Stature Wars: Which Stature Estimation Methods are Most Applicable to Modern Populations?
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The primary focus of this thesis is a comparison of the mathematical and anatomical methods commonly used to estimate living stature to determine which method gives the most accurate and reliable results when working with modern skeletal individuals in a North American forensic setting. Four primary stature estimation methods are compared: the regression equations of Trotter and Gleser (1952, 1958), FORDISC 3 (Jantz and Ousley 2005), the Fully method (1956) and the revised Fully method (Raxter et al. 2006). The modern study sample (n = 233) is drawn from American Blacks and American Whites of the Bass and Maxwell Collections. A secondary focus of this thesis concerns the adjustment factor (2.5 cm) suggested by Trotter and Gleser (1952) for the conversion of cadaver stature to living stature. This study demonstrates that this adjustment factor is not appropriate for use on the current study sample. This study also indicates that adequate comparisons of the four stature estimation methods can be made in the absence of such a conversion.