Vietnamese migrants are as tall as they want to be




body height, regulation of growth, migrants, Social-Economic-Political-Emotional (SEPE) factors



Members of the same social group tent to have the same body height. Migrants tend to adjust in height to their host communities.


Social-Economic-Political-Emotional (SEPE) factors influence growth. We hypothesized that Vietnamese young adult migrants in Germany (1) are taller than their parents, (2) are as tall as their German peers, and (3) are as tall as predicted by height expectation at age 13 years.

Sample and Methods

The study was conducted in 30 male and 54 female Vietnamese migrants (mean age 26.23 years. SD=4.96) in Germany in 2020. Information on age, sex, body height, school and education, job, height and ethnicity of best friend, migration history and cultural identification, parental height and education, and recalled information on their personal height expectations at age 13 years were obtained by questionnaire. The data were analyzed by St. Nicolas House Analysis (SNHA) and multiple regression.


Vietnamese young adults are taller than their parents (females 3.85cm, males 7.44cm), but do not fully attain height of their German peers. The body height is positively associated with the height of best friend (p < 0.001), the height expectation at age 13 year (p < 0.001), and father height (p=0.001).


Body height of Vietnamese migrants in Germany reflects competitive growth and strategic growth adjustments. The magnitude of this intergenerational trend supports the concept that human growth depends on Social-Economic-Political-Emotional (SEPE) factors.


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How to Cite

Scheffler, C., Nguyen, T. H., & Hermanussen, M. (2021). Vietnamese migrants are as tall as they want to be. Human Biology and Public Health, 2.