Craniometric variation of diverse populations in Florida: identification challenges within a border state

Tise, Meredith L., Kimmerle, Erin H. and Spradley, M. Katherine (2014) Craniometric variation of diverse populations in Florida: identification challenges within a border state. Annals of Anthropological Practice, 38 (1). pp. 111-123. ISSN 2153-957X

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The state of Florida is commonly ignored as a border state when it comes to issues and challenges in migrant death investigations. In the 2010 U.S. Census, Florida held the third largest Hispanic population in the United States, with almost 19 million individuals self-identifying as Hispanic, following behind California and Texas (Ennis et al. 2011). Undocumented workers that arrive in the United States frequently migrate to Florida for labor, such as on produce farms, and many of these workers are children, traveling alone, or under circumstances that make them an at-risk group. Endangered, missing, and unidentified persons in Florida are growing problems, with significant numbers of affected persons from the Caribbean, Mexico, and Central America. This research explores the variation among six
diverse groups that are found in Florida and throughout the United States, especially along the border. These groups include four groups considered Hispanic (Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, and Cuba), as well as American white and black. Based on canonical discriminant function and Mahalanobis distance (D2) analyses, the Mexican and Guatemalan samples are the two most similar groups when comparing only the four groups considered Hispanic (D2 = 2.581) and among all six groups (D2 = 2.645). Within the four groups considered Hispanic, the Puerto Rican and Cuban samples are the second most similar groups (D2 = 4.690). However, when comparing all six groups, the Cuban and American black samples are the second most similar groups (D2 = 3.289). These results reflect a shift in similarities in cranial morphology when including the American black and white samples. By improving our understanding of the historical and current biological relationships among diverse groups living in close proximity, forensic anthropologists can better utilize ancestry data into their biological profiles for human identification.

Additional Information:Special Issue: Practicing Forensic Anthropology: A Human Rights Approach to the Global Problem of Missing and Unidentified Persons
Keywords:cranial variation, border deaths, identification, groups considered Hispanic, NotOAChecked
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C910 Applied Biological Sciences
F Physical Sciences > F410 Forensic Science
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
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ID Code:16071
Deposited On:27 Nov 2014 21:16

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