Master of Arts (MA)


Geography and Anthropology

Document Type



The assessment of child development requires standards in order to compare an apparent physiologic age to an actual chronological age. In assessing chronological age of an individual, the use of multiple indicators is ideal and important in determining age at death. For individuals under the age of about 21 years, dental development is the most reliable indicator of age. Research aimed at understanding the variation in tooth formation due to race and sex will help to more accurately determine the age at death of remains of subadult individuals. This project examined the impact of race, sex, and time period on first and second molar development. The sample gathered consisted of 303 panorex radiographs of individuals ranging in age from four years to 14 years. Each radiograph was of an individual whose age, sex, and racial affinity were known. The results of statistical analyses revealed no significant difference in timing of dental development between race, sex, or decade groups. Mean comparisons did show some slight differences, especially with regard to sex and decade differences. Girls have an earlier average age at each stage of second molar development than boys. A directional change from the 1980s to the 1990s shows an increase in average age at each stage of development, suggesting that at least some secular change has occurred in recent years.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Mary Manhein