 years boys obtained significantly higher scores than girls. There was no sex difference in variance at age 7 years. At ages 10, 13 and 16 years variance was significantly greater in boys.
 
This study examines sex differences in infant mortality in Spitalfields, London, and the estimated contribution of endogenous and exogenous factors to neonatal and infant mortality using the biometric model from 1750 to 1839. There was a marked decline in the risk of death during infancy and the neonatal period for both sexes during the study period. There was significant excess male infant mortality compared with that of females in the 1750-59 cohort, estimated from baptism and burial registers, but not in later cohorts. Similarly, males had higher neonatal mortality rates than females in 1750-59 but not in later cohorts. Biometric analyses suggest that the observed decrease in neonatal mortality in both sexes was caused by a reduction in both endogenous and exogenous causes of death. The contribution of maternal health and breast-feeding practices to the observed patterns of mortality is discussed in the light of available evidence.
 
Family structure by year of marriage and village 
Stelvio, Martello and Curon, three villages of the Venosta Valley, South Tyrol (Italy), were recently included in a large genetic survey because of their isolation. This study focuses on the long-term reproductive behaviour of these villages. Family size, age at marriage and marital fertility were estimated based on a genealogy going back in the 17th century. Marriage behaviour was characterized by an elevated age at marriage and a large proportion of adults never getting married. Marital fertility was among the highest worldwide, because couples tried to use the short time at their disposal to have the largest possible number of children. Together with the already known null population expansion and high geographic endogamy rates, the reduced number of siblings who had the opportunity to get married could have favoured an increased genetic homogeneity.
 
Birth records of Hutterite colonies were examined for the presence of seasonal variation in conception rate. Month of conception was inferred by counting back 9 months from date of birth. Over 4300 births, occurring between 1758 and 1964 and spanning the years that the colonies inhabited the Ukraine and then migrated to the United States and Canada, were included in the analysis. When combined, The European and North American births showed a seasonal pattern with a general rise in conceptions from December to June followed by a decline in conceptions from July to November. The major peaks in conceptions were in April and June, with a minor peak in December. Separate examination of the European and American records revealed a secular change. The seasonality of North American conceptions was dramatically reduced when compared to the very distinct European seasonal pattern. It is assumed that both biological and cultural factors are responsible for the seasonal variation observed. The influences of light cycle, data of marriage, and work and holiday schedules on conception rates are discussed.
 
Most studies on consanguinity have been conducted on contemporary populations and have focused on the prevalence and types of preferred intra-familial marriage. With its comprehensive birth, marriage and deaths records dating back to the late 17th century, and the legal bar on first cousin marriage removed in the mid-19th century, Sweden offers unique opportunities to examine the factors that determine by whom, where and why consanguineous marriages were contracted. The present study covers the period 1780-1899 and presents a detailed portrait of cousin and sibling exchange marriages in the Skellefteå region of northern coastal Sweden. The combined prevalence of first, second and third cousin marriage increased from 2.3% in 1790-1810 to 8.8% in 1880-1899, and multi-generation consanguinity also increased significantly over the study period. The distribution and prevalence of first cousin marriages was strikingly non-random, with a significantly greater propensity for consanguinity among land-owning families, especially involving first-born sons, within specific pedigrees, and in a number of more remote inland communities. Additional factors associated with a greater likelihood of consanguineous marriage included physical or mental disability among males, and among females the prior birth of an illegitimate child. Besides the inherent interest in the social and demographic structure of this region of northern Sweden during the course of the 19th century, in future studies it will be important to determine the degree to which the observed patterns of consanguineous and sibling exchange marriages in these past generations could have influenced present-day genetic structure.
 
Summary The aim of this paper was to establish whether the influence of socioeconomic factors on BMI and the prevalence of underweight and overweight changes with age. The data were obtained from 1008 schoolgirls aged 16-18 years for whom earlier data on weight and height were available. Their height and body mass were measured and their BMIs calculated. Height and weight in early life were assessed by medical records review. The girls were measured by trained school nurses at 7, 9, 14 years of age. Socioeconomic differences in BMI were found to increase with age. Parents' higher education and urban environment were associated with smaller BMI gain between the ages of 7 and 18 years. Among subjects whose mother and/or father had higher education the prevalence of underweight increased with age, and in other groups it remained at a similar level. In the younger age categories (7- and 9-year-olds) underweight was less frequent in subjects from towns than those from rural areas, while in the older categories (14, 16-18 years of age) the opposite tendency was found. As subjects grew up, there was a decline in the prevalence of overweight and obesity in all groups. Parental education and place of residence seem to influence weight status in a different way in childhood than during adolescence.
 
