The aim of the paper is to present the social and material situation of families from the commune of Potegowo (Slupsk area), which worked for the local state farms prior to their liquidation, and to assess the physical development of children raised by these families. Data relating to the analysed commune were compared with those characterising three other rural communes also located in the region of Pomorze (Borzytuchom, Kolczyglowy and Leczyce). All the named communes have a typically agricultural character. They differ, however, in terms of the number of state farms and private farms that operated on their territory prior to the introduction of the market economy in Poland. Potegowo was the commune that had the largest number of state farms, which operated in more than a half of its villages. The fall and the liquidation of state farms left the commune of Potegowo with the problem of high unemployment, low vocational qualifications and low level of education of its male and female population, of mediocre housing standards and a fairly widespread 'syndrome of a state farm employee'. The unfavourable social and material situation of families living in the commune of Potegowo impacted negatively on the level of biological development of children from the area. In comparison with children of the same age from other rural areas the young residents of the commune of Potegowo were far shorter. From the perspective of changes occurring during the life of a generation (secular trends) boys and girls from the commune of Potegowo will reach the present level of physical development of children from the communes of Borzytuchom, Kolczyglowy and Leczyce in about five years from now and that characterising children from the nearby town of Lebork in more than ten years from now.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.