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Age changes of facial measurements in European young adult males: Implications for the identification of the living

HOMO - Journal of Comparative Human Biology
DOI: 10.1016/j.jchb.2012.08.002
  • Criminology


Abstract Metric and morphological analyses of facial features are currently applied in cases of personal identification of the living on images acquired from video surveillance systems. However, facial assessment in the forensic context needs to be based on reliable comparative data for facial measurements. Facial changes in the age range of early adulthood (20–30 years) have been rarely described so far, although such knowledge would be beneficial for comparative personal identification on images. This study investigates changes in facial measurements in European males aged between 20 and 30 years in order to identify metric characters that can be used for personal identification in young adults. A sample of 404 males of European ancestry, aged between 20 and 30 years from Germany, Italy and Lithuania were recruited for this project. Fourteen facial measurements were taken and correlation coefficients were calculated for each cranial measurement with age. Only two measurements – labial width and physiognomic ear length – seem to change between 20 and 30 years with a positive statistically significant correlation (p<0.05). These results suggest caution for what may concern personal identification by assessment of ear and mouth morphology.

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