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The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of zigzag elastics in the treatment of Class II division 1 malocclusion subjects with hypo- or hyperdivergent growth patterns. Two groups were established, each consisting of 10 subjects classified as hypo- or hyperdivergent according to their pre-treatment SN–GoGn angle. The cephalometric radiographs taken before and after an elastic application period of approximately 4 months were used to generate 22 variables.In both groups, there were no statistically significant differences in the vertical position of the lower molars, the SN–GoGn angle or the inclination of the lower incisors, whereas the sagittal skeletal relationship was improved as a result of an increase in the SNB angle and the mandibular length (P < 0.01). Upper incisor extrusion was statistically significant in both groups (P < 0.05). The downward rotation of the occlusal plane and the increase in overbite were found to be significant in the hypodivergent group (P < 0.05). Significant differences were observed between the groups in the extrusion of the upper incisor, the inclination of the occlusal plane, and the amount of overbite (P < 0.05). The results show that the zigzag elastic system is preferable, especially in hyperdivergent Class II division 1 subjects, as the use of such elastics does not cause an unfavourable effect on vertical jaw base relationship.