The aim of this study was to examine the changes in body composition (fatness and muscle and bone mass) and BMI in three cohorts of boys living in Krakow, Poland, over the last 30 years, and to assess how overweight and obesity frequencies have developed over the period. The anthropological survey was conducted in 2010, and comprised 1863 boys from Krakow aged 3-18 years. The analysis compared the latest measurements of selected skinfold thicknesses, BMI, total body muscle mass and bone mass with the results of surveys from 1983 (N=1934) and 2000 (N=2323). The frequency of overweight and obesity was assessed for the last survey series, and their trends determined for the years 1983-2000 and 2000-2010. The analysis of fat tissue distribution showed that the boys from the 2010 cohort, as compared with those examined in 2000, had a higher trunk adiposity, as manifested by greater thickness of subscapular and suprailiac skinfold thicknesses, and boasted a larger muscle mass and lower bone mass. The survey results also showed that, from 1983 to 2000, the percentage of overweight boys increased slightly (from 11.69% to 12.48%), whereas the frequency of obesity did not change. Over the last decade, the percentage of overweight people has increased to 15.94%, and the frequency of obesity has doubled, equalling 4.94% in 2010. The last decade has seen a minor trend in boys towards increased trunk adiposity, muscle mass, BMI and prevalence of overweight and obesity, and a slight decrease in bone mass.
 
In this work, the evolution of demographic and health patterns in a Basque rural population from Spain is analysed, as they relate to progress in demographic and epidemiological transition. For this purpose, parochial record data on 13,298 births and 9,215 deaths, registered during the 19th and 20th centuries (1800-1990), were examined. The study area is a rural community called Lanciego, which is located at the southern end of the Rioja Alavesa area (Alava Province, Basque Country). In Lanciego, demographic transition began in the final decade of the 19th century, when a definite, irreversible trend began towards a reduction in mortality. The decrease in the birth rate came later than that in the death rate, and did not start until the 1930s. The post-transitional stage seemed to be reached in the 1970s, when the birth and death rates showed values below 20 per 1,000. Other characteristics observed for the post-transitional stage in Lanciego are: (i) very low rates of infant mortality achieved at the expense of effective control of exogenous mortality; (ii) the mortality curve by ages changes from a U-shape (typical of populations with a high infant mortality rate and low life expectancy at birth) to a J-shape more characteristic of modern societies where longevity and life expectancy are considerably higher; (iii) a certain level of over-mortality among women in the senior age group (>65); and (iv) a significant proportion of mortality in recent times (1970-90) resulting from cardiovascular diseases and malignant neoplasms (post-transition causes). This last point is in contrast with observations from the first four decades of the 20th century, when infectious diseases and respiratory ailments were determining factors in mortality among this population. The data provided by the study of the variation over time in demographic and health patterns indicate that reducing the risk of mortality is one of the most important preconditions for fertility decline.
 
