ACYIG was launched in 2007. The initiative to form an Interest Group and to secure official standing within the American Anthropological Association was undertaken by Kristen Cheney and Susan Shepler. What was to become ACYIG first met with just a handful of people in an open meeting at the Annual Meeting of the AAA in 2008 and has grown substantially since then.
The advisory board constituted to guide the organization consisted of Myra Bluebond-Langner, David Lancy, Helen Schwartzman, and Tom Weisner as well as Cheney and Shepler. The first ACYIG website was developed by David F. Lancy and his students at Utah State University. In 2008, ACYIG published its first bi-annual Newsletter issue. In 2015, the ACYIG Newsletter became Neos: A Publication of the Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group.
Today, ACYIG boasts more than 1200 members in over ten countries. Members include academics and practitioners who publish on, and work with, children all over the world. The need for an anthropological interest group concerned with children and childhood continues to center on the fact that, despite growing interest in the area of cross-cultural research on childhood, children’s experiences, and children’s rights, there are very few established places to discuss and publicize such work, especially outside the realm of education and health disciplines