Mom and Dad's influence on your height

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Ever wondered who influences your height more? Is it your mother or father? Most people would say that it's either random, or a complete 50% split. The truth is that both of these theories are wrong. In fact, your mom has a huge influence on your height from fertilization to 4 years old, whereas your dad has a greater influence from 4 years plus.

Even though both your parents influence your height at different stages of your life, withouth doubt, your mother has the most influence on your height height, much more so than the father. This is because the first several years of your life (including within the womb) are crucial for growth development. So if you were to blame anyone for your unfavourable height (or even weight for that fact), then point the finger at your mother. I've set out the reasons for this fact below.

Remember that there are also environmental factors that come into play for human growth, one of the most important being that you should follow a good diet for maximizing height increase, so even if you have a short mom or dad, or even both, there is still a chance you could increase your height. See how a good diet could have a 6% increase on your height.

A mother's height influence diminishes after 3 years

Firstly, let's take a look at the graph below. Along the x-axis we have age and on the y-axis, we have the parental height influence coefficient. 

Parental Height Influence

It's quite clear that a mother has a huge influence on the early stages of life. The reason for this is maternal constraint. Althought maternal constraint is in theory a non-genetic factor of height influence, fetus growth can be significantly restricted by the mother, primarily due to a poor nutrient supply. The poor supply may not be necessarily caused by a mother's diet, but rather pathophysiological, uteroplacental and maternal size limit factors.

Why do father's height influence more later in life?

A seven year study recently concluded with strong evidence that a father also has a signifcant and almost proportionally direct impact on a child's height after the age of 4. This is actually illustrated in the above chart. The study included intricate assessments of over 1100 families over the seven year period.

So which parent influences height the most?

So you have learnt that both your mother and father's height impacts significantly on your growth at different stages of your life. But would someone with a tall mother be more likely to outgrow someone with a tall father, or vice versa? There's no exact scientific answer, as so many other variables distort the results of any research that has been undertaken, however in most cases, it appears that a mother has a larger influence than a father on the height of their offspring.

a mother has a larger influence than a father on the height of their offspring

 

Remember that due to the fact that each parent's influence varies with age of the specimen, this means that a teenager hoping to grow taller should wish to have a tall father, whilst a fetus is more likely to be taller at adolescence if their mother tall. Men who want tall children should therefore marry a tall woman. But in reality, we are not that shallow are we?!

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Comments

Matt's picture
Very interesting Ludwig. Thanks for breaking down the current height research into something that makes sense.
Locura's picture
My mother and father are tall so why am I so short? My uncles and grandfather and grandmother are tall too.
admin's picture
Do you have good nutrition? Do you sleep well? If you are still young, you might be a late bloomer. Everyone hits puberty at different ages, so you should grow taller sooner or later.
Sumdood's picture
My parents are both short , will I be at an average height ?
Jane's picture
My 14 yr old son had an xray done of his wrist which they said was bone age 17 and that he was done growing. He went into puberty early(age 11) but is only 14 and 5'4. So my question is, they never told me his growth plates were fused nor did they take any other xray's of different parts like the femur or spine etc.. Should we get a second opinion and is there a chance the plates are not fused and he can still grow?
admin's picture
I would recommend reading the Professor article on growth plates: http://www.heightdb.com/blog/growth-plates-height-increase
Anonymous's picture
My son is 6 ft 3 and is 13 I wonder how tall he will get.
Gabriel's picture
I'm 18 and i'm 5'5/5'6 my dad is 5'4 amd my mom is 5' but my great-grandfather was like 6'2. Is there an way to me grow at least 5'7? The doctor said since i didn't grow beard yet, i'm still growing. What should i do?
chloey becker's picture
I'm 11 and I'm 4'1 and my mom is 36 and she is 4'11

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