Time trends in natality, mortality and the mean number of live births per family (family size) in the rural community of Lanciego (Basque Country), from 1800 to 1990. Values represented are averages by decades.  
Position of the samples (cohorts) according to co-ordinates for factors I and II, in a principal component analysis for variables related to fertility (mean family size) in the community of Lanciego (Basque Country), from 1800 to 1969.  
Position of the samples (cohorts) according to co-ordinates for factors I and III, in a principal component analysis for variables related to fertility (mean family size) in the community of Lanciego (Basque Country), from 1800 to 1969.  
Multiple regression analysis for eight independent variables related to fertility on the number of live births per family (FAMS), in Lanciego (Basque Country), from 1800 to 1969
Matrix of product-moment correlation coefficients for nine variables related to fertility in the rural community of Lanciego (Basque Country, Spain), from 1800 to 1969
The focus of this work is the analysis of changes in completed family size and possible determinants of that size over time, in an attempt to characterize the evolution of reproductive patterns during the demographic transition. With this purpose in mind, time trends are studied in relation to the mean number of live births per family (as an indirect measure of fertility), using family reconstitution techniques to trace the reproductive history of each married woman. The population surveyed is a Spanish rural community called Lanciego, located at the southern end of the province of Alava (Basque Country). A total of 24,510 parish records of baptisms, marriages and burials made between 1800 and 1969 were examined to obtain the demographic data set. For each reconstituted family, the variables included in the study were the number of live births per family or family size (FAMS), year of marriage (YEAR), age at marriage of both partners (AMAN, AWOM), wife's age at the end of marriage (WEND), duration of marriage (MARD), age at first maternity (A1CH), length of reproductive span (REPS) and number of children dying before their first anniversary (MINF). Through a principal component analysis, three factors were found that explained more than 75% of the total variance. Association of variables in factors I and III was particularly useful in characterizing the variability of mean family size in pre-transitional, transitional and post-transitional cohorts. During demographic transition, a decreasing trend is observed in the variables FAMS, REPS and MINF, while variables AWOM, AMAN, WEND and A1CH show a tendency to increase over the 20th century. Results obtained by multiple regression analysis confirm that the best predictors of family size (dependent variable) were REPS and MINF, which between them explained over 85% of the total variation in FAMS (R2 = 0.853). In Lanciego, birth control seems to be present on the evidence of an increase in age at first maternity and a decrease in age at last parturition, indicating that the beginning of the reproductive span is delayed and its end is brought forward. Interaction between family size and infant mortality is discussed in the light of various hypotheses, including replacement of descendants, the so-called biological effect and the theory of r and k selection.
 
The aim of this study was to investigate marriage behaviour from 1825 to 1924 in an Alpine valley inhabited by Ladin speakers (Gardena Valley, South Tyrol, Italy), where the particular geographic, linguistic and economic characteristics may have influenced the level of reproductive isolation. A total of 2183 marriage acts from the two main parishes of Santa Cristina and Ortisei were examined. Birth and residence endogamy, inbreeding coefficients from dispensations and from isonymy, birth place distribution of the spouses and isonymic relationships were analysed in four 25-year sub-periods. All the indicators considered point to a lower level of reproductive isolation at Ortisei, a main centre for the woodcarving industry, which appeared to be experiencing an early and effective breakdown of isolation. Marriage behaviour in the Gardena Valley between 1825 and 1924 seems to have been mostly influenced by socioeconomic factors rather than linguistic and cultural ones.
 
Neonatal death (mainly due to tetanus) was common in St Kilda until 1891. Two aspects of this phenomenon are studied; factors which predicted death, and the impact of neonatal death on family building. Maternal age appeared to be a predictive factor for death of the first child, but only in children of high birth order were other factors, particularly the number of previous neonatal deaths, important. The first birth interval appeared to be determined mainly by the date of the first birth, independent of neonatal mortality levels. For later intervals, the neonatal death of the previous child appeared to be the main determining factor.
 
This paper tests the hypothesis that the inverse relationship between population density and migration distances in pre-industrial Europe results from variation in the social class composition of communities. Data from two pyrenean valleys in Navarre, spain, provide support for the hypothsis. Further effect on mugration distances may result from vatiation in the settlement pattern of communities. Seasonal movement associated with certain occupations seems to be unimportant.
 
Relative mortality risks (RR ix ) by marital status (95% confidence intervals), controlled for age, with the married as reference category, 1901-1904 
This article describes the long-term trends in marital status mortality differences in the Netherlands using a unique dataset relating to the period 1850-1970. Poisson regression analysis was applied to calculate relative mortality risks by marital status. For two periods, cause-of-death by marital status could be used. Clear differences in mortality by marital status were observed, with strongly increasing advantages for married men and women and a relative increase in the mortality of widowed compared with non-married people. Excess mortality among single and formerly married men and women was visible in many cause-of-death categories, and this became more widespread during the last decades of the nineteenth century. Hypotheses are formulated that might explain why married men and women underwent a stronger decrease in mortality up until the end of World War II.
 
