The 82nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists (2013)

A Comparison of Fluctuating Asymmetry in the Craniofacial Skeleton of Residents of Mexico and Immigrants from Mexico to the United States


1Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Clemson University, 2Department of Anthropology, Texas State University

Thursday Afternoon, 301E Add to calendar

This study examines levels of fluctuating asymmetry (FA) in residents of Mexico and immigrants from Mexico to the United States. FA provides a measure of developmental stress in individuals. It is hypothesized that the migrant sample would represent individuals of a lower socioeconomic status who experienced higher stress levels during development and these individuals would consequently have higher levels of FA. The immigrant sample comes from the Pima County Medical Examiner’s office in New Mexico. The individuals in this sample died while crossing the border into the United States. These individuals come mainly from Central and Southern Mexico and are thought to be mainly low socioeconomic status individuals. The resident samples come from two identified cemetery collections from Central and Southern Mexico with birth dates from the early to mid-twentieth century. Three-dimensional cranial landmarks were collected from 364 individuals. Geometric morphometric methods were used to calculate a FA score for each individual. Results indicate that the FA levels between the residents and migrants do not differ significantly. This presentation will discuss effects of sex on FA along with FA comparisons among Mexican migrants, residents, and a contemporary sample from the United States representing a higher socioeconomic group. These results will be contextualized in terms of current trends in the demographics of border crossers. The ability to accurately reconstruct developmental stress and socioeconomic status in human populations is of broad interests to researchers working on prehistoric, historic, and modern samples.

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