Secular Trends in the Primary Indicators of Physical Development in Children, Adolescents and Young People between the Ages of 4-18 from Minsk (from 1920s to 2000s)

DOI: 10.14673/IJA2015341016
Published in Int. Journal of Anthropology – Vol. 30 – n.3-4 – 2015

Key words: secular trends, growth acceleration, height, weight, chest circumference, children, Minsk, Belarus.

Abstract
Over the past 80 years (1925-2001/8) the physical development of children in the city of Minsk has undergone substantial changes. During the 20th century the developmental processes of growth acceleration were quite active and resulted in an increase in body length of more than 10 cm in both sexes: height in 18-year-old boys/girls increased on average by 1,61/1,37 cm/per decade between 1925 and 2001/8. At the turn of the 20th-21st centuries, a stabilization in growth processes was noted, as well as significant gracilization in the stature of girls, which can be partly explained by social factors. The growth processes of young boys and girls nowadays are more intense than those of previous generations. A faster pace of growth has revealed itself in the shift of growth curve crossing points. In 1925, the interval between the first and the second crossing was extended over time (it lasted for 5-7 years), however, in 2001/8 it had shrunk to 1-4 years. The changes witnessed in growth processes coincided with major changes in social, economic and political life – the fall of the Soviet Union, consolidation of Belarus’ independence, World War II, and urbanization processes.

Hurbo, T.L.
Department of Anthropology and Ecology, Institute of History,
The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus.
E-mail: hurbo@mail.ru

Skrigan, G.V.
Department of Special Pedagogy and Psychology,
Maxim Tank Belarusian State Pedagogical University, Minsk, Belarus.
E-mail: galanca@mail.ru

Radygina, V.V.
Institute of Qualification Improvement and Vocational Retraining,
Maxim Tank Belarusian State Pedagogical University, Minsk, Belarus.
E-mail: radygina@yandex.by

Pamazanau, M.M.
Department of Anthropology and Ecology, Institute of History,
The National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Minsk, Belarus.
E-mail: pomnik@pisem.net