A study has been made of the probabilities of marriage of females and males aged 15-49 (either as a whole or in 5-year age groups) in two Outer Hebridean islands, Harris and Barra. The results were compared with ages of marriage and with the frequencies of permanent celibacy. The marriages took place between 1861 and 1990. Median ages of marriage rose to maxima in the 1930s and 1940s, then fell steeply, levelling out latterly. Permanent celibacy was consistently high among females, but rose from much lower levels in males to maxima in the 1970s and 1980s. It is concluded that in these populations age at marriage and the extent of permanent celibacy are largely independent of one another. In both islands the overall probabilities of females marrying fell until the 1920s, and then rose. The last decades showed stability (Barra) and a fall (Harris). Males showed only slight falls to about 1910; data were absent for between 1911 and 1960, but subsequently there was little rise in probability. These overall changes seemed to be associated with reciprocal variations in probabilities in the younger and older age groups. Declining overall probabilities were associated with declines in younger and increases in older age-group probabilities, and vice versa. Non-parametric correlations between median ages of marriage and probability of marriage were negative and generally significant for the 15-19 age group. Among the older age groups coefficients were generally positive. There was some evidence of an association between probability of marriage and sex ratio in any group of potential mates. The effect appeared more marked among 15- to 19-year-old females. Local factors which might explain at least part of the decline in nuptiality for the greater part of the period under study include the decline in the fishing industry and the 'land hunger' which existed until the late 1920s. This decline is interpreted as a 'Malthusian' response to economic and social conditions, but it coexisted with a 'neo-Malthusian' strategy, in the shape of declining marital fertility. The 'Malthusian' strategy seems to have been largely abandoned around the 1950s, but it may have reappeared during the 1980s. PIP This study examined the probability of marriage during 1861-1990 in two Outer Hebrides Islands (Harris and Barra). Data were obtained from marriage records in the General Register Office in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Census records. Barra Island is mainly Catholic. Harris Island is mainly Calvinistic Protestant. Short-term probabilities of marriage (POM) were calculated according to a modification of the methods of Pressat (1972). Findings indicate a gradual rise in marriage age that peaked in Harris during 1930-40 or 1941-50. Declines occurred until 1971-80. In Barra, declines continued until 1981-90. Permanent celibacy rose after 1861-80 and remained fairly constant at about 25-30%. After 1950, celibacy rose in Harris and remained constant in Barra. Male celibacy was under 10% until 1911-20, and then it rose to 20-30% after 1961. Celibacy rates were inversely related to marital ages until 1940. Short-term POM of females declined until 1920, especially in younger age groups, and then rose, especially during 1961-80 and among older ages, followed by stability in Barra and a decline in Harris. Males had higher POM than females prior to 1900 and then erratic patterns. Male POM did not rise after 1960. The relationship between POM and the sex ratio is unclear. The pattern of declining nuptiality until the 1940s contrasted with stable patterns in Scotland and England. Declines in nuptiality are attributed to economic hardship.
 
The evolution of the inbreeding coefficient estimated by the isonymic method is studied in a rural canton of mid-France, using data divided into 10-year intervals of 6277 marriages recorded in the civil registers between 1870 and 1979. The results show a strong diminution of the values of F from 1930 onwards, probably related to the drop in population due to exodus from rural areas. The evolution of the inbreeding coefficient observed in three large occupational groups (farmers, craftsmen and labourers) shows that after 1930 it was only the farmers who maintained the low positive values of F. The coefficient of genetic relationships by isonymy (Ri) calculated among the principal occupational groups shows their community of origin, which is still perceptible today.
 
The degree of isolation was assessed in two contrasting regions in Northern Palencia, Spain, one mountainous with small villages in the valleys (Pernia), the other lower and more open (Ojeda), with corresponding differences in economy. Using data from the parish and diocesan records, the frequencies of consanguineous marriages were calculated from the dispensation data, and the evolution of inbreeding compared. The more isolated region shows a greater degree of inbreeding, though not as high as in some other parts of Spain. Both regions show a decline in inbreeding with time, though in neither did the results indicate that geographic isolation was very outstanding. The most frequent types of consanguineous unions occur between second cousins.
 
Summarizing the relationship between population density, migration and the frequency of consanguineous marriage, and the implications for inbreeding, this study of valleys in the Pyrenees confirms previously reported relationships between population density and migration density (Cavalli-Sforza, 1958; Saugstad, 1977). The frequency of consanguineous marriage, however, is not necessarily greater in areas of low population density, although a greater frequency might be expected on the basis of random mating within the population. Estimates of inbreeding based on the demographic characteristics of the population are therefore more useful as a guide to the probable levels of homozygosity rather than the frequency of the recorded consanguineous marriages.
 
