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Data on grandparental surnames were obtained from children in 45 Italo-Albanesi villages in nine provinces of southern Italy and Sicily. Concordance of surnames (isonymy) and inbreeding by village were estimated for each province and on the total sample. Total mean isonymy is 0·0251. The weighted mean inbreeding coefficient, and its random and non-random components are 0·0063, 0·0024 and 0·0039, respectively. Isonymy values are similar to those of rural Italian villages except that Alpine and some Appennine villages appear to be more isolated and inbred.
The surnames of all adult residents of five neighbouring communities in the fenlands of Cambridgeshire are compared with each other and with those of the 165,533 persons married in England and Wales in the period January to March 1975. Among the villages the average coefficient of relationship by isonymy (Ri) is 76 × 10−5. The villages nearer together may have a tendency to higher values of Ri: the correlation of Ri with the natural log of distance between villages is −0·49, p = 0·07. The surnames of the five villages give a weighted average Ri with the whole area about 25 miles of 54 × 10−5 and with a zone 25–40 miles away of 45 × 10−5, whereas Ri with all England and Wales is 42 × 10−5. Rare surnames show a much sharper gradient and contribute approximately twice as much to the coefficient in the 25–40 mile zone and six times as much within 25 miles as found with all England and Wales. Moderately frequent surnames and even common surnames show the same gradient, but to a lesser degree. In the part of Cambridgeshire studied, the present distribution of surnames indicates a slight but appreciable local isolation, with the degree of relationship decreasing from among local villages to that between the villages and all England and Wales. This pattern is consistent with the theory of genetic inbreeding based on distance but there is considerable variability in individual instances.
Analysis of British National Child Development Study data corroborates the long held views that first born children tend to get more medical surveillance than those of later birth order, and that there is a direct relationship between achieved family size and social status.
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%.
This study, using an undergraduate sample, examines the relationship between ten independent variables and their interactions, on two IQ components and sixteen personality factors. There was a highly significant relationship between both IQ components and subject studied at university, and between the verbal IQ component and birth order. A relationship between smoking habit and personality was also found.
The educational attainment of over 2000 children aged 7–15 years from six different ethnic groups was assessed. Children of Pakistani and of Bangladeshi origin tended to obtain the lowest mean scores on all tests, often well below those of West Indian children, who tended to perform as well as Indian children and often no worse than the indigenous majority. There were few signs of any reliable trends over age. Differences were more pronounced on tests of reading and vocabulary than on tests of mathematics but, on tests of non-verbal reasoning, most ethnic minorities also obtained low scores. Many of these differences were associated with differences in social and family circumstances.
Studies of parent–child correlations in stature require data which can be viewed as random samples of some general population and which are large enough to allow partition of the variable and evaluation of non-genetic and genetic influences. In a sample of 4336 individuals drawn from a cohort of all persons born in England, Scotland and Wales in 1 week in 1958, the correlation of statures of the males with their fathers, the females with their fathers, the males with their mothers and the females with their mothers were 0·36, 0·43 and 0·41 and 0·47 respectively at age 16 of the offspring and 0·41, 0·41, 0·47 and 0·46 respectively at age 23. Allowance for the occupational social class of the fathers lowers the correlations, but in no case by more than 5%. Allowance for the occupational class achieved by the offspring by age 23 has little effect on the correlations.
As the participants in the 1958 National Child Development Study cohort enter adulthood most of the social factors associated with onset of asthma are no longer relevant, but many of the biological factors continue to be important. There is a continuing association at age 23 between eczema, hayfever and similar allergic reactions and continuing asthma, while the earlier associated social factors including non-manual occupations, home ownership, and lack of crowding within the home or sharing of the bedroom with others in the household cease to have significant effects. Smoking patterns in this age group diverge sharply from what might be expected in those with a serious respiratory affliction: significantly more asthmatics smoke than would be expected at random.
This paper examines the similarity between husbands and wives at the IQ subtest level, using seven tests from the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale. There was some evidence for sex differences; husbands scored higher than their wives on three of the subtests. After logarithmic transformation of some subtests the data were shown to be consistent with multivariate normality. A simplified covariance matrix was produced. Principal component analysis revealed an underlying general ability factor but there was no simple division into verbal and into performance components as would be expected from the IQ test structure. Canonical correlation analysis indicated that there were highly variable contributions to spousal associations. The major contributors were, in decreasing order of importance, due to similarities, vocabulary, digit symbol and block design tests. One subtest, comprehension, made no overt contribution.
The geographic distribution of the Smiths and Joneses among all persons married in England and Wales in 3 months of 1975 showed well defined frequency clines comparable to those of blood group distributions. Polynomial regressions of relative frequencies of these surnames on latitude and longitude account for 12% and 36% of the variation among registration districts in frequency of Smiths and Joneses, respectively.
Examination of 150 husband–wife pairs from the Otmoor villages of Oxfordshire for levels of similarity in their performance of seven subtests of the WAIS IQ test showed significant positive correlation in five subtests but not in digit span or digit symbol. In no test was there any relation between level of spouse similarity and length of marriage. Scores were varyingly associated with several factors known to be related to total IQ, such as social class and nature of education. When the effects of these factors on IQ variation were removed statistically most of the spouse similarity disappeared. However there remained a significant residual similarity in vocabulary performance and some suggestion of one in similarities and block design.
This study presents parent–offspring and sibling resemblances for verbal and visuospatial IQ components and total IQ scores in both non-manual and manual social groups. Offspring on mid parent regression coefficients provided upper limits to phenotypic IQ similarity. There were no significant differences in regressions between social groups.
The sex linked hypothesis for spatial ability was examined but neither parent–offspring nor sibling correlations were in the order predicted by the hypothesis.
The children in the cohort followed by the National Child Development Study were tested for cognitive ability at the age of eleven, and the influence of a number of biological and social variables was sought on the results of tests of reading, mathematics, verbal and non-verbal abilities. Reading relates strongly to social class, birth order and parental age, suggesting strong social influences upon it, but it is also related to height and acquired myopia, suggesting biological influences. Mathematics ability relates to social class and parental age, but not to birth order, but its relationship with height, birthweight and maternal smoking suggests biological effects. Verbal ability and non-verbal ability have relatively few correlates apart from sex and region. It appears that different cognitive abilities show different relationships to social, biological and personal variables.
The two main ways in which disease and nutrition can influence fertility are by reducing fecundity or by extending the birth interval. Fecundity refers to reproductive ability, that is the potential to breed, as compared to fertility which denotes actual childbearing (McFalls & McFalls, 1984). Reduced fecundity, which is usually referred to as subfecundity, results from impairment of any of the biological aspects of reproduction, including coital inability, conceptive failure as well as pregnancy loss. Subfecundity is only one factor operating to reduce fertility; other factors include those governing mate exposure (both formation and dissolution of unions as well as exposure to intercourse within unions) and birth control.
To determine whether maternal anthropometry predicted birth weight, and if so, to identify which cut-offs provided the best prediction of low birth weight (LBW) in a field situation.
Community-based longitudinal study.
A rural union of Bhaluka Upazila, Mymensingh, located 110 km north-west of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh.
A total of 1104 normotensive, non-smoking pregnant women who attended community nutrition centres were studied from first presentation at the centre until delivery of their child.
Most of the pregnant mothers were between 20 and 34 years of age. Over one-third of the women were nulliparous, while 12.8% were multiparous (parity ≥ 4). Most (93%) mothers registered between the 3rd and 5th month of pregnancy. The frequency of LBW ( < 2500 g) was 17%. Polynomial regression analyses showed that the best predictors of birth weight (based on adjusted R2 values) were in general weight at registration and weight at month 9, with adjusted R2 ranging from 2.5% to nearly 20%. Sequential regression analyses with height and weight showed that there was a significant effect of height after removing the weight variables, and adjusted R2 increased in all analyses. Weight and height at registration month continued to be the best predictors of LBW. Sensitivity and specificity curves were drawn for each registration month, body mass index and different weight gain groups, and using different weight and height combinations. The results showed that, for registration month 3–5, a combination of weight ( ≤ 45 kg) and height ( ≤ 150 cm) gave the highest sensitivity, which was 50%. However, maternal weight ≤ 43 kg in pregnancy month 3–5 alone gave the highest sensitivity of 80%.
The best predictor of birth weight as a continuous variable was maternal weight at registration, each 1 kg increase in weight at registration being associated with an increase in birth weight of about 260 g. Maternal weight ≤ 43 kg in pregnancy month 3–5 alone gave the highest sensitivity of 80%. A combination of initial weight and height of the mother was not as good a predictor of LBW as weight alone.
An adapted ‘sense of coherence’ scale short form (SOC-13) was administered in nine languages of Eritrea with a total of 265 participants (162 women and 103 men) in order to assess ‘resilience’ in quantitative terms. Statistical analysis yielded significant differences in SOC scores between the displaced and non-displaced: mean=54·84 (SD=6·48) in internally displaced person (IDP) camps, compared with mean=48·94 (SD=11·99) in urban and rural settlements (t=3·831, p<0·001). Post-hoc tests revealed that the main difference is between IDP camp dwellers and urban (non-displaced) residents. Those in rural but traditionally mobile (pastoralist or transhumant) communities scored more or less the same as the urban non-displaced – i.e. significantly higher than those in IDP camps (p<0·05). Analysis of variance showed that displacement has a significantly negative effect on women compared with men (RR=0·262, p<0·001). Repeating the analysis for the three groups confirmed that urban and pastoralist/transhumant groups are similar, while women in IDP camps are lower scoring (RR=0·268, p<0·001), Hamboka women being worst affected due to their experience of serial displacement. These findings are interpreted and discussed in the light of qualitative information gleaned from the study participants’ interrogation of the content of the SOC scale; and in the wider context of historical, socio-political and cultural characteristics of Eritrea. The study’s implications for humanitarian and public health policy are considered.
Surnames were obtained for the second half of the 20th century from civil and religious marriage registers on fifteen Provençal-Italian and five Italian villages of Cuneo Province, Italy. To insert in the analysis an outward comparison, surnames from two Italian villages of Turin Province, one parish of Turin, one village of Alessandria Province and one village of Asti Province were also collected. Ethnicity does not seem to be the main factor affecting the present genetic structure of the Provençal-Italians. They are an open community, and evidence the end of the genetic isolation of the alpine populations.
Analyses of height variation using the 1970 UK national cohort study (12,508 children at age 10 and 5470 at age 16) found clear evidence that children of higher socioeconomic status (as measured by social class, crowding, tenure, type of accommodation, income and receipt of government financial assistance) were on average taller than children of lower socioeconomic status but there was little or no difference in average stature between children living in urban or rural areas. Significant differences in height remained for most of the variables after removing the effects of father’s social class suggesting that reliance on social class per se to explain height variation is inadvisable.