Title page for ETD etd-04102008-155457


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Burke, Rachel Marie
URN etd-04102008-155457
Title Can We Estimate Stature from the Scapula? A Test Considering Sex and Ancestry
Degree Master of Arts (M.A.)
Department Geography & Anthropology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mary H. Manhein Committee Chair
Miles E. Richardson Committee Member
Robert G. Tague Committee Member
Keywords
  • stature estimation
  • forensic anthropology
  • biological profile
Date of Defense 2008-03-31
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
The biological profile is one of the most important things that forensic anthropologists accomplish in their work. This includes the determination of age, race, sex, and stature. These four components of the biological profile aid in the identification of an individual in the forensic context. Since the beginning of the field of physical anthropology, osteologists and anatomists have studied human remains in order to provide new and more accurate ways of building the biological profile.

Two published studies have attempted to estimate stature from measurements of the scapula. One previous study found that certain measurements of the scapula were highly accurate in estimating the stature of males and females from an Italian population. However, another study concluded that other measurements of the skeleton were more useful in estimating stature than the maximum scapular breadth for a Chinese population.

The current research expands upon both of these previous studies using an American population collected from the Hamann-Todd Osteological Collection at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. In so doing, this researcher hypothesized that there was a significant relationship between one or more measurements of the scapula and stature. Additionally, I performed a multiple regression analysis of the measurements in order to create regression formulae useful in estimating stature. After taking eleven measurements of the scapula, these variables were regressed against the stature measurements (N=223) provided in the Hamann-Todd Human Collection Database. The results show that several variables, including the length of the scapular spine, the maximum acromion-coracoid distance, the length of the axial border, the length of the coracoid, and the maximum scapular breadth each significantly contribute to stature. Additionally, race significantly contributes to stature. Regression formulae were calculated for populations when race is both known and unknown. After applying each of these formulae to a smaller test sample, results show that, contrary to the findings of previous research, stature could be predicted for all individuals with an accuracy of 27%, for blacks with an accuracy of 50%, and for whites with an accuracy of 36%.

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