The marital structure of Italians living in Boston, Massachusetts, in the period 1880-1920 was studied in order to explore the integration process in the urban context. The study analyses endogamy and inbreeding, using data on 15,579 marriages from the parish books of the three Italian parishes of Boston. Endogamic rates are very high and increased in time, ranging from 93.9% to 97.3%. This correlated with the growth of the Italian community and the decline of the biased sex ratio. One parish, Our Lady of Pompeii in the South End, displays lower endogamic rates because of the reduced and scattered population attending it. The rate of consanguineous (2.33%) and isonymous (6.38%) marriages, and the coefficients of inbreeding, alpha (0.98 x 10(-3)) and Ft (0.0159), are similar to those of north Italian populations, and lower than those for south and insular Italy. The parish of Our Lady of Pompeii shows consistently higher values than the other two parishes. Marriages between first and second cousins are the main cause of the above values in each parish. Consanguineous marriages and inbreeding increased over time, from the 1890s, and this is in general agreement, although slightly delayed, with the Italian trend.
 
The estimation of genetic similarity from correspondence of surnames (isonymy) allows investigation of historical population structure. This study uses surname data from seven isolates located along the west coast of Ireland during the 1890s to assess geographic and historic influences on population structure. Observed genetic variation among populations shows a close fit with the expected isolation by distance model, with estimated parameters of isolation and migration being similar to those obtained in other studies of isolated populations. Local genetic variation appears to be due primarily to the size of the local breeding population, with deviations being explained in terms of recent emigration.
 
In this study it is hypothesized that taller individuals are more likely to move up the scale of educational attainment compared with shorter individuals from the same social background. Three national cohorts of 19-year-old males were considered: 29,464 born in 1967 and surveyed in 1986, 31,062 born in 1976 and surveyed in 1995, and 30,851 born in 1982 and surveyed in 2001. Four social variables were used to describe the social background of each conscript in the three surveys: degree of urbanization, family size, and parental and maternal educational status. The educational status of each conscript was classified into two groups: (1) those who were secondary school students or graduates, or who had entered college, and (2) those who had completed their education at the primary school level or who had gone to a basic trade school. Multiple binomial logistic regressions were used to estimate the relative risk of achieving higher educational status by 19-year-old males relative to height and the four social factors. Consistently across the three cohorts the odd ratios (ORs) indicate that height exerts an independent and significant effect on the attained level of education at the age of 19 years in males (1986: OR=1.24, p<0.001; 1995: OR=1.24, p <0.001; 2001: OR=1.20, p<0.001). Two possible, not mutually exclusive, selective mechanisms are postulated and discussed: 'passive' and 'active' action.
 
The Raven's scores of Estonian age groups in relation to British and Icelandic means. British 1979 norms were shifted 3 IQ points up to adjust for the secular increase. 
Data for the Estonian standardization of the Standard Progressive Matrices 
The Standard Progressive Matrices test was standardized in Estonia on a representative sample of 4874 schoolchildren aged from 7 to 19 years. When the IQ of Estonian children was expressed in relation to British and Icelandic norms, both demonstrated a similar sigmoid relationship. The youngest Estonian group scored higher than the British and Icelandic norms: after first grade, the score fell below 100 and remained lower until age 12, and after that age it increased above the mean level of these two comparison countries. The difference between the junior school children and the secondary school children may be due to schooling, sampling error or different trajectories of intellectual maturation in different populations. Systematic differences in the growth pattern suggest that the development of intellectual capacities proceeds at different rates and the maturation process can take longer in some populations than in others.
 
This study, the first of a series on consanguinity in the Archbishopric of Toledo from 1900 to 1979, analyses in detail the types of consanguineous mating in a population of considerable size, some 650,000 persons, in Central Spain. During the period covered, very important transformations occurred in Spanish society. The data relate to 21,464 consanguineous marriages. They were divided into two groups, according to the premarital migration of the couple. Significant differences in the frequencies of the types of consanguineous matings, and their secular evolution, are found for the two groups. The expected trend in inbreeding in the total area shows two different tendencies: constancy till the end of the 1950s, followed by a fast decline during the last two decades.
 
Except for the year 1931, no information is available on age at paternity in England and Wales before 1961. But such information is needed to determine the aetiological significance of raised maternal age, for example that which has been reported for several types of psychiatric disorder. Parental age at the birth of a respondent was studied in a survey of 2000 persons forming a quota sample of the adult population of England and Wales. Checks against the available national statistics suggest the findings for age at paternity can be accepted with some confidence.
 
The extent to which it is possible to recognize distinctive patterns of marriage and fertility within sub-groups of the rural population is examined by an analysis of the fertility experience of 294 females who lived in a single village in southern Normandy at some period between 1901 and 1975. Aggregate analysis demonstrates the existence of differential fertility between classes. Examination of circumstantial evidence for individual sub-groups suggests that attitudes towards capital accumulation and inheritance are the major explanatory factors for these differentials.
 
The 'helpers at the nest' hypothesis suggests that individuals who are not currently reproducing often help kin by caretaking and thereby increase their inclusive fitness. Using a large scale historical dataset (Integrated Public Use Microdata Series sample of 1910; n=13,935), the hypothesis is tested that childless couples are more likely to fulfil such a role by taking care of a niece or nephew, but not a parent, than couples with children. Childless couples were significantly more likely to take care of a niece or nephew than couples with children. In contrast, couples with children and childless couples did not differ in caretaking of parents. Childless couples were also more likely to have more and younger nieces/nephews in their home than couples with children.
 
A method for decomposing partner availability into its demographic components (preferences, previous birth trends, migration and mortality, and structure by marital status) is presented and applied to marriage market estimates for selected census years 1911-91 in England and Wales. Preferences are a key component at the youngest ages. The role of other factors varies by age and time period. Contrary to widespread assumption, variation in cohort sizes resulting from past fertility trends is not the dominant contributor to partner availability during this period. Mortality and migration effects tend to be larger than the effect of birth trends and the two marital status components are generally the largest in size. Determinants of intercensal change are similar to the cross-sectional picture. Reasons for the modest contribution of trends in annual births are discussed. Cohort effects on partner supply are not necessarily absent but could arise through a number of mechanisms.
 
This study tests the proposition that the contribution of environmental factors to the reduction of infant mortality early in the twentieth century was greater than that made by the alleviation of poverty. The estimates were obtained from retrospective reports of women enumerated at the 1911 Census, and covered the period from approximately 1895 to 1910. Infant mortality by father's occupation underwent an average decline of 35% from a peak infant mortality rate (IMR) of 132, with wide variation. The removal of poor (usually urban) residential conditions was probably associated with the decline, but, except at the extremes, income did not explain the differences. In the 97 great towns, the subject of this study, where the average decline in IMR was also 35% from a peak of 146, the rate of urbanization over 20 years accounted for a significant proportion of the differential decline, and measures of poverty added little to the explanation. This conclusion survived multivariate analysis using urban development and poverty level as explanatory variables, and controlling for fertility decline and selective migration.
 
Instead of divorce rates per 1000 married population, the actual divorce percentages expressed as the proportion of marriages contracted in successive years since 1911 are calculated from a random sample of 3392 first marriages in Amsterdam. The results show the highest divorce percentages for younger men, decreasing from 40% if they were married at 19 years of age to 12% if they were married at 30 years of age. Women attained these values if married at 17 and 28 years of age respectively. The divorce percentage has increased from 10% for marriages contracted in 1911 to 20% for those contracted in the period 1941-45. The linear increase suggests that about 25% of marriages contracted in the period 1966-70 will end in divorce. This trend seems to depend on changes in the median age of marriage as well as on different divorce tendencies for men marrying at different ages. It is hoped that the method of calculating divorce trends according to the year of marriage, and to specific age groups, as used in this study, might yield more information about the range of the divorce problem than the more traditional methods of population statistics.
 
In Sri Lanka in the 1920s female mortality exceeded male mortality in almost all age groups: only in infancy and late middle age did male mortality exceed female mortality. Proportionately the greatest female excess was in the childbearing ages. Mortality fell very substantially between 1921 and 1971. However, throughout most of this period the same basic pattern of sex differentials persisted; indeed, between 1921 and 1953 the relative position of women worsened in a number of age groups. Although the original pattern still showed clearly in 1963, by 1971 male mortality exceeded female mortality in almost all age groups: excess female mortality was only found among children. It is possible that discriminatory behaviour played an important part in excess female mortality in Sri Lanka in the past.
 
Map of the Punjab, 1921, indicating the four geographical sub-divisions: I. Indo-Gangetic Plain West; II. Himalayan; III. Sub-Himalayan; IV. North-West Dry Area, and individual states and districts. In the accompanying legend the states are numbered  
The study population by religion, caste/biraderi and geographical zone, Punjab 1921
Percentage contributions of caste/biraderi and geographical zone to variation in the frequency of deaf-mutism
The effects of religion, population sub-division and geography on the prevalence of deaf-mutism were investigated using information collected in the 1921 Census of Punjab. The total sample size was 9.36 million, and comprised data on thirteen Hindu castes, seventeen Muslim biraderis and two Sikh castes. A two-way analysis of variance comparing males in Hindu castes in which consanguineous marriage was prohibited, with males in Muslim biraderis which favoured first cousin marriage, indicated major differences with respect to the patterns of deaf-mutism within each religion. In the Muslim population 9.1% of the relative variation in the prevalence of deaf-mutism was inter-biraderi, 36.8% between geographical regions, and 48.8% an interaction between biraderi and region, whereas among Hindus 46.8% of the observed variation was inter-caste, 12.8% inter-region and 33.6% due to caste region interaction. From a wider disease perspective the results obtained with the Hindu community indicate the significant genetic differentiation associated with caste endogamy. As the overwhelming majority of Hindu marriages continue to be within-caste, it can be predicted that similar levels of inter-caste differences in disease frequency currently exist. By comparison, the lower level of inter-biraderi variation among Muslims is probably indicative of the dissolution of pre-existing caste boundaries and the resultant gene pool mixing that followed the large-scale conversion of Hindus to Islam during Muslim rule in North India from the 13th to the 19th centuries.
 
PIP This paper presents time series data on spouse selection in Canada for the period 1921-1978. Homogamous and endogamous trends are examined by age, sex, and religion. In the case of religious endogamy, most groups have shown decreasing proportions of marriages. There are also considerable differences in rates of endogamy among religious groups, and these differences have largely persisted over time. Until 1971, the proportions of brides marrying older and younger grooms decreased, while the proportion marrying the same age increased, after which these trends reversed. Younger males increasingly tended to select brides of their own age group until the 1960s, while older males have been increasingly heterogamous since World War II. While these changes in spouse selection have been examined with respect to changes in the unmarried population, the relation between the 2 trends is not clear, and it is difficult to account fully for the observed trends in spouse selection with respect to age.
 
PIP The changing pattern of fertility differences among ethnic groups in Canada during the period 1926-71 is studied. 2 specific questions are addressed. The 1st is do ethnic groups assimilate the fertility patterns of the general Canadian population over time, e.g. are the fertility differences disappearing? Secondly, is the extent of assimilation in fertility greater in urban than in rural areas? The indirectly standardized general fertility rates, calculated by using the ethnic age distribution data from the censuses of 1931 to 1971, indicate a tendency for the population to become more homogeneous during times of increasing fertility, thus supporting the assimilative possibilities, whereas in times of declining fertility there is a tendency for the population to become more heterogeneous. The data also seem to support weaker assimilatory tendencies in rural areas than in urban areas during only the most recent period, 1966-71, and not in earlier periods.
 
Raw score differences for the total samples.  
Raw score differences for younger and older children from the 1930 and 2002 urban samples.  
Raw score differences for younger and older children from the 1930 urban and 2004 rural samples.  
Raw score differences for younger and older children from the 2002 urban and 2004 rural samples.  
Raw score differences for the 2002 urban and 2004 rural samples on the Coloured Raven test, the digit span and the arithmetic tests.  
Although gains in generational intelligence test scores have been widely demonstrated around the world, researchers still do not know what has caused them. The cognitive stimulation and nutritional hypotheses summarize the several diverse potential causes that have been considered. This article analyses data for a sample of 499 children tested in 1930 and one equivalent sample of 710 children tested 72 years later, the largest gap ever considered. Both samples comprised children aged between 7 and 11 who were assessed by the Draw-a-Man test in the city of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Further, one additional sample of 132 children was assessed in 2004 in a rural area very similar in several diverse factors to the 1930 urban sample. The results are consistent with both the cognitive stimulation and the nutritional hypotheses.
 
