Growth maturation and body composition The fels longitudinal study 1929Ц1991. By Alex F. Roche. Cambridge Cambridge University Press. 1992. xii + 282 pp. ISBN 0-521-37449-9. $64код для вставкиСкачать
BOOK REVIEWS 283 GROWTH, MATURATIONAND BODYCOMPOSITION: overview of the data base, “a sample of conTHEFELSLONGITUDINAL STUDY 1929-1991. venience”(p. 15) composed of individuals livBy Alex F. Roche. Cambridge: Cambridge ing in southwestern Ohio at the time of enUniversity Press. 1992. xii + 282 pp. rollment, mostly white: 1,036 individuals, ISBN 0-521-37449-9. $64.95 (cloth). 344 participants who are second generation, 90 who are third, and at publication, 1 child who had a great grandparent studied since Initiated in 1929, the Fels Research Insti- birth. From this data base have come huntute began in a climate of national concern dreds of substantive analyses (308 articles for the effects of the Great Depression on are cited in the present volume) that have children. Anyone currently involved in hu- formed the basis for numerous subsequent man growth and development, schooled on growth study designs, and it continues to be the extensive literature arising from the the basis for the WHO reference internaFels longitudinal studies, will find the intro- tionally employed for assessment of infants duction to this volume engaging. In “A Little from birth to 23 months of age. History,” the background of the Institute These data have of necessity been the and the research it is now so reknowned for source of considerable efforts directed at the reads like a family history. The Fels Re- development of management and methods search Institute is described as the brain- for serial data analyses (Chapter 2). Discuschild of two close friends, Arthur Morgan sion of “the well-planned long-term longituand Samuel Fels. Morgan, then president of dinal study,” “The need for accurate data,” Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, “Quality control,” “Data management,” “Inwas interested in the factors responsible for terpolation,’’and “Statistical analyses in the individual differences. Fels, a Philadelphia Fels Longitudinal Study” by someone with philanthropist, supported this research with the experience of Alex Roche should be rethis stated purpose: “The principal initial quired reading for all serious students of problem to which the organization shall de- growth and development. Of particular note vote its energies is the furtherance of knowl- is the historical overview of statistical apedge of the effect of physical, emotional, and proaches to the description of growth data in nutritional environment during and shortly the latter section. In addition, it is in these after the period of gestation upon the physi- early chapters that Roche offers a rare percal and mental constitution of the child sonal view on research when he cautions that improvements in equipment or tech(p. 4). The immense data that has accrued from niques should be adopted with discretion the vision of these men was initiated with an into a long-term study protocol. In the style annual budget of $5,000 and a staff of three. of the volume, he summarizes his views with Certainly, for anyone who has been involved words of Alexander Pope (p. 24): in the work required to maintain a longitudinal study, the history of what is now a documentation of three generations of huBe not the first by whom the new are tried, man life span is impressive. These data are Nor yet the last to lay the old aside. a testimonial to the determination of numerous people whose careers shaped much of our scientific knowledge in growth and development in this century. Sixty-three years In the remainder of the volume, the “book after its initiation we have the privilege to describes the progress that has been made view the outcome and present status of this during the first 60 years of the Fels Longitulong-lived study. dinal Study of Growth, Maturation and In view of the enormous impact that anal- Body Composition. The remarkable nature yses of Fels data have had on both research of the study justifies this volume” (p. 1). The and clinical practice in growth and develop- data are reported through the lens of the ment in the latter half of the twentieth cen- relevant publications grouped as (Chapter tury, it is most informative to have a clear 3) Prenatal, familial and genetic studies, 284 BOOK REVIEWS (Chapter 4) Physical growth, (Chapter 5) Physical maturity, (Chapter 6) Skeletal and dental data, and (Chapter 7) Body composition and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. This book is an ambitious project. A venture with a scope this large requires clarity of organization and presentation to succeed, and in some ways this volume suffers in this regard. Chapters 2,6, and 7 may be the best in the book in terms of coherence of conceptualization and thematic integrity. In the analysis and presentation of skeletal and dental maturation deriving from the Fels data (Chapter 6 ) ,one cannot help but have a renewed respect for the tremendous contributions of Stanley Garn to twentieth-century concepts of dental and bone growth and maturation. Chapter 7 reviews the large body of work conducted a t the Fels since the mid 1970s on body composition and risk factors for cardiovascular disease. However, often in the broad aims of this volume, details come to override coherence. The placement of common topics in multiple chapters leads to a confusing sense of the work, when distracting paragraphs appear awkwardly out of context. Additionally, work on topics that are not clearly categorical under the chapter headings appear suddenly, like grammatically incorrect punctuation marks in the midst of unrelated subjects. For example, Chapter 4 (Physical growth) contains a subheading of “Age changes in anthropometric variables” (p. 70) that begins with a discussion of the growth curve of one individual’s lengthhtature from 1 to 56 years of age, a unique data set that forms the centerpiece for a discussion of changes in growth rates with age. This is followed by a discussion of maturational changes in secondary sexual characteristics during adolescence (a topic that reappears on its own in Chapter 5). Abruptly, a paragraph discussing radiographically determined scalp thicknesses is directly interposed between the discussion of adolescence and a paragraph on continuities and discontinuities in infant weight and length, the latter a transition into a discussion of mathematical modelling of serial length, weight, and head circumference data. This organizational style is combined with a distracting mode of presentation. For example, in Chapter 5 (Physical maturation and development) a section discussing the “onset of ossification” begins, “Counting the number of ossified centers is the simplest method of grading skeletal maturity, but this method provided insufficient information when it was applied to the carpal bones of the hand-wrist (Garn 1960a). Consequently, Sontag, Snell, and Anderson (1939) applied this method to the left side of the whole skeleton and reported the number of ossification centers present between birth and 5 years” (p. 122). Clearly, work published in 1939 cannot be consequent to that published in 1960, and this leads to an unfortunate diversion in the course of reading. Finally, one of the most serious difficulties in this volume is the lack of integration of the Fels data analyses with those published elsewhere. Not only does this make for a provincial history of the Fels research itself, but it does a disservice to readers unfamiliar with the historical progression of growth and development studies. For example, it is stated that “Chumlea (1982) also reviewed physical growth during adolescence. . . . Chumlea emphasized the variability in timing of sexual maturation and noted that this is more marked than the differences in the sequence of changes” (p. 70). This leaves the impression that the notions of individual tempo in adolescent maturation originated in this 1982 article. It is up to the reader to recognize that these analyses of Fels data echo the much earlier work of Tanner and others. Likewise, in discussing “weight at menarche,” the conclusion that “Consequently, the concept of a critical weight at menarche is not applicable to individuals and should be discarded (p. 147) follows the citation of three articles, none of which are those of a major proponent of this controversial issue, Rose Frisch. By not providing the context of research conducted elsewhere that often predates the publications employing the Fels data and, in fact, often prompted Fels analyses, this volume provides a misleading view for nonspecialists. In this way, the book is the title: Growth, Maturation and Body Composition: The Fels Longitudinal Study 1929-1991. It BOOK REVIEWS is honest in its presentation in promising no more than it delivers. When I began this book, I was expecting a synthesis of the work conducted at the Fels in the context of method and theory in growth and development during this time period with critical reflections by a man who has spent many years at Fels and has been a major influence on growth and development studies in the United States for decades. In this, I was disappointed. Instead, the book is primarily a n annotated bibliography and certainly a valuable contribution. However, as a culmination of so much important work, the book does not embrace its potential to place the Fels data in historical context, and, in the final analysis, the author appears to be groping towards a synthesis that is never quite attained. While one cannot BOOKS RECEIVED Bowler, PJ (1993) The Norton History of the Environmental Sciences. New York: W. W. Norton, $15.95 (paper). Dettwyler, K (1993) Dancing Skeletons: Life and Death in West Africa. Prospect Heights, IL: Waveland, $9.50 (paper); with instructor’s manual. Quiatt, D, and V Reynolds (1993) Primate Behaviour: Information, Social Knowl- 285 help but appreciate the perspective of the many philosophical quotes selected for inclusion and dispersed throughout the book, a reflective appraisal of the data and studies is too often missing at these points, and the pensive writings of others become lip service to a thoughtfulness I hoped to have from Roche himself. In spite of these criticisms, many researchers will welcome this volume. The book is of intrinsic interest to research specialists in growth and development and should be appreciated by serious students of the subject. MICHELLE LAMPL Department of Anthropology University of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, Pennsylvania edge, and the Evolution of Culture. New York: Cambridge University Press, $74.95 (cloth). Sing, CF, and CL Hanis (eds.) (1993) Genetics of Cellular, Individual, Family, and Population Variability, New York: Oxford University Press, $70 (cloth). Smith, P, and E Chernov (eds.)(1992) Structure, Function, and Evolution of Teeth. Tel Aviv: Freund, $100 (paper).