International Journal of Anthropology

, Volume 17, Issue 3–4, pp 173–180 | Cite as

Number of siblings and children of short and long living individuals

  • Krzyzanowska M. 
  • Boryslawki K. 


The work aimed at grasping eventual relations between the grandparents' life length and the number of their siblings and children. A poll of 2800 students of Wroclaw higher education institutions (1023 men and 1777 women) from 18 to 26 years of age was conducted. Information concerning the number of siblings and children of the examined students' grandparents, and in case of the dead—their age at the moment of death, were used. The material was divided into two categories (using death—rate tables and death age median: short living (SL) and long living (LL). The examined relations were analyzed separately for mothers' mothers (MM), fathers' mothers (FM), mothers' fathers (MF) and fathers' fathers (FF) of the students combined these groups were also analysed.

Number of siblings in the families of grandparents of the same categories of longevity generally doesn't differ significantly for each group of grandparents. Short living grandparents have significantly fewer siblings than the long living ones. Number of children, similarly as the number of siblings, is also higher in case of long living individuals.

The described relation shall probably be sought in the so—called protective role of the family.

Key Words

Human longevity 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Blazer D. G., 1982.Social support and mortality in an elderly community population. Am. J. Epidemiol., 115, 5: 684–694.Google Scholar
  2. Gove W. R., 1984.Gender differences in mental and physical illness: The effects of fixed roles and nurturant roles. Social Sci. Med., 19: 77–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. House J. S., Robbins C., Metzner H. L., 1982.The association of social relantionships and activities with mortality: prospective evidence fromthe Tecumseh Community Health Study. Am. J. Epidemiol., 116,1: 123–140.Google Scholar
  4. Kaplan R. M., Sallis J. F., Patterson T. L., 1993.Social support. In: Health & Human Behavior. International Editions. McGraw — Hill, Inc.Google Scholar
  5. Mechanic D., Hansell S., 1987.Adolescent competence, psychological well — being, and self — assessed physical health. J. Hlth social Behav., 28: 364–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Rahman M. O., 1999.Age and gender variation in the impact of household structure on elderly mortality. Int. J. Epidemiol., 28: 485–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ross C. E., Mirowsky J., Goldsteen K., 1990.The impact of the family on health: the decade in review. J. Marriage Fam., 52: 1059–1078.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Samuelsson G., Dehlin O., Rundgren A., 1993.Differences in health status and mortality between urban and rural populations — effects of long — term exposure. Int. J. Health Sciences 4,1: 3–12.Google Scholar
  9. Stansfeld S. A., 2000.Social support and social cohesion. In: Social Determinants of Health. Edited by M. Marmot & R. G. Wilkinson. Oxford University Press, New York.Google Scholar
  10. Welin L., Svärdsudd K., Ander-Peciva S., Tibblin G., Tibblin B., Wilhelmsen L., 1985.Prospective study of social influences on mortality: the study of men born in 1913 and 1923. The Lancet 20: 915–918.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Westendorp R. G. J., Kirkwood T. B. L., 1998.Human longevity at the cost of reproductive success. Nature 396: 743–746.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© International Institute for the Study of Man 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Krzyzanowska M. 
    • 1
  • Boryslawki K. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of WroclawWroclawPoland

Personalised recommendations