In a recent analysis, Illsley, Le Grand & Mullings argued that, over the years 1931-87, regional inequalities in mortality in Britain effectively disappeared for most age groups. The present study reanalyses their data, breaking regional life tables down into their two major components, the level of survivorship, and the shape of the mortality curve. It is shown that whereas there has been a consistent decline in regional inequalities in the level of mortality, there has not been a comparable convergence in the shape of the mortality curves. These shape differences, implying premature adult mortality, are now the major source of variation among the regions.
 
Characteristics of offspring related to parental IQ N Mean (SD) Regression coefficients per 1 SD IQ and 95% confidence intervals 
IQ, social attainment and health: parents and offspring. Scottish Mental Survey 1932 linked with Midspan. N=175 parent-offspring pairs; AO-DSR=0·034; chi squared=10·7 (df=12, p=0·55); Bentler-Bonett (NFI & NNFI) and comparative FI=0·92, 1·0, 1·0, respectively. 
Models with number of cigarettes smoked per day related to parental IQ, social class and deprivation category Regression coefficients and 95% confidence intervals for parental measures 
Models of offspring social class and deprivation category related to parental IQ, social class and deprivation category Regression coefficients and 95% confidence intervals for parental measures 
The objective of the study was to investigate the relationship between childhood IQ of parents and characteristics of their adult offspring. It was a prospective family cohort study linked to a mental ability survey of the parents and set in Renfrew and Paisley in Scotland. Participants were 1921-born men and women who took part in the Scottish Mental Survey in 1932 and the Renfrew/Paisley study in the 1970s, and whose offspring took part in the Midspan Family study in 1996. There were 286 offspring from 179 families. Parental IQ was related to some, but not all characteristics of offspring. Greater parental IQ was associated with taller offspring. Parental IQ was inversely related to number of cigarettes smoked by offspring. Higher parental IQ was associated with better education, offspring social class and offspring deprivation category. There were no significant relationships between parental IQ and offspring systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, lung function, weight, body mass index, waist hip ratio, housing, alcohol consumption, marital status, car use and exercise. Structural equation modelling showed parental IQ associated with offspring education directly and mediated via parental social class. Offspring education was associated with offspring smoking and social class. The smoking finding may have implications for targeting of health education.
 
The session closed with the showing of extracts from films taken at the Olympic Games in Berlin in 1936. The focus in these extracts was on the differing abilities of various racial types, including a number of shots, many of them in slow motion, of the finals competitors in the high jump, the winning jump being of 6 ft 10½ in. Professor Kalmus was invited to make some comments on the Olympics and the athletes who compete in them.
 
The changes in the average male-female performance difference for nine running, six swimming and four skating events between the years 1936 and 1984 are examined. The data, world records and verified best performances, confirm the conclusions derived in earlier more circumscribed studies that women's performances relative to men's have improved markedly and are continuing to improve. This improvement is manifest in long and short distance events and in those in which women have been competing for a long time as much as those thay have taken up recently. Regression analyses suggest that eventual equality of performance may be attained in the foreseeable future. The implications of these findings for women's sport are discussed. Women still have a more restricted programme in these three sports and many others; in particular several of the longer distance events are not open to them at Olympics, World Championships and so forth. These restrictions are obviously based on false perceptions of women's biology. With increasing participation, media exposure, training and social acceptance, women's improvements are likely to continue. The reasons for and implications of the previous incorrect scientific assessment of women's sporting potential are also discussed.
 
Murphy etal. (1997) showed age-standardised twinning rates for Scotland and England & Wales 195281 and subsequently increased to about 11·5 per 1000 in 1992–94. The authors conclude their paper with the words: 'perhaps 15% oftwins nationally now follow treatment and the natural twinning rate mightstill be in decline'.
 
Top-cited authors
Mostafa Saadat
  • Shiraz University
Marvin Zuckerman
  • University of Delaware
Koustuv Dalal
  • Mid Sweden University
John Cleland
  • London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Clifford Odimegwu
  • University of the Witwatersrand