Environmental stresses and its effect on craniofacial growth and development
Lombardi, Kimberly Marie
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Scholarly research has documented that environmental stresses affect developmental growth, and the degree of growth retardation is related to the exposure to those stressors (Bennike et al. 2005, Geber 2014, Ivanovsky 1923, Johnson and Gunnar 2011, and Stewart et al. 2013). The purpose of this study was to examine the effects environmental stress has on craniofacial growth and development. It utilized a collection of skeletal remains from the Maagdenhuis Roman Catholic Girl’s Orphanage in Amsterdam, that dates to c 1850-1900AD. Craniometric landmarks from 427 crania were registered with a MicroScribe 3DX digitizer. The data collected was utilized to investigate whether growth retardation was present in the sample, along with an analysis correlating pathological features to growth and development. A multiple regression analysis was conducted to test for significance of growth patterns. The growth patterns were then compared to a dataset of normal growth patterns from the Michigan Craniofacial Growth Study (Riolo et al. 1974) in order to distinguish any differences in development. Further, a Chi-Square analysis and outliers test were used to examine the correlation between pathologies and age of the individuals in the collection. The intra-class correlation resulted in a low intra-observer error, with significant correlations ranging between .939 and .998. Additionally, the results of this study showed gradual positive slope growth curves for the inter-landmark distances tested, with similar shaped growth curves to the Michigan Craniofacial Growth Study (Riolo et al. 1974). Additionally, the multiple regression produced four age predictive models for this collection, with NLH, ZYB, MAL, UFHT, XCB, MAB, BPL and WFB being the most predictive inter-landmark distances. This study found a significant correlation between pathologies present and individuals’ age. Although there is a correlation between age and pathologies, given the data provided by the outlier analysis, having a score of minor porosity is not sufficient enough to influence or cause growth retardation, definitively. The qualitative analysis conducted for this study found that there was growth retardation present in this collection. A modern forensic application of this research can be applied to identify cases of child abuse and/or institutionalized care on skeletal remains in question, based on growth retardation.