N e w s l e t t e r                                                                                            October 2023


Dear friends, dear members of our Auxological Society,

The summer has largely passed and we prepare for the proceedings of our last Soiree. It was a wonderful event with many people, great lectures, very stimulating discussions, and of course, a lot of fun. Many many thanks to those who participated and made this event so delightful. Also many thanks to those who contributed in the background with their helping hands, and to the musicians in the evening.

We discussed the interaction between social factors and human growth, and highlighted several topics of general interest to the regulation of human growth.

Humans are social mammals. We show and share personal interests and needs, and we are able to strategically adjust size according to social position, with love and hope being prime factors in the regulation of growth. In contrast to Western societies, where body size has been shown to be an important predictor of socioeconomic status, egalitarian societies without formalized hierarchy and material wealth-dependent social status do not appear to similarly integrate body size and social network. Social network structures can be modeled by Monte Carlo simulation. Modeling dominance hierarchies suggests that winner-loser effects play a pivotal role in robust self-organization that transcends the specifics of the individual. Further improvements of the St. Nicolas House analysis using re-sampling/bootstrap techniques yielded encouraging results for exploring dense networks of interacting variables. The D-score scale, the ICP growth model and the SITAR technique were presented, as well as customized pediatric growth references, and approaches towards a Rare Disease Growth Chart Library. First attempts with a mobile phone application were presented to investigate the associations between maternal pre-pregnancy overweight, gestational weight gain, and the child’s future motor development. Clinical contributions included growth patterns of individuals with Silver-Russell syndrome, and treatment burden in children with growth hormone deficiency. Contributions on sports highlighted the fallacy inherent in disregarding the biological maturation status when interpreting physical performance outcomes. The meeting explored the complex influence of nutrition and lifestyle on menarcheal age of Lithuanian girls and emphasized regional trends in height of Austrian recruits.

Examples of the psychosocial stress caused by the forced migration of modern Kyrgyz children and Polish children after World War II were presented, as well as the effects of nutritional stress during and after World War I. The session concluded with a discussion of recent trends in gun violence affecting children and adolescents in the United States, and aspects of life history theory using the example of "Borderline Personality Disorder." The features of this disorder are consistent with the notion that it reflects a "fast" life history strategy, with higher levels of allostatic load, higher levels of aggression, and greater exposure to both childhood adversity and chronic stress. The results were discussed in light of evolutionary guided research.

Just a few weeks later, we had our 6th International Student Summer School in Gülpe with students from Slovenia, South Africa, Turkey, and from Potsdam (see attachment). Now, we are waiting for their contributions to be published in our journal ( You may have a look into the last issue with the contributions of last year’s Gülpe students.

Still our short reminder:  there is a substantial reduction for manuscripts of members, and we particularly encourage the younger colleagues to consider publishing.

Those who like playing, might be interested in some of our recent approaches in social network construction (

All the best, enjoy the last days of Summer and cordially yours

Christiane Scheffler               Michael Hermanussen                                   Slawomir Koziel