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October 1959

Growth and Development: VI. Changes in Skin Color of Fifty-One Negro Infants from Birth Through Three Years of Age, as Related to Skin Color of Parents, Socioeconomic Status, and Developmental Quotient

Author Affiliations

Nashville, Tenn.

From the Department of Pediatrics, George W. Hubbard Hospital of Meharry Medical College.

AMA Arch Derm. 1959;80(4):421-426. doi:10.1001/archderm.1959.01560220031006

The measurement of skin color has provoked considerable interest and research in recent years. In general, attention has been concentrated upon the most efficient manner of measuring the degree of pigmentation as a means of assessing actual color content. Medically, the problem has been one of ascertaining how and to what degree pigmentation affects either the recognition or the course of various diseases, as well as how specific treatments such as infrared and roentgenotherapy are influenced by skin color. A recent paper in this series1 discussed a phase of the question of skin color upon which less emphasis has been placed: the relation of skin color in new-born Negro infants and their parents to certain physical, psychological, and social factors. It was pointed out at that time that the question is complicated by the fact that Negroes tend to grow darker with age. Niedelman2 states,

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