The Importance of Individual and Population Variation to Human Stature Estimation

by Shields, Kelly Jean

Abstract (Summary)
Human stature estimation is a central part of forensic anthropological investigation. It is one of several factors used to identify unknown individuals. The statistical relationship between body length and body segment length allows for long bone lengths from an unidentified individual to be used in a linear regression equation to estimate living stature. These linear regression equations are often formulated from a data set of an entirely different population. This research explores the necessity for the unknown individual to be similar on a number of points to the known population that makes up the equation. Populations are highly variable, and one or two equations should not be applicable for every population. The sample to be examined consists of 22 Hispanic males with known stature and long bone lengths, drawn from the Forensic Data Bank. This data was applied to some of the most commonly used equations today, including: Trotter and Glesers Korean War equations, Hispanic and American White equations from FORDISC, and Genoves Mesoamerican equations. Statistical analysis revealed the necessity for more data collection from Central and South American populations. If this were done, a greater number of unknown individuals could be identified and their remains returned to their families.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Dr. Ashley McKeown; Dr. Noriko Seguchi; Dr. Sergio Romero

School:The University of Montana

School Location:USA - Montana

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:07/23/2007

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