Plasticity of human growth - a systematic review on psychosocial factors influencing growth
journal contributionposted on 16.11.2020, 09:21 authored by Oliver Niere, Lisa Spannemann, Patrick Stenzel, Barry Bogin, Michael Hermanussen, Christiane Scheffler
Background: This systematic review aimed at collecting, analyzing and summarizing scientific studies focusing on psychosocial factors that influence linear growth among humans. Methods: The online database "PubMed" was used in order to acquire suitable scientific studies. These studies were evaluated based on clearly defined criteria that determine whether a study was to be excluded or included in the literature review. In the end, a total sum of 36 studies remained, which were carefully analyzed and used to generate an overview of the association between psychosocial factors and linear growth. Results: In the 36 reviewed studies, different social and psychological factors, such as socioeconomic status, parental education or emotional deprivation were set in relation to physical growth among humans. The studies were listed and summarized, depending on the investigated psychosocial factor. A clear association between psychosocial factors and growth could be observed in most of the reviewed studies. Discussion: Based on the results of the reviewed studies it could be concluded that the regulation of linear growth is also subject to different psychosocial factors. The way in which the developing human and the specific social environment interact seemed to have a major impact on linear growth. Status-specific stress was discussed as one possible explanation for the regulating mechanism of human linear growth.
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