Abnormal Growth

  • Roland Hauspie
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 30)


To say a child’s growth is “abnormal” implies one knows what is “normal” growth. The definition of normal growth is a matter of convention, originating from the need for some practical scale by which an individual’s growth can be evaluated as aberrant or not. In one way or another, such scales express the most usual situation of some aspect of growth. Indeed, in the field of growth and development, the term “normal” is mostly used in the sense of “commonly occurring” or “ordinary” rather than in the sense of an ideal target to be achieved (Healy, 1978). Hence, the assessment of the normality of growth is, as a matter of fact, related to a certain standardizing group and all conclusions made about such an assessment are valuable only with respect to this group (Defrise-Gussenhoven, 1954). The standardizing group, norm or reference group should be representative of the population to which the child who is to be evaluated belongs, and should be homogenous in its geographic, ethnic, racial, social and other characteristics. Standards should also be quite recent to avoid effects of secular trends.


Growth Spurt Abnormal Growth Height Velocity Thalassemia Major British Child 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roland Hauspie
    • 1
  1. 1.Belgian National Science FoundationFree University BrusselsBrusselsBelgium

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