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The ex-pat effect: presence of recent Western immigrants is associated with changes in age at first birth and birth rate in a Maya population from rural Guatemala

Published on Jul 4, 2017in Annals of Human Biology1.588
· DOI :10.1080/03014460.2017.1343385
Luseadra McKerracher4
Estimated H-index: 4
(SFU: Simon Fraser University),
Mark Collard1
Estimated H-index: 1
(King's College, Aberdeen)
+ 2 AuthorsPablo A. Nepomnaschy9
Estimated H-index: 9
(SFU: Simon Fraser University)
Abstract
AbstractBackground: Economic transitions expose indigenous populations to a variety of ecological and cultural challenges, especially regarding diet and stress. These kinds of challenges are predicted by evolutionary ecological theory to have fitness consequences (differential reproduction) and, indeed, are often associated with changes in fertility dynamics. It is currently unclear whether international immigration might impact the nature of such an economic transition or its consequences for fertility.Aim: To examine measures of fertility, diet and stress in two economically transitioning Maya villages in Guatemala that have been differentially exposed to immigration by Westerners.Subjects and methods: This study compared Maya women’s ages at first birth and birth rates between villages and investigated whether these fertility indicators changed through time. It also explored whether the villages differed in relation to diet and/or a proxy of stress.Results: It was found that, in the village directly im...
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  • Citations (1)
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Variation in the durations of exclusive breastfeeding (exBF) and any breastfeeding (anyBF) is associated with socioecological factors. This plasticity in breastfeeding behavior appears adaptive, but the mechanisms involved are unclear. With this concept in mind, we investigated whether durations of exBF and anyBF in a rural Maya population covary with markers of a form of socioecological change—market integration—and whether individual factors (individual learning, physiological plasticity) and/...
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