Journal Published Online: 01 November 2002
Volume 47, Issue 6

Interobserver Variation of Selected Postcranial Skeletal Measurements



Osteometric data are of great importance for analytical purposes in the field of forensic anthropology, and it is critical that interobserver concordance is high in order for the results of these analyses to be reliable. Significant interobserver variation of skeletal measurements is cause for concern since it may result in conflicting conclusions. The range of interobserver variation of selected postcranial measurements is addressed. Thirteen standard measurements familiar to most forensic anthropologists were examined, as well as nine nonstandard measurements that were unfamiliar to most participants in the study. Sixty-eight individuals participated in the study, the majority of whom considered themselves to be forensic anthropologists with various levels of experience. In general, interobserver variation of the tested standard postcranial measurements was found to be minimal, with the exception of pubis length and subtrochanteric femur measurements. The difficulties that can lead to measurement error are discussed and possible solutions are recommended.

Author Information

Adams, BJ
U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii
Byrd, JE
U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory, Hawaii
Pages: 10
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: JFS15550J
ISSN: 0022-1198
DOI: 10.1520/JFS15550J