Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

INTRA- AND INTERGENERATIONAL SOCIAL MOBILITY IN RELATION TO HEIGHT, WEIGHT AND BODY MASS INDEX IN A BRITISH NATIONAL COHORT

  • MONIKA KRZYŻANOWSKA (a1) and C. G. NICHOLAS MASCIE-TAYLOR (a2)

Summary

Using a sample of 2090 father and son pairs, the extent of intra- and inter-generational social mobility (migration between social classes) was examined over a 42-year period in a British cohort in relation to height, weight and body mass index (BMI). The mean height difference between the highest and lowest social class decreased from about 4 cm in the fathers' generation to about 3 cm in the sons' generation, indicating a decline in heterogeneity in height between classes. For fathers downward intra-generational social mobility ranged between 11% and 18% while between 16% and 26% were upwardly mobile; for sons 15% were downwardly mobile and 21% upwardly mobile. On average downwardly mobile fathers were shorter by between 0.1 cm and 0.7 cm while upwardly mobile fathers were taller by, on average, 0.6 cm to 1.7 cm. For sons, the downwardly mobile were on average 0.7 cm shorter and the upwardly mobile 0.8 cm taller. For weight and BMI there were no consistent relationships with intra-generational mobility in either the fathers' or sons' generations. Inter-generationally, between 18% and 19% of sons were downwardly mobile and between 39% and 40% were upwardly mobile; the downwardly mobile were shorter by about 0.9 cm and the upwardly taller by between 0.6 cm and 1.2 cm. Sons with higher BMI were more likely to be inter-generationally downwardly mobile.

Copyright

References

Hide All
Batty, G. D., Shipley, M. J., Gunnell, D., Huxley, R., Kivimaki, M., Woodward, M., Lee, C. M. Y. & Smith, G. D. (2009) Height, wealth, and health: an overview with new data from three longitudinal studies. Economics and Human Biology 7, 137152.
Bielicki, T. & Szklarska, A. (2000) Are social-class differences in stature partly genetic? A hypothesis revisited. American Journal of Human Biology 12, 97101.
Cardoso, H. F. V. & Caninas, M. (2010) Secular trends in social class differences of height, weight and BMI of boys from two schools in Lisbon, Portugal (1910–2000). Economics and Human Biology 8, 111120.
Cernerud, L. (1995) Height and social mobility. A study of the height of 10 year olds in relation to socio-economic background and type of formal schooling. Scandinavian Journal of Social Medicine 23, 2831.
Deary, I. J., Taylor, M. D., Hart, C. L., Wilson, V., Davey Smith, G., Blane, D. & Starr, J. M. (2005) Intergenerational social mobility and mid-life status attainment: influences of childhood intelligence, childhood social factors and education. Intelligence 33, 455472.
Gibson, J. & Mascie-Taylor, C. G. N. (1973) Biological aspects of a high socio-economic group. IQ components and social mobility. Journal of Biosocial Science 5, 1730.
Gibson, J. B., Harrison, G. A., Hiorns, R. W. & Macbeth, H. M. (1983) Social mobility and psychometric variation in a group of Oxfordshire villages. Journal of Biosocial Science 15, 193205.
Hart, C., McConnachie, A., Upton, M. & Watt, G. (2008) Risk factors in the Midspan family study by social class in childhood and adulthood. International Journal of Epidemiology 37, 604614.
Heineck, G. (2006) Height and weight in Germany: evidence from the German Socio-Economic Panel, 2002. Economics and Human Biology 4, 359382.
Johnson, W., Brett, C. E. & Deary, I. J. (2010) The pivotal role of education in the association between ability and social class attainment: a look across three generations. Intelligence 38, 5565.
Karnehed, N. E. K., Rasmussen, F., Hemmingsson, T. & Tynelius, P. (2008) Obesity in young adulthood is related to social mobility among Swedish men. Obesity 16, 654658.
Komlos, J. & Kriwy, P. (2003) The biological standard of living in the two Germanies. German Economic Review 4, 459473.
Kues, A. B. (2010) Taller – healthier – more equal? The biological standard of living in Switzerland in the second half of the 20th century. Economics and Human Biology 8, 6779.
Lasker, G. W. & Mascie-Taylor, C. G. N. (1989) Effects of social class differences and social mobility on growth in height, weight and body mass index in a British cohort. Annals of Human Biology 16(1), 18.
Lasker, G. W. & Mascie-Taylor, C. G. N. (1996) Influence of social class on the correlation of stature of adult children with that of their mothers and fathers. Journal of Biosocial Science 28, 117122.
Li, L., Manor, O. & Power, C. (2004) Are inequalities in height narrowing? Comparing effects of social class on height in two generations. Archives of Disease in Childhood 89, 10181023.
Li, L. & Power, C. (2004) Influences on childhood height: comparing two generations in the 1958 British birth cohort. International Journal of Epidemiology 33, 13201328.
Mascie-Taylor, C. G. N. (1984) The interaction between geographical and social mobility. In Boyce, A. J. (ed.) Migration & Mobility, Biosocial Aspects of Human Movement. Symposia of the Society for the Study of Human Biology, Vol. 23. Taylor & Francis, London and Philadelphia, pp. 161178.
Mascie-Taylor, C. G. N. & Gibson, J. (1978) Social mobility and IQ components. Journal of Biosocial Science 10, 263276.
Power, C., Manor, O. & Li, L. (2002) Are inequalities in height underestimated by adult social position? Effects of changing social structure and height selection in a cohort study. British Medical Journal 325, 131134.
Singh-Manoux, A., Gourmelen, J., Ferrie, J., Silventoinen, K., Gueguen, A., Stringhini, S., Nabi, H. & Kivimaki, M. (2010) Trends in the association between height and socioeconomic indicators in France, 1970–2003. Economics and Human Biology 8, 396404.
Terrell, T. R. & Mascie-Taylor, C. G. N. (1991) Biosocial correlates of stature in a 16-year-old British cohort. Journal of Biosocial Science 23, 401